(note: This was inspired by reading a piece of Hugh MacLeod’s new book in progress. I have often thought about this and it’s been heavily discussed within my inner peer group, because, well, why the hell not)
I have a friend who draws mini cartoons everyday. He puts them up on his instagram, or website and releases them out into the world, several times daily. It's effective, he is fast and consistent and his fan's appreciate it. They share it, link to it.
At first, I advised him to not go crazy with supply. You know, hold out a bit. I think I was a bit off on that one. But, I’ll still argue with consistency either way, as long as you keep em coming. Too much too fast and burnout city man, like whoa, you dig. Too little too slow, and you're a bum. Or, a dinosaur of old art.
Scarcity hardly works these days like it once did, unless you established that record a decade or so ago, because frankly, abundance and choice is out of control. And waiting is not the name of the game anymore. I WANT IT NOW! That’s your little inner child yelling at you. Or, your actual child screaming in your ear. Either way, we are in the sphere of the NOW. Eat a spoonful, and lay back down on your coach. It’s not going away fatass (that was clearly a subconscious dig toward the “imaginary” mailman who hasn’t taken my outgoing mail in the new place I’m staying at for a few days).
Going back to my friend, he does what can be labeled as “lil art”. Edward Gorey (the recipient of a recent Google honoring), Charles Schultz, Hugh MacLeod and many many other people do lil art. Of course, the term “lil” is subjective and based on context. Alan Moore does “lil art” compared to Dostoevsky. But, what the hell does that mean anyway? I’d like to define it as somehow both related to length of time to produce, and production costs.
I have a directing friend who just wrapped principal photography on a 3 million dollar movie. He does “biggie art” compared to a Sunday editorial cartoonist, but even his 3 million dollar movie doesn’t stack up to Kathryn Bigelow’s ZERO DARK THIRTY when we talk about biggie in terms of size. Still, we are familiar with tons of names of biggie art. They are part of our folklore.
The real question however is, is there are a difference in what that piece of art ( or gift if we are being generous) provides between these two places of the biggie and lil. Between a Charles Schultz or an Orson Welles or a Leo Tolstoy?
Aside from the medium, and its size, nothing. This is not as simple as I'm making it out to be, but getting past the intellectual bullshitting, it all comes down to a FEELING. And, quality. It’s resonance to the individual.
How did that MAKE ME FEEL. Was I moved? Did it connect?
And, when it comes to that, certainly lil art has affected me just as much as biggie art.
These days, so much of biggie art is squeezed under pressure. The zeitgeist, especially now treats everything on the same leveling field. So, lovers of the biggie, don't forget to look into the lil once in awhile.
Even as far as filmmaking is concerned, look into your lil cousin, television to tell you times a changing. “Small is the New big” as that luxurious nerd brain Seth Godin states. He probably means something else, but this isn’t his space now, is it.