I’m weird. Are you? Is your art weird? Are you arts patrons weird?
We Are All Weird is the name of a new book by Seth Godin. It’s a book that finally explained in very simple and clear terms how I’m weird and how most of the readers of this blog and most of the people I’ve hung out with for most of my life are weird.
When it comes to people, we don’t need more “normal.”
We live in a society that tries to make us the same as everyone else and to a degree, we like being “the same” and not standing out, but damn it, we are different so lets celebrate that. Seth would argue that we desperately need to celebrate our weirdness and that our weirdness is a more effective way to success than doing what is “normal.”
The bell curve of what is “normal” has flattened out recently to the point that more people are outside of the “normal” part of the curve than are in that area of the curve. This is a big deal.
What does this mean for you?
It means quit trying to book artists or present art that is boring and dull because you think it’s what everyone wants. It means as an artist, spending more effort developing what makes you unique (weird) instead of doing the same-old, same-old.
The bad news. The market is getting more and more fractured. It means you have to spend more time finding the market that exists for your art or presentations. It means you need to get to know the people that make up your market, personally.
Simply creating some brochures or mass mailing to a list is not going to cut it anymore. Blanket letters? Forget it. It means picking up the phone, writing personalized letters, creating community through lots of interaction (that’s where social media really shines).
It means work for you and your organization. Sorry if this all sounds weird.
John McLachlan is Creative Director of Full Bleed Arts Marketing. He brings years of experience having worked as a performing artist, an arts administrator and a graphic/web designer specializing in marketing for the arts.