Making Art in the Internet Age: Blog 1

As it stands, I am currently enrolled in a class called Making Art in the Internet Age, led by the artist F. Scott Hess. The goal of this course is to investigate how an artist can use the internet and its tools more effectively. Part of this investigation involves being more engaged in social media outlets such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc. I will be documenting the results of these efforts on this blog, as well as my experience in this course. 

One of the requirements for this course is to post two times a day, everyday. One post must be original content while the other must be something art related- it could be an inspirational quote, or another work that you admire, a work in progress, and so on. As we are approaching week 4 of the class I have been desperately, but successfully meeting this requirement. I originally thought that two posts everyday seemed excessive and I figured that posting so often would actually be detrimental to my following (focusing mainly on Instagram). However, interestingly enough I have found that I have gained quite a few people through the constant barrage of posts. I have not kept track of the actual numbers of followers gained, but I would estimate that as of late I have been gaining one or two followers everyday/every other day. 

I was surprised to find that people were not turned off by the amount of posting, which makes me feel better about my content. Before this course, I would post only when I felt absolutely confident in my artwork and even then sometimes it wasn’t as well-received as I would hope. By being forced to supply content everyday, I find that I am posting things that I may otherwise would not have posted. I am finding that this is actually a really good experience for me. I tend to overthink or overanalyze what art pieces are deserving of being posted whereas now I am posting things even if I am not 100% confident in them. The reception of these works, even if it isn’t too substantial, still makes me feel better about the artwork as well as take away some of the pressure to create something remarkable every single time. 

As I continue to post my artwork on the world wide web I will continue to observe how it is received by its inhabitants. To end this post, I will conclude with something Scott Hess does not know about the internet: Twitch is a video streaming platform much like YouTube and it can be used by artists to broadcast their creative process. Although Twitch is mostly geared towards Games and the Gaming community, there is now Twitch Creative. This section of Twitch is dedicated to the creative arts and actually divides the creative world into specific communities such as Drawing, Painting, Illustration, etc. If you explore these communities you can tune in to watch people stream themselves making various forms of art. As a creator, you can stream yourself and have people watch you and perhaps even donate to your stream. Viewers and broadcasters are also able to communicate back and forth. This feature may allow viewers to become potential clients for artists. Ultimately, Twitch is a great platform if you are wanting to see demonstrations of art or to broadcast your own.  

Here is an example of one of my recent posts to Instagram. It was a portrait done from life during last week's class. 

Here is an example of one of my recent posts to Instagram. It was a portrait done from life during last week's class. 

A Thank You to Vianna Szabo

I wanted to launch this website with a thanks. A thank you to one of my greatest teachers, and dearest friend- Vianna Szabo. I first met Vianna at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center. My mom had accidentally signed me up for the wrong workshop and I was less than excited. However, after meeting Vianna I became instantly inspired. She is without a doubt one of the most nurturing and generous people I have ever met.

Recently she gave me a book called "Oil Painting Secrets From a Master" on the teachings of David Leffel. On page 13, underneath a section titled "My Goals As A Teacher" Leffel writes "Talent is actually the ability to take risks" If talent is risk-taking, then I am a pretty untalented individual. With that being said, Vianna has always pushed me to take risks, get out of my comfort zone, but most importantly- to not fear the outcomes of those risks.

One of the most recent risks I have had to take is making this website. Creating a website is long overdue but I was always scared to put myself out there. I didn't want to put up work that I may regret in my future. Vianna urged and supported me to create this website, and with her backing I finally agreed.

Failure is inevitable. But that shouldn't stop us from moving forward. Thank you Vianna, for your support, patience and guidance. For making me a better person and a better artist, you'll always be the boss to me!