As humans we love colours! The physical feelings and perceptions such as associations, behaviours, influence, choices, … are all different outcomes produced by colours. They convey our messages, glitter our lives, elicit our emotions. Every year, the world-renowned authority on colour, Pantone Institute choose a colour to illuminate global trends, opinions, developments and sentiments shaping in our societies. This year Ultra Violet – Pantone 18-3838 has been dubbed the colour of the year, suggesting a sentiment of “to the infinity and beyond”. Enigmatic purples symbolic of freethinkers, eccentrics and impactful individuals. It extensibly implied pushing boundaries besides connecting to mysteries of the cosmos. It has also been associated with mindfulness and spiritual practices, used in meditation spaces and in social events to encourage bonding.
Prior to suggestions on how to use colour of the year in your branding and event management, let’s look at why colours play a vital role in our world.
Colour increases the extent to which general public recall a brand by 80% .
93% of consumers place visual appearance and colour above other factors.
85% of consumers place colour as a primary reason for their purchase.
The correlation between the idea of a product or a company to public perception, for the most part, is triggered by colours. They are the most powerful method to design the brand value. Here is an infographic of how businesses communicate their values through language of colours:
In series of studies,Jennifer Aaker, psychologist and Stanford professor, has developed a theoretical framework of the brand personality construct. The research indicates that their are 5 core dimensions to set of human characteristics: Sincerity, Excitement, Competence, Sophistication, and Ruggedness. For example the personality traits associated with Coca Cola are – All American, Real, Cool -, these traits differentiate Coke from it’s competitors such as Pepsi: Hip, Young, Exciting. On that account harmony between the set of human characteristics and the description of the brand, play a role in brand preference.
Notably, to influence engagement, affinity and transform the audience intent, associating colour, strategically, is an element that plays a role in forming the perception of brand personality traits. Having said that, the important factor is that you should not characterize your brand with colour associations but the colours should support the values and traits you want to represent. Grasping the connection between the mindset of the public and the shades attributed onto brand personality dimensions or skillfully elaborating the saturation of colours to accentuate the brand personality traits is of the utmost importance.
How to embrace the colour of the year Ultra Violet in your branding
Ultra Violet conveys luxury, wisdom, magic, spiritual, creative, enigmatic, enterprising, provoking optimism – Relevant and appropriate for brands conveying these values
Significant to a movement – As seen in the past, purple has been used to reflect a cause such as: “the invisible fringe of the rainbow”, penned by a “UltraViolet”, a newsletter for lesbian and gay liberationists, or the Suffragistquote “Purple is the color of loyalty, constancy to purpose, unswerving steadfastness to a cause.” Presently is widely embraced by women empowerment, press for progress,…
More suitable for digital designs versus print
The colour is controversial, some like it some hate it! Using it as an accent promotes the idea or the objective
Innocent to sinful, unrestrained to attentive, humorous to gloomy, flirtatious to modest, Ray Caesar, the acclaimed digital artist, unlocks his state of mind and his power of imagination through playful and witty themes. He chose to undertake one of the most difficult aspects of life by laying bare his painful and unpleasant life experiences, acknowledging his fears, submerging into his desires and fantasies through art. His compelling imagery links the dreamy yet self discovery realities to earthly concerns. He opens up the portals of his multi-layered universe and delves deep into his subconscious and emotional states of being.
Ray Caesar’s self observing depictions, challenge us, shake us and impel us in an unforeseen directions, perhaps to a place where we re-examine our own realities and progressively relate to our world with compassion. As he gracefully and brilliantly indicates:
” My work is about defining myself in my own way and then sharing that as Art….what if we all did that ?, share our unique qualities in an effort to find our commonality.”
Learn about what drives Ray Caesar’s creativity and his intentions, in an exclusive interview with Jupilings:
Tell us about yourself and how you got into art:
Ray Caesar: I grew up in south London in the 1960s in a very dysfunctional and abusive family. I began making pictures as a way to dissociate and cope from a difficult reality. After immigrating to Canada I began working at a children’s hospital in Toronto in the medical art and photography dept and ended up, staying there for 17 years. I had always painted and sculpted but during these years, I began to once again make art as a coping mechanism as the material I dealt with at work was quite overwhelming. I then worked for several years in the film industry doing 3D modeling and animation and from there began making art with digital tools.
