Something I’ve run into quite a lot while doing the whole “project manager” thing is artist who are openly hostile to the idea of engaging with the “business side” of what they do. There’s this broad perception that that business side of art means advertising and merchandising and selling out, and while it certainly can mean that, a lot of it is much more basic - and it’s stuff that’s absolutely not optional if art is anything beyond a personal fun-time hobby for you.
1. Having reality-based metrics for time and resource commitment - or, in plain English, making sure that what you’re charging for your commissions is actually based on how hard they are to do.
It’s downright shocking how rare this is. I’ve encountered digital artists who routinely charge less for a spec that takes them much longer to do based on purely abstract notions of how “complex” the piece is, without reference to their actual, demonstrable time commitment. Heck, I’ve run into a traditional artist who ended up making nickles per hour for a major commission because she hadn’t correctly tallied up the cost of the art supplies expended in producing it!
The only way to arrive at appropriate metrics is based on evidence; your off-the-cuff estimates will always, always be wrong. Literally time yourself as you work on pieces of various types, and write down how long it took you. And never assume that it will be quicker next time; that’s called the planning fallacy, and it will eat you alive if you let it.
2. Having a lifecycle management plan for the tools you need to work.
Tablets don’t last forever. Neither do computers. Even software can become so outdated and incompatible as to lose utility over time. Basically, your tools have a finite lifespan, and you need to have a plan for replacing them as needed.
I understand that many independent artists don’t have the means to save up for new and replacement tools, and rely on second-hand hardware, gifts from friends and family, or donation drives on their blogs to fill the gap. That’s fine - artists relying on patronage has a long and distinguished history. The important thing is that these avenues be part of a plan, not a desperate scramble after some 100% foreseeable circumstance has rendered you unable to work.
Data on average time-to-failure for your hardware is readily accessible online; if, for example, that particular brand of tablet tends to last about three years, then you need to start organising your donation drive or dropping hints for your birthday at two years and six months, even if your equipment seems perfectly fine. The same goes for software; the vendor’s support window (i.e., the time after which they’ll stop publishing bugfixes and security updates) for your version of the software is a known factor.
3. Having a formal requirements-gathering and signoff procedure.
I know that sounds like a lot of boring paperwork, and to be honest it kind of is, but it’s also critical for anything you’re not drawing for yourself. Language is an imprecise medium; based on a few minutes of casual conversation, you can easily end up in situations where you and your commissioner have totally different understandings of what the job entails, yet you’re both convinced you’ve understood the other perfectly.
You should have a detailed written description of what’s involved, and your client’s explicit, documented confirmation that they’ve read, understood and agreed to it, before you draw a single stroke. This includes timelines and deliverables as well as content; I’ve run into numerous cases of clients who’ve alleged non-delivery of services based on their understanding that they’d be receiving a traditional, ink-and-paper piece where the artist understood the commission to involve only digital work, and more than one case where a client started hollering about breach of contract less than 24 hours after signing off because they honestly thought it would be done already.
You have to nip that in the bud; this level of documentation is a bare minimum for anyone who takes money to do art, not a nice-to-have.
I’ve been to
an international in-house PR summit hosted by one of my clients this week and
nearly fell off my chair when one of the guest speakers was a VERY important
person from Sony Music Entertainment. Let’s call him John. I won’t disclose his
function and real name because I don’t want to reveal where I was, but based on
his title he definitely knows what he‘s saying and has a lot of industry experience.
was mainly about how to engage with a variety
of different target audiences. Of bloody course one of the first slides he
showed was a picture of 1D engaging with fans which was supposed to drive the
point home that there are some audiences who are more passionate about a brand
than others.He mentioned then that he’s worked with 1D on their albums which drove me into a bit of a freeze.
Because I’m embarrassing,
I recorded parts of his speech on my phone and wrote the most important things
down to share some interesting insights he gave about how Sony manages
their artists’ target audiences, crafts their artists’ social media actions and deals with the
fact that at the end of the day they always need
to get people to buy music.
