Business

Branding, Personal / Inspiration

Art is NOT DEAD


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Art will finally be taken seriously.

Back in 2009, I began working in newspaper advertising. I worked with many local business owners on several marketing strategies to help push their message in a loud, noisy world. This was during the thick of the recession and price was the big marketing idea to get the consumers into the store.

At that time, Twitter was only 3 years old and just starting to build momentum. Facebook rolled out the Facebook Fan Page in 2007 and brands were becoming more and more aware of the power of social media.

But Wes, I thought this post was about Art, not Social Media?

I wanted to give you a little background on how social media has evolved and enhanced the NEED for great artists, designers, writers, filmmakers, and all other types of creative minds.

ART is becoming just as “important” as business. In fact, my prediction is that they will be working hand in hand within the next 3–5 years.

I had a discussion with one of my clients back in 2009 where I told him that he needed to create a facebook page and YouTube Channel to begin engaging in conversation that is going to appeal to the consumer’s emotions. It was difficult to convince someone that consumers were going to buy from a business that they connected with. This would take time and energy but would be well worth the investment. The results would happen over time, but he was worried about this quarter’s earnings so he didn’t take advantage of that opportunity. His business may be at a different level had he acted at that time.

I saw that the culture was shifting and shifting fast to this type of experience. I knew that people wanted to be a part of something. People wanted to collaborate and get to know the people behind the brand. The recession made us lonely. The growth of technology made us stop connecting in “real life.” Now people want to connect with people in the social network atmosphere.

Social Media (as we know it) is still a pre-teen.

As humans, we have 5 senses. Hearing, Seeing, Smelling, Touching, Feeling. What we are doing, as an international society, is imposing human sensory into technological devices. People are wanting to connect online using their senses. The internet may not have all 5 human senses, but we desire to create our cyber world with human traits.

What an artist can do is create beautiful imagery and story to help create a human-like atmosphere within a cyber world.

Forbes released an article in 2012 called The 10 Worst College Majors. About half of the 10 worst majors were Arts Majors. I know that over the last decade (if not longer) if there were federal or state budget cuts, the first to be cut was the arts. Cutting the arts then discouraged students to pursue an Art Career. As an Arts Recruiter, I have seen many articles like the Forbes article and I say to myself:

“You guys are all wrong!”

Not because I am an artist myself, but because — how could a person of any intelligence not see that ART will become one of the necessary fields to maintain this cultural shift in technology? Every business owner, every brand, every organization, and probably every person on this planet will need to be it’s own media company first, then business second.

Businesses will need artistic photographers, writers, graphic designers, and other artists in order to operate in the technological world. They will NEED experienced and talented designers and artists to stand out.

Going back to the 5 senses.

In order to develop a human sense of Touch or Feeling in the tech space, you are going to have to do it EMOTIONALLY.

Your content, visuals, and sounds will need to be superb. A task only a true artist can take on.

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Business

Why I Wear a Hoodie at Work


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Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.

Perception. This is a key ingredient to life. I often ask myself how I am being perceived in any given situation that life throws my way. Perception is a big deal in the workplace. Men and Women dress up everyday in their power suits looking to climb the corporate ladder. I hear from them that they often dream of a time where they can just dress casually and work. I believe that society has put soooooo much pressure on how we dress that it can stifle our productivity.

People spend most of their time in the mornings making choices. Does this shirt match this tie? Does this skirt go with this blouse? Should I iron these clothes? Should my dress socks match my outfit? Should I comb my hair to the side? And so on…

TIME is EVERYTHING

I recently read that many of the most influential people of our time wear the same thing (style wise) everyday. Steve Jobs wore the black turtle neck, Mark Zuckerberg and his grey t-shirt (Google: Mark Zuckerberg Outfit). Why do individuals like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg wear the same thing everyday?

Keeping their style consistent frees up time to focus on decisions that actually matter.

The average human spends about 30–45 minutes daily deciding on what to wear to work that day. That is about 3 hours and 45 minutes every week and 195 hours every year. Can you imagine opening up 195 hours every year to make important decisions to further your career or personal goals? In the morning is when I do my best thinking. My brain comes off of a night of sleeping and is charged and ready to go. I create some of my best ideas while getting ready for work and during the commute.

I recently got an assortment of zip-up hoodies in a variety of colors to wear to work. I wear these hoodies over-top of a button up shirt and tie, with dress pants. Really all I have to do is reach into the closet and grab a hoodie and dress shirt with a tie. Not much thought is involved. Recently I was approached by a peer and he said that a hoodie is not appropriate work attire. This made me question my decision to go with this simple decision making outfit. Am I being viewed as too laid back to those who do not understand my decision? Maybe. However, my work will speak for itself.

Wearing a Hoodie Builds my Personal Brand

Just like Jobs and Zucks, wearing similar clothing on a regular basis helps define and build a personal brand. For those of you who don’t know, I work as an arts recruiter for Coker College in South Carolina. When I attend arts conferences in the South East, I wear the same style of clothes throughout the entire conference. During the audition or portfolio review portion of the conference I sit on the front row, engaging and interacting with the students. There are hundreds of other college reps in attendance but I want to make an impact. I sit through hundreds of these auditions and I maintain the same level of engagement and energy with every student who auditions. Afterwards, students have told me that they were glad to have the “bearded guy in the hoodie” there watching the auditions. They even said that I showed them I cared about their performances. They said I made them feel a little less nervous and they hoped that the “bearded guy in the hoodie” would give them a call back.

The Hoodie Helped Brand Me

So, not only do I save time and give myself opportunities to make strong professional choices, the hoodie also helps define my personal brand to make me a recognizable figure to increase my results at work.

For you, it doesn’t have to be a hoodie. It can be a cardigan sweater, polka dots, or any other fashion style, but I would seriously recommend finding a style that fits “YOU.”