Tokyo Ghoul has a small exhibition of fan-art in Shinjuku Station. I’m all about bringing art, culture and science to the masses, but man, I think my elitist dementia is bringing out my ranty side. I’m bothered by that people see a fancy frame and boom, everybody starts paying attention. Ooh, it’s got a fancy frame, so it’s art? I like art!
Oh, please! There’s a reason why there’s you can make a difference between a book and literature. But I digress. I don’t wanna be one of those assholes who froths and says “FAN-ART BAD!!!”, since I’ve worked in a science museum and my job was to make science as accessible and fun to everybody, children and adults alike. God knows we need to stand against anti-intellectualism since we will head into a very dark age if we start normalizing quackery such as homeopathy and “University of Life” kind of shit.
These fan-art people sure do get a whole lot attention, but I know my good buddy tvk is making some great stuff, but to get attention in this world where everybody’s starving for the Next Big Thing™ but struggle to actually find quality content. Like, let’s think about it! When we go to an image aggregator, how much time to we spend on a picture or a funny gif? Not much, right? How many times to we return for the same user for different content? If we are really bored, then we go through our favorites and see the same content once more, but that’s rare. Even rarer, for my case at least, is going through somebody’s imgur content page for more stuff.
Now, the same thing might be for writing and music as well. If something is finally phenomenally good, catches the attention of some bored yokel at the right time with the right keywords, then you might get a buzz going on as a single artist. But as a starting person, then it’ll take a whole lot of time and leg work to get your work outside. Like they say, if the mountain doesn’t come to Mohammad, then the Mohammad will come to the mountain.
How does this tie together with Tokyo Ghoul Fan Art Exhibition? It has Recognition and Loyal Fan Base already, so no wonder these people would stop and gawk at this. I bet this would get the same attention even without the fancy frames, but it sure did get my attention as a person who doesn’t dig Tokyo Ghoul. But for the fans, it was seeing their favorite characters in the middle of Shinjuku, so their heart melted and they are ready to open their wallets for the Next Big Drop™ of Tokyo Ghoul.
This idea of recognition is what I used back in my science days as well. Kids don’t know about atoms, but they know about Legos. A piece is just a piece, but may pieces will create something different. Just like atoms, you know? There’s a whole lot of psychological dimensions into learning and attention grabbing and unfortunately our human brains aren’t as sophisticated as we would like to think. There’s this book called Thinking, Fast and Slow, which deals with how people think and why people fall for these parlor tricks of the mind. Framing as such is one of these tricks – you can serve a piece of information in many ways, but the observer will receive it in many different ways. It’s like a computer reading code from line 0 to line thousand, reading meticulously every single line and doing exactly as it says. If the code is perfect, it’ll execute. If not, then it will bug out. Our brains are seriously buggy and exploitable, but at least it doesn’t BSOD on us.
Marketing and mass media is actually a very delicate science and there’s a reason why PR companies reap massive profits from a simple press release or tweet. Being a youtuber is way more than just making great videos, being an artist is way more than making great pics and being a musician (that I identify as right now) is way more than pressing buttons on a synth. There’s a whole lot of analyzing and communication to be done during all this. That’s why people band up, as there’s strength in numbers and that’s what I’m also going for once I get like 5 songs up in my soundcloud. I’m actually hella excited to make some music here in Tokyo, as there’s whole lotta energy to be used here.
Too long, didn’t read summary: exciting things are ahead!!