Thursday, November 18, 2010

Social Awareness

In the work that we produce for business or for culture, there is always a telling moment... When it leaves our hands and reaches the public for which it was intended. In that instant it ceases to be something that was in our heads; it becomes an object that is judged by others. Sometimes this object connects with people in a profound way. It strikes an emotional chord, resonates, and has warmth. It meets a need. Other times it leaves people surprisingly cold... In our minds we had imagined it having a much different effect.

This process can seem rather mysterious. Some people seem to have a knack for creating things that resonate with an audience. They are great artists, politicians, and leaders with the popular touch, or business people who are endlessly inventive. Sometimes we ourselves produce something that works, be we fail to understand why, and lacking this knowledge we cannot reproduce our success.

There is an aspect to this phenomenon, however, that is explicable. Anything we create or produce is for the public... Large or small, depending on what we do. If we are the type that lives mostly in our heads, imagining what the intended public will like, or not even caring, this spirit is reproduced in the work itself. It is disconnected from the social environment; it's a product of a person who is wrapped up in him or herself. If, on the other hand we are deeply connected to the public, if we have a profound sense of their needs and wants, then what we make tends to resonate. We have internalized the way of thinking and feeling of our audience and it shows in the work.


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