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Monthly Archives: September 2010

Help…..Technology is overwhelming me!

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This is an email I sent out to my mail list just the other day, just thought I would share it and one of the replies I received.

Help…..Technology is overwhelming me!

Like it or not, computers, technology and social media are all part of our everyday lives now. I have tried to resist for a long time taking this path but have relented!
I read an interesting article sent to me the other day, an interview between Michael short and artist Hazel Dooney.
In the article, Hazel quotes:
” The gallery system is ending. The gallery system is dying now. The gallery system has been dying for the last few years. You can see that in the number of closures of traditional galleries within Australia and internationally. You can see that in the huge success that I have had since going independent.”

I have to agree with this sentiment, it has been my own feeling for some time now.

Social media has unfurled it’s tendrils into all aspects of western society and like it or loathe it, it’s here to stay.
Thus, I am now the proud owner of: 2 websites, a blog, a you tube page, an ipone application and a facebook site!

Whilst I feel that an online presence can never truly show an artwork to anywhere near it’s true beauty, it is by far becoming the better medium to show art than the traditional gallery system.
Sure there is nothing like seeing the artwork in the flesh, feeling the texture of the canvas and taking in the colours and mood of the work, but it is problematic in getting the artwork in front of a broad range of people. The traditional galleries have fallen down on the past by ‘excluding’ many people by social attitudes. Conversely, people have felt intimidated by the traditional gallery system. Many people I’ve met and talked with have never felt inclined to visit a gallery because of this real or perceived ‘snobbery’ that exists.

Having said that, I still feel that traditional (privately run selling) galleries are important to the artist and the public. I still have many galleries that represent my work, run by wonderful hard working people. But as the social norm evolves, so to must business practices and those that don’t adapt tend to get left behind.

I had this great email sent in reply to this and with permission, thought I would share it:

Hi Shane, Thank you for sending prints to (my son) and I – He was really ecstatic to receive his own piece of your artwork and has been drumming up plenty of interest in your work as he is showing anyone that has a spare 10 seconds (If they have 10 minutes to spare, he takes them on a tour of your website! Not bad marketing for an 11 year old!) I am impressed at the way you have embraced social media – This is also a part of my job and has endless possibilities; Good on you for realising that this is a necessary step for longevity and success of your business. I am sure that this will pay off in the long term. I am one of those people who refused to embrace digital camera technology and was still paying to have rolls of film developed (and the irony is that I was working in a digital processing lab at the time and just did not find the images as aesthetically pleasing, although I could see that this was far more cost effective) but have since taken the plunge, invested in the technology and can honestly say that my digital snobbery was all in vain… I am just a creature of habit and was too stubborn to move forward! The moral of the story is that embracing change is necessary on many levels as holding onto dated ideologies can cost us a lot more in the long term! Have a great day. Kind regards, N.

The economic effect on art

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As I sit here, trading a few stocks and contemplating the future of the western market driven economies, I wonder what is the future of art in our society.
Will we value the creative process in years to come? Will traditional forms of art go extinct? Will people see art as a valuable medium or just another part of a technical app like a phone, computer or movie scene?
I truly don’t know and I tend to shake my head in disbelief at the complete apathy of people towards the path I believe we are now taking.
Our society is filled with quick fixes” fast food, tweeting, instant internet transactions, high-speed super fast broadband etc. A friend who trades the market was telling me of a service he just subscribed to at $200 a month just to hear the market news 5 seconds before his competitors, so he can effect an early trade! Amazing!

There is talk of ‘slow food’ : a movement towards supporting good quality, equitable low cost food, sourced from local farmers and chefs. Perhaps we need to take a ‘slow art’ approach to the artistic side of things too!

The artistic process is definitely a slow one, whether it be painting, sculpture, photography(the setup up not the instant result) and so on. Taking the time to appreciate the skills involved, the work and time involved and the effort and sometimes considerable hardship encountered by the artisan is something we should all do more often.

I’m not that old (in my mind anyway!) that I can’t remember when furniture came from a workshop, not Ikea. When jewellery was made by a jeweller, not a factory in Guangzhou. When having a record released meant you had made it in the music industry, not some kid in his room recording onto a PC and uploading it to cd baby or iTunes!

You know what I’m getting at here? I know it’s easy to pass over the expensive high quality well made item and get the one made in the PRC for half the cost, I do it myself. But we need to consider our fellow creative people and support their efforts, before they go the way of the typewriter mechanic!

I did a search on Google today and came up with the following graphs. they are from the Google Insights page.  They give a representation of web search interest from 2004 to the present.

The figures say it all!   All images courtesy of Google insight.