I am kind of in artistic mode these days, where I am trying to see if I can combine my artistic inclinations with Technical skills.
There are two projects that I am doing which are related to Arts. One is creating a photo-book of my journeys across the world, and the other is a 3D hologram kind of reflection on a trapezoidal structure to show 3D holographic videos.
How do people buy art? This is something I have been thinking quite seriously for some time, after having been exposed to an Artist friend's exhibition in California, during my internship at Oracle Labs.
Today, I was passing by on my routine weekend cycling routine in Amsterdam's city center, and I happened to notice this young guy selling his water-color paintings on a busy street junction. I like artists and I respect them for their creativity, as I feel one of them some times. I had actually bought two small sized post-card sized paintings from him for 5 Euro each 1 month back.
So I was curious to see him at the same location again. Last time I could not speak with him, so this time I decided to have a talk with him about certain ideas I had in my mind about how he can sell more paintings, and see what would be his reaction like.
Luckily he remembered me. I suggested him why he doesn't offer his paintings as a crowd-funded project, to sell it to people directly. We discussed the merits of the idea and he really got excited at it. He was very happy to receive various of my suggestions.
Then I asked him, some questions about how people buy art and what are his observations? He said, he perfectly knows how to sell his pictures based on his observations, when they would get sold, out of different visitors who would actually buy the paintings, how to judge their moods, how to arrange his paintings for different visitors from different countries, such as people from Germany would be interested in details, while Italians would be interested in sunny paintings. He told me interesting aspect of how buying is influenced by the weather and the biology of people. The weather aspect was repeated, as I had heard the same aspect in buying from another art gallery owner that I met 2 weeks back.
People usually come in waves to buy paintings. There are moments when he has no visitor, and then there are periods when his place is full of them. They would buy when they are on a full stomach, after having fed food after roaming around in Amsterdam and having stored memories. That is the reason a painting such as a bicycle on Amsterdam Canal's bridge, which according to him is a cliche, sells the most, and he arranges it such that it attracts immediate attention. He paints the same cycle in different colors in different portraits to people a choice to buy.
Or he arranges a colorful painting in a corner that is visible from far distance, so that people can see it. People never buy out of rational thought, they buy on their impulses, their emotions, and could be manipulated if you present them what they need. He is from Russia, but could understand many languages, so he could understand what they spoke, to judge their mood. In a country like Europe, with so many cultures, this is a must skill.
Weather has a huge role to play. When its sunny, people are cheerful, so he keeps sunny paintings, and people buy them happily. Dutch people are usually very thrifty and do not like to buy things. They are very conservative with their money.
It was an interesting conversation and I learned a great deal of stuff from him. I will see him again some time on my routine biking travels, and would see, if he came up with some new ideas on the basis of my suggestions.
Technology and art could blend together well. A prime example of this is Apple and the legacy Steve Jobs left behind. The original Apple founders had the talent of artistic flavor and Engineering marvel. The result is beautifully designed Apple products. And as I observe many new products, most people are understanding the emphasis of creating a beautifully designed product. Because beauty is what attracts people, and then the actually functionality of the product is provided by the dirty work of Engineer.
Long live the symphony of the two talents.