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I'm loosing count of the number of profiles I've set up on the internet in the past year... maybe about 14... Artfind.co.nz, CreativeNZ, Fuel4arts, Dripbook, Virb, Facebook, Artelista, Issuu, WOW, IntrusiveArt, AniOman, Saatchi... That's not including the multiple profiles on Myspace. Is it a good thing I'm doing to promote my paintings? Or is it just one big bout of procrastination when I would be better off unplugging the computer and focussing on the paint, the canvas, the brushes? At least it becomes easier each time as I have images ready-prepared...

I've never sold a painting through the internet (tempting fate there) but occassionally I've met people who knew my work from seeing it online. It is a form of publicity which is out there for anyone to stumble across and you never know when chance will strike. But maybe I'm not using the internet in the best way? Or maybe the digital image is not the best way to show paintings?

Where are all the artists on the internet? I remember asking myself that when I first opened a Myspace page just over a year ago. It seemed it was all about bands and scoring dates and when I came across another artist it was like an exciting discovery. There were other sites which you had to pay for and they were full of artists chasing the dream of selling work but I was pretty skint and didn't want to fork out on a site that could probably live off the income from the artists and not worry too much about promoting me as an individual. So I jumped into the messy community of Myspace head first. I think it is because it is such a jumble of tacky images, glittery text, layout codes to make the techies ill... it's like a poor suburb with seedy backstreets, music blasting from every window, not a safe place to walk alone, you have your cheap flat and there is a great mixture of cultures, immigrants from the world over, you write with someone and she mentions a gallery you want to see and so you arrange to meet at the entrance to the underground station and she turns out to be someone different from the photo, even a different name, but she is involved with art... I think this is why it is attractive to artists. It's not about separating yourself from the rest - of being in a gallery or art magazine or website - but of being in there with everyone else. Everyone has a chance to show who they are and what they do and to share it with people who may never enter a gallery and the audience is potentially huge. It's not surprising that at least four of the finalists in the first Saatchi Showdown are active on Myspace.

An immigrant myself to Madrid, I guess that was in part the motivation to seek out other artists in Spain and I decided to create a webpage to gather artists together: Artistas de España. Luckily Spain has been slower than the UK in taking to Myspace so I was starting with something manageable. And now I have over 100 artists from all over the country and am starting to apply for funding for projects for everyone to get involved in and getting offers of help from the artists involved. Today I received a message from one of the artists, "Un hombre que viene de nueva zelanda se mueve más que cien españoles" (A man from New Zealand gets more done than a hundred Spanish!) I did it for free and have spent many hours on it and sometimes wonder if it is worth it all and that motivates me to make something of it. It's not unique - there are other artists collectives who have formed through myspace and there are individuals who have initiated participatory projects in their page. But there is a sense in which it is something untried, unstable, unchecked...

I like to think that the internet can be used as a creative tool, not just for promoting work but for initiating new work; for stimulating creativity. It's not just about showing what you do. The internet should be a place where you can feel at home, walk about in your underpants, pop down the pub with a friend and discuss the day to day things. We have to get away from marketing, and away from hoping to get noticed, and turn it into a tool for our own creativity.

So I guess well over half the sites I'm on have failed in this respect; in that they are just about having a presence and showing work. They are not about creativity. But we learn as we go along, no? I'd be interested in your reactions and ideas ;-)

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Who was I just talking to? was that me, or just a part of me....
I agree with all of you. Most of becoming a recognized artist has to do with having as many people as possible see it. Internet is good for that, but mostly is seems that I make contact with other artists who are trying as hard as I am to make a living from our art (without emulating Thomas Kinkaid...) Community is key, by which I mean facetime with living beings. That being said, my art is too weird for the particular community in which I live. And the work of others may find a market here.

We are not in competition, for we are all unique, we all desire to be recognized for our individual styles and visions. The best thing we can do to promote a viable art market world-wide is to support each other in our respective communities. By helping out other artists, across a global comunity, we elevate all of us. If we start thinking about other people we know who might like someone else's work, we may create a better market for all of us...