HOW DOES SONY UNDERSTAND AND MONITOR
AUDIENCES (like fandoms for instance)?
According to John, they have
their very own data-driven digital tool that helps them identify and manage
different target groups for an artist (it’s not perfected yet but has been
rolled out a lot of countries, I think he said 50?) and see where there might
be connections to other artists, who the influencers are, what the specific
target groups are or will be interested in and to identify collaboration
Target groups are being split into four categories: Fanatics, enthusiasts,
casuals, indifferents. These segments are being broken down into even smaller
groups defined by age, genre preference, gender and country. They found that
the older you get, the less likely you’ll be a fanatic or enthusiast.
How does Sony find this stuff out? Well, they survey polled music audiences of every
age in a way that covers either nationally representatives or represent one of
the major top tier cities. People shared their music preferences, consumption
habits, lifestyle, media habits etc. Sony gathered all that information,
analysed the insights and created their
own audience understanding tool.
John, that way everyone at Sony has access to an interactive map of the world of
Sony that looks into segmentations and audiences for every artist while being searchable
in a number of different ways. The tool is pulling from real data, but they are
also adding to that „with things like analytics of platforms like Spotify where
we are able to gather lots of informations about user behaviours and reference
that against things that we do“.
STRATEGICALLY SHAPES PR STORIES
John gave the
example of Snoop Doggy Dog who had launched a new album (song? Idk) around that
time: „There was a week-long debate in parliament around the legalization of
Marihuana, so we just jumped on this conversation and did lots of social
marketing around Snoop with his rolling papers and his spliffs… so maybe that’s
bad taste, I’ll allow you to judge that for yourselves. The point is though that
you are also marketing into a wider
cultural context. [You need] an understanding how that works and where you can
have a conversation that is seamless and not fake, genuineness is quite
“The way you can get people to
connect is: You’ve got a lot of stuff that you want to say. Start under the
assumption that people actually don’t give a shit about 95 percent of it. And
then see which are the bits that might overlap. This is where the
understanding of the audience really comes into its own. It forces us to think before
we jump to execution. The quest for relevance is vitally important.”
Why are people
to connect with a brand/band though? John thinks this is one of the most
underused questions when planning an approach. Why is it that they do specific things? He gave an
example: „We would normally take a
record to radio because we always believe that radio is the thing that breaks
the record. But if my core audience,
my phase one audience – the people that are gonna give that band its first lift
– are on Spotify, what am I doing on radio??“
ENGAGEMENT AROUND ARTIST IS KEY
„The thing is
that you don’t start with a conversation around a product. The consumption of the
product is the end point of a journey where you built an engagement and a fan.
So again, for us that means that when we
sit down and do our plan around our next Robbie Williams album, we start with „How
are we gonna maximize the engagement around Robbie Williams“? because that will
then sell us albums. Not „Okay, we’ll be releasing in a week in November,
eight weeks out we need to be here, here and here“. So we’re not doing product
launches anymore unless [it is suitable for the target demographic]. We have to built a tension and an engagement
around an artist.“
ABOUT THEIR ARTISTS‘ SOCIAL MEDIA
„We run most
of our artists social media channels or at least their official pages, so we are involved in all of those conversations.“
Shocking, I know.
Based on the
situation we face in this fandom,with this band, feel free to draw your own
conclusions about what this information means.
HERE ARE MY KEY TAKEAWAYS:
It’s not news at all, but the existence of their
own audience understandig tool confirms it: the 1D fandom is being monitored, segmented and analyzed. Sony’s strategies
are tightly tied to that fact. Collaborations or artist interactions such as
Louis/James Arthur or One Direction/ Little Mix are most likely the result of a
data-driven analysis of whose fan groups are similar and whose are likely to be
open towards that particular other artist too.
