Planet Visions, Inc.

Unleashing ART and Artists Everywhere

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Wednesday, 22 September 2010


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Funny, I was suggesting this same type of group discussion on +goggle as a hangout, because of it's video"conferencing" capabilitites.
Last replied by MartyToons on Saturday, 05 November 2011
Last replied by MartyToons on Saturday, 19 February 2011
Last replied by Ysmay on Saturday, 15 January 2011
Art Books...anybody else make 'em? I have had found books which i've "altered" and "manipulated" and I've started from scratch and bound my own...are these books meant to be for ourselves or for others? are they glorified sketchbooks? can/ should they be sold? put on display? or put away and looked at on occasion?

and most importantly....can someone possibly ever experience an art book by looking at it on a computer? if it were perfectly photographed or scanned...could it be appreciated fully without turning pages...clicking instead on the next image? (can you tell i'm one of "those" people who aren't sure about e-readers too?) :)
dorianvincentdorianvincent on Friday, 11 March 2011 06:48

I know I've already posted a lengthy comment here, but as Lauren points out - this is an important (and au courant) issue and would like to share 2 comments about this subject. The first is a little story. My background includes over 25 years as a graphic designer, primarily in publications - including many books. I mention this only as a qualifier of my experience looking at original art and then that art in the stages it goes through in the publication process. While I lived in Vermont, there was an exhibit of Japanese art at the Fletcher Museum (Burlington) which included sumi-e paintings, calligraphy and handmade books. If you are familiar with the Japanese woodblock printing process, you know the artist makes many "plates," one for each color used in the process of printing. So, to produce a book of many pages requires the production of hundreds of handmade printing blocks (or plates). The artistry involved is very apparent when you have the opportunity to see one of these books in person. Like a painting, these woodblock prints are impossible to reproduce completely accurately using even an 8-color offset printing press, and most printers use (only) 4 color presses. No matter how careful we are as we go through the stages of photographing the original art, making color separations - reducing all of the colors of the original to the 4 printing colors (cyan, magenta, yellow and black)- and then printing, the result could never match the original artwork. This is even more true when you digitally photo, or conventionally photo and then scan, adjust in PS (or other image editing app) and then open the file in the RGB format used in current monitor technology. I would be forced to conclude that, no you cannot truly appreciate an art book online. But ebooks aren't for those who appreciate the "art" of the printed or handmade book.
This brings me to the discussion I encountered several years ago which was part of a battle being waged between traditional realist painters and modern painters - the gist of which was whether inspiration was a valid measure of the value of a piece of artwork, or if a piece of artwork should even be considered fine art if the artist didn't display the technical skills one acquires through years of training and thousands of hours perfecting their skills.
My feeling is this, there is room for any style, technique, or method of reproduction - there are letterpress books with engraved illustrations out there that would positively blow your mind if you ever have the chance to look through them. They're a work of art by anyone's standards. But they aren't selling like kindles, or whatever. In fact, you probably have to hunt them down at antiquarian book fairs or through a publisher like Godine, to find them. That seems to be okay with many of the printers, publishers and collectors I've spoken with over the years. While they wouldn't turn away wealth, they understand and appreciate where and who makes up their market. And I think this is the key to this discussion, as well as the previously mention argument. Knowing what you're selling and who your buyer is will help you determine what is appropriate. I doubt many serious collectors buy paintings without being able to see them "live" first. And every artist I've spoken with, who's sold work via the net, has almost exclusively sold to clients who were already collectors of that artist's work.
So forgive this long-winded tirade Somonoce, I think you have to ask yourself first what your intention is, before determining how technology may best serve your purpose. Nothing will replace holding the original in your hands - but there will always be only one of them. Printed reproductions mean serving a wider audience, but you will sacrifice some to the process, online will help you reach an incredibly wide audience, without any of the tactile advantages of the above. But why choose, why not make use of all the available mediums of reproduction and distribution to help you share what you've created? And I say created, the argument about what is your art and what is someone else's that you've purloined can only be answered by you. Picasso openly stated that all great artists steal from one another, Andy Warhol made a fortune and got his work in front of millions and a lot of it was from other's originals. Then there is the Shepard Fairy vs the AP lawsuit. You have to be careful when making an income from "altered" or "manipulated" pieces. Tricky territory!

somonocesomonoce on Friday, 11 March 2011 08:10

no forgiveness needed! i love hearing other people's ideas! Being a part of this group inspires me so much!