Who is your protagonist?
Ray Caesar: She is my alter ego and a way for me to present a side of the fluidity or ambiguity of my gender. As a child I used to behave and dress very much like the figures in my work but any expression of that soon became too dangerous in the volatile family I lived with in the 1960s. It was also unnerving to my father that I used to talk to dolls, and that I insisted they would talk back. Years of therapy has suggested this is a form of dissociative identity disorder but I have some ideas of this myself of a slightly more mystical nature. I am comfortable with the idea that my protagonist is a side of my subconscious identity that I had to hide in a paracosm or inner world in order to survive. Today my images are simply a window into that world that has been growing in my mind for over half a century…an aspect of my psyche of gentleness and femininity and also a way to manage a strange but dangerous inclination that in some way has grown up in a separate world from this one.
What is the fundamental principal in your creations?
Ray Caesar: To explore and heal my own fractured psychology through images by creating my story as if it was a book of pictures. To give the suppressed and partially broken aspect of who I am a physical presentation. I take memory and dissociated emotions and experiences and give them physical form not just in a 2 dimensional picture but as a 3 dimensional virtual environment with a 3 dimensional figure. My protagonist is movable physical doll covered textures of my own skin in virtual rooms and clothing and textures from a variety of memories from my own past. I am writing a story of my life in pictures that evoke feelings I can’t put in words.
You have indicated that your artworks are inspired by your childhood, life experiences and your involvement in Sick Kids Hospital which are the inner force, what about motivation, what is the outside force that compels you to create?
Ray Caesar: To personally see a reflection of who I am. To define myself in my own evolving mind image. We have no control in how others define us …we do have a choice in how we define ourselves and that plays into how we ourselves define others. I didn’t start publicly showing my work for the motivation of profit as I have other skills that could have and did satisfy that need. I certainly don’t do this for motivations of ego as I am extremely shy and uncomfortable making my work public and rarely attend openings and have to force myself to post on social media in fits of agony. For me, my work isn’t Art …it’s a presentation of who I am. A method for self expression so I can see myself presented in a way that expresses how I feel. I make it public as I have learned that showing work in some strange way “completes it” …it makes that image part of the greater whole and by doing that ….. its meaning changes with each person that looks at it in such a way that I am forced to look at it again as if I have never seen it before …that has always been its greatest mystery and surprise to me.
When you are creating a work of art, you are forging an engagement with a situation or an emotion. Do you aspire to drive public awareness to activism, in any stage of your creation?
Ray Caesar: There is no intended dogma in my work or social commentary other than a very personal exploration of who I am and it is a very self indulgent process that I need to do for survival. I think of it like a visual diary and personal emotional guide. My work is simply a self portrait of my own mind and self image. It’s about my own sense of fluid gender and my inability to comprehend who I am and where I fit in a world of polarized views. I believe we each need a mind view or image of who we are as a template to build our actions and progress and evolve in a strange world. Although my work is very self indulgent I do think self exploration leads into how we as a species have to define what it is to be a human being. So much of our problems with race and gender and cultural identity stem from the inability to connect as a species and define our long term goals and aspiration (this absolutely reflects my own problems with dissociation ) ….to take an active role in our own evolution by a series of smaller conscious revolutions that build the template of what a human being is and what it could be and should be. If we define ourselves individually as unique complex individuals with flaws and amazing potential and realize that there has never been another person in all human history just like us and no one has ever had our unique experience…..then that’s how we define others! Not by our physical sex organs or skin pigmentation or where we were born, or what familial religion or organization we belongs to. We are a species of unique individuals that are attempting to define our spiritual and practical goals and that’s something every single one of us share. My work is about defining myself in my own way and then sharing that as Art….what if we all did that ?, share our unique qualities in an effort to find our commonality.
What does women empowerment mean to you?
