The Coming Revolution: crowd sourcing and open source art

An idea whose time is come and something I have talked about here on more than one occasion…the importance of getting art into people’s homes and artists getting paid for said art. Today while reading my blogline feeds I ran across a post on John Jantsch’s Duct Tape Marketing blog that took me to a site that is not only leading the way but also far out ahead of anything else… the site is Wall Blank and it is using the principles of Crowd sourcing as described in Jeff Howe’s book by the same title. They are also playing the role of “connector” as described in Malcom Gladwell’s The Tipping Point.


crowd sourcing and open source art

According to their Manifesto…

We are creating a new way for the everday person to buy artwork for their
homes, apartments and offices.
We’re tired of buying mass-produced artwork from stores like IKEA and
Target*. We can’t afford original fine artwork. We value craftsmanship and
enjoy being different and unique. We appreciate those who create. We like
stories and want to know how things are made, who made them and why
they were made. Sure, people can fall in love with a piece of art, but they
can also fall in love with the artist, the story and the inspiration behind the
We are curators. We look for artists who want to share their work yet still
be recognized. Artists who want their work on people’s walls yet still want to
be paid a fair price. Artists who are ok with people who aren’t fine art snobs
buying their art. Everyday people who don’t know the ‘museum-stare’ and
probably won’t ever spend $500 on a piece of art. Yet people who recognize
something they like and want on their wall.

Their approach honors and respects the artist while helping buyers get good original art…in that sense they are not just true connectors they are also educating the public about what we as artists do. The open source part consists of allowing artists to contribute to the project in much the same way that open source software started by setting standards and opening problem solving to whom ever can meet the standards regardless of their creds.

Ok …I do disagree with some of their approach specifically that everyday people will not spend $500.00 on a piece of art. In order for that to happen people have to start seeing value in art and be willing to choose it over the latest shiny toy. Art brings meaning, it brings beauty and with beauty comes hope and a more expansive way of seeing the world. Regardless of your political and economic leanings it doesn’t take a Tarot deck to tell us that a shift is happening…and I think the overall goal of this site is an indication of more of the same to come. Wall Blank is breaking the ground and setting the stage for evolution and revolution in the way artists sell their work, new avenues and opportunities are on the horizon we just have to keep our eyes open and our intentions set.

Despite the doom and gloom served up all to frequently these are exciting times and we as artists can have a hand in moving things along…we just need to show up.

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crowd sourcing and open source art
crowd sourcing and open source art

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The Power of the Few

143_ask_show071208-300x198 The Power of the Few

In his book The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference Malcom Gladwell notes that one of the key factors important in creating a movement  (in our language that =art) is the Power of the The Few. Over and over products, people, actions, and movements  move from obscurity to popularity, from low parrticipation to celebrity status as a result of the actions of a few key players. He calls these people…CONNECTORS.