I've been thinking a lot about providing value with art lately. I even did a whole podcast episode about it.
Why am I thinking so much about this? Because attention is extremely scarce and in the art world the competition for this attention is fierce. It used to be that if you had enough money you could buy people's attention with ads. On tv, on billboards, online, in print, etc.
Today we have so many systems of ignoring these things, that the only way to get on someone's radar is to provide value that people are willing trade for their attention.
The problem for visual artists is this: cool drawings aren't that valuable any longer (if they ever really were all on their own). There are too many of them and most people aren't that into drawing all on it's own. Illustration is like acting, it needs to be part of something else. No one just watches actors perform apart from movies or tv. They need a story or something that fits better into the type of thing they are used to consuming.
Think about it: Pixar is one of the most brilliant art related companies in the world, but people only buy their art books if they like the movies! It doesn't matter how cool the art is, or how cool the characters look, people need to engage with the main source of value (the movies) before they invest in any of the add ons.
So It leaves me with this question: how can artists provide value that people want? I'm trying to answer this in many ways with all kinds of experiments. Not only for attention, but so that we don't have to wait for some gatekeepers permission.
I know many out there are doing this successfully. Any examples come to mind?