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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Why I Prefer New Media Over Old

I recently got into a conversation with my stepmother who teaches art.  She is an avid subscriber to a couple of art magazines.  This is something I used to do but not any longer.  She pointed to the current issue of one in particular that she considered very worthwhile and very valuable (of which I have no doubt). "This issue has a lot of great stuff. They have plenty of useful articles this time."

I was left thinking "Yes, this time. Did you find less value in the previous issues?"  I explained that I tend to look at the websites of particular magazines, and when I see an issue that has lots of value for my purpose, one that I am confident I would go back to time and again, then I go out and purchase that issue.  Then, it is money well invested - at least to me.

But for me, New media goes much deeper than that.  A magazine is very narrow and very linear -- you only see the articles that the publisher deems worthwhile, and only so much can be included within an issue.  Not all the articles may suit your needs and interests, but you've paid for them nonetheless.  With New Media, you may build your reading list specifically tailored to suit you.  So many worthwhile articles are written, by authors and by artists and by arts promoters and more, that never become print on a magazine page.

If you have a particular query, dilemma, or need, you may use a search engine to find articles that fill that need.  Some may argue that you don't received well-rounded reading this way, that you shortchange yourself and miss some great information in other areas that you did not search for. I disagree - for in reading ... say, a blog, I follow the links in that blog, I visit the blogs and websites of artists who have commented on that blog (I've become acquainted with some great friends this way), something mentioned within that blog might intrigue me to go search out more information on that particular thing (have I ever mentioned that I'm a research nut?) - so in the end, you are perfectly capable of ending up with lots of reading material and lots of learning opportunities.  Some blog articles you encounter are so well written that you become a subscriber and a regular reader.  With that, you now receive articles of a wide variety, and not just the information you were initially seeking. I would even argue that one has more access to a larger variety of reading by utilizing New Media, where a magazine offers less.

New Media has so many platforms, where magazines do not. New media can be interactive, where you may ask the author some questions you may have that were not covered in the article. A magazine subscription cannot do that.  The magazine subscription may have cost you $20 to $50 for 4 to 12 issues, and New Media is mostly free.  Magazines are a one-way ticket, you receive and you read. New Media has the ability to benefit you by bringing people to your own blog, your own website, Live Journal, Facebook, Twitter page,  Etsy store, etc. A magazine cannot do that, not unless you're willing to pay for an ad within its pages and run it for at least three months.

Just over the last few days I've been able to visit the studios of many artists to get ideas for my own studio space. I'm participating in the East Pierce County Open Studio Tour and I want to make some changes and a good impression.  I visited the studios of artists all across the continent by way of their Youtube videos and came away with wonderful inspiration, as well as new blogs to follow and new Facebook pages to read.  This morning I had coffee while I educated myself on the building and benefits of a Facebook Fan Page for artists, and I watched a wonderful interview with Manhattan artist Chuck Close on being an artist during times of crises.  Look up Chuck Close on Youtube, there are many great videos with him.  Thanks to Youtube I've seen some videos for Open Studio Tours that I think would be a wonderful marketing idea for our own Studio Tour.  Below is one I found this morning that I think we as an organization can create, it appears to have been made with a program similar to the free one I used for my feathers.  Something like this can be utilized by every participating artist to help enhance his or her marketing strategy as we get ready for November's Open Studio Tour.

So in the end, yes magazines are a pleasure to hold and to thumb through, but for the now I won't subscribe. I'm finding so much value and education right here online, and you can't beat the price!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Expanding with New Items

Well, I've fallen behind with the blog again!  Back to it, 'get back on that horse and ride' as they say.

 I love to experiment and try some new things.  Inspiration was first sparked by seeing a book listed with North Light, detailing how to paint on tiles.  Those flames were further fanned when I posted some attempts to Facebook and friends expanded on ideas.

The thing I like about these is the functionality.  I've done art for the walls for a long time, but had not tried anything that can be used.  So this is fun!  The tiles are 6 inches by 6 inches and have felt pads beneath, so they make dandy trivets for the kitchen.  Each has been sealed to protect the painting.

I've been getting more and more involved with Highland Games and with our own Clan Tent, and have been inspired to try some work in Celtic-style design:

This creative play has brought on encouragement from a friend to try combining Celtic with Pacific Northwestern Coastal work, which is something I was experimenting with years ago but have been wanting to try again.  This one below is from a design I tried with Herons years ago, and was eager to give it another go.  It's not easy squeezing PNW design elements into a Celtic shape!

These have proven to be quite popular, as no two are exactly alike and they are an affordable $20 each plus shipping.  All of these except for the PNW Elk have already sold, with several requests for more.  I've been asked to try other color schemes with the herons, and for other Celtic and PNW style animals, as well as more of the thistle.  If one of these 6" x 6" hand-painted tiles is something you would like to have, leave a comment or drop me a note at

Here's a different one, again inspired by activity with Highland Games.  It's a 4" square tile with thick felt pads beneath to protect your furniture, for use as a drink coaster.  This one is painted with my clan crest, MacLeod of Harris.  I can do any family crest requested, these are $10 each or $30 for a set of 4.

Experimenting with new things does inspire creativity - the more you play, the more you want to try more new things!