Isabella Ehrmann, a design management student in her senior year interviewed Claire Duriez, founder of Origami – Atelier de communication; a web agency based in Paris, to see what she thinks about an artist’s online experience given her web marketing expertise.
What do you think about the current state of online self-promotion in the creative field?
I believe artists using the internet for self promotion still lack the transparency necessary to make their marketing successful. Today, people have access to more information than ever before. The product itself no longer suffices. Consumers want to know what exactly is in their food; how what they’re wearing has been made etc. We are now focussed on the process by which any given product came into being. Take for example branding in the food industry; it is all about transparency and communicating in an honest way. Artists do not yet display this transparency in their self promotion. Most websites and platforms just display images of artworks with little information about the artist them self. It’s like going to a museum and viewing art without its description. How are we supposed to connect with what we see?
How would you re-imagine a web space for artists?
You have to see the person through the artist. It would be interesting for the artist’s online platform to have a human approach. The artwork descriptions don’t necessarily need to be about the philosophy of the piece. They can also be about subjects that everyone can relate to, for example; how the artist was inspired, or what type of music inspires them. Web spaces would be rendered more interesting if the artist answered these two simple questions:
What their first piece of art is?
What their first inspiration is?
Ultimately, one’s online presence is all about their image. It’s important for artists to maintain accesible image as opposed to the crazed selfish artist stereotype.
How would you suggest we use the interactive and graphic tools to make better use of our online presence?
I think that responding to comments is very important. It is important to perceive your audience and interact with them. In terms of graphics, it is important to keep your style consistent. Keeping a consistent style develops a sense of trust in your audience.
To what extent can you transmit emotion online?
Emotions are easy to transmit. Emotions and empathy are the reason videos go viral. If you want to be a successful artist, you have to give something to your audience. The most successful crowd funding campaigns are those that are best explained. If you convey your purpose well enough, people will want to participate in it, they will want to be part of your success story, so they will then share your campaign on social media. It becomes a virtuous cycle, but you have to be at the beginning of it. If you are not sharing your authentic vision/story/purpose, then few people will want to be part of your project.
Would you say that the attention received is proportional to what the artist posts?
Well, sometimes you are not liked and no one shares what you post. However, in the digital world you can easily delete or adjust the messages you post so your image is easily alterable.
What is the connection between online attention and money?
Online attention comes when the story you spin around your product is interesting. Obviously your products also need to be good. If they’re good they will sell. Online attention is a response to your universe, your inspiration, your added value as well as being connected to the quality of your products/art. Don’t forget that both your online life and physical life paint a picture of who you are. You can end up being fake in the real world if you are fake online. Both realities influence one another and it is important for artists and self promoters to be aware of this.
Claire Duriez has a background in digital strategy and communication management for international private and public institutions. She has founded a think-tank to virtually promote dialogue between the political world and civil society.