Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Creative Process - Tip Toeing into a New Media

I think all artists play around with a lot of different art forms. It is hard to hold the creative eye down to just one way of expressing itself. But we hopefully excel at one and put most of our energies and time and money into one. For me since 2006 that major focus has been painting.

It is cheaper to tip toe financially into painting. You can do it without the $1200 easel. You don't have to buy every oil color available at first. Or invest in camel hair brushes right off. I slipped in with watercolors on paper and did all my own matting and framing.

Photography is a bit harder to slide into cheaply. Digital cameras and lenses are pricey but then I had a digital camera to record my paintings for websites which I built myself. You no longer need darkrooms but you need got photo processing software. I started with Adobe Photoshop which is one of the more expensive but I needed it for editing pictures I took of my art work and was going to put on my website. Good programs have gotten cheaper. But all take rather top of the line computers with lots of RAM and hard drive. There are some photo processing programs on line so you don't need the RAM but still need the storage and back up, etc.

Then there are printers. Tip - you cannot pick these up at Wal-Mart. Few beginning photographers have the money to invest $3000 or more on a giclee professional printer. And maintenance is actually more intensive on them when you use them less. So you develop a good relationship with a professional photographer that does prints on the side or as his major income. My skill at matting and framing from watercolors is a definite plus on keeping pricing down.

And for me that is what photography is partly about - having a more reasonably priced art form to sell in my studio - increasing my price point range. In this economy artists need to use every trick in the book to stay afloat. And diversification is done even by major corporations. You begin by taking stock of your assets: I have the studio and the display space. I have the knowledge of how to find and apply for exhibits. I had the camera, the computer and software. Photography was a natural way to go because of what I had for my painting business. Would have been stupid to try ceramics. Boy, is that hard to tip toe into.

It is hard to know, however, everything you do not know. Sure I have done photography for years but the digital revolution has changed the landscape. And now paper companies are jumping on board with better papers for the media. Back to reading books, taking workshops, and having conversations with professionals ahead on the knowledge curve. It can really be quite exciting.

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I appreciate all kind comments on my art and poetry.