Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Artist Myth #8g: Your Art is Totally Original

Myth Eight: Your art is totally original

Technology has leveled the playing field in terms of what I call personal image transportation or more precisely how artists package themselves and get their message out into the world. It seems like anyone with a video camera can get a film to Sundance, a high school rock band can easily have a slick CD package that makes them look like a million bucks.

On the positive side, open access to what would have been considered cost prohibitive packaging allows smaller voices to compete with larger ones. On the negative side, since everyone seems to have matching accessories in terms of marketing: a glossy brochure, a slick CD package, a flashy website, a book, etc., it’s extremely hard to tell the difference sometimes between anadvertisement for Coca-Cola and an advertisement for an individual artist. With the mass branding that has washed over into the art world, savvy fans are become apt at recognizing it and quickly being turned off by it.

As storyteller and story coach Susan Klein says, “Full color glossy brochures does not a career make. Anyone can look good on paper.”

Unfortunately, most artists seem to consume themselves with their packaging rather than paying attention to two areas that should require much more attention: their voice and how they interact with others.

Born and raised on Martha's Vineyard, Susan Klein is an internationally-known, professional storyteller, and author of Through a Ruby Window, a collection of stories about the Vineyard in the ‘50s and ‘60s. As owner of Ruby Window Productions, Susan offers acclaimed Story Wisdom® workshops for lawyers, educators, writers, and speakers, and coaching and editing for the page and stage through An Alien Eye. Susan is a director/producer of numerous award-winning spoken-word recordings, an the 2007 recipient of the Creative Living Award presented by the Permanent Endowment of Martha’s Vineyard and the National Storytelling Network’s coveted Circle of Excellence Award.

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