Ray Caesar: As someone who is fluid gender and who has never really felt entirely male or female and lives in a mind that could be described as ambiguous and hermaphroditic, I am fascinated by recent events in a gradual growing realization of enlightened women and men that patriarchy is fundamentally flawed. I would love to see our species grow beyond a system that is based on self centered fear, power and dominance. It’s time for our species to evolve and acknowledge that we all have masculine and feminine aspects to our subconscious psychology. The balance of Anima and Animus is crucial, not just in the individual, but in the very fabric of human society and the way we choose to govern ourselves and interact in a variety of social levels. In my own attempt to reflect this about myself through my work …it is not lost on me that our own personal struggles reflect the greater struggles of our species and society. The empowerment of women is really a foundation stone in the self realization of what direction we need to travel for the species as a whole that can ultimately benefit the whole. It is evolution in progress and from a personal point of view it is amazing and beautiful to witness. In a hopeful way I see our planet as a fundamentally feminine thing. Earth or Gaia is a living goddess, a tangible deity that exists and is the giver of life. This thin strip of atmosphere is like a womb feeding and nurturing and protecting the fragile life that exists within it. Within her is a sea of conscious awareness of millions of species and She is the the sum of all the consciously aware life on this small blue world. She is a tangible touchable living conscious Goddess and we are destroying her through our primitive patriarchal arrogance, our fear and ignorance and our need for power and dominance. This planet is alive and a living thing! …we are part of this life and not separate from it and our conscious awareness is only part of the sum of existence that lives here, life on this planet is more than just us. We are part of a caring protective matriarchal ecosystem called Earth and dependant on her like a child is of a mother. We cannot exist without her and our species will have to evolve and learn to treasure this Eden before we are expelled from it.
What are your tips about building a brand name as an artist?
Ray Caesar: Make the art you love and explore avenues that excite you and that are fundamentally about you. Realize that your own choices and values create your brand as if it is an expression of your world view. If you make what you love someone else will love it too. Network and find people that have the same passion for art or creation that you do and realize you can’t do this all alone. I work with my wife Jane and my friend and manager Belinda Chun as a kind of team or family. We like to think of all this as a collective of different skills not unlike a fashion house or crew of a ship and we call that “Gallery House”http://galleryhouse.ca/. I make the Art, Jane keeps spreadsheets tracking every single piece and keeps me balanced and Belinda then builds a series of partnerships with galleries and dealers and organizations around the world that become a kind of extended family. It’s no longer a world of just one gallery and one artist splitting everything 50/50. We learn to trust these galleries and they learn to trust us and it all starts to work like a functioning engine that creates work, markets work and puts that work in places that visitors and collectors can view it and experience it online and in real spaces like galleries and art fairs and boardrooms and charitable events. It’s not just about me ..it’s about the different parts of the engine that function in tandem that create something of emotional value from nothing but a concept and a piece of paper and canvas. Dior wasn’t just Christian …it was a house and a company of people who believed in something beautiful and worked together to build something that was more than just a dress…they made that dress a piece of art.
What do you do to conquer fear or self doubt:
Ray Caesar: I don’t as these are valid emotions … I use fear and self doubt in a positive and creative way ..it’s not so much the conquering of a thing ( that’s a patriarchal practice ) but understanding that my feelings can create a choice of actions and that’s what I absolutely love about emotions …they give us choice. If I am afraid of something I acknowledge it and calmly look at my choices and use the negative energy in a creative positive way that creates a positive result. Bravery isn’t the absence of fear or the control of it, but understanding you have a choice of calm contemplative action despite the fear. I think a wonderful thing to learn is that fear can actually create calm when you realise it’s a way for the subconscious to communicate to the conscious mind that makes action. I think of all emotions like a unformed energy that can be modified like a lump of sculptural clay into form …it’s only when we take action and that clay is cast that we will know the result. If I doubt myself that means I need to examine why I am doubting myself and sometimes that doubt is a very useful justified thing and sometimes it is an illusion. I don’t just try and be creative with Art ..I try and be creative with life.
What are you thoughts about the blockchain technology specially in support of digital art? Would you consider using blockchain technology platform to reach global art enthusiasts? What are the problems in the Art Market do you want these platforms to solve?