Again no news, but the example of Snoop Doggy
Dog shows that there are strategies behind even the most random photos. Often placements of specific
pictures or stories serve a wider purpose. Hello pap walks, hello
b**ygate, hello Louis Twitter, hello
Liam visibly being linked to L.A.‘s cool singer/songwriter crowd before his
first album drop.
decision to not promote Louis‘ song could very well have been a logical outcome
of the team asking themselves the question „Why?“: Why should we promote
his song with huge effort when we KNOW his own fans are going to do it passionately,
especially if they think we don’t give a
shit? Why not playing that game in order to make them promo it the hardest way
they can?“ Why indeed??
is a huge deal for Sony. John was talking about a lot of bands during his
speech but whenever he was talking about major acts, he always listed One
Direction amongst them (along with gems like Beyonce, David Bowie, Adele). He name-dropped
them at least 5 -6 times in a 60 minute speech. He really didn’t have to
because the audience was in no way whatsoever a target audience. So yes, they clearly
have been and are a very huge deal for them.
I just thought I would pass this along. A close friend of mine phoned ticketmaster (well because she’s the kind of personality to demand answers) and relayed what she was told after speaking with several people and supervisors.
For one, their main advice was to continue to check back on Ticketmaster for tickets for the following reasons…
According to what she was told the 7 day delay IS taken seriously and anyone who has violated the ticket limit (and other stated terms of sale) will have orders cancelled - so there are some tickets that will be re-released.
When she asked about tickets being listed on resale sites, she was told that the decision to cancel/void orders on those tickets is essentially up to the artist/management/etc. If they say the word then they comb through those orders and cancel/void them within those 7 days as well. (Which I can see happening considering the process they put in place to even try for tickets in the first place)
They also told her that ANY tickets listed on resale sites before or during the 7 days are automatically not valid since none of those sales are “final” or officially released to the purchaser (don’t worry about your tickets being void unless you’ve purchased more than the limit or done something listed above!) so definitely don’t purchase any of those tickets right now.
I know it’s not a lot of information but thought I’d throw it out there. There’s still (a sliver) of hope for tickets out there.
Time for a rant:
First off let me say I’m a clexa shipper, so I went through the same thing you guys did when Lexa died. But what I’m about to rant about is more serious than any fictional ship.
Okay, for all of you people who’re not watching The 100 anymore because you’re upset, that’s fine! It’s completely okay to stop watching a show you no longer like. But to you shits who’re actively trying to get The 100 cancelled and boycotting it, stop. Seriously, you guys may think that you’re doing the right thing and trying to stop queer bating but you’re destroying tons of innocent people’s livelihood. You’re trying to cancel a show that’s queer bated, which it bad, but that was a decision that was made by a few. You’re taking away the jobs of tons of people for instance, Eliza Taylor, Lindsey Morgan, Bob Morley, Marie Avgeropoulos, Devon Bostick, Henry Ian Custick, Richard Harmon, Paige Turco, Chris Larkin, Isaiah Washington, Zach McGowan, cinematographer, floor manager, graphics coordinator, stage manager, makeup artists, production manager, technical directors, stunt coordinators, video control operator, composer, colorist, editors, foley artist, costume designer, location manager, production and set designer, etc. Should I go on? And I know what you guys are saying, that they’ll be better off working on something that’s not the show, but not if the show gets cancelled! They’re way less likely to get hired (maybe even ever again) if the show gets cancelled, it looks bad for them. Name one successful actor from a failed tv show. Hmmm, don’t really know anyone do you? And then think about some minor workers on the set who might not even get a job ever again if The 100 gets cancelled. All because you guys had to have a fit and demand the show gets cancelled, stop being a baby and realize that people have jobs and aren’t as privileged to have everything handed to them, they work, and you’re taking away the work from them. It’s as simple as that. Yes, I get you’re upset about Lexa but please look at the bigger picture. So next time I hear someone trying to boycott The 100, you better be ready for me setting a fire in your ass.
