Perry and I went to the Art Institute of California yesterday to talk to some students about blogging. The campus has a lively atmosphere, and the students we met were all bright and personable - and very curious about blogs.
We had a great conversation, as I talked to them about how building an online portfolio with a blog - perhaps using one of Typepad‘s mixed media templates - could help them to make their talent and expertise tangible, searchable, and accessible to the sort of people to whom they would love to show their work. Bijan Tehrani, the editor of Digital Journal Online and the man who arranged our talk with the students, said that just two days ago he had talked to someone at one of the major global entertainment companies who volunteered the information that they are scouring blogs for new talent. These kids are lucky to be entering the workforce at a time when it is so easy and inexpensive to reach a network of millions and demonstrate for the people within that network who are worthwhile to them - like the guys at entertainment companies who scout blogs for new hires - exactly why they should sit up and take note of their talent.
One artist who should take note of this is a guy named Todd Goldman. Walking around The Grove in Los Angeles earlier this week, I wandered into an art store that was full of his prints. They’re all pretty humorous, and there was one in particular that made me think, “I want to have my picture taken with that one!” Inside the store, I asked the manager - who pounced on me as soon as I entered, which I hate - if my friend could take my photo inside the store. “No,” he replied, in a tone that suggested that he had mistaken me for a retarded child. “We want people to buy the prints, not take pictures of them.”
If this guy thinks he’s selling more prints by limiting peoples’ ability to spread the word about them, I want to know what he’s smoking. The real kicker? There are multiple websites where the images of the prints can be easily downloaded in various sizes. So I can do that, but I can’t take a picture of myself with a print and post it to my blog, along with a link to the artist’s site, thus increasing the chance of him selling some of his work - which, in addition to the prints, includes a whole line of licensed merchandise. Bad business decision, dude. I’ll let one of the artist’s images speak for me, because it really does say it all.