Ray Caesar: One of the reasons Belinda Chun and I developed a different method of working with galleries is that I had so many problems being paid by previous galleries that sold my work. I have had many problems of my work on consignment not being returned. We now only partner with good trustworthy galleries that work fairly with artists and in doing so we make sure we work fairly with them. Blockchain holds a promise of improving that situation by giving greater clarity of any sale and transfer of work in any gallery in the world and letting everyone involved know when and where it happened. I am also interested in the potential for providence in terms of a digital form of certificate of authenticity that can make providence absolute and travel from collector to collector. Blockchain is sort of like a digital Antiques Roadshow that carries the history of each item along with it and that history becomes part of the fabric of the art itself and can ultimately even increase the value or story of that particular object. As a print maker of a unregulated commodity each piece of an edition is very much like printing currency and in doing so one faces the problems any currency faces. Many years ago I was surprised I had absolutely no control over the price of my work …it developed a price based on demand or more accurately, someone’s guess or gamble of its demand. If I held the price down on my work, dealers bought it all and sold it for a higher price. I learned how market creates the price and value of a limited unregulated edition whether it is a stamp, a dollar bill or a piece of art.
What super power you would like to have ? and why?
Ray Caesar: The ability to become consciously aware of subconscious aspects of my own reality and move towards a greater awareness of not just my own existence but a greater awareness of our species and the multi dimensional universe we live in … it’s a super power I am currently learning to cope with and not like trying to cope with X-ray vision or with the difficulty of wearing a spandex mask and tights and high heels and a troublesome cape that tends to get caught in revolving doors.
Which movie you would have liked to be the leading actor:
Ray Caesar: From childhood I always wanted to be Emma Peel in the old British Avengers TV spy series…I loved her outfits and how she finished each show drinking champagne. She laughed at fear and always took humorous control and action in any difficult situation. She was a spy and secret agent, a lover and a sculptor and was probably one of the first strong independent female characters on television. I have modelled myself on Emma Peel since I first saw her as a child in the 1960s….it’s a bit tricky to get into a leather outfit now and zip it all up but I suppose Diana Rigg has the same problem…. I also think that she was the basis for M in the recent James Bond films …in fact in She was even referred to as Emma and Bond himself almost gave it away when he said he was mistaken when he thought M was a random letter.
What is your life motto?
Ray Caesar:: Pick yourself up ..dust yourself off ..and try again….keep in mind the only way out is through and leave by the same door you came in….also Fibre is good but too much Fibre isn’t so good.
In it’s many forms, an event is a powerful tool to inspire loyalty, to attract new audiences, to engage, or to start a movement. Harnessing the enormous potential of events, requires a cohesive approach to create a “real brand experience”. Without doubt, a winning strategy if meticulously planned and implemented.
Whether you are hosting a global or local event, the key to a favourable outcome is to fuse the brand proposition to the experiences that your audience care about. In other words, evoking sound and emotional responses, happens when the brand promise is tangible through all the aspects of the event.
Meet the audience expectations and needs
Before spending time planning for your event, make sure that your have interested audience. Think like an attendee and identify their reasons and their core needs. Exploring their interests, allows you to tailor your event and ensures that their expectations are inline with your goal. Questions to consider:
Why I need to attend?
What I want to get out of this event?
What kind of format I prefer?
Define your Goal
Ask yourself: What is it that you want to accomplish? Regardless of the event’s type, you should be clear about your goal.
Craft a tagline for your event
It is challenging to communicate in few words your brand promise that differentiates your event. However, following a framework to answer the questions in the brand pyramid, allows you to plan an unforgettable experience.
A vey good example is TED Talks. The non-profit foundation is a global community that provides a platform to exchange ideas, usually in the form of short conferences and distributes through video streaming. Their goal is to spread great ideas. Their videos are educational, inspiring, motivational, funny and give advice. Hence, their tagline is “Ideas worth spreading”.
Define your brand identity
Make sure that your branded event elements are consistent and recognizable:
Tone of voice
Remember persuading people to attend your event is about resolving problems, emphasizing on the benefits, powering a trademark by tapping into the five senses. Manage these essentials to create a must attend event.
One of the objectives of branding in postmodernism is essentially getting through to individuals or groups to join your utopia! Is about certainty of one’s world view and the paradox of interpretations that validates the brand’s mindset such as courage, being active, cultured, cosmopolitan, daring,… . Basically, creating an echo chamber of motives and behaviours that embraces the attitudes of individuals and ensues support.
