Would Art Classes improve Observation Skills for Social Media Managers?

I heard a report on CBC the other night that gave me food for thought. It was about how Doctors in Training who take art classes have better skills of observation – increasing their accuracy by 38%.

This got me wondering how it would impact the role of a Social Media Manager and if any Employer and or Client had ever given it any thought as a pre resiquite when hiring. I have never found it to even garner a mention.

Apparently art teaches you how to LOOK. Gosh, you would never know that when it comes to advising my clients…with 25 years of ART and NEW MEDIA training and studies…over the last 3 decades — NEVER once had my highly trained eye observations taken seriously… They always give me the “crazy, coo-coo” look when I make a suggestion…

I recall in the fall having traveled to Calgary to pitch a client on a Social Media Strategy designed to sell a 10 M dollar Resort in Mexico we ended up at a trade show in Edmonton – after they decided that Social Media had nothing to do with their offering. I wanted to be present to learn more about the “users”/clients/potential clients/buyers – in effect- the target demographic. While setting up, I was allowed to bring in the staging stuff but when it came to decisions on how to set the booth up and make it more attractive – not one of my suggestions was implemented….it was laughable….worse still – they were all guys…..you would think that on female intuition alone – I would be able to participate – no way I was put to work stapling together sales materials…the secretary role. This is just one case – I could go on for ages but it is too painful…

In Social Media one has to posses the skills that allow you to monitor conversations, find and curate content, assess its value and relevancy, analyze data, note big picture changes in the Social Media Space and so on..

Granted not all of these tie into to the “visual literacy” that the doctors in training got from their 6 month course….but ART is about much more than that – it is at its core about PROBLEM solving….Creative problem solving and pattern recongnition..artists deal with media constantly…they observe the world and create -in effect – a communique on it…they are “media literate”.

The result is a group of doctors who are more confident in their own powers of observation and thus more confident in their own skills of diagnosis.

cover of the Book by Colin Wilson called The Outsider

Classic study of the Artist in 20th Century...the 21st is even WORSE!!

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