I spent several decades marketing other people’s products. Banks, cars, soft drinks, hamburgers, shoes, jet engines. I got briefed by clients, came up with ideas to communicate their messages, then helped spend billions of their dollars to share these ideas on TV, magazines, the Internet, etc. I made commercials for the Super Bowl. I helped win “Ad Agency of the Year” twice. It was a great experience and I learned a lot, working with so many smart and talented people.
For the last year, I have been working on marketing a new product. But this time, it’s a product I helped invent and it has the ability to change lives, all around the world.
The product is a special kind of art school unlike anything else that existed. A place where different artists can share their experiences, their techniques, and their sketchbooks with students worldwide — using state-of-the-art technology, beautiful videos, and the vast reach of the internet.
We call it “Sketchbook Skool.” A name that’s not too serious and a little bit, well, unusual.
We don’t have millions of marketing dollars. And it turns out we don’t need them. Instead we have a really good product and a really good network. Loads of friends who believe, as we do, in the core idea behind the product: art for all. To encourage creative freedom. To help people everywhere to conquer old fears. To be supportive. To make the world a more beautiful place because we are all drawing and painting and sharing together.
“Art for all.” It’s not just a slick advertising slogan. It’s a dream, shared by thousands. And they help us share the word about this dream with the people they care about. That’s how we’ve ‘marketed.’
After our first year, Sketchbook Skool has exceeded our wildest imaginings. We have been joined by nearly two dozen teaching artists and thousands of students from every corner of the world. We have filmed klasses on four continents, from Stockholm to Sydney, Barcelona to Brooklyn. And together, we have started a movement that does much more than share drawings — we share our lives.
If you are reading this, you are already part of the Sketchbook Skool family. Whether you are in one of our klasses, on our Facebook group, reading this blog or just taking the leap by starting to believe you can be more creative, you are with us.
Our next big dream is to truly spread “art for all” and grow the Skool beyond just this community of our immediate friends. Starting today, we are going to expand our marketing efforts in lots of interesting ways. We’re going to invite the whole world to join us through conversations, online, radio, tv, magazines, blogs, you name it.
And we invite you to spread the word and to lend your voice to our story. To share the simple joy of putting a pen to paper and the way it can change how you see everything around you. It’s all beautiful and you helped make it so.
Thanks again for making me look like a marketing genius.