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On artists and the new connectivity

It used to be that if you saw something cool in a shop, you could buy it, and that would be it.  My favorite thing about the new connectivity is the way we can become acquainted directly with artists through the web, as though we’d met them at a gallery show, even if we live across the country from them.

Case in point, Chet Phillips.  I first encountered Phillips sometime last year, when Regretsy (or BoingBoing?) publicized his awesome trading card set, the Union of Superlative Heroes.  As soon as I saw them, I knew I had to have them.

"Gentleman Mint" - Chet Phillips

They’ve since been organized in a frame and hung up in my office, to great acclaim among my visitors.  When I signed up, I joined Phillips’ mailing list, so I could learn about other amazing art on offer.  Just yesterday, I got an email and snapped up my copy of Monkopolis, a book full of supernatural steampunk apes.  Of course.

"Zombie Whisperer" - Chet Phillips

This in itself is pretty cool, but I also enjoy the personal interaction such marketing systems allow.  Here’s the exchange Mr. Phillips and I have had over the last couple days.

6/20 CP: Thank you Brendan, for purchasing a signed copy of “Monkopolis!” Your package will ship out on Thursday via USPS First Class mail. I truly appreciate your fantastic continued support.

6/21 BR: My pleasure! It’s an easy purchase to make when it involves awesome steampunk monkeys. :D

6/21 CP: We are indeed…. sim(ian)patico.

I love knowing that all the money I pay (save the small leechings from etsy and paypal) goes directly to Phillips.  It allows him to get the full bang for his buck and for me to make a direct connection with him.  This small interaction builds a lot of loyalty–in the same way that the great performance by Rodeo Ruby Love last year was cemented in my memory when I met the lead singer and he thanked me warmly for the compliment–Here’s to the burgeoning landscape of audience/artist partnerships.

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