Refugees are by definition the most vulnerable people among us. Families don’t choose to sacrifice everything they have and leave their homes unless their homes become like the mouth of a shark. Scapegoating people who are fleeing for their lives is an inhumanity that no person with a heart should be able to defend.
are you ever just floored by how hard steve’s team works to promote their client? like they actually work with him. this is an actual healthy business relationship between artist/management and it’s so nice to see and it’s weird to see because this is what the boys have missed out on like the entire time like dang
View of dancer Pearl Primus posing with puppet. Stamped on back: “Pearl Primus. Austin Wilder, artist management, promotion. 745 Fifth Avenue, New York City. Associated Photos, 400 West 23 St., N.Y.C.”
Courtesy of the E. Azalia Hackley Collection of African Americans in the Performing Arts, Detroit Public Library
In her recent Radio program, Koike Minami from Keyakizaka46 mentioned a paper adressed to all members, officially banning any relationship during their idol activity. It is also known as the Renai Kinshi Jourei, the love ban rule. To allow or forbid this rule have teared apart the fandom for many years, and the ambiguous stand of Akimoto Yasushi (stating there wasn’t such thing as love ban rule) doesn’t help to clear things up. But the issue regarding this rule goes beyond it’s own existence. This is an eternal debate between those who argue we can’t own idols as they are humans with feelings, against those who think it is necessary to preserve their image. To sum things up, what we debate for is our conception of an idol. Through this write up, i will attempt to list all legit arguments from both side so you can make your own opinion on that matter.
“Sasshi scandal was the most talked topic at the time, even more than Acchan graduation”
First, a little bit of history. The love ban rule is much more older than AKB itself. In 1997, Nakazawa Yuko, leader of Morning musume at the time, stated that in their contract, they were forbid to have boyfriend or marry. Ten years later, Kashiwagi Yuki expressed the same statement, that they had to sign a paper in which they pledge to not be in a relationship. What is the purpose of the love ban rule? Simply speaking, it helps the idea of an idol “pure and innocent”, completely devoted to the fans. Management is afraid that the fan significantly decrease his dedication to buy goods and ticket to see his favourite member if she’s in a relationship.
But Let’s take an example of other pop culture. Justin Bieber is a singer, with 99.9% of female fanbase. He works a lot on his image, yet he dated many other celebrities like Selena Gomez. He’s directly concerned with appearance, but his staff allow him to date. In the super strict Kpop industry, even though entertainment companies are very discrete about it, they often acknowledge a relationship when they are revealed, and not opposing them (Exo Kai and F(x) Crystal for example). The question is, why is it allowed in Occidental and Oriental countries like USA and Korea and not in japan? Especially the case of idols.
1st hypothesis, It’s about culture. USA have build their civilization on freedom, and it’s quite hard to “forbid” someone to love, especially someone as popular as Justin bieber. Management strategy to keep hardcore fans would backfire at them, being blamed for pressuring the artist. In Kpop It might depend of the age and experience of the artist. When management knows the artist fanbase is mature enough to accept, they lift the ban. But if the trainee has just debuted with the group, it’s better to not create unnecessary waves that would be an hindrance to the group promotion. Japan has a huge history of hierarchy between genre, family often assimilated with a father who work, and a mother who stay at home to raise the children. Sexism is still rooted in society as it is largely accepted to have gravure photoshoot of idols (often very young), but also promote the girls as cute and innocent. Unconsciously, Japan paradoxal society still allow to reduce a woman basic right in order to preserve a certain idea of what an idol should be.
2st hypothesis, we can say it’s the fan fault for being unrealistic about the concept of an idol. Before being an idol, she is an human being. You can’t mix up reasoning with feelings, as one is led by the brain, the other by the heart. Also, if the idol you support is being happy with someone else, shouldn’t you be happy for her own happiness? It’s not like you’re being her fan in order to date her in the future. You can also be a fan of someone without being physically attracted to her. Like many hardcore metal teenagers adoring metallica. A fan’s love, is different. Something more personal, but loving someone as a 17 years is different from loving at 26, and 40, etc. A teenager should live to the fullest.
