Last Friday, Hank Green from the popular YouTube channel Vlogbrothers posted a video (which can be viewed here) about a piece of street art he saw in a documentary filmed in Turkey of a giant blue cat with a smug expression and bushy black eyebrows.
The Vlogbrothers channel has a following of nearly three million people across the world, and so the Green brothers have accumulated many resources from their online endeavours, and have opened several other educational YouTube channels and operate an online store called DFTBA (Don’t Forget to be Awesome).
Hank wanted to locate the person who created the captivating cat mural, and he was able to do so by asking for help from his followers on social media, who eventually led him to the artist who calls himself Kedicizdim.
Now the design is available to purchase from DFTBA, which is based in Missoula, MT as a t-shirt, a pin and a sticker decal.
The design created by Kedicizdim, available for purchase here.
In the video, Hank expresses that he wants to use his fame to help artists get their work publicized. He acknowledges he is privileged because of his online popularity, and that those with more money and status are able to get their content out to more people. Consequently, he wants to share other people’s creations to allow them to seize the spotlight and develop their own base of followers.
I think this is a great thing for him to do. Most importantly, it demonstrates the power of social media and how the world has become globalized on an unprecedented scale. Twenty years ago, it would have been impossible for a Montana man to locate a local Turkish street artist that he has never met in person, and sell his creation internationally.
There is an interesting paradox that Hank mentions that brings to question whether globalization helps or hinders artists from making a name for themselves.
On the one hand, people are more interconnected than ever due to their ability to interact via online platforms, and artists are able to instantaneously share their work with the click of a button.
However, as a result of this, the Internet has become oversaturated with content, and it is impossible for a person to be able to consume all online media.
As Hank states, people will inevitably miss out on a lot of great stuff, simply because some people have more resources than others and are therefore able to amplify the attention they receive for their work.
I am on the fence about my opinions on the impact globalization has had on our world. In terms of its effects on the art industry, it is hard for any artist to “make it” no matter where they live or how they share their work. I appreciate Hank’s efforts to spread other people’s creations, and I think we need more uplifting posts online instead of all of the hateful comments that often plague social media platforms.
What do you think about sharing art online, and the effects globalization has had on the art scene? Let me know by leaving a comment down below!