Sunday, November 09, 2008

9th November 2008 - Who's made a mark this week?


Well I guess it's pretty obvious who made a mark this week - an awful lot of voters! This week we had what is probably the most talked about election in the history of the world both online and offline - with the biggest number of voters ever - and it produced a historic result. Not least because, in these very challenging times, I found much to feel very positive about in the speeches of both candidates on election night - but I'm bookmarking this one and this one.

Well done to everybody who gave their time and talent for what you believe in, who worked to get out the voters and to everybody who voted - for whatever party. Speaking personally I come from the centre and respond well to messages which are about people working together as a community. I hope nobody has a problem with that? :)

I found it very interesting to see how many people also chose to 'make a mark' and record something about their own election day - and often about the election process itself (as in my own post about Another kind of surge - I was absolutely amazed by all those queues!).

Another kind of surge
(or what I did while waiting for the results)
11.5" x 8.5", pencil
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

So I decided to make a compendium of all the illustrated blog posts that I could find by artists and illustrators blogging about the election day, the election process and the results....and here they are:
Adebanji Aladi's entry
in the Week 9 Challenge - US Capitol

.....and just in case you wondered what they were doing while a lot of us watched the TV, here's Behind the scenes with the Obama family - watching the TV!

Congrats to:
Art Blogs

A short selection of items I spotted during the week
7" x 5", pencil in Derwent Safari sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

Art Business & Marketing and the Art Economy

Marketing lessons can be learned from what happened this week. I think everybody is agreed that the Obama campaign was probably one of the best managed campaigns in American election history. It was certainly the first one to fight the election online and to mobilise the attention of younger people.
  • It's being noted that the election was won online with Facebook being used for both vote-getting and generating donations. He very successfully connected with the younger generation because of the media he used plus it works even for those who don't have millions because the internet is a "low-cost, high-reach place". Lesson: If you're marketing art to a younger audience you need to be doing that online.
  • I was not in the least bit surprised that Seth Godin (Seth's Blog) wrote this week about about Marketing lessons from the US election
I think there are some lessons for every marketer, regardless of nationality or political leanings..........Anticipated, personal and relevant messages will always outperform spam..........The lesson that society should take away about all marketing is a simple one. When you buy a product, you're also buying the marketing.
Taxpayer-funded organisations handing out money to arts, heritage, voluntary and sports groups are spending far too much on administration costs and seem unwilling to work together to bring them down, a Commons committee complains today.
  • I've been doing a lot of reading about the art economy this week but have decided to distill it into a post later this week.
MaM Survey results as at 9th November 2008

Making A Mark Survey - an update: I announced the November Making A Mark Survey on Monday - see MaM Poll: How much art have you sold via your blog or website? Voting is really taking off very fast (maybe people were'in the mood'?), so much so I thought I'd give you the state of play after less than a week. The main findings so far are that:
  • over 50% of respondents either don't try to sell art or don't succeed in selling artwork from their blog. Nearly 20% of people sold less than 5 items in the last year . Nobody should feel like a failure if you've not had any success as yet - you've got lots of company!
  • just 2% of respondents succeed in selling more than 100 items in the last 12 months using their blog/website.
If you've not yet responded can I encourage you to vote before 30th November and provide some insight into your experience - even if you don't try to sell or have not succeeded in selling. I'm adding this interim chart to The Making A Mark Poll - Resources for Artists and updating during the month.

Art Competitions
Art Exhibitions
The works span the artist’s career from important early landscapes made when he was a teenager, to the highly finished watercolours and his celebrated expressive late works. The works form The Courtauld Gallery will be supplemented by closely related loans from Tate and private collections, enabling viewers to see the development of some compositions from early sketches and exploratory ‘colour beginnings’ to finished watercolours and published prints.
  • Artists who can get to London should note that the ING Discerning Eye exhibition opens to the public at the Mall Galleries on 13th November and will run until Sunday 23 November. All the works on show will be for sale, and entrance is free. You can see some work by last year's ING purchase prize winner in my post yesterday about Susan Angharad Williams exhibits at ING.
Art Supplies
Art - Tips and Techniques
Do let me know if you're sharing a useful tip - and it's one I've not highlighted before.

Book review
Websites and blogging
and finally.........

NewYorkMagazine have put this video on You Tube Street Art: Joshua Allen Harris' Inflatable Bag Monsters
Call us boring and simple-minded, but before we saw the work of street artist Joshua Allen Harris we never once considered the artistic possibilities of subway exhaust. Using only tape and garbage bags, Harris creates giant inflatable animals that become animated when fastened to a sidewalk grate. Steven Psyllos caught up with Harris recently to discuss his older works (including a bear and a giraffe) and unveil a new beast that looks not unlike the Cloverfield monster. Video by Jonah Green


  1. Thank you for the mention Katherine. I feel incredibly honoured to be listed in the same Making a Mark post as Obama!

  2. Although a turbulent time economically, there is an obvious feeling here in the US of great hope with the election of Obama. We just hope he can make a difference, when so much of what's wrong right now could take years to repair (and certainly took years to create).

    Thanks for the well wishes on our wedding! We're enjoying ourselves in Mexico.


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