BLOG*October 31, 2012

Have you ever wondered why political discussions turn into emotional rants with little logic or factual basis to support them?

It’s because perception is an act of creation. 

How we perceive the world and our reality is unique to each of us, but much it can be influenced by the tribe we associate ourselves with. The tribe usually starts with our family, relatives, friends, but may be as large as our towns, cities, states, countries. As humans we like to be in the company of people who have similar values and perceptions. Living in a tribe supports specific views which can nurture and protect but can also become rigid and unforgiving. This paradigm is especially evident when it comes to politics.

I just read a fascinating and informative book, “AMERICAN NATIONS” by Colin Woodard that explains why “American values” vary sharply from one region to another—how an idea like “freedom” as understood by an East Texan or Idahoan can be the polar opposite of what it means to a New Englander or San Franciscan. Woodard reveals how intra-national differences have played a pivotal role at every point in the continent’s history, right up into the 2012 election cycle.

There isn’t and never has been one America, Colin Woodard argues, but rather several Americas. The original North American colonies were settled by people from distinct regions of the British Islands, and from France, the Netherlands, and Spain, each with unique religious, political, and ethnographic characteristics. Some championed individualism, others utopian social reform. Some believed themselves guided by divine purpose, others freedom of conscience and inquiry. Some embraced an Anglo-Saxon Protestant identity, others ethnic and religious pluralism. Some valued equality and democratic participation, others deference to a traditional aristocratic order.

All of them continue to uphold their respective ideals today, with results that can be seen on the composition of the U.S. Congress or the county-by-county election maps of most any competitive presidential election of the past two centuries.

What does this have to do with Artist As Brand you ask?

The parallel  is that your vision and art like a presidential candidate will attract and resonate with the values and perceptions of specific fans, patrons and collectors. It is simply a matter of finding your market tribe! These people vote by investing in you and your products. The AAB Workshop and AAB Workbook go into the details of how to do that.