Saturday, January 18, 2014

don't Dis the Artist if you ever expect their help

Well its happened again or maybe its me! I’m not sure but I‘ve dealt with this many times over the years. So I was at a meeting of the Biz Development Comity that I volunteered to do. Anyway it was the first meeting of the signage comity and I asked what we were going to sell with the signs they intend to put up, “the community” was the answer I got. I’m still shaking my head over that as I honestly figured these folks had a clue since they were talking budgets choosing comity heads etc...
  To bring you up to speed, I “crashed” the second meeting as I wasn’t invited to the first (because I won’t belong to a biz marketing group that doesn’t use even close to best practice mentality) lol... Being me and not being afraid to ask for more information so I then proceeded to ask how we could come up with ideas to sell a thing with no definition of what “it” was....and the response was “look we aren’t here to discuss a plan we are here to come up with sign idea’s” ...Like helloOOOOO!!!! So then I spent the next 20 min explaining the process of design ie that there is a way to come about answering those design target questions with smart reasonable and logical thought, and therefore personal feelings based focus groups have no place here (unless they have marketing or graphic experience) as this is about money, not one persons the community’s as a whole. If you choose to go by feeling then you are probably doomed before you start...plain and simple
The old adage "if you fail to plan then you are planning to fail” that doesn’t include the effects of a bad plan though... So then our esteemed leader says I think we should stick with the History theme..(he runs a restaurant in his non-functioning historic hotel). I suggest that 30sec to a min (which is how long it takes to drive our historical “DT Core”) is about how long you can expect involvement of the tourist driving through town and after that there is nothing else to keep them so we have to tell them somehow of the things not so obvious, but talking about signs with out an overall plan of what we are saying and to whom again is cart before the horse. None of this goes over very well with my 2 fellow comity sitters lol. b So before I get thrown out on my ear I mention that it is quite normal that biz owners know nothing of this as they are busy with their businesses and unless its in advertising they might never know any of this! So then I’m asked what I think and I pretty much told them....then we started talking about ease of marketing etc... Then our esteemed leader says “So can you sketch up those idea’s for the next meeting? ”   “Sorry no I don’t work for free” I respond ( i suppose i should have said "you weren't paying attention to any of what I just said were you"). Then our leader then says “well I’m volunteering and not getting paid”   I said  “I’m here too or had you not noticed”.
Now like I said is it me or them? Creating artwork to sell a product is one of the talents I poses, but before any line is draw there are alot of questions that need to be answered as any good designer knows and most biz owners don’t. To the biz owners of the world A) doing it for yourself is ok if you have no choice, (but honestly just because you like to sing does not make you a good singer) if you can hire a pro even if its just to consult...its in your best interests (a volunteer is even better as some is better than none. B) If the designer suggests you should “zig” when you would rather “zag” then odds are they are probably right and getting all hissy won’t make a bad idea good. Emotion has no place in this other than (hopefully) the buyers end. I chose to help choose the path our community takes rather than just watching them all go in 15 different directions at once and basically waste money on an unrealistic unconcerted effort. With any luck I will be able to bid on some part of this at some point but for now I will try to ensure they can see the the forest for the trees and have a direction  rather than just a wish that they keep throwing money at....For some reason (must be emotional) they are offended that its easy to see the mistakes if you have trained eye’s. I respect who they are, that they too have volunteered and are probably pretty good in their fields of employment or business. To me its sad that most artists are only respected as long as it free. Would you hire the guy in town that bakes the best pizza to build your house? Probably no so why hire/have the carpenter build your pizza? Most of life is not a free lunch. The point being the comity head was offended that I should want to be paid for what I do as a business..... In my mind I agree’d to consult not take everyone out for lunch my treat. You market what you can sell (and easily deliver) and it may not be what you want it to be or what you think it is! As a community we need to think of the whole not the individual. We have things here most communities would be envious of and we do nothing with it! Smart design = smart results not just pretty pictures or words for greedy people......

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