Monday, February 22, 2016

Why I Have Fallen Out of Love with the Internet and What it Means

I haven't posted to my blog in a very long time. The Internet has evolved into a weird and strange place where it has become increasingly hard to navigate and even more difficult to know what is true and what is false. After a great deal of thought, I have decided to pretty much stay away from Facebook, this blog, social media and other sites for some of the reasons listed goes...

1. I thought that putting my artwork up on Facebook would help with sales. Although it does drive buyers to my blog, it also lumps me into a category of "artists" that are all over the net and Facebook in particular, sometimes lessens the work in many ways. It is hard to know that a painting that shows up as an inch across online is really 4 feet x 6 feet and has much more gravitas in person or that the brushwork and colors are so much better up close. I know many artists that change the colors for the internet, photoshop their work and do other not so honest things just to make a sale.  A caveat for me would be entering work via an email submission to enter a show.  What a great convenience. Yes, I may still post my work if someone wants to see it, but for the most part, I am going to stay away.

2. Unscrupulous people steal your work. They steal your ideas, sometimes your actual work is stolen and duplicated in China, and the theft is getting worse. There are some ways around this by watermarking your work, but it isn't fool proof and it is just another reason to avoid it.

3. Getting "likes" on Facebook doesn't mean the work is good. I have seen a number of artists post stuff and they have a bazillion friends and get an equal number of "likes". My thought sometimes when looking at it is "REALLY????" People want to be encouraging and I get that, but I don't want to participate anymore in an evaluative thing online. Yes, it is nice when friends make comments about work and I do it too. But I have to ask myself...what does it really mean? Artists hear ALL THE TIME, ooohhhh....I just love your work.....! Do they love enough to buy it? Do they understand what it is that you do? What it means? Does it even matter? There are websites and many artists are getting students to sign up for classes being taught on the internet and they will give you critiques and advice all for a price.All you need is facetime or another computer program to speak online in a live manner.  Not for me either. One on one, with live people, face to face is how I am going to try to go from now on.

4.Chasing money is ruining just about everything. Web seminars, webinars, online classes, videos, live videos, demo, gimmicks, pushing sales for special palettes, brushes, chemicals, paints, canvas, etc. is clogging up the art world. I understand that people need to make money and that making art is a job and one's livelihood, but I feel like I am being assaulted anymore when I go online, even as an artist. The best example would be in wanting to check prices on a canvas or looking for a particular kind of paint...well, I have to dodge the ads, avoid wrong clicking (which inevitably I do), ending up at another site altogether, navigate back to what I was looking for, have to see an ad for something related but not what I was looking goes on and on...
Give us your email address if you want to look at my wares, sign up for sales and updates, give me some information about yourself before you proceed. Yup, Not Going There Either.

5. The internet is a time eater. I know some very successful artists that blog daily, post on Pinterest, upload and sell on Etsy and Ebay, market their work like crazy. It is advised by all kinds of best selling books (not only in the art world) but also for everyone making a widget and trying to get it out there. This is great for business, if you have the desire and the time. Painting takes oodles of time and when you factor in time for just getting through the day, artists are swamped and often spending 4-8 hours on any given day photographing work, uploading it, getting it to auction, wrapping and selling and updating accounts and balancing books etc. Some artists are lucky enough to pay someone to do all of this for them. Not me. I really want/need to paint and this internet stuff has added a new time sucking dimension for me that I am going to have to leave. Yes, a sale is great and you can only avoid so much of this "office work", but quality over quantity wins every time. One painting for 2000.00 and shipping only once or, ten paintings, shipped and billed ten times. Which makes more sense?

  6. Maybe things will change and evolve into a kinder gentler internet. But I don't think so. It is the wild west out there with stalkers and bullies and weirdos. I can't tell  you how many times nutcases have tried to get me to send artwork without payment or some weird payment scam just to rip me off. It's hard to know what is legit and what is not.  So all this is where I have arrived. I can't say that I will stay where I am forever, but for now, if you want to reach me,I still have Messenger on Faceook and my email address is clearly posted on my blog and here below. Ciao, at least for awhile!


Unknown said...

Phew! I SO hear you... have been struggling for a while now on just what to do about the internet/ marketing/ etc... since I'm a novice, I don't have a following yet - and am struggling with my approach. I like getting the blogs to my email. Somehow it seems more personal!

Laura Dietrick said...

Daryl, how you approach this whole art thing is very similar to a journey of faith. You hop on the road at different places for different reasons. Struggle goes with the territory and doubt and other difficulties are unavoidable. But finding your "true" self in the journey makes the struggle worthwhile. In the art world, there are no rules except those by which you choose to follow. But the tried and true generally work pretty good...honesty, integrity, hard work, a sense of humor and I'm with you on the personal approach. I think that the internet makes it VERY difficult for things to be authentic. That is where I am right now. It may change down the road, but for now, I need to quit all the baloney and just paint. Good luck and stay in touch!