The Intra-net: You know, the one Al Gore invented

Intra-net.  Just being silly, but that is really how some people in the South pronounce it.

Anyway.

Last week I helped another artist out by doing a demonstration for her class.  The interesting thing about it is that it was an online class!  She filmed me.  Maybe this kind of stuff has been around for some time, or that there was a market for it – but I am just now becoming exposed to it.  Because of her class I began to search on YouTube (another MAJOR time vacuum) for other artists doing demonstrations, sharing tips, talking about their art, giving studio tours, etc.  I did not know all this stuff was out there, nor did I really even think to look.  Very cool.  It is a wonderful opportunity for other artists (who are mostly a solitary breed)  to learn new things without actually having to “socialize” in the traditional sense.  Or perhaps they live in a vacuum (like me) and just don’t have the resources/access to good artists to learn from.  Isn’t the Internet wonderful?

I live in a very small town and sometimes it can be lonely when you don’t have very many supportive artists near you to get feedback from, tips, or have similar goals.  (a side bar: This post by online Art Biz Coach, Alyson Stanfield is very interesting and still has me thinking) That is where the internet comes in handy.

I use to participate more on the Wetcanvas or EBSQ message boards (mostly the art business areas) many years ago, but I found that an online community can be way too time consuming when I really needed to be working creating.  But they are extremely good resources to have.  I could ask a question about taking credit cards at an art show or where to buy clear bags for packaging flat/bin work – and I would have 5+ responses in 24 hours.  Where else can you get that?

Over the years I have formed a handful of wonderful online relationships with other artists (and believe me I am not a very good friend in real life or online), but they “get me” and still seem to accept me for who I am, adore me, and not think I am a weird-o, or too young, or too over priced, but just be there when I need them, and vice versa.

I do know that the internet and a digital camera has defiantly changed my life and made it easier as an artist. I HATE (HATE! I say) how older artists just refuse to keep up with and learn new (basic) technology – and keep up with their contemporaries.  I remember in the spring of 1994 I was sitting and talking with someone at school about computers and the internet.  He was telling me how I could put my art on the web, and the whole world would be able to see it.  ***** I was one of the first ones out of my friend group to even have a personal computer (sigh – a Mac – the good ole days) with a modem.  I had an AOL email address but did not even have anyone to email except my Dad.***** But when that guy told me I could  sell my art online one day, I thought he was full of malarkey.  I remember the exact moment.  And believe me, I can’t remember anything. I can’t believe how much has changed since then.  In 1998 I set up an ebay account and tried researching how to sell art on there.  I Never really did, but, hey – the opportunity was defiantly there! Now there is ETSY!

Perhaps today is Internet appreciation day (for me.)

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