Posts Tagged ‘ DJ perceptions ’

Hot Topic: You Are Your Flyer Art

Flyer art has been a well established way of communicating and promoting a DJ or a party.  There are even sites that have libraries of flyer art – it is a truly visual creative aspect of DJ culture.   I’ve seen DJs obsess over what to put in the visual aspects of the flyer.  How do you communicate the vibe of the party, the mood of the music, your brand, the venue, all the while making sure the pertinent information is there for people to find you?  There’s a lot to consider, and with a lot of considerations, there are choices, and with choices, there are good ones and bad ones.

There has always been a segment of flyer art that uses the female form to express beauty, sensuality and transcendence.  There are exquisite examples of flyer art that profiles the female form.  Unfortunately, a downside to that is the objectification of women in flyer art.  There are some DJs who just haven’t quite caught up with the fact that women are not objects, sex toys, or exist for their amusement.

Flagrantly using women in objectified poses ( simulated fellatio or sexual positions for example ) and various states of undress on their flyer ( your basic TnA ) in my opinion and a lot of other DJ’s opinions, is a bad choice.   I’m not going to sugarcoat this, it’s catering to the lowest common denominator and in essence jeopardizing your reputation.

I’m going to lay out some reasons why DJs should rethink their approach in utilizing this tactic for promotion in the hopes that they understand how damaging their actions are to themselves, to the culture, and to the female audience.

I keep hearing DJs talk about how they want to get more women to come to their parties.  That’s understandable as women can change the nature of a party significantly in terms of creating a positive vibe and atmosphere.  So why is it that if DJs want women to come to their party they blatantly insult women with sexist flyers?  I don’t get the logic at all.  I saw a flyer for a party recently that had a woman with her bare breasts showing on the flyer.  There was also a thread on the Facebook event page where the DJs were talking about how there were titties on the flyer and how maybe they should give free drinks for titty flashes.  I checked all the “Not Attending” RSVPs and surprise surprise, at least 90% of them were women.  You see, sexist flyers only communicate one thing – that the DJ doesn’t care about women, period.   What this does is make the women they want to be at the party – the dancers, the ones who are into dance/DJ culture, the ones who wont make requests because they respect what DJs do – uncomfortable.  These are the women you want at your party – stop insulting them!  In essence, these DJs are not communicating safety, they are communicating that they are letches and that all the people at the party will be letches.  The women who don’t care about this behavior or go to these parties anyway despite knowing what they’ve seen on the flyer aren’t really taking a stand on their own feminist issues and that is a whole other bigger topic I won’t get into.

Also, it’s not just women patrons they are insulting, it’s other DJs ( and the super niche group of female DJs ).  You see there are other DJs who are actually making an effort to try and change mindsets and maintain a certain level of integrity within DJ culture.   The strongest contingent of supporters for any DJ are other DJs.   It’s difficult enough to deal with the challenges of being misunderstood by the outside world and DJs don’t particularly care for a DJ who makes everyone look like a clown.  So there’s another portion of a fan base lost by a bad choice in flyer art.

DJs who do this need to learn that if they want ANYONE to respect them as a DJ, dumbing down and selling sex on the flyer is the last way to get it.  How can they possibly be taken seriously as a DJ when their flyer has a woman on her back with her legs up in 7 inch heels and a leopard print mini-dress ( I also recently saw this flyer for a house party )? It’s like this, if the subject of the flyer is not taken seriously, by association neither will the DJ as the context bringing that subject forth.

There’s not much more I can say about this because it’s so simple to understand – you are your flyer art.  You can make the choice to use it as a vehicle to communicate who you really are as an artist.  If you choose to cop out, dumb down, and communicate the lowest common denominator you will be seen as such.  If you think that you are not doing anything wrong – count next time how many women show up to your parties.  If you’re known for your sexist attitudes, chances are, the number is zero.

I am calling out this negative aspect of our culture because I believe we are better than that.  We are better than using antiquated and demeaning notions of gender and sexuality to sell ourselves.  With so many options and creative ideas to draw from there are many unique and clever ways to present ourselves.  We do not need to do this anymore.  It’s time to evolve.

Recap: You are your flyer art.