Published by Fred Williams
Posted on June 26, 2017
In the past, artists and art collectors tended to find each other by happenstance. Most artists only gained true fame years, sometimes decades after their death. Collectors had to fight tooth and nail and pay extreme prices for pieces because there were so few truly great artists or so they thought. There were others yearning to put paint to canvas or to coax brilliant pieces from marble but they lacked the finances to buy the materials or they lacked the training to continue to grow their artistry. Most of those of locked in potential died having never let their true gifts see the light of day. The modern world and technology has changed all of that.
Technology gives both the artist and the art collectors new and exciting ways to “meet” one another. Collectors can discover new talents that may have remained a regional secret. Artists can showcase their talents and earn a reputation which in turn can lead to bigger and better futures. The right push on social media can mean chances at shows at prestigious galleries, training and travel and more for an up and coming artist who is savvy enough to utilize it correctly.
Connecting with an artist can also give a newly purchased piece even more value to a collector because it comes from someone that they truly feel they know. The art community talks- and it can be an interesting thing to be allowed to be a part of that world even if you are just on the fringe and looking in from time to time. These connections can benefit collectors as they pass valuable information to one another. Even simple Twitter messages can help one collector find exactly the type of artist he is searching for.
In addition to more engagement with the people that are already interested in their genre or art, an artist can use technology to widen their base. This goes beyond just reaching out to new audiences and marketing to different types of collectors but actually looking at technology such as computer based graphics and 3-D printing as another art medium to explore. The more versatile an artist can become, the more people are likely to not only like but to buy, talk about and recommend his creations to others. In a world where people can print their own guitars at home, it is hard to make someone really excited about yet another take on a still life or other more “traditional” art forms.
This is where SEO may come in to play. SEO, which stands for “search engine optimization” is how an artist can get his work in front of potential art collectors, teachers and mentors without putting a lot of time and money into tracking down galleries and trying to get people to see limited offerings in small, out of the way venues. Artists are increasingly hiring professional SEO consultants to promote their work online. With the right search words your art could be in front of literally millions of people and you could go from starving artist to in demand/hot commodity in days.
Did you know that there are apps that can track how popular you are on social media? This little technological advance can let you see what the art collecting public is really going for (trending) and what type of things are falling. Small adjustments can allow you to make a limited showing of pieces that are on the rising list without risking any of your blossoming popularity.
Similar apps can allow an avid art collector to discover and nurture rising stars, buy coveted pieces by established artists and keep their competition at bay without having to stop what they are doing. While some collectors like to physically look at a piece before they buy, many are perfectly willing to use these apps for tracking and then use their smart phones to get photos, work out deals and even to pay for their new art work without all of the fuss. Payment apps that allow for point of sale credit card sales are key to small gallery success and are safer than dealing in cash.
Art changes, that is nothing new. New techniques come to light as societies grow more advanced. Technology has given artists whole new concepts and genres to explore including art with sound, lasers and moving pieces that would have been impossible only a few years ago. As these technologies grow and are refined, the ways that the art world can use them will also grow and refine and from that, new art forms will take shape.
Using new tools allows for more precision so artists can create intricate pieces or stunning pieces of art in smaller and smaller formats. There are people who are experts at creating art at the tip of a pencil, for instance. People can create masterpieces on a single grain of rice. At the other end of the spectrum, 3-D printing can allow artists to print pieces and assemble them together to form giant sculptures without relying on heavy and expensive materials.
As stated previously, technology allows for artists and art collectors to interact millions of miles away, to make deals and draw up contracts and even make and receive payments without even being in the same country as one another. The concept of instant sales is one that has brought art to more people. For some, art meant having to spend large amounts of money on pieces and then waiting for them to be finished and shipped. Others felt like “real” art was so out of reach that they settled for dollar store pictures that they thought looked nice but had no real substance and gave them no joy. A quick smart phone picture, a post on social media and suddenly real art work that speaks to the soul is an option for everybody, no matter where they are and no matter what kind of budget they are working with.
Finally, technology gives an artist something that is invaluable: instant feedback. In the old days, an artist would finally be given some recognition and earned some space in a gallery. Then they would have a show and the critics and collectors would come. Sometimes everything would sell and the critics would still hate the work. Sometimes nothing would sell and the critics would love the work. Feedback is the way an artist improves and hones his talents. Every time you comment on an artist’s work on social media you are giving him some feedback whether it is good or bad.
Suggestions can include new visions for an artist. A comment might mention sound or light or movement. Thanks to technology, artists can add those elements and create living and changing pieces unlike anything people have seen before. Whether they are using social media to advertise, apps to make sales or to take payments or using technological advances to create new types of art, artists will always find a way to bring their visions to life and in front of an ever-expanding audience of critics, collectors and art lovers of all types.