I don’t know about you but one of my favourite places to visit is the art gallery. As a creative, I like to step out of life’s busy schedule and enter into someone else’s creative space filled with imagination and self-expression. Which brings me to share the following story with you.
The story of the pink haired lady
I recently asked my 5 year old daughter if she would like to visit our local art gallery. I expected her to say, “No”. When my daughter was two we stopped at the restroom of this particular gallery. Displayed on the wall was a poster of women whose hair was dyed pink. My daughter was so terrified of the ‘pink haired lady’ that she let out an ear piercing scream! We vacated the gallery rather promptly with the ‘pink haired lady’ forever impressed on our minds.
So, when I asked if she wanted to visit the art gallery, I was surprised by her response. “Yes, but only if we don’t go into the restroom because I’m scared of the ‘pink haired lady’”, she replied. To which I said, “Of course dear – I’m scared too!”.
Before she changed her mind I whisked her through the gallery doors. We had such a wonderful time together interacting with the art and with one another that we had completely forgotten about the ‘pink haired lady’. No, we didn’t go to the rest room, we left the gallery feeling inspired to go home and create our own master pieces.
“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” Albert Einstein.
When applying Einstein’s quote to my daughters first experience you would say her ‘imagination’ ran wild. When she saw the ‘pink haired lady’ she was terrified enough to not want to revisit that gallery ‘attraction’ again. The response to the poster’s imagery achieved the result the advertiser intended – that is to invoke a reaction appealing to the emotions. So much so, that the experience was still very real to my daughter 3 years after the event.
A few days later I took the opportunity to visit the gallery again. This time without my daughter. Other than finding it relaxing, the gallery is a place where I can think, discover and learn. When I’m walking through the gallery viewing the displays I usually ask myself questions: Who is this artist? What is the subject matter? What message are they communicating? What medium have they used? What emotions does this piece evoke? Does it make me happy, sad, agitated, calm?
Funnily enough, when a client approaches me with a new design brief I start by asking questions. Once answered I can then start the design process. Part of that process is knowing what emotions you would like your audience to feel when they interact with your message, service or product.