The more art, the better, right?

Laura
yes , more art is better it can be a big stimulations for brain activity .
It can help us to acept pain in live . Can give us a indentity . Can make live colour full .
Can give us energie .So it , brings us forward .So it is important .
But , the market is another thing . It goes about selling .
Buyers can be friends , family , industrials wich let buy , gouverment who tel's you ,what to make , city's with there institutions .
I see in mucho work , that they only want to pleasure buyers .But don't know that buyers change in what they want , like.What is a hype , they wanna repeat .But it's loosing there innerside , the human power of asking , searching , trying to create .
A view made by buyers is strange thing ?
When i read your worth's it's all about advertising ?
It's like art is a commercial .And making of art is a second thing. The real work is in your opinion publicity .All to boost . Is art a bargain product ?
When the public , galleries ....... take more time to search by themself would it be better ?Maybe it is all to easy , it doesn't matter ?We are all ready to depart with information . Choose by your own hart , own mind , is not so simpel in this time of to much info .Can we choose on own resolve ?Or have we fear in making mistakes for different reasons ? ; make's all want it for sure .
But the artist must conquer , it's like a methaphor in seeing .
So "joy" must be the reply .To keep it going on .
well yes there is a fear to follow our own heart.
I came across your discussion by fault really, but it is a topic I ask myself about regularly. Having web presence is a little like having an exhibition all the time. You can show your latest work to the world in minutes and receive feedback in the same timescale. The problem lies when you spend so much time blogging and uploading and replying to discussions! Not to mention just fiddling about with how your page looks that you realise it has been weeks since you last produced anything physical. The more prolific you are online, the less you are in the studio.
On the other hand, You have this immense opportunity to see what your contemporaries are doing and not just those who are established, the internet has the potential to be the biggest exhibition space in the world!

I'm away to do some work now.

I really liked your analogy of MySpace.
I've got 2-3 exhibits through my presence on myspace - in small artist runned galleries (couple of years ago).. I'm not on myspace that much any longer now though... (I'm beeing bombarded by friend requests from people that I really don't need that much contact with, .. musicians ++++).. Artreview is great in that way.. only artists, curators and so. I've got some good contacts - but mostly with other artists ... I don't know if it will lead to enything.. I agree with Laura saying "The best thing we can do to promote a viable art market world-wide is to support each other in our respective communities".. It's so many good artist out there - and it's seem like it's "random" who "makes it" or not - in some way..... hm..... I would love to find an agent or something..

I'm sorry for my "limited" english!
I agree with laura And Amina and maybe the internet will teach us rto be less selfish and be open, feed back it is very important especially if you live in the middle of nowhere and you feel part of a comunity, but not easy we always focus on different styles and personalities
hey gb, this sounds like it could go somewhere.........if we could subvert the whole industry, and just swap work, instead of selling it, wouldn't we all be happier as artists, without the pressure of money? hope you are well..
Yeah, I like that 'swapshop' idea Joe, there's plenty of people on here whose work I would love to have on my walls but I just can't afford it... good to see you last week by the way :)
i was so drunk i lost my small portfolio and don't feel bad about it.....haha

it was due for renewing anyway!!!!f%ck!

glad to have met you too

sorry i was so pissed, i couldn't spell my own name let alone have a decent conversation...
thank the lord for this site eh?
although god shouldn't get involved should he?
maggie,

you have clouted the proverbial nail on the head!

if we did spend more time a la studio we would be richer still....

we are already in a powerful position as outsiders commentating on those inside

the internet and other such tools are a sign of the times

the notion remains the same, we need,....... as artists, constant affirmation that we are heading in the right direction as 'creatives'

then the internet becomes an extension of us anyway

and if it's only a fleeting glimpse of what technology can do for the art world, then so be it...
bring on the ice-age
lets wipe the slate clean

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