‘Bäby’ Digital Artefact for Future Cultures

Digital Artefact links:

Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/baby.kunst/

Website- https://arneohlsen.wordpress.com/

Interview with artist- https://erinwaugh.home.blog/2022/05/17/an-interview-about-the-future-with-artist-baby/?preview_id=1174&preview_nonce=96ca0c0ea6&preview=true 

My pitch:

How I approached my DA

For my Future Cultures Digital Artefact, I have created an online presence for a local abstract artist called Bäby. As part of this online presence, I established Bäby with an Instagram account and a website which created the foundations for the brand moving forward. I also incorporated the subject focus by interviewing the artist on his thoughts about the future and how his work conveys these messages. 

I initially (as seen in my pitch) I wanted to create an online presence and business plan for my own digital marketing agency. However, as I commenced I realised my brand just wasn’t ready. I didn’t feel like I had enough content and it felt too close to home to dive into something that didn’t feel right. As I am studying a social media major and I have experience in the field, for my DA I wanted my skills to be put to good use for someone. I live in Byron so everyone I am surrounded by seems to be doing something creative on the side- many not having time to create social media accounts for their work. I began researching the importance of social media accounts for artists. Articles such as ‘The Importance of Social Media Activity For Artist Success‘ and ‘Marketing for Artists: Zero Budget Social Media Hacks‘ made it clear that my new DA idea was achievable and in demand.

Arne Ohlsen is a 24 year old German man who creates art under the name ‘Bäby’. Soon after moving to Australia two years ago, he began to reconsider what he thought to be true about society and with that came inspiration to paint. Arne’s work expresses confronting messages about the future by using a mixed medium. Large canvases, free lines and pastel smudges are predominately what makes his emotional style so unique. Arne is now based in Byron Bay and links his work to current community events. 

Relevant concepts and ideas

I chose Arne for my digital artefact because his art itself correlates to BCM325 concepts and so did my intentions for the DA.

In week three of BCM325 we explored the future of climate change. After watching The Reality Of Climate Change on Youtube as part of our readings and having devastating floods in our home town, I posed the idea of doing a flood relief painting to Arne. Climate change was already one of Arne’s predominant subjects so we brought our ideas to life and auctioned off the piece shown below at a local fundraising event. From a branding point of view, I saw this as a PR opportunity. My intent for this DA was to connect Arne with his audience, which through this concept in week three, was succeeded.

‘No Relief’ – Bäby

In week five we explored cyber-culture and were given the reading of Nick Bostrom – Are you living in a simulation?. I find my work with social media marketing correlates to some of the points raised in this paper. Bostrom claims that we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. Artists don’t just create art anymore, they are expected to to present themselves in digital space.

Engagement with public audiences and social utility

Throughout my DA, I engaged with public audiences by using social media (DMs, interactive stories and posts), the flood relief piece and the launch of a new website. I used a variety of digital marketing skills to bring public awareness to Arne’s art and by the end of my project I brought 1000 new followers to the Bäby Instagram account and ultimately encouraged a growth in sales.

My DA satisfied a need for Arne and his audience by connecting the two. Bäby as a brand acts as a powerful contribution to future insight because it touches on relevant themes such as climate change, racism and wealth disparity. His work challenges his audience to reconsider where we are going as a society and forces question on constitutions such as the government. I see my DA as bridge linking Arne’s creative concepts to an audience who are forced to think about the future.

Progression timeline

I have always had a strong interest in how art can commentate the future. So I began researching artists in my area that convey these messages and who I thought may benefit from a stronger online presence. I wanted to find an artist within my location as I thought it was important for me to physically see their practice, their works and to interview them in person. Luckily, Byron does not lack in amazing artists and I contacted the following artists to see if they would be interested in working with me on this project:  

Karlee and Marty said they were too busy and were already sorted for online presence. Portia and Arne said they would be interested but once interviewing both of them separately, it was clear that Arne had stronger messages about the future and also a bigger need for a more established online presence.

Once I had selected Arne, this was the confirmation message I sent to him:

After this we had a phone call where he gave me the password to his Instagram and we discussed a theme he wanted to go for. I presented some of my visions and he was happy with them. 

This is what his Instagram looked like before I began this DA:

Here is the Pinterest board I presented to Arne for his online aesthetic:

I first of all cleaned up his bio, making it concise and informative. I then created highlights for his audience to clearly see what has been sold and what is available, saving time on enquiries in DMs.  

I then planned a layout for his Instagram, went over to take photos of him and his art and got to a posting schedule. I also made sure all of the photos I uploaded of his art had captions that gave important information such as title, size and medium (along with relevant hashtags that I had researched here). 

 

I also incorporated photos of him in practice, as I knew it was important for the audience to feel Arne on a more personal level.

 

Once getting into the swing of things with the Instagram, we made a time to sit down together to build the website. I built the bones on my own then used the time with Arne to ask questions about what he wanted for his bio, what colour theme he thought was appropriate and other information such as upcoming exhibitions. 

As requested by Arne, it is a simple website with only necessary information, letting the art do the talking. Arne mentioned that me building this website for him acts as a big leg up for him and his future with his art. 

Once we built these foundations, we created a better flow between our communication and “who needed to do what”. Arne was more than happy to provide me with his own photos and videos as I obviously couldn’t be there every time he painted. This collaboration between two strangers was something that worked better than expected, as we were both helping each other in different ways. We also began running paid ads on Instagram which increased Arne’s enquires significantly. 

After two months of me running Arne’s Instagram and building his website, we sat down for an interview. This interview was important for my DA as it proved how Arne’s art itself conveys messages about the future and it also discusses how my DA helps Bäby as a brand moving forward. 

Peer feedback

I only received feedback from one peer, however it was very useful. Although my DA idea changed from my pitch, Laura’s suggestion of Lucy and Nikki’s podcast was still helpful and relevant. As soon as I started listening to it it became my favourite podcast. I have learnt tips on time management, balance and most importantly- the podcast linked me to A Basic Girls Guide. This guide was founded by Lucy Jackson in 2020 to empower women with the tools they need to succeed. I have now completed the social media course and it has helped me stay organised, motivated and inspired for this DA.

Conclusion

My DA accomplished my original aim – connect a local artist (who explores themes of the future) to their audience (through an online presence) and in doing so help their future. After the three months, I have now handed back the Bäby account to Arne. Arne now has a large audience, an established profile base and a business website. He said that he feels confident to carry on with his social media now that I have built the foundations. In the future, Arne has mentioned that he would like to contract me to run campaigns for him and that he would like me to assist in an upcoming exhibition he is planning.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s