[The Purple Cow print. 39″x28″]
A few days ago, with the blessing of Seth Godin, I announced the Purple Cow Print. Here are some more of my thoughts, in no particular order:
1. I wanted to create an icon for the world I currently live in. The internet-enabled, Marketing 2.0 world. Seth’s 2003 book, “Purple Cow” seemed to sum up that world for me best. Turning into a print i.e. an iconic version of the world he spoke about, was a no-brainer. You walk into somebody’s office and see that print on their wall, you have no doubt whatsoever which worldview he’s aligned to.
2. I learned this while marketing wine: What’s interesting is not the liquid in the bottle, or what vineyard it came from, but the conversations that happen around it. Same with art. I wanted to make a print that HAD NO CHOICE but to start a conversation. A conversation about what? Not the work of art per se, but what the thing that the icon represents- the ideas in the book.
3. It’s the biggest print I have made so far: 39×28″. That’s BIG for a print. That’s a lot of purple.
4. Though I used “Web 2.0” tech to market it, in many ways the print was a statement AGAINST what Web 2.0 seems to have been evolving into these last couple of years… a place where the shiny new tools seem to matter A LOT MORE to people than the objects people were building WITH the shiny new tools.
5. Though I’m really, really unbelievably happy with the number of pre-orders we have gotten so far, I believe the print will be A LOT MORE interesting to A LOT MORE people once they see it hanging on other people’s walls. Once they see the molecules with their own eyes. Once THE REAL conversations begin. The central thesis to Seth’s book is “Be Remarkable”. I went all meta and used his book design as a starting point to create something remarkable myself.
6. Somebody asked me recently if the way I marketed my prints [i.e. via Web 2.0] was part of the artwork itself? Well, I believe that all art is informed by its social dimension, including the commercial bit. The fact that you bought the print off a blog, rather than from a traditional art gallery, does indeed inform the story behind it. But you can just as easily take that theory so far. In the end, it’s made of paper and hangs on a wall. Theory can be a distraction. sometimes.
7. One of my great cartoonist heroes, Charles Schultz, once said, “If I were better at drawing, I’d make paintings. If I were better at writing, I’d write books. So instead I draw cartoons”. That’s exactly how I feel about my own work. I don’t see my work hanging in the Louvre any time soon. What I do see, however, and what gets far more interesting to me with time, is how people use my work fro their own ends, for helping them find their own sense of purpose. Seth’s book, or this print, won’t change your life. ONLY YOU will change your life. It’s only the job of the artist or writer to maybe give you a nudge in the right direction.
8. I am insanely grateful to Seth Godin for allowing me to run with this idea. He rules. Thank you, Seth!
[Check out The Purple Cow print over at gapingvoidart.com.]
Wondering if seeing a print at a friend’s house or office would make me more likely to buy the same print? Seems like it would spark a conversation, for sure, but would I want to own the exact same one?
I don’t know… Of course, seeing printouts of your cartoons made me find your blog and now I’ve fallen in love with other cartoons, so I guess it would make me want a different one.
Interesting… So seeing this print would make me fall in love with the idea behind it and what you’re doing, and lead to me buying something else. Good stuff.
Joel, true, you may not want to buy a print that your friend already owns.
But you might like it enough to where you talk about it to somebody else, a third person, who ends up buying it.
Que sera, sera….
Ahhh, very good point. The conversation surrounding the object has a much larger audience than the person who sees it, etc. Rad.