The evolution of an artist

My recent experience at the Direct Marketers Association meeting in San Francisco reinforced my belief in evolution. Not the controversial creation kind of evolution, but the evolution of the artist.

This is growing more apparent to me every day. To be effective in marketing nonprofit Christian ministries, a graphic designer needs a burning desire to progress from designer to researcher and ultimately into a world-class marketer.

Reading and Researching. Since the conference, I’m reading more. Researching how demographics influence design, typeface and even copy. The ideas are flowing like crazy.I’m snagging my Creative Director three or four times a day, bouncing ideas off him. Exploring new ways of getting important messages across. Even thinking about testing projects that would confirm the most effective direction for important campaigns.

Getting my head into human behavior. I’m totally blown away by how fascinated I am exploring topics like behavioral economics and evaluating human behavior. Hey, I’m an artist. We aren’t generally known for that type of interest.

But it all makes so much sense. If you’re going to reach your audience, you need to know your audience. The average age of an artist here at Masterworks is probably 35. That’s young, considering the average age of our client’s donor lists is probably somewhere in their 50’s or 60’s.

Staying on target. How do you stay on target in communicating with people 20 years your senior? You do what I’m doing. Read, study, and evaluate what AARP and other niche audience organizations are doing to communicate. Also observe and listen to our older staff folks here at Masterworks. Both our creative directors are in their 50’s. So they have a good handle on the Boomer Generation. And the collaborative spirit between younger and older staff here makes it an inspiring place to work.

I still do fine art at home, using acrylics to portray important images with a powerful message. But when I’m at Masterworks, I’m a marketer who just happens to do it with art. My design is targeted directly at the demographic of my audience. How I display photos. How I handle type. Even the paper and ink colors I use are all based on the research I continue to do. And I love it when we hit the bull’s eye for our target market!

I’m evolved – and loving it!

Jeffrey Veregge

Senior Designer