Just because we are coming up to Christmas … doesn’t mean that you have to behave like a cheap supermarket chain wanting a quick sale with your pleas of “LOOK AT ME”, “BUY ME” and “BUY NOW”.
When I look at a newsfeed on Facebook that consists of over 500 arts pages from around Wales I want to scream at them all and say
“What is the MATTER with you? Have you lost your mind? WAAAAKE UP!”
When I can only find a couple of posts worth sharing, I am bound to feel a certain sense of disappointment. I mean come on guys, when this list is featuring so many artists, galleries, venues and creatives in a stunning part of the world I expect to get better than this. Much better.
Wales is packed full of stories, history, myths, humour and above all creativity. It is positively heaving with talent and inspiration. And we’re artists for heaven’s sake!! You can get a LOT more ingenious than banging on about how fantastic YOUR products are.
And as for how fantastic your products are – SO WHAT? So is the work of the many other artists, designers and craftsmen around you. In fact some of them are going to be better than you and everyone is hungry for money and desperate for sales.
You set aside a day for Christmas shopping and are delighted to find that there is a big art fair going on with LOADS of well known artists and craftspeople you know you love. Fantastic. Money in your pocket, you toddle off on a quest to work through your list of people and hunt down something unique and special for each and every one of them. You are not a cheapskate and always aim to find gifts that are much more interesting than some cheesy tacky present that could have come from just anyone.
What a joy it is going to be going on a treasure hunt perusing the stalls and displays. This is going to be sooo much fun.
You park the car and walk to the hall full of eager anticipation. Already you are looking forward to that delicious moment of sipping on a glass of warmed delicious mulled wine as you munch on the first mince pies of the season. Surrounded by shopping bags you glow with satisfaction despite your weary feet and now somewhat depleted wallet.
You love Christmas and as you walk into the hall, you imagine Christmas day seeing in your mind the delight and excitement as the treasures are revealed. You don’t know what they look like yet, but you know they are going to be amaaazing.
As soon as you open the door, you are immediately hit by wall of noise. It is perplexing. Confusing. Disorientating. The hall is packed full of exhibition stands and brightly colours and intriguing showy demonstrations of amazing creativity.
But the noise. It is unbeeearable!
Every single stall holder is standing on their chairs all seemingly auditioning to be the new Town Crier. The barrage of sound is painfully akin to the bangs and clatters of monks drumming loudly to drive out evil spirits. Except that the only thing that these people are driving out, are the customers.
I say again, where are the stories? Where are the tales telling of the journey of how your brilliance has crafted the unique and glorious work of art that stands before you? What happened to the craftsmanship? What inspired you to follow a moment, a whim to create these objects beautifully displayed? What propelled you to labour for hours lovingly pouring your skills and attention into raw materials that magically become transformed into an inspired bit of creativity.
If you want to get sales this Christmas then PLEASE channel some of that amazing creativity into stories not sales in your social media and marketing. Your customers deserve that at least and so do you. The chances are that sharing the fascinating stuff is going to do your bank account a lot more favours too.