I wanted to share an interesting article on market experiments. While the article is geared towards start-ups in product development, the ideas about choosing marketing experiments carefully is pertinent. So is the thought that market data that comes in early needs to be recognized as early data and not definitive.
How does this relate to Art?
If you look at large art websites and POD sites that selectively market their artists, “popularity” is a key feature used in search ordering and promotion of pieces. As artists, collectors and aficionados, we have all experienced art that is easy to like and quickly popular. But are those our favorite pieces? Are those the pieces that are purchased, recognized, exhibited? It’s often the case that the easy instantly likeable pieces are the ones that are noticed quickly, but the more intricate and challenging works are the ones that grow on their audience. Substance and substantiveness grip the mind and imagination and won’t let go, while the easy “like” is quickly forgotten in the constant stream of pretty pictures.
What can we learn from this?
There are two takeaways here for the arts:
1. If you’re developing a website, collective or other activity that involves selectively promoting work from a group of artists, be very careful about choosing the work that rises to the top based one early popularity data. You could be left with a site that is defined by easy imagery. There needs to be a method of bringing less popular work up to the front that still distinguishes between the less popular and slow to like and the work that shouldn’t have been posted in the first place.
2. Artists whose work isn’t instantly popular shouldn’t worry so much about the early data. Just make sure your career development strategy includes financial planning and allows you to pay your bills while your slow-growing work builds a following. Anything substantially new and original meets with initial resistance. It’s human nature.
- Advocating for the Arts: Evelyn Patricia Terry (valorieschleicher.wordpress.com)