Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Where do ideas come from?

From the frequently brilliant Seth Godin
Where do ideas come from?: "

  1. Ideas don't come from watching television

  2. Ideas sometimes come from listening to a lecture

  3. Ideas often come while reading a book

  4. Good ideas come from bad ideas, but only if there are enough of them

  5. Ideas hate conference rooms, particularly conference rooms where there is a history of criticism, personal attacks or boredom

  6. Ideas occur when dissimilar universes collide

  7. Ideas often strive to meet expectations. If people expect them to appear, they do

  8. Ideas fear experts, but they adore beginner's mind. A little awareness is a good thing

  9. Ideas come in spurts, until you get frightened. Willie Nelson wrote three of his biggest hits in one week

  10. Ideas come from trouble

  11. Ideas come from our ego, and they do their best when they're generous and selfless

  12. Ideas come from nature

  13. Sometimes ideas come from fear (usually in movies) but often they come from confidence

  14. Useful ideas come from being awake, alert enough to actually notice

  15. Though sometimes ideas sneak in when we're asleep and too numb to be afraid

  16. Ideas come out of the corner of the eye, or in the shower, when we're not trying

  17. Mediocre ideas enjoy copying what happens to be working right this minute

  18. Bigger ideas leapfrog the mediocre ones

  19. Ideas don't need a passport, and often cross borders (of all kinds) with impunity

  20. An idea must come from somewhere, because if it merely stays where it is and doesn't join us here, it's hidden. And hidden ideas don't ship, have no influence, no intersection with the market. They die, alone.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

The #1 Marketing Mistake Artists Make

I find it really difficult to talk about my art. Often I can't figure out what niche to put it in. My category classifications are vague and broad. I don't enjoy marketing at all. When in school, I never cared for the critique part of things. It doesn't really matter wat the artist is trying to say. I think it only really matters what the viewer is hearing. In the best of all possible worlds, someone would market my art for me and I would be free to create all day.


Sent to you by bodyartist via Google Reader:


via Fractured Atlas Blog by Ciara Pressler on 11/23/10

It happens with every client whose product is their art. Whether I'm advising on a promotional campaign, revising previously written copy, or advertising a new production, the artist's reason to produce is all too often presented as the audience's reason to care.

This is when I put on my Serious Consultant Face and say, "If you only learn one thing from our work together, it is this: (pause, make eye contact) You must explain why it matters to the audience."

B E N E F I T. This is the word to remember when creating any marketing, from promotional emails to event invitations to fundraising appeals to status updates. Explain to me why this product, this piece, this production, is not just special to you, but why it will be special to me.

When you're marketing, it's not about you. Like it or not, especially in the social media/reality TV age, it's about ME. My status, my tweet, my vote, my opinion. Which translates to: my money, my ticket, my butt in your theater's seat and my name on your company's mailing list.

Your marketing is not a mirror, it's a window. Rather than reflecting on you, any pitching of your product or production must explain to the potential patron why their hard-earned money or precious time should be spent here when there are so many other options out there.

In school, it was enough to expect your friends and family to show up for your shows out of pure love and support for your art. But once you're in the professional performance world, you've got to pitch your audience, not just hang a shingle/put on a show/open an Etsy account and wait for the traffic to roll in.

So roll up your sleeves, artist-preneurs! Let's play a little game of devil's advocate with some common non-reasons and turn them into benefit-laden pitches, shall we?

Give Us Your Vote/Money

It's about you: Vote for us to win this contest / donate to our project at this link!

(Potential Audience, Still Skeptical: Why? What will you do with the money? Why is your cause more worthy than all these others? Am I going to end up on some mailing list?)

It's about them: Thanks to our awesome audience, we're up for Best Company in Town! Can you help us win by taking 15 seconds to vote at Direct Voting Link?

(Motivated Action, Semi-Sold: I'm helpful! And awesome! 15 seconds? That's nothing if it means reinforcing my identity as a helpful and awesome person!)

We're #1! (reference unavailable)

It's about you: Amazing Jewelry is the most amazing jewelry.

(PASS: At that price, it better be amazing. Know what I think is amazing? That jewelry I saw at the mall the other day on sale. At least I've heard of that brand before.)

It's about them: Amazing Jewelry is dedicated to creative design for creative people.

(MASS: Dedication, how admirable! I am pretty creative… I'll click on this link and check out their designs, which I will find creative because a creative person like me recognizes creativity, and will value it accordingly.)

Non-Editorial Process Disclosure, aka, Oz Was Behind a Curtain for a Reason

It's about you: After one year of development, we present: Our Show.

(PASS: Why did it take so long? How long is it supposed to take? Man, if I took a year to do something at my job, I wouldn't have a job. Just sayin'.)

It's about them: Be the first to see Our Show in its limited Our City engagement.

(MASS: Oh yeah, I'm an early adopter. Just check out my iPad! I can't wait to tweet this to all my followers while I check in on Foursquare. I hope I can still get tickets.)

