I just ran across a short but cool post by the talented dudes over at Doe Eyed Design. As much as it brought joy to my morning, it also gives me quite a bit of concern too, but first lets talk about the good stuff.
Doe Eyed shared this photo montage to give a glimpse into their printing process. It’s more of a teaser for their new M. Ward poster, but it made me think more about doing similar types of posts for Fresh Rag. I’d really like to get into the studio of some local artists and artisans to breakdown some of their processes, whether its screen print shops like Doe Eyed, letterpress, paper cutters or anybody that has a process beyond sitting in front of a computer. I’m not sure when that will come to fruition, but these photos give me the motivation.
“One of the most fun parts of screen printing is watching your image come to life, one color at a time. The photos above show we started with turquoise, moved onto yellow and metallic silver, finally ending with the black layer, pulling the whole poster together.”
That poster is rad, but as much as I dig seeing the process from a talented design shop, their blog gives me a major gripe—They don’t allow comments on their posts; and their not alone in this. It’s an alarming trend amongst a lot of the artists and designers whose blogs I visit, as if they do not want the interaction from their fans.
The reason this bugs me is not because I feel ripped off from being able to chat them up about this post. That is a small factor, as I’m sure it is with others, but my biggest issue: I feel they are leaving money on the table by not opening up their comments. If they allow for more engagement with others on their blog, it helps foster a sense of belonging amongst their friends and fans. Allowing correspondence from their readers, and in turn, responding to them could turn those readers into flag-waving evangelists.
Instead of me being able to say something to them directly on this post about how cool the design is, I leave a little dejected. They may have their reasons why they’re not taking comments on their posts, but none of those reasons are valid when it comes to building up a business. In the war of promotion, we need all the soldiers we can get. Allow them to enlist, or potentially lose them forever, maybe to the other side.
I don’t mean to single out Doe Eyed because they are not the only site with closed comments. I see it all the time, especially from gigposter designers. I don’t know what it is about these folks, but marketing, promotion and engagement are tertiary concepts to the design work first, and then the appearance of being too cool for anyone after that. Of course, that’s my perception, but I’m sure I’m not alone in that sentiment.
Fresh Rag is small, but we’re building, and the key to that fact is making new friends. I want my new friends to be as much a part of this as I am. In fact, I would love if this site became less about me and my tastes and more about you. I love comments and I welcome every one, and unless their is a very specific reason to closing comments on a certain post, they will remain open as long as this site exists. Engagement is my number one priority—everything else is second.