Most of us know Deuce as Lolita Vampiress’ beloved Spaniel Muse. On many a night hunt, between their feedings, he has offered reserved and sagacious counsel to our blood-loving blogger and composer. But Deuce has also been part of the executive team for many years at AudioSparks Art Sales (www.audiosparksforart.com), a valued inner-circle guy contributing to decision making on everything from content, to site architecture, to marketing strategy.
Quite true to his selfless Spaniel nature, he most recently recommended an adjustment in the website’s demographic target. Basically, his thinking is that a somewhat younger crowd will be more inclined to try out art sales on a new platform, and to participate in the community aspects of the site which are intrinsic to the site’s value proposition. Ironically, the natural outgrowth of this well-received counsel was a decision to freshen up tried and true website Avatar personalities, of which one is Deuce himself!
Now a more ego-burdened canine would be somewhat devastated at the prospect of replacement. But not our good boy! Deuce discovers opportunity where others lose themselves in despair. Here the opportunity was a creative one. It was an opportunity to teach, and to pass the torch. With those instinctive realizations tugging at his leash, he volunteered to interview for the new Dog-Artist Avatar.
There were only a handful of qualified dogs who visited our Spaniel’s office, donned the artist’s beret and chomped down on the artist’s brush in hopes of discovery and a gig. Each candidate had unique talents to offer and valuable ideas about the position. Deuce took his time with each of the animals. For him, the interview process was not about finding a perfect reflection of himself and his conception, but about discovering valuable new qualities, talents and ideas that might move the site’s creative and business missions forward in exciting new directions.
The selection process boiled down to two remarkable candidates with two rather different approaches for the Avatar personality. The first candidate conveyed a strong value in tradition, in carrying forward the paternal image. To be sure, Deuce has always been about concern for the technical success of artists and composers utilizing the website. He has always been there with fatherly advice for artists and website management alike. And he has always had one eye toward the future. It was this looking forward, this visionary theme, that was most strongly conveyed in the first Avatar personality.
The second candidate, somewhat from a younger set and of a different breed altogether, was all about customer connection. This interviewee did not articulate so clearly an understanding of Deuce’s own legacy contributions. Nor did she convey any particularly profound specifics in the future vision department. But what she did offer was a look straight into the customer’s eye! Her enthusiasm and freshness was fully available and conveyable in the moment. She offered to be the “greeter” at the door. She offered a welcome message to every site visitor, “I’m with you now, and this is gonna be a fun ride!”
Deuce celebrated this potentially powerful enhancement to customer experience on the site. It was not something he had thought much about at all. Even though his own image made eye contact as well, it had lacked the aspect of invitation to something fun. Rather it said, “Dad is here.” And perhaps there was a bit of judgment conveyed also. And certainly that paint brush was all wrong!
Deuce’s approach to the new Dog-Artist Avatar selection process speaks to the value of great collaboration generally. Creative partners always bring unique talents and conceptions to the table. Learning to recognize, to value and to leverage what is unique in your collaborative mate creates powerful creative potential. Maintaining an open mind and flexibility with respect to project direction may lead to a final result slightly different than planned, but nevertheless powerful and satisfying!