Technology for Artists?

Right now I am sitting in the Dallas-Ft. Worth airport and feeling so disconnected from this blog. Had to write and just say, "hi."

Had a terrific time in Mobile, Alabama. There was a group of about 20 artists for the workshop–small enough so that it could be really interactive.

It’s interesting that, regardless of where I go, artists’ questions, concerns, and curiosities are pretty much the same. Yesterday, there were a lot of questions about Web sites and blank stares as I mentioned blogs and podcasts! Artists everywhere are missing out on the technology available to help connect them to new audiences. I hope to be focusing more on this and to add a workshop on "Technology for Artists" in the future. Here’s the big question, though: Would artists be scared off by such a title???

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8 comments to Technology for Artists?

  • It’s strange—in terms of technology, I tend to be on the front lines in terms of artists, and behind the times in terms of the rest of the world. Why is that? Why do so many artists feel free to explore every media presented to them except their computers? I do think that there’s a place for a Technology for Artists seminar. I don’t think that artists in general are prepared for the level you’re talking about just yet. I see them talking about downloading podcasts, but very few of them are making them—I can’t even get people to leave me a voice message in my blog! I’ve written a lesson on receiving updates to all my sites via RSS, but judging from my stats, only half a dozen or so of my 3000 subscribers have opted to explore that avenue. Soon, though. Very soon…

  • Gay Pogue

    I have just gotten a new MacBook Pro. WOW!! Mac is an entirely new environment for me. WOW. Everything is smoothly interconnected. I am spending time each day getting familiar with the features and can now see how it will be easy to do all the things you mention–websites, blogs, podcasts. It was not so apparent on the PC.

  • I know what you mean about the blank stares. Many artists are very rooted in our hands-on, messy mediums and consider technology the flip-side of this. That said, however, artists are curious people and lifelong learners and most are interested in learning more about technology. Maybe you could play with the title of the course so it entices artists who are curious, but intimidated. I’m thinking of the concept behind the “..for Dummies” books. Though the title is pretty insulting I always go to these books first when diving into something I know absolutely nothing about. Also, many of your clients found you on-line, right? If this is true, we’re less likely to be among the blank stare technology crowd.

  • For Lisa, just discovering the Mac. This is my fourth Mac, and as they say, the will have to pry it from my cold, dead hands!! I just got a digital camera and Photoshop Elements 4 for Mac and am having a wonderful time taking progress shots of my paintings, quilts, etc. Blogs are nice, have not got to podcasts yet, there are only so many hours in a day. My next project is to do a Zapplication listing (whatever). Not that I enter that many shows, but images re surely easier than this slide business. Having NOT to stick small peices of paper onto slides will be a relief.

  • When it comes to computers I believe they were invented because people were running out of things to cuss at. I am only now finding out how these things work. I can up date my web site myself and do email and interact with other artist on the forum I go to. I also Use my computer to download photos I take. Other than that I am lost. When I here your title Technology for Artists I think: I don’t want to make computer images. Maybe a title like Technology to increase your market share. How about: Using technology to sell your art Or The world of high tec marketing. I think if artist can find a way to get their name and art out to more people they will jump at the chance. I know I would.

  • I hear statements all the time that suggest that artists are afraid of things: business, marketing, technology, speaking, math, etc. You know, all these things are just tools. They exist to make your work reach farther, sell better, and communicate more clearly. I’ve always felt that artists, more than anyone, should see the value and potential of new tools. So much of the art making process is about creating new things or putting a new refinement to a traditional medium. What’s to be scared of? I got into art as a business because I wanted a constant challenge. Before switching to visual art, I spent 15 years working on a career as a poet and writer. Initially I resisted using computers to write because I felt they didn’t have the romantic appeal I associated with poetry, but when I made the switch, I found that they improved my ability to edit my work and hence improved the work. The same can be said of what technology has done for my work in the visualo arts… I live in pretty much the dead center of nowhere, and yet I have a strong international audience and sell work all over the world. In the last year, I’ve sold over 10 grand in art through my blogs. In addition, I’ve been contacted by magazines, newspaper reporters, an editor from HGTV, radio stations, galleries, and stores all of whom found me via the blog and wanted to interview me, feature or promote my work. I’ve also had some very interesting commission opportunities come through the blogs.

  • I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about what “technology for artists” means. As I mentioned before I thought about starting a blog with basically this title but in the end I really wasn’t sure what I meant and I dropped the idea for now. I see marketing and technology being intimately tied together these days. It is an important topic but I feel that what’s really needed are some very basic classes that demystify computers. How does the file system work, where are things stored, how do you access files, rename them, move them around. I personally believe that if folks understand the basics then the more complex issues are easier to get a handle on.

  • Sue Fliehman

    I work for a non-profit arts organization in the midwest. I see all levels of technology savvy people in the artworld. It has been extremly difficult get this organization to embrace websites and digitally submit artwork for our exhibits. We have asked our members of almost 1000 artists and art lovers for their input on websites and we get less than 5 responses. It seems like our members are mostly non-technical with a very few that embrace technology. I agree that changing the title to a marketing art theme would not scare so many off.