No One Puts Baby in a Corner

It's about you: Unsigned Indie Band is completely original, no-genre music!

(PASS: Eh, this clip sounds like something else I heard once but I don't have the available brain space to connect it to anything I already like. Next.)

It's about them: The progressive orchestration of Arcade Fire meets the ethereal vocals of Florence and the Machine - with a beat you can dance to.

(MASS: Who are these guys, my perfect Pandora station? It's about time someone mashed up two bands I've heard of with an activity I'd like the option to take part in.)

Make sense? So next time you're composing copy intended to persuade, write the love letter to your clientele rather than your art.  Infuse it with reasons your target audience will want to become loyal customers and you'll make a connection that inspires action.


Things you can do from here:


Friday, November 26, 2010

Chronicle Books :: Celebrate the Haul-idays with Chronicle Books

Chronicle Books :: Celebrate the Haul-idays with Chronicle Books

There's $500 worth of really interesting looking books up for grabs.

Wow. It would be so cool to win these books. Just click on the link or leave a comment.
The ones that have already been on my wishlist are

Lennon Legend: An Illustrated Life of John Lennon
The Exquisite Book: 100 Artists Play a Collaborative Game (one of the artists is Dave Eggers...and I L-O-V-E his writing. Please read What is the What)
Sketchbooks: The Hidden Art of Designers, Illustrators, and Creatives
Artist's Color Manual: The Complete Guide to Working with Color

Friday, November 5, 2010

How to Wire a Painting.

How to Wire a Painting.: "

1. Wire Cutter
2. Framers Pro Picture Wire- The professional grade with the plastic around the wire is the best. :) This is the secret sauce.
3. Ring Hangers-
4. Plus screw driver.

PS- check your art supply store for the wire/hangers. They buy the stuff in bulk and is cheaper is then the Hardware store and cheaper then Michaels.

1. Attach rings to either side of the frame. You will want them 1/3rd to 1/4th from the top of the frame. and put them at a little but of an angle.
2. Cut your piece of wire with a 2-4 inches extra wire for each side of the frame. So if you have a 10 inch width you want at least 14-18 inches of wire cut.
3. Thread the ring hangs. Leave the wire a little bit of wiggle room- and don't thread it too tight. When the wire is pulled tight like it's being hung you will want it 2-3 inches from the top of the frame.


I am not going to tell you how many mistakes I made and how long it took me to figure this out. I walked into the hardware store and they sold me the wrong stuff several times.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Athenaeum

The Athenaeum: "

The Athenaeum: from the collection of The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

The Athenaeum is essentially a virtual museum, in some ways similar to the Art Renewal Center (my post here) or the Web Gallery of Art (my post here), but with its own focus and strengths.

As of this writing, The Athenaeum lists their online collection of art images at 43,339 (with 14 added in the last seven days), making it one one the largest art resources on the web, perhaps second only to the Art Renewal Center.

The Athenaeum is one of my favorite online sources of images from art history; they frequently have good selections of a given artist’s work, reproduced large enough to enjoy and with well balanced color (which can be a problem on some art image repositories).

You can search the archive via Google with the search box on the home page or the “Visual Arts” landing page.

You can also browse alphabetically by artist name, or even name of the work.

In the lists for individual artists, be aware that there are frequently multiple pages of thumbnails, linked from small numbers at the top of the list. You can sort these lists by title, date and medium and toggle the order of each.

Click through the thumbnail or title link to the detail page for the work, and click on the image again for the large reproduction.

You can also browse a museum list; these lists can be sorted by title, artist or date. In the museum listing details click on “Artworks at this museum” at the top to see works in the Athenaeum archive from that museum’s collections.

This can be a fascinating way to browse, in that it produces an interesting mix of artists and styles.

The above images, for example, are all from the collection of The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (from top: Edmund Tarbell, Raphaelle Peale, Thomas Eakins [no longer in the collection, alas], Cecilia Beaux, Winslow Homer and Theodore Robinson).

(See also my posts on Edmund Tarbell, Thomas Eakins, Cecilia Beaux and the web site of The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.)


Monday, November 1, 2010

"This is the more agreeable one..."

"This is the more agreeable one...": "How To Explain It To My Parents: a video series from Lernert & Sander where conceptual artists explain their work to their parents.

Featuring Arno Coenen (shown in the main link), Martijn Hendriks (Previously), Martin C de Waal (website), Harm van den Dorpel (Previously), and Bart Julius Peters (website).

from metafilter

Art IS a weapon

Art IS a weapon: "The CIA spent 20 years promoting modern art as a propaganda tool: 'We wanted to unite all the people who were writers, who were musicians, who were artists, to demonstrate that the West and the United States was devoted to freedom of expression and to intellectual achievement, without any rigid barriers as to what you must write, and what you must say, and what you must do, and what you must paint, which was what was going on in the Soviet Union. I think it was the most important division that the agency had, and I think that it played an enormous role in the Cold War.'

From Boing Boing