Creating Value by Exposing the Creative Process

Every Christmas my family finds a couple of pieces of art on my wish list.  They’re usually small prints from independent artists that can be easily purchased online.  It can be difficult to find affordable art – but fortunately, there are a lot of places online that sell small prints from unknown artists that are amazing.

While I love the pictures themselves, a huge part of the joy I get from receiving one is knowing that we’re supporting independent artists.  I like to think of the time and love that these artists put into their work, and unlike popular artists or massive print runs, how each sale is noticed and appreciated.

Because these artists are small and unknown marketing is a challenge – just like any start-up.  Illustrator Elfan Diary is gaining attention by posting videos of himself creating his art:

It doesn’t look like his individual pieces are for sale – he’s probably marketing himself for contract work – but I think this would be a brilliant strategy for artists with online stores.  The peek into how the art is created emphasizes the uniqueness of the pieces, and the skill of the creator.  Every time a customer looks at a piece she bought she would remember the video, so the whole experience gained by the art would be greatly expanded.  I thought of this when I first saw this video, and was looking forward to the experience so much that I immediately searched for a “buy” button.  I’m still disappointed that I didn’t find one.

I can easily imagine this technique brought into software – in fact, 37signals does a great job of this with their blog.  Are there ways you can create more value for your customers by demonstrating the care that goes into creating your products?