I have a client (who will remain nameless) that creates extraordinary music, and for the most part the graphic and other images they create reflect a professionalism that mirrors the quality of their songs and their live performance.
However, recently we had a difference of opinion, which is cool by the way, about a video they posted on YouTube. So I checked it out and found it to be poorly made, from a music marketing perspective. Here is some of what I had to say to them. My comments are really about conveying a consistent image in everything you do as a solo artist or as a band. Here is what I said to them:
"You have to realize something very different about me. I WAS BORN IN MUSIC MARKETING AND MUSIC SALES. THAT IS HOW I SEE THE MUSIC BUSINESS. So, when I see, what I think is bad image development, I THINK LIKE A MUSIC MARKETER.
I am not trying to stop you or anyone's creativity. But there is a very useful old saying in this business...YOU ARE NOT YOUR CUSTOMER. YOU ARE NOT YOUR FAN. that is very important, and applies to you, You stated in an email to me... "70 percent of the people who commented saying they love (our video) are in the film industry full time"
Well, too friggin' bad. They may be creative people but they are NOT thinking about customers or fans when they compliment 'arty-farty 8 mil.and dark camera work. That is just how I feel, period.
Those creative people are, like you, TOO CLOSE to the business to see it from a marketing perspective. Customers and Fans see things differently. Some fans are picky, some have no taste for creativity, and will accept anything an artist creates..BECAUSE THEY ARE BLINDED BY THEIR FAN DOME!
Now, since you are also posting your daily art work as part of your dedication to communicating with your fanbase, that it is a personal glimpse into YOU...that is fine and I would never suggest you change your artwork, But videos you put out under your band's name are different...those choices are MARKETING.
Also, when I rant and use words like "HATE IT" and such and such....That is ME BEING ME WHEN I SEE THAT YOU CONFUSE PERSONAL ARTWORK WITH MUSIC MARKETING...it is not wrong of me to get worked up and rail at you and the band. It actually is a way of showing how much I care!!!
Perhaps it is futile of me to fight for this distinction...but I will not stop, cannot stop by marketing mind from reacting negatively when intelligent people like yourself cannot separate personal expression from music marketing. I will defend to my death the fact that your latest band's video, FROM A MARKETING PERSPECTIVE, is a piece of crap and does not reflect your otherwise extraordinary artwork in your web design, your cd covers, posters, whatever.
I am just a passionate guy, and you have to take me as I am...rudeness and all. You make the final decisions. If I was your manager, and you showed me that video, I would scream to the high heavens about how terrible it is....BUT I would leave the decision of posting it on YouTube to you, then go crawl in a hole somewhere, hoping no one knows I work with you.
Again, what you are doing with your blog and your commitment to the daily art creations are extraordinary and are perfect for showing fans et al your creativity as a member of the band. Most of your daily creations are amazing and inspiring and HELP you with your consistent image."
So, there you go...a small glimpse into another chapter of 'art vs commerce'
Take it or leave it.