Nike embodies the major characteristics of postmodern branding by juxtaposing essential and ephemeral social experiences throughout their branding efforts. From their logo depicting motion and speed to their inspiring lifestyle, Nike explores the complexity and real challenges of our world at the same time the real basis of motivation, passion and empowerment. Their diverse and connecting social media posts champion creation of tribes that identify with it’s way of life and play an instrumental role to promote the brand. Their stories tap into the essential feelings, the interplay of oppositions and realities that propel us to be a role model, to have that “can do attitude” regardless of the gender, giving hope and saving a child “from the streets to the league”.
The postmodern culture of connecting with your tribe in personal branding is also setting side by side different aspects of our self-image and opposing views. Fragmenting our narratives, documenting extremely realistic images, sharing contents that supports the complexity of ourselves is appreciated by many. Transforming our opinions and beliefs offline and online, into what we consume, wear or undertake should be acknowledgement of contradictions that makes us human.
Forming a loyal postmodern tribe or a community demands the understanding that diversity, differences and similarities are in state of flow. For that reason, plug in to identify trends and shifts from passing ideas, harness your capabilities to help others, tune in to your supporters to help you grow, take risks to make an impact and be conscious of the fluidity of ideas and our ways of life.
Featured image is work of art by : JR – The artist exhibits freely in the streets of the world, catching the attention of people who are not typical museum visitors. As he remains anonymous and doesn’t explain his huge full-frame portraits of people making faces, JR leaves the space empty for an encounter between the subject/protagonist and the passer-by/interpreter. That is what JR’s work is about, raising questions…
In previous blog post, I talked about how to define your personal brand voice and frame recognizable standards to create your brand story. In whatever field, your distinct voice, signature image and style determine your relationship within your circle or group, overall in society at large. Let’s expand our topic to the critical element of bridging your brand identity/voice to real life and social media.
Let’s start with your engagements through myriads of social media platforms. Generally, the nature of these mediums are spontaneous and fluid. Cultivating your personal brand voice on social media calls for identifying your tone, your language and your purpose. Creating contents that are authentic and endorse your brand voice; requires clarity, discipline and consistency. Blissfully once established, it takes away the distracting flotsam in your busy lives.
Sweeping through your list of what I am and what I am not, can be used to create contents that give a hint or a splash of your identity. It really pays off if you have done your homework. For instance:
You prefer the visual appeal of Instagram to adapt your screenplay and engage with your friends or the public. You are an empathizer but not a sympathizer; you prefer soft rock & relaxing music but not techno; you love to read fiction concerning social issues not science fiction; you are an advocate for a specific cause, you love to eat french pastry, the list goes on.
Certainly, the efforts to define your personal brand voice gives you a clear idea to share images and micro stories that exhibit your opinion and position. Creating snaps, videos, tweets or images to showcase what matters to you; putting into words effective captions that firmly support your perspective; sharing your odyssey, together breath life to your brand.
Each medium evokes different experience and connection. Tapping in to the most compelling one to convey your intentions, you need to tailor your brand story to fit. No matter what form your are using, there are few techniques that you can apply to stamp your brand story, whether through snaps, images, conversations or attire:
Show don’t tell: your choice of clothing, manner, your posture, your eye contact, your images, a piece of art, snaps or pins,… should be in harmony with your brand voice.
Serena Williams sleek feed on Instagram attest to her qualities and values.
Foreshadowing by giving hints and clues: your choice of accessories, food or wine; a quote or a proverb; building anticipation by composing contents that your circle looks forward to,…. are few tips to consider.
For instance, one accessory that reflects your character in an understated elegance is a watch. Let’s say, you are a sportsman, a thrill-seeker, drive a Porsche 911 and choose to spend a weekend in Circuit des 24 heures de Mans. Certainly you wear an Omega wristwatch that communicates the style with power in a subtle way.
Appeal to senses: your choice of music to include in your storytelling; a description of a taste; narrating the mood,…. invoking a sentiment that one hopes for and allows your audience to relate.
Jess Hoffman snapchat account (@ChoosingChia) focus on wholesome plant-based ingredients. She shares the fresh produce that goes into her juice of the day, step-by-step videos of her favourite recipes.
