Why Art Shouldn’t Speak For Itself

I’ve always been told that art should speak for itself.

That our job is to do the work, the
work’s job is to speak for the work, and any attempt to make grand claims about
what the work is, what it’s supposed to do or what people should think about
it, is bad form.

                                                           

And yet, every time I go to an art
museum, watch a documentary or see an interview with one of my heroes, all I
want is for the artist to speak. To me, artist statements are more interesting
than the art itself. That’s what inspires me. That’s what gives me permission
to try something new.

Yes, I pay attention to the work, but I
what I obsess over is the thinking behind the work. As the consumer,I
want the back story. I want a detailed description of the landscape that
sustained the artist when her spirit was tired and sagging. I want to know who
the artist had to become in order to finish it.

What’s interesting is, now that most
artists are operating on some permutation of free, res ipsa loquitur might not cut it anymore. If we just sit back and
let the work speak for itself, where’s the value to the fans? As Seth says,
when the cost of delivering the thing itself is so cheap, there isn’t a
bright line between exposing the work and delivering the work.

That’s why Kevin Smith has spent tens of thousands of hours
in the past twenty years – on stage, on camera, on air and on ink – answering
questions, telling stories and sharing secrets behind his work. He’s not trying
to perfect the audience experience; he’s trying to extend it. It’s the second
bite of the apple. And his fans couldn’t get that if he simply let the work
speak for itself.

Today’s audience no longer buys what we sell, they buy the story we tell. They buy the humble
beginnings that first ignited the work, the process we endured to create the
work and the resistance we overcame to sign, seal and ship the work.

Just because the work is done, doesn’t mean our mouths
should close.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What have you declined this week?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For the list called, “21 Things I Learned While Spying on Myself,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Writing, Publishing, Performing, Consulting

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Do you need an expert who tells you what to do, or a mentor who lets you tell yourself what to do?

“After investing in your mentoring program, I’ve become centered on
who I am and what I have to offer. Now, I am attracting clients I want
to work with. Life is great and I just wanted to thank you from the
bottom of my heart.” —-Melanie Jatsek, Diet Busters

Rent Scott’s Brain today for 2 hours, 30 days or 3 months!

The Love Conundrum

We can love what we do, but we can’t fall in love with what we do.

That type of attachment will be the end
of us.

Nothing against love, but when we’re
smitten by our own enterprise, hopelessly enchanted by our own work, the
blinders of the heart obstruct the vision of the brand.

And like Narcissus, infatuated with our
own reflection, we can’t see what’s obvious, practical and profitable.

Sometimes we fall in love with our own technology. And we never question our own
assumptions about redundancy. Take Kodak. They filed for bankruptcy because they
failed to innovate and adapt to the digital world.

Sometimes we e fall in love with our own inventory. And it’s hard to imagine why the rest of the
world doesn’t feel the same way. Take BlackBerry. Their sales plummeted
last year because they never realized the mobile world had already passed them
by.

Sometimes we fall in in love with our own press. And we spend all our time soaking in the accolades
instead of trying to get better. Take Toyota. Their quality slipped
because they obsessed over company legend instead of customer legroom.

Sometimes we fall in love with our own ideas. And we get so close to them that we overestimate
their potential. Take John Carter. Pixar lost two hundred million dollars
because this boring, bloated, poorly marketed epic couldn’t recoup their
massive budget.

Sometimes we fall in love with our own perspective. And terminal certainty blocks our acceptance
of better ideas. Like Lehman Brothers. They filed the largest bankruptcy in the
nation’s history and started a global financial crisis because they were too
big to fail.

And yet, I still believe that business without love, isn’t.

But I also believe that emotion distorts evaluation. And if
we want our brand to stick around, we owe it to our customers, our employees
and ourselves to love what we do, but not fall in love with what we do.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What are you falling in love with?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For the list called, “11 Things to Stop Wasting Your Time On” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Writing, Publishing, Performing, Consulting

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

How boring is your company’s online training?

For
dozens of free video learning modules on sales, frontline service,
entrepreneurship and marketing, spend a few minutes or a few hours
growing your brain and growing your wallet.

Tune in to www.nametagTV.com!

So Many Conferences, So Little Return

For several years, I made a small career out of going to
seminars, attending week-long conferences, schmoozing at networking events, disappearing
on spiritual retreats, reading every book on the shelves, studying personal
development programs and brainstorming at mastermind sessions.

Which was inspiring and educational, but it was also
expensive, time consuming and not especially profitable.

Eventually, I had to get very honest with myself.

Am I actually creating work that matters, or just
distracting myself from what’s really important? Am I spending my time wisely,
or am I just inventing things to do to preserve the illusion of productivity? Am
I actually growing my business, or just satisfying my bottomless need for
validation and approval? Am I actually delivering value to others, or just
sitting in a corner trying to perfect myself? Am I actually connecting with my
peers, or just playing dress up for the wrong audience? Am I actually part of a
community, or just feeding into another ballwashing circlejerk of mutual
glorification?

So I stopped.

Not completely. I still attend events here and there. I
still learn everyday. And I still show up where it counts.

But at this point, I’d rather create than consume.

And what’s fascinating is, when I make creation my dominant
act, I do learn. I do grow my business. I do deliver value to others. I do
connect with my peers. I do feel part of a community. I do make meaning. And I
do make money.

Sure beats spending a week at some hotel in Phoenix trying to prove myself to people I don’t even like.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What have you declined this week?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For the list called, “21 Things I Learned While Spying on Myself,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Writing, Publishing, Performing, Consulting

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

My job is to help companies make their mission more than a statement, using limited edition social artifacts.

Want to download your free workbook for The Brandtag Strategic Planning Crusade?


Meet Scott’s client from Nestle Purina at www.brandtag.org!

Sign up for daily updates
Connect

Subscribe

Daily updates straight to your inbox.

Copyright ©2020 HELLO, my name is Blog!