“Minegishi scandal blow out to international proportion, wrongly the symbol of Japanese excess”
Not long ago, a company sued a girl for “breach of contract” blaming her for her idol group failure in the market, because she was dating one of her fans. The young girl retorted that i was never mentioned she couldn’t date anyone, even though it was “professionaly” obvious to avoid this situation. The result of the court was that indeed the girl was wrong for not taking into account that it would hurt the group image, but since she dated her boyfriend without the intent to harm the company, she was exempt to pay fee for the prejudice caused.
There’s a big difference between european and asian culture. The first is a lot about freedom (artist love life is his privacy) but asian point of view is about responsability. Japanese are often serious in their work (sometimes they die from it). Even though you have the freedom to come with T-shirt and jeans, you have the responsability to look decent for an interview, which means wearing a suit. Otherwise we don’t take you seriously. In entertainment, you shouldn’t behave in a way that would be a threat to your company or group image. But this rule can’t be applied to everyone because each person has a different situation.
Let’s take the example of Watanabe Mayu. She became very popular, very fast, in a young age. Not only we can assume she didn’t have a lot of free time, but having a relationship exposed would have create an uproar on tabloid. She was very serious about her image because she was aware an incident would break her momemtum. On the other hand, when you’re unknown, like a KKS, it hasn’t the same impact at all, and you have much more free time than a popular member. (and probably the reason why Sasshi’s scandal was exposed only when she became popular).
The problem with micchan scandal, is that not only she was a popular member, but also the captain of a team. What foreigners don’t know, is that in japanese culture, people often shave their head after admitting being in the wrong. Micchan obviously shaved her head on her own will. But foreign newspaper, with little care of details, implied it was a sanction done by management (the video was published on AKB official youtube channel after all). The malicious gossip spread and it was a huge blow to idol entertainment. It doesn’t matter what was the real reason, and the damage was done.
“Shunkan bunshun is often involved in many scandals related to idols”
In fact, it isn’t really about the fan behavior toward her idol that define the existence of the love ban rule. In the case of Kashiwagi Yuki scandal with NEWS’s Tegoshi, it was up to her fanbase to decide if they keep following her or not. In the case of Matsumura Sayuri scandal (above), it turned out more bitter because Nogizaka has a strong image of elegant, calm idols compared to the 48group. Image is not only related to fan, as big companies (a potential source of revenue for popular idol group), won’t choose girls who are involved in a negative image to endorse their products. It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, it’s how those scandal divert from the expected result. Do you remember when Kouhaku utagassen chose HKT instead of Nogizaka in 2014? We will never know, but it’s possible that Nogi appearance was cancelled because of this negative coverage.
Why is management not willing to make a decision, always being ambiguous about it? Because both choice have a negative impact. If you make the love ban rule official, you are seen as a bad company who suppress a girl basic right, and if you officially allow the girls to date, there’s no turning back, and fan’s reaction is unsure. The best alternative is “not to get caught” or “adapt to the situation” rule. In Yukirin’s case, management decided to let it through, because she was too important to the group. Same with Sasshi. We can’t say the same for Murashige Anna, who got almost perma-ban from HKT senbatsu, or Owada Nana and Nishino Miki who soon graduated after being seen at 2AM in a game court with some ex Johnny’s (again).
The love ban rule can be seen as something not coming from fans to their idol, but a rule of self discipline (coming from within), like how you are committed to your work. When you date someone perfectly aware of a bad coverage, you’re taking a risk. This self discipline increase as you became popular. When someone try to get best of both worlds, it can be seen as recklessness toward your job. After all, Kikuchi Ayaka or Komori Mika graduated AKB to get married. When someone get outside of the idol field, fans are much more keen to be happy for their idol happiness. Because they are past their idol phase. Jurina once said “i will date after being an idol. But for the moment, i want to focus on my work”.