Ability to find solutions: Be a thought leader by sharing your knowledge; talk about your experiences; be the expert in your topic of choice; tell what motivates you; your world views,….
Lewis Howes, an American author, entrepreneur, and former professional Arena League football player. He hosts The School of Greatness, a talk show distributed podcast. He makes use of his knowledge of marketing, product design and human behaviour through his online media company.
Set up a unified visual branding: this technique surely applies both to your social media engagements and physical attributes. Use of colour that matches your emotions and fonts that appeal to you personally. Be expressive and include a signature style to indicate your distinct voice.
We might not have the unique experience of cheering people up, influence, entertain, tell and hear stories around a campfire at all times, still adapting the same approach and emotions to our social and career networking brings our personal brand voice to life.
Everyone has a brand! The impressions, we leave behind, are combinations of how we have reflected our traits and presented ourselves. Done properly, it serves as a compass for personal development, establishes credibility and is instrumental to our success. Personal branding starts with the ability to outline your skills, intellect, strengths and style. It gives you a clear focus using your best elements and what sets you apart. Once defined, you will be able to shape your brand voice.
The very first step is to pen down:
Who you are! You can use simple terms to define your attributes, such as:
cheerful, confident, culturally curious, witty,….
What is your mission another word your brand promise? An example would be:
“I have a positive outlook, I bring passion and creativity to my work and I am in my element when I help others,…
Define guidelines by thinking of what is your brand and what is not:
Bohemian not conventional; lighthearted not poker-faced; compassionate not indifferent,..
Write 5 words that best describes your core values & guiding principles. The important qualities that you live by and they create value and connection. Such as:
Aspirational, spirited, caring, loyal, honest,…
The exercise gives you a solid foundation to create a coherent brand voice that holds together all your efforts and communication through any medium, to establish your brand.
Now, bringing the brand voice to life has a clear path. Your social media engagements, your style, your interactions are all guided by a set of references that articulates your personality.
Featured image: artwork by Metis Atash – Crystal Buddas Sculptures
Generally, people are more inclined to engage with brands that are truly invested to improve social issues. They establish a meaningful connection when the brand’s voice provokes a conversation, signals ethical standards or involves their audience into cause activism. According to the 2017 Edelman Earned Brand Study: ” fifty-seven percent of consumers around the world will buy or boycott a brand solely because of its position on a social or political issue”. This means that a brand can prompt haters or possibly harness advocates by manifesting a point of view, taking a political stand or starting a dialogue.
For that reason, tapping into the subconscious of belief-driven audience, fosters loyalists. On that account, how to connect in a meaningful way? By creating:
Personal and relatable contents
Provoking a conversation
Activating sustainable solutions
Engaging your audience to shape the social movement
Remarkably, each and every referenced approach that offers “empathy”, will be rewarded by consumers.
“People don’t always remember what you say or even what you do, but they always remember how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
Be mindful and remember that Homo Sapiens appreciate being understood. For that matter, recognize the hurt, the desire, the need or the joy. Get to know your audience, send the message that “you get them” and initiate a memorable bonding. Your platform as an individual, profit or non-profit entity is not solely about growing your brand but how to make a difference.
Consider the shaping elements of a good storytelling as a starting point:
What: is the topic, what has happened or will happen: be clear, focused and unveil the matter. Be attentive, the spotlight should be on the issue not on your brand but your shared values.
Who:has been affected
Why:are you taking a stand: acknowledge the importance of the topic and the impact. Avoid mixed messages. Ask open ended questions.
How: can you as a brand and belief-driven audience feed the beast, get involved and have an impact. How to convey your message: contextually or visually based?
When:the development speed of a news, an issue or a talking point is critical in your communication
Where: does your audience absorb information?
The underlying emotion of empathy rooted in your brand’s voice and taking a position in life, strengthens your authority. Individuals with great personal branding such as Tony Robbins interact with their audience with stirring personal stories and the ability to understand their feelings. Brands such as Procter & Gamble, UNICEF tackling social issues or J. Crew blog post “How to get (and dress for) the job you want” are all about making life better for others.
Procter & Gamble’s thought provoking ad called “The Talk”, acknowledges biases and the challenges that black community experience as parents.