ART Preparing Creatives For Business in The Contextual Web Era

The times they are a-changin’.

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Maybe I’m a closet  nomad but I like my art in an “African” sensibility,delivered in a utilitarian mode in my carpets, fabrics, utensils, furniture architecture tools.  I am also  an artist, I’m dying to get my hand into some pastels, or paint. For now that desire is translated in using technology to redefining the Canvas I and other artist have available to us.  Still I shy away from the art community. However I am well aware that in order for “Innovation to really take root” the creative sector has to be prepared.

You cannot be within the art community and not hear,

“I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my shit”.
You cannot be sentitive if you engage in web 2.0 social activities. You cannot be sensitive an thrive in a web 3.0  climate that is about the  consumer.

Why should the customer buy your product?

At the core web 3.0 is about  anticipating and meeting  consumer needs. That is the one reason,  I’m hesitant to deal with  artist in the show and sale of their actual work. That said there needs to be a web  3.0 platform  that addresses the issue within the Black Artscape 

The intersection  of Art & technology  is at the core of my exploration. I started with as “Artistmosaics” a project on collaborative show casing  for artist. 
It was simply  a way  that artist  could pool resources for a successful sale. I soon realized,  space for selling was the least of our problems. Many had no idea who what  or why,even the pricing  structure for their art was non- existent. . The very concept offended them.

 It was not till 4W circle where I met  Kaaria Yero Mucherea (artist whose work is pictured) that I was able to test  some of my theories with the sale of art. In a contextual world the artist  story is vital… getting artist to share that story is a major challenge.  My personal  interest in technology with art  evolves more around it’s suitability  for research  and info gathering as well as the development  and licensing of products in  a much more contextual manner. By this I refer to the development of merchandise and it’s use as a sales tool  was enough to whet my  curiosity  on licensing  possibilities of art.I choose to deal with the cultural context of Black creativity and in the sale of Black  products and services. I’m  fascinated in leveraging the Licensing rites of these images… art should be shared, not hidden in a vault or some private enclave.

on a personal level that means pursuing  Canvazz and #SewOpen  prestartups on the way to a viable solution.

I recently posted  on the need for a startup to discover  and acquire Black Art and support black artist…  in  a Google Groups “startups worth emulating” “. In this category  I look at startups, the problem they address and seek to discover or (where none exist)  jumpstart  a black owned startup  in this space.

Yes I know there are  buy black art sites… they are not serving the needs of artist. 
What  differentiates  a startup from a traditional website.  This new category ” looks at startup ideas for the Black  and sub niche sectors… Note we may have traditional web  businesses  in that area.

Websites build from a 1.0 perspective an informational. brochure type. “Six pages 12 images ” . I you still hear  web designers using this… RUN!In web 2.0  your web site needed to be functional… to  do things… we expected to be able to  search, make request, like , follow, share, print, buy, recommend,  email and even host that static information.Even today  many black web sites are still solely informational…

In a web  3.0 the word being used is “CONTEXTUAL WEB“… it’s no longer simply

WHERE…  whether it’s on your own website or on a social network,  Facebook, Google plus, or marketplaces and on  digital device, app, tablet, mobile, laptop.  In fact it is the age of multi  channel and omnichannel presence.
Or  what a simple WHAT. App Fb Page or website HTML Of “FLASH” (yes still popular among Black sites)

it’s contextual… you’ll see a lot more on this if you have not noticed it already.

a simplified explanation Contextual from CONTEXT;-

“the parts of a discourse that surround a word or passage and can throw light on its meaning.

We are entering the age of consumer intimacy… it is the type of intimate service delivery available from your local businesses person  online.  With  a large company they get their info from  data.   Few really get how to correctly assess personality. I been told it’s machine learning…we’ll see. I have my  doubts, whether  machine can get to the “much more than data” aspect,

 psychology,  empathy,  it is understanding micro cultures and  correctly interpreting meaning”

In  a local artist  brings in a painting  or jewelry into the local art  collective, the curator, immediately  does a mental  flip of her customer’s and identifies a couple customers who she believes will like the piece,  A couple calls later and one of the  pieces are sold…

In  web 3.0 art  companies use data from visual quiz  and other discovery tools to determine  style and taste. They’ll  employ social listening tools to reach you when their product is “in on your mind” (or at least  your post.) the challenge and my personal aggravation is that I  search  for friends and customers… so their “listening” is like most eavesdropping  way off course-  Trust me I’m not a raw vegan.

A web 3.0 startup addresses, at it’s core, true customer service… why is your customer buying this product. What needs does it supply  what  pleasure does it give, what is their true pain. In the case of these new art sites… Frames and tools and return  supplies are a core part of the  business model, In some cases, services such access to  style experts and professional installers are supplied.

I work with small local businesses. I’m on the lookout for tools that help me keep abreast of my  client list… and my various consumers. few really  do what I need or want.  I still find the old fashioned conversation the best.  I’m just using  tele-presence a whole lot more to  communicate across digital media.  It  takes patience to  get past  cultural and to mutual meaning.  that is the core of what the contextual web seeks to  solve.

My strength  in the business framework is focusing on consumer context , 30 years in the custom design  service  and a deep level of empathy  brings an intuition that never fails to surprise  even myself.  To help address this in local concept strategy sessions, we need to developed a practical  business strategy outline that guides those with an idea through the  process of discovery, and advised participants to question it each draft  from the “opponents’ side of the table, same information but approaching  your product from that  point of view changes perspective and perspective affects  context..

Know of a startup in this space please share and identify what sets them apart…
If not here’s an idea for you… 



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