“Yukirin votes dropped up to 70 000 votes for the 8th Sousenkyo. Note that 7th Sousenkyo was her fanbase last push to put her 1th, with a 60k increase too ”
To the question if the love ban rule is something fair or unfair, it’s hard to decide because feelings are involved with it. I personally hadn’t my oshimen being involved in a scandal, so i don’t know how i would react. However, what i believe is, for japanese, that the renai kinshi jourei is a self inflicted rule. It just depends on how serious you are toward the job of idol. If you don’t accept to have your love life put on hold, just don’t be an idol. It’s even more true that an idol not only care for her image, but is also responsible for the group image. When people quote Sasshi’s case that scandal doesn’t influence the popularity of a member, keep in mind that it happened when she was a KKS, barely being an extra in Everyday Kachuusa MV. Taking such a risk to date someone when she’s 4th in sousenkyo, her answer would have been completely different.
My humble opinion : If my oshimen was caught in a scandal, i would probably be disappointed. Not because i thought of her as pure and innocent (let’s be real, women also have libido, and love is something wonderful), but because she’s taking a risk to damage her or the group reputation. She’s aware of the damage, and she took it anyway. To be responsible, is a form of respect.
In the future, we probably will see a change of mindset, with a more accepting industry toward idols. Because, there’s no proper definition of an idol.
I have a headcanon where Slytherins are really into tattoos. Like not dark marks, they just kinda bond and make friends with people who they can talk about tattoos for hours on end with. And at first, they have binders full of pictures of tattoos they want, and then they discover Pinterest, and it’s like they won the lottery. And someone’s cousin who’s a tattoo artist manages to sneak in and has to stay for 2 weeks to tattoo everyone who wants one.
OKAY, so under this cut you’ll find a list of #55 jobs your characters can hold in the music industry aside from classic band members/solo artists. I know for bandom RP especially it can be hard to come up with unique jobs for OCs that still enable them to create connections. I’ve organized everything into categories for easy searching and defined even the most intuitive titles, so hopefully this helps!
Chris I would love to know your opinion on the Columbia thing. Cause I assume - just like Niam - he could have chosen his label. Then again he is 50% of the closet, so maybe he didn't have a choice, just like Louis didn't with the other Sony label SYCO. Or maybe Harry has to fulfil some kind of obligation and that's why it's Columbia? Cause Jeff is so close with republic records guy and Columbia wasn't really pro Harry/the band in the past? I think there has to be a reason we can't know of?
Louis hasn’t been confirmed as signing with anyone, so that’s not really a thing just yet.
And I think Harry chose the label that offered him the best deal. I don’t think there was coercion other than the normal coercion that any label would do to keep a massive talent.
Harry registered Erskine Records last year. It is almost certain that Erskine is the actual “label” that he is signed to and then Erskine did a deal with Columbia for marketing and distribution services, etc. so that Harry has vastly more control over his music and his earnings than he would otherwise have if he signed a traditional deal.
This is what Niall did with Neon Haze and what I believe Liam has done with Hampton Records.
So people worrying about Harry being trapped I think are barking up the wrong tree. Harry literally has one of the greatest, most influential, and wealthiest artist managers of all time on his side in Irving Azoff. Forcing him to sign some shitty deal after the 1D contracts were over is not likely.
Columbia/Sony may have had first (or last) right of refusal on his solo stuff, but in a situation like this, Harry would have had other offers that they had to match or beat. I don’t believe he would have signed otherwise.
This particular artist managed to perfectly replicate the OoT/MM art style and “anime-ify” it. If a Zelda anime were to ever happen, it NEEDS to have this art style as it’s literally perfect in every way possible.
THIS is how you stay true to the original art style while putting a new spin on it.
Not only are these pictures simply gorgeous beyond everything, these are some of the best pictures I’ve ever seen and is one of the best art styles I’ve ever seen. It’s a sin that it doesn’t even have 2500 views.
There’s many more where this came from so check them out at the original source here
Fun fact: The picture of Beast Ganon is based off some concept art of him from Hyrule Historia
Edit: Here’s Saria and Darunia which I forgot to add.