Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Survey Says:

by Robison Wells

So, last week I said that I was going to write a big in-depth analysis of branding, using myself as an example. Well, as I got into it, I realized that it'd take more time than I'd expected. Consequently, you'll get that analysis next week.

In the meantime, here's an interesting painting. (No, this is not another blog of my favorite paintings...)

Don't you love it? Statistically, you should.

Back in 1994, two artists, Vitaly Komar and Alex Melamid, surveyed America to discover what types of art Americans truly love. The survey consisted of 44 questions, rating everything from favorite colors to subject matter to style. Survey says: You'll like this.

Blue and green were the most popular colors. Landscapes were preferred, especially ones that contain water. People like paintings of children and animals (specifically wildlife, hence the deer). And, right in the middle, is George Washington (because we Americans like historical figures).

So, how does this art relate to writing/publishing? I have my thoughts, but I'm more interested in yours. Comments?


At 2/05/2008 6:55 PM, Blogger Matthew Buckley said...

Where is the big mac? Where is the Wii? Those are things that Americans really like. Those artists are hacks!

But I like the point you're hinting at. Publishers don't care whether or not a book is good. Publishers only care whether or not a book will sell. Being good is not a prerequisite to getting published, you only have to produce a sellable thing.

Paint me a cynic, but that is how I see it.

At 2/05/2008 8:15 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Hmm, I see it differently than Matthew. What I take from this is that there is no magic formula. If you try to write to a formula, you may end up with something that statistically ought to sell well, but instead of being an engaging and inspiring story, it's flat (and has George Washington standing weirdly in the middle of it).

At 2/05/2008 8:38 PM, Blogger Karlene said...

Or the adage, if you try to please everyone you end up pleasing no one?

At 2/05/2008 9:22 PM, Anonymous Jeff said...

I think this is the Priesthood lesson you teach when you haven't prepared anything. "I'd like you to divide into four groups and comment on this Ensign article."

Hmmm, very thought provoking.

I think you're just watching the Super Tuesday results, you political junkie.

At 2/06/2008 12:22 PM, Anonymous mean aunt said...

jeff I am recovering from a horrible cold and I cough when I laugh and your comment just about killed me.

At 2/06/2008 1:48 PM, Anonymous Jeff said...

Sorry, about the cold. I'm just getting over that myself, and the coughing is definitely the worst.

I'm just doing my part to adda laugh or two while Rob is busying . . . pondering that painting.

At 2/06/2008 2:19 PM, Blogger Tristi Pinkston said...

I actually don't love that painting. I'm one of those who defies the statistics. I could see, just looking at the painting, that it was one that we "should" all like, and yet, I don't. There's nothing unique or orginal about it, except for the fact that no self-respecting deer would just hang out that close to people. Hello? Wildlife? I'm not having any emotional reation to this painting at all. That's what I need from my art -- an emotional reaction. Otherwise, no sale.

That's also what I need from the books I read, too. If I can't connect emotionally to the book, it doesn't do a thing for me.

At 2/06/2008 2:23 PM, Blogger Tristi Pinkston said...

Here's a link to a painting that really gets to me. See, it's the whole emotional connection thing.

At 2/06/2008 3:03 PM, Blogger Jon said...

So, where's the survey about the kind of book people like to read?

and let's get to writing that!

At 2/06/2008 4:44 PM, Blogger Worldbuilder Robin said...

I think I read once that the book that would appeal to the most people has to have sex, murder, and Abraham Lincoln. So, a fictional story of Lincoln's affar that he was going to end after going to the theater...

I agree that art made to the formula just ends up looking awful. If something is really good, it will sell. No one was really writing junior fantasy novels when JK Rowling started typing.

At 2/06/2008 6:22 PM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

Dear J.S. Savage:



At 2/07/2008 11:12 AM, Blogger Janette Rallison said...

Dang--I do like the painting. That makes me, like, one in a pack of sheep, doesn't it? However, it is in no way my favorite painting or one that I'd pay money for. Washington doesn't really seem to have a reason to be standing there. Maybe if you want to please everyone you can come up with something that is good (Well, the artist is talented) but if you want to come up with something great you've got to create something you're passionate for.

I may steal this painting for a future blog.

At 2/07/2008 8:08 PM, Blogger Annette Lyon said...

I want to hear YOUR profound thoughts on this.

It's scary how statistics work sometimes.

At 2/11/2008 8:53 PM, Anonymous Candee said...

I actually hate it, so I suppose that makes me one of the weird ones in the bunch! I don't find it at all interesting to look at. In fact, the tree looks weird and I have towonder why good ole' George is posing by the side of lake and gawking at the others walking by. It reminds me of the Abe Lincoln and groundhog commercials...weird!


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