details

Details Matter

I love packaging.

When I was younger I would take boxes apart just so I could see how they were made. I’ve always been fascinated by packaging that is perfectly suited to the product inside it.

Now, I collect boxes. A good box is a kind of functional origami, with perfectly designed compartments for the main contents, instructional manual, and spare parts.

When a box is cleverly designed my experience with the product begins before I even open it. My user experience is enriched by smart and creative design.

For example, I just bought some new camera gear and spent the first few minutes in awe at the box design. The box opened like a treasure chest, with my new gear gleaming as I pulled the flaps aside. The handbook was cleverly displayed in the camera mount. The card stock felt expensive and the graphic design for the step-by-step assembly instructions was brilliant. Every piece of the unboxing had me more and more excited for my new gear. That’s the kind of box I love.

Little details matter. The packaging that goes around what you do is just as important as the main event. Possibly even more so.

I never understand when an artist has a poorly designed website or bad promo images. If you specialize in a certain art form then all of your designs should be top-notch. Everything you do contributes to your image as a creative professional.

I get it. You didn’t go to school for graphic design or copy writing. You don’t know the first thing about logos or Photoshop or Lightroom or websites. Video editing is intimidating and photography is hard.

Whatever. Those are just excuses for having subpar packaging.

If you’re not good at something then hire someone to do it for you. Can’t afford someone? Then teach yourself.

If you want to be taken seriously as an artist, details matter.

If you want to be more than just a hobbyist, details matter.

If you want your audience to connect with you on a visceral level, details matter.

When something is packaged well, you can tell the difference. People may not always notice the details, but they can feel it.


Speaking of details…I finally have some. I’ve been invited to the Orlando Fringe Winter Mini Fest. I’ll be performing “MIND READER” twice (January 12 at 1:45pm and January 13 at 5:15pm). Hope to see you at one of the shows!



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Details

I saw a one-person show earlier this summer that had a moment I can’t stop thinking about.

The performer had a bag of props on stage complete with money, comb, water bottle, and so on. They kept using the props for various reasons throughout the scene. So far, so good.

But then, they went to check the time. They glanced at their wrist and THEY WEREN’T WEARING A FREAKING WATCH.

WHAT?!

Why have an entire bag of real props but not a real watch?

For the rest of the show I couldn’t stop thinking about that tiny moment. It just made no sense.

If you’re going to do something then go all the way. Have all the props, learn all the skills, finish the project.

This is a big pet peeve of mine.

It drives me crazy to see an artist who specializes in design but has a poorly designed website. Or a performer who has never actually studied theater.

A fellow performer told me recently that he didn’t believe in writing a script. He insisted that his performance would be “fresher without one” and that “saying the same words every time” wasn’t his style.

Face, meet palm.

When people make comments like that what I actually hear is “Writing a script is too much work.”

I don’t understand how you can expect people to buy tickets to see you if you haven’t put in the work to actually write a show. And I have no idea how you can expect people to buy into your performance if some of your props are imaginary and some of your props are real.

If you aren’t willing to put in the work then what’s the point? There’s more to what you do than the thing you’re doing. You have to learn all the minor skills that go into your craft. You have to pay attention to all aspects of what you do.

People will notice the little details…even if you don’t.



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