Over two years ago I wrote a series of blog posts that talked about the underlying purpose of RedBubble (they had names such as “Art & Madness”, “Art & Music”, “Who’s the Artist?”). As the energy and activity on RedBubble increased I felt it was less important to talk about the game than to play it.
But every now and again I pause and reflect. When I have to explain RedBubble to others I can be caught short. It is easy to explain its functionality and, if I happen to be wearing one of my favorite T’shirts, I can illustrate it. What is much harder to do is to explain the energy and passion.
We see this energy and passion in every aspect of what happens here. It permeates the pixels and bytes of the site. It is also seen in the numbers. I was recently checking and the average RedBubble member is about as active here as the average member of Facebook. Behind this is a simple reality, RedBubble means something.
Indeed above my desk I have the phrase “The Value of RedBubble is Created by its Meaning in the Lives of its Members”. This reminds me, if I was ever to forget, of the wellspring from which all-else flows.
But … I find it much harder to put into words what this meaning is. I think the underlying cause of this difficulty is that RedBubble tends to mean different things to different people. For the artist just starting out it can be a source of inspiration and encouragement. For the experienced designer or artist it can be an important source of income. For a collector or t-buyer it can be a place of exciting discoveries.
Is there something that unites all these elements? For me it is that RedBubble tries to empower people to discover and celebrate creativity – both their own and others. This is a joyous thing. We love it when we see it in our children. And in this sense RedBubble, at its best, nurtures our inner creative child.
Martin (aka Pilgrim)