Sunday, January 15, 2012

"Embracing the Internet, Facebook, and Blogs"

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"Walking the Ladies"18x24 oil on linen. I will let this sit for a while and tweak it later

"Embracing the Internet, Face book, and Blogs"

When it comes to computers, Internet, face book, blogs, etc., I am probably one of the least technical people on the planet. I have mixed sentiments towards all of this. Like many, I am usually reluctant to embrace new things. My interest in it is for the sake of promoting my art, workshops, and supporting galleries that represent me. When I think back on the fact that I was probably one of the last of my generation of illustrators to finally get a fax machine, it is hard to believe that I have embraced the present technology to the degree that I have…..not that I have even come close to understanding this stuff. My son has pretty much dragged me kicking and screaming into the twenty first century.

Back in my illustration days I used to use couriers to deliver overnight sketches to New York city from Ct. I did this for years, and spent wheel barrels full of money on these types of deliveries by all of the well known couriers. We also used the train conductors as couriers. Once I finally broke down and purchased a fax machine, I could not believe that I actually functioned the way I did without it. Once you had it you could not go back. It is like getting air conditioning in the South as a young lad…..once you had it, you are spoiled forever.

Before the advent of the Internet, face book, and blogs, I never thought much about articulating thoughts about my work, or art in general. I can only speak for myself of course, but I think blogs and face book are one of the most useful tools artists have been given to express themselves, and to expose their work to a very large audience of like minded folks….that have a common interest. I feel that I personally never have anything that profound to say….just simple personal observations that could possibly resonate with others who have the same interest, or passion for painting and drawing.

The thing I really like about all this is, that one can put images up and, it seems to be a real good system for getting feedback. One can get a feel for what strikes a cord with a majority….and also what does not get so much attention. I get a lot of reaction to some images and others only marginal response….and that is expected. I’m not saying that this is an absolutely accurate measure, or test of work, but it does give one some indication as to whether one has done something that others respond to. It is almost like having a marketing tool at one’s disposal. Comments on Face Book for example….One always hopes that responses, or comments, are based first on an emotional reaction to the work….. as well as the technical aspect of it. There is no pressure to comment or not, so one would assume that when a comment, or a like is posted, it is because someone is reacting to an image for what ever reason. Before a painting makes it to a frame, one can get some idea of how it will be received. This is of course not a fool proof method. It may not work at all, but I think it is better than dancing alone. Of course one can always do what I do most of the time……listen to my wife. Marilyn is pretty good most of the time. It is hard to be objective about your own work at times. It is nice to have someone you trust to tell what you need to hear, and not only what you want to hear.

The other thing that comes to mind is….what if my generation of illustrator would have had the technology that exists today? It would seem to follow that it would have been so much easier to promote ones self. Until recently, I have never done much self promotion, with the exception of ads years ago through my rep. Everyone would obviously benefit from more advertising and some type of self promotion. I think this new world of instant exposure allows one to do some of this without all the tremendous economic hardship of magazine ads, posters, etc. These are the kinds of silly things that bounce around my head when I’m on my daily walks along the inter-coastal. As always, these are only my personal opinions and observations, and do not necessarily reflect any universal views on this subject. Thanks for taking the time to listening to my ramblings.


  1. Thank you for your perspective on the fast-changing world we live in, and how it affects our art and promoting it. It's difficult as it is getting into the industry now, I can only imagine what it was like back then without having direct connections via internet like we do now. Must've been a lot harder trying to network and find clients.

    Thanks Hodges!

  2. Adam, I should have replied to this earlier. Congrats on the graduation and stuff. Now you will have a real opportunity to use some of the tools mentioned in this post....of course, you guys are already aware of these things that old folks like us are just coming to grips with in a small way. Thanks for the comment.