Friday, May 6, 2011

Branding: Trust and Obey

Prescript: While reading this, play Kinkade’s Trust and ObeyCd.

I can’t think of any other “artist” to honor with my first post other then the legendary prophecy of the art world. Our lord and savior, purveyor and curator of all fine “art” goods and products: Kinkade.  Despite his list of accomplishments concerning calendars, screen savers, and lawsuits; none the less a capitol “artist” .  A painter of light in an otherwise dark, bleak world blighted by capitalism and money hungry zombies.  A world perfectly suited to his exploits. However, while Kinkade is adored by high bow art collectors and midwesterners,  Shepard Fairey has taken the same blueprint of domination to the underground.

Shepard Fairey is his modern day protégée, although hiding under the guise of underground activist profiteer. Shep does not infringe on Kinkade’s cornering of the religious destitute in seek of symbols to plaster their homes with to signify their devotion to god and capitalism.  He has cornered his own market of radicals and lay about activists. So that they might cover the walls of their Brooklyn trust fund to signify their devotion to trendy conventions of a beleaguered generation of wayfarer couch surfers and destitute upper middle class hipsters.  I own one of his prints myself and keep it in the closet waiting for its value to rise so I can ebay the sucker.

Various super artistic OBEY swag: note studs on flannel colar

Can you blame them for mass production and slapping their brand on products they have never touched and never will? They are industrious, put otherwise untalented people to work and make people feel good about themselves when they fork over their hard earned coins to be able to curate a kitchen calendar by a Kinkade or an Obey consumer good that goes through the wash every week or so.  We should all be so lucky, so I want some of this pie and we should all have some of this pie.
I’ve drawn out 5 essential steps to creating and producing your own brand in order to dominate the art world:
Step one: Create your brand like Kinkade and Obey.  Kinkade as a brand is old hat. Don’t use your own name; it’s boring and really trendy. Use something alerting and semi controversial. Create a moniker such as “Mr. Brainwash“ for example.
Step two: Find your market. Currently the religious and hipsters are being sapped of all their net worth, so you’ll need a fresh market.  Some modern day artists are pushing the doll “art” market (big eyes/ long necks art ).  This market for example, transcends not only tween girls, but also 20 something’s not able to take the adult leap yet.  However, they only have their allowances to spend, so it is not a growth market.
Step three: Create your gimmick.  As every Kinkade painting can be turned into a pin the cottage to the canvas painting, you’ll need something that taps into the inner nostalgia of your targeted market.  For instance you might think about working with  hot girls smoking cigarettes , painting  cuddle bears,  Co-opting other culture's  spiritual and ritual symbols.  Hey I’m 1/16 Native Canadian, do I get to wear a native headdress?
charmaine olivia

Step four: PR. You can’t sell a thing unless it has some sort of intrinsic value to the cultureless masses.  This is related to gimmicks. You can have simple PR while publishing work that has tattoos on it or you’ll need to hype yourself up through intensive blogging, internet art venues, Juxtapoz , Hi-Fructose or any other art publication that sets the trend in the current art markets.  Sadly, you have to buy your way in or bring your pug dog or white tiger to Shooting Gallery in order to get noticed. Remember be aggressive and make people think that your brand matters.
Step five: Create your products. This basically means get a team of people with University degree debt to produce your goods and wares.  It’s better than cheap foreign labor, because they are skilled and educated in the field, but you get to still pay them nil in comparison to your GDP because you can hold their college loans over their heads and they get to work with an over hyped demigod of the art world.  Young 20 something’s are the new cheap sweat shop labor for America’s corporations, so step in line. It also helps if you can somehow get your brand on a fixed gear bike or on some American Apparel clothing.


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