Truer words were never spoke. We spend our whole lives pursuing, nurturing, screwing up, saving and abandoning relationships. It’s also all about the relationship in business. At least in my business.
I often tell artists that they need to relate to their customers; it’s mostly through their handmade object that this relationship takes place. A painting speaks to its observer; a piece of jewellery or clothing belongs on somebody’s body; an image or a texture or a scent evokes something personal and powerful. But the connection also happens through the stories of the object, its maker and its recipient. Maybe the maker’s practice harkens back to a tradition within the buyer’s family. Maybe she crafts in public and it becomes a social thing. Somehow the maker of the object creates something that fills a void, answers a need, resolves an issue, or satisfies a desire within the buyer. Nobody has to make or buy objects of beauty; they could choose pure function instead. But since the beginning of time, people have made their functional objects beautiful. They have added some of themselves into the creation of the most humble bowl or tunic. And now we can relate to them as a result.
It would behoove Rob Ford and Stephen Harper to remember that the great civilizations of the past aren’t remembered for the day-to-day machinations of their money-making operations. They are remembered, and understood, through their art.