So what am I doing talking about Gene Simmons (and yes, I am referring to the dude from Kiss)? Well, I take my inspiration from many sources. Mr. Simmons has recently launched a new record label in Canada. I was reading an article in the 'Report on Business' magazine insert from the Globe and Mail newspaper (Friday March 27, 2009) on this new venture. Gene offers his take on success, "It's not just about records. You've got to have the complete package: the image, the positioning, the vibe, the media connection. It's not just your music...it means TV and movies and getting your songs out there". I thought this next comment was interesting: "The Who had their biggest success ever by being on CSI. And Led Zeppelin got more bang for buck on one song by putting 'Rock and Roll' on an Escalade commercial." Gene goes on to say that while purists have a problem with this sort of marketing, we should remember that "they're still living in Mom's basement, and they are 35 years old." :-)
Well maybe I am more in the purist camp than not as I care quite a bit about what is associated with my name and my images but what Gene is affirming here is the notion that we need to always be thinking of fresh new marketing strategies. I agree. Our greatest successes can come from very unexpected sources. We have all heard of thinking outside of the box but do we do it?
No matter what state the economy is in, there is always money moving around. I mentioned in a previous post (click here to read) about the two most expensive sports in the US (oddly enough, involving horses and yachts) and how an artist might tap into that wealth. Here are two more examples of creative marketing: A man here in Ottawa makes a living doing landscapes of golf courses. He enjoys painting landscapes and by featuring a vista of a golf course he has found a way to tap in to the golfing crowd. Golfers are passionate about their courses and membership in a premier, prestigious golf course is much sought after. These folks have money and they apparently love to have a print of their favourite course in their den or office. The artist has partnered with the golf courses to offer exclusive prints. This artist also loves hockey and he loves doing portraits. He went after the hockey market (we have a hockey franchise here in Ottawa - the Senators) and he now gets commissions to do paintings of the players playing the game and he also does commissions of players as well as players with their families. This isn't the traditional approach for a painter. Most traditional methods of selling art involves being represented by a gallery, having shows, etc.
Here is your smile for the day...The writer of the article Steve Ladurantaye asks Gene for his thoughts on the state of the economy in the US. The final question is: "How would you fix things - what's the Gene Simmons stimulus package?" Gene replied, "I am the stimulus package, baby."
I agree. We may not be rock and rollers but we are our own stimulus package. Our careers are in our hands. We all have our own personal limits as to how far we will go to market our art. Some artists shudder at the thought of doing market driven art like landscapes of golf courses. Others license their images to everyone and everything. (Maybe they just don't want to live in Mom's basement!) So how far are you willing to go? Is there a happy compromise you can make? Are you really thinking outside of the box?