Martin Williams reached out to Drew Beson to come in and inspire our team through his paintings, processes, and successes. We didn’t expect to be so inspired by the winding path he took to become a successful artist. Drew grew up the son of a motivational speaker and a CFO, lived the life of a dreamy-eyed baseball player, attended college as an economics major, and found his “big break” through YouTube – that doesn’t exactly sound like an expected path for an artist currently developing large scale, abstract acrylic paintings. Then again, what would be expected these days?
Drew was ahead of his time in figuring out how to use YouTube (and the help of a local neighbor kid) to publicize his creativity to the world. As Drew was getting his feet wet in the art world, he began filming himself creating his paintings and sending the videos out via the internet. Nowadays, this seems like an obvious tactic (just look at the 1.4 billion total views McJuggerNuggets earned), but at the time, it was a totally novel way to reach people all over the world. Drew didn’t have to go door to door with the local crowd to sell his work; he, as a young (literally starving) artist, was able to sell one of his pieces to a man in China. As important as it was to make amazing art, it was equally important to develop a novel way to get it in front of people. That idea really hits home for us marketers.
Before we go on, watch one of the ways 2008 Drew brought his art to the world.
Drew’s current work consists mostly of his acrylic paintings, but he has dabbled in other ventures such as performance art (ask him about living in the window display of a PR agency). It is easy to see how his work has evolved since the days of guerilla YouTube, and that makes sense considering the motto he described to us and repeats on his website, “I am neither the person I was, nor who I will be… At best, you are seeing an episode of my work”. This way of looking at his work begs Drew to always be evolving and brought forth a question that we asked him: “How do you know a piece of art is finished?”
Drew’s answer drew a sigh of ‘amen’ from our audience of makers. He said that often we pour over creative work looking for a point where perfection happens but the goal should be getting a draft good enough. Unfortunately, the tendency to obsess over solving problems can actually overwork a project and make it feel forced rather than genuine. When we take time to clear our heads and drink a beer (or 2), we realize that what we stepped away from is already perfect.
Therefore, if I had to boil Drew’s talk down to one insight, it would be: Drink beer. It helps.
Check out Drew’s site: https://www.besonart.com/
Check out another one of our Be Curious speakers: the rambunctious Jacquie Berglund