I went to the mic and asked for the listeners to send me their top picks from the first 500 episodes and what part of the episodes really made and impact. For some of the people who wrote in I was able to call them and have a short conversation, and for others I read their email. Either way, this episode is dear to my heart. I hope you enjoy it.
Ciro: I will reflect on this later… Right now I’m off to demo for my friends at The Mud Studio
The Mud Studio
961 US-2, Middlesex, VT 05602
It was a very special honor to be a guest on The Potters Cast with my mentor Paul Blais.. talking about mentorship.
Ciro Di Ruocco is an emerging visual artist/curator, splitting his time between studios in Nanaimo, BC, Canada and his hometown of Duxbury, Vermont. Ciro’s work in ceramics is complimented by an affinity for printmaking and surface/ texture design. Ciro combines a utilitarian sensibility with a contemporary street art aesthetic, fusing his own imagery to create works that are inspired by our daily lives. Ciro is currently an MFA candidate at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.
I meet my first person with Narcolepsy.
My head jerks forward. I fight the sleepiness but my head drops anyway. The cab driver wakes me up to tell me we have arrived at the Denver airport. I smile and thank him.
Ceramic work and the dedication it evokes has given me a renewed sense of self-confidence. When I am at the wheel, I don't feel tired. I am not fighting off sleep. I am just innocent and me. The clay reflects back an honesty about where I am at that I am unable to see in the mirror. It teaches me self-care, patience, and humility. Without that perspective of self.. I am lost.
What does art have to do with marketing? Had you asked me a year ago I would have given you a quick text book response. Speaking from experience I can now tell you.. Trend tracking and consumer buying behaviour.
That is a powerful sword if an artist can wield it. Understanding the target market or audience can make the difference between selling nothing and selling out. I sold out of the tank tops & t-shirts this year at Rock of the Woods Music Festival. In contrast to the year before where I sold one.
How many approvals did the t-shirt design go through? That thought had never crossed my mind till recently. The answer is 7 or 8.
My initial proposal came attached with a t-shirt design. I was using an advanced technique which erased colour from black t-shirts leaving a cosmic sky effect. The problem was the colour varied and on a good test the colours were hues of purple. The Director of the festival David Bain and I worked on this for most of June via Email. Finally we agreed.
The goal was to create a design people wanted to wear. It needed to be different than the existing ROTW merchandise and gender neutral. A piece of original art.
Once I understood the core of what they wanted.. I could relay that information to the graphic artist and visual artist liaison Coby McDougall.
She nailed it in her first attempt. I then needed to screen print test the design and work some handmade magic.
In the end I would say the market research ( trend tracking ) and understanding what the consumer was in search of shaped the design. The art was great but so was the marketing. Being able to communicate to Coby what the client wanted allowed her to do what she does best.. Be creative.
My sincere thanks to David Bain and Coby McDougall. Without them it might have been another one t-shirt year. Also, I would like to thank Mr. Alan Perry for carrying me through the late night printing session.
Seeing all the smiles of strangers wearing something that I printed.. Made my dream complete.