We’ve been thinking about adding art to our office. We spoke with a few local artists and narrowed it down to two different works of art. We would like your opinions on which we should choose.
Artwork 1: The first piece is called “Curiosities”, and features a collection of objects that the artist found around their house. These objects include an old LP, some old coins, a worn leather belt, a watch, a broken guitar, an old typewriter, and a watch (again). This piece was created in 2016 by Anna Marley.
Artwork 2: The second piece is called “The Seven Deadly Sins” and features seven rectangular pieces of glass laid out next to each other. Each glass has a slightly different hue depending on the light shining through it, and the artist painted each one with something that represents one of the seven deadly sins (pride, envy, gluttony, wrath, sloth, greed, and lust). This piece was created in 2015 by Jenny Sauer-Klein.
Tone of email
One of the options is a blog post around two pieces of art that we are interested in installing in the office. The blog would include images of each piece.
Here are some pros and cons for each option:
Option 1: Blog posts around two pieces of artwork that we want to put in the office along with images of each piece.
– The art will be a great conversation starter.
– Some people might be inspired by the art to contribute more to the company or even come work for us (We know this isn’t guaranteed, but we do think that being surrounded by inspiring things helps people be more creative and productive.)
– We have seen other start ups with art in their office, and it can be distracting when you are trying to work.
Option 2: Two large framed prints of a single piece of artwork that we want to put in the office
At first glance, the paintings are quite similar. Both are of the same subject matter: portraits of a young girl with long black hair. However, upon closer inspection of the two paintings, there are several key differences that make one more appealing than the other.
Aesthetics The first painting has a darker background and makes use of darker colors on the face of the model. The second painting is brighter and uses lighter colors on the model’s face. This gives the first painting a more somber feel, while the second painting has a more cheerful feel to it.
Tone The first painting was painted in a very realist style, meaning that it looks almost exactly like how something would in real life. The second painting is painted in an impressionist style, meaning that it captures the essence of what something looks like rather than how it looks in real life. This gives the first painting a stronger sense of emotion as opposed to just portraying what something looks like, while giving the second painting a feeling of hope or happiness as opposed to sadness or anger.
Subject Matter The first portrait is of an older woman and appears to be a close up shot. One can see from her expression and her hair that she is an older woman and one can also tell from her facial features
Art is subjective, of course. That’s why art galleries and critics are necessary. But there is also something to be said for an opinion that’s independent of the artist’s identity or popularity.
1. Which piece would you prefer and why?
2. What do you think about our decision to let the readers decide which piece we should choose?
3. We are considering showing your comments on our social media accounts and website. Do you have any concerns about this?
There is an old story about a mathematician who says that he can’t draw. So his friend gives him a piece of paper, tells him to put the pencil on the table and draw a line from one side of the paper to the other. The mathematician places the pencil on the paper, draws it through once and then lifts it off. “What did you draw?” asks his friend. “A line,” says the mathematician. “But it’s so short!” protests his friend. “Yes,” says the mathematician, “but it’s not just any line; it’s the shortest line.”
The point of this story is that there are some problems where you have to solve them in a way that is mathematically elegant, no matter how long it takes. To solve such a problem in an inefficient way would be wrong even if were faster. I think we can learn something from this attitude when thinking about art in offices.*
While I was still at Microsoft, I was responsible for the company’s career site. Many of our best engineers would visit this site every day to find job openings and to post their resumes and portfolios.
Toward the end of my tenure, I realized that we could use this site to solve what I call the “no news is good news” problem. In many companies, managers have a difficult time evaluating the performance of individual employees. Sometimes there are metrics for performance–but these are often either too general (e.g., revenue), or too specific and detailed (e.g., bug counts).
Usually these metrics are lagging indicators–they measure outcomes, not causes. So a manager has to infer from these metrics what kind of work an employee has been doing recently. But it’s hard to tell whether a recent spike in revenue is due to a new feature that was shipped that week, or just more marketing, or maybe just luck.
In contrast, most people think they can judge the quality of an employee’s work by changes in his or her behavior over time: “He seems happier,” “She’s working on something new,” “He is quieter today.” But in practice it is hard to get enough data to make such inferences statistically reliable.*
The world is a very beautiful place, with lots of amazing things to see and experience. But sometimes it can be difficult to find the right inspiration for your next big idea. Plus, even if you do find some cool photos online, it can be hard to find high-quality versions that are free to use.
Thinglink is here to save the day! We’ve partnered with some of our favorite galleries, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art , The Whitney Collection , and the Museum of Fine Arts , Boston , to give you access to their entire image library. And not only that, but we’ve implemented a feature called ‘tagging’ on our site. Tagging allows you to add your own creative flair by drawing on top of or adding text over top of any photo or video in our library.
Imagine if you had access to all the world’s art in one place, and could use it however you wanted without having to worry about copyrights or licenses? Now all that is possible with Thinglink’s new Art Library!