One day, my artist friend Matthew Beall and I were on the New York City subway bound for some art destination. I’m sure that much to Matt’s boredom, I was almost obsessed with my latest project.
I told Matt that I felt that I needed to come up with some sort of motto that would quickly sum up the mission of my website and my activities as a contemporary art aficionado. Somewhere in my development as an art collector, I had become determined to teach other people about the endless rewards of breathing, eating and living art.
“What about ‘Art For Everyone’”? I asked Matt as the train screeched and hissed its way to the next stop. “No, too plain,” Matt replied.
“How about ‘Art For the Masses’”? I asked. “No, that sounds like a Socialism thing,” said Matt.
“Hmm,” I thought. I needed to create a slogan that would help people understand what I had learned … that art is accessible, affordable and absorbable. Is “absorbable” a word? Hmm.
Anyway, I had adopted the mission to spread art appreciation by introducing people to the thousands of living, emerging artists who create brilliant work every single day. But how could I communicate this concept?
“Hey, how about … ‘Art For All People’”? I asked, knowing that I had struck oil.
“That sounds good,” Matt said.
My motto was born. It’s direct, simple and classic yet modern. “Art For All People” is super self-explanatory. It gets to the heart of the matter. It quickly says that art museums and galleries exist for everyday people … it explains that people, much to their surprise, can often afford to buy the work of living artists … and it shows that if we invite art into our lives, it’ll feed our own creativity and enrich our lives beyond measure even if you barely have a pot to piss in.
With that, I knew that I had to get my motto registered as a federal trademark. When you come up with great ideas, you must protect them … or at least lay official claim to them.
Now today … March 25, 2011, many months later, it’s a reality. “Art For All People” is officially a registered trademark. I just got the certificate in the mail. That means I own it and I can legally use the ® symbol after the phrase. It’s my second federal trademark, the first being the subtitle of my books, “A Collector’s Journal.” My books are my brand and so is my campaign for art.
I can now move forward, confident in my own mission to help unsung artists and people afraid of the art world. Will “Art For All People” save the world? No, but rest assured, I’ll do my best to use it to make a positive impact on the lives of people who are intimidated by art as well as those who create art in quiet desperation while hanging onto the very last threads of their treasured dreams.
Art For All People … oh sorry … Art For All People®.