Identity: Artists and A/B Testing

by bxrtley

Artists really don’t paint to satisfy ‘the market’…artists actually paint to satisfy themselves. And if you’re going to run a gallery that’s something you need to know.” — Diane Keaton in 5 Floors Up

What’s your gallery? Better yet, what’s your form of art? I caught myself looking to adopt a content marketing schedule, begin curating content and finding other ways to make this blog more interesting and valuable. Now, nothing’s wrong with any of those ideas, but at the root of it is the uncertainty that what I’m sharing is actually making a difference for you. Thus, pulling from an external source here and direct quote there and an infographic yonder seemed like the necessary resources to increase its value.

But when will some of us artists just learn to be comfortable in our own skin? You know, I realized something a few weeks ago that made perfect sense after watching 5 Floors Up. I don’t have a native ability to test what I’ve created. A/B Testing or any kind of lean MVP (minimum viable product) creation for quick failure and pivoting doesn’t come natural. It’s not that I’m not capable—it’s just not intuitive. And that’s becuase I’m an artist. I create and design for me first. This blog? It’s a public personal journal, which will hopefully provide some level of value in the process.

Many of us need to stop focusing on learning how to build a stunning gallery and creating marketing campaigns and promotions, and we need to start focusing on our art once again. My God, what if Picasso did A/B Testing for his Cubism style? What is Georges Seurat MVP’d his new-impressionistic pointillism technique? And Jackson Pollock? Ha! He wouldn’t even know where to begin analyzing metrics for his action painting method. Imagine him trying to figure out which drip of the brush or splash of the bucket generated the most traffic.

There’s a time and place for testing. Mine might be now. Yours may be next month. But just remember that you are first and foremost an artist. So get to work.