Friday, 11 March 2011 04:11
This is a great discussion and one that, in the grand scheme of things, is relatively new yet very important to artists...we now have to address marketing, networking, advertising, etc. more than ever before but only IF one of our goals is to sell our work and get recognition...there are artists who aren't as concerned with that but I know for myself, I am, so I welcome new opportunities to get my work out there via the's free and so much easier than the days where you had to rely on print ads, etc. which cost a lot of $. I come from a sales/marketing background so it wasn't tough for me to make this transition but I know many artists who feel lost in the techno abyss and that's why sites like this one are so vital...not only can like-minded people connect and share our work but we have people like Kym working to get our art exposed to the world!

I have had success selling work online but much (although not all) of the fine art has been to previous clients...I find the "lower end" stuff like greeting cards, repros, T-shirts, etc. have been successful when it comes to online sales but it takes a LOT of time and effort to keep up with promo, & this doesn't replace but compliments sales I make thru galleries and shows...I enjoy doing promo and do make sure to make time to create but it definitely can get over-whelming and as artists in the 21st century we have to find that balance between marketing/networking and creating. Now, more than ever before, we have so much at out fingertips that enables us to find exhibits, venues, sales, etc. but the thing is to find a routine that works best for you so you don't bombard yourself with the computer aspects of things and it doesn't negatively effect your creativity...definitely not an easy task but it is doable and I'm thankful for Planet Vision that's willing to help us to do this!
Monday, 10 January 2011 09:12
DorianVincent - Great Comment filled with great thoughts! I agreeeeeeeee. I can't tell that any artist has ever made a living off of on-line selling either. It is just one venue in many that gets you out in front of people. Period. AS long as art is a thing of senses (touching, seeing, etc.) people will want to use those senses to buy original art. Until they don't.

Also, from a time & work perspective it may be that there is actually more to do now than less to do given the fact that a website without all of the intense Social Media & Marketing you mentioned (the admin side) is just a beautiful thing in the middle of the desert ... so what?

So it begs the questions: WHY DID I DO THIS? & WHY ARE WE HERE? To me it is the bridge I talked about. I want artists from anywhere to be able to get their work in front of people anywhere. I want people from everywhere to have access to art from anywhere. This can do that. There can be thousands of sites out there & still not enough from that perspective. Can it perhaps provide artists with a way to supplement their income? Yes. Will it be THE answer? Not yet. So what is THE answer?

As I listen I keep coming back to a confirmation for myself that the most important thing we can provide each other with here is the education, training & coaching ... we, as artists, provide something of value for the human spirit ... in a time when people need it badly. It is basic supply & demand. I am clear there has been an on-going conversation about the economy but economics are economics ... it goes up it goes down & in every economy there are the ones who make it & the ones who don't. My only question is what has to alter for you & I to make it NOW, as bad as things are, in this economy AND with the art industry just the way it is? I smile as I know that if YOU don't make it, my friend, then neither do I. I am very clear that if I don't make a difference with you & all the members of the site .. a real tangible difference .. then I will go the way of the auction house you sited. Poof. Maybe that answers my second question about why we are here together. :-)
Sunday, 09 January 2011 08:26
Hi Everyone,
This is an issue which I have spent a bit of time on. Apart from books, like Daniel Grant's "Selling Art Without Galleries," the e-book and audios: The Guide to Unconventional Art and Money by Chris Guillebeau, and "attending" the SmArtist online seminars last year, I have talked with many other artists at several other art sites about this subject.
Comparing online selling to brick & mortar gallery sales begins with one big stumbling point, as I see it. It's been my experience that most collectors need to actually see a piece, in order to consider buying it. A common response I get to this is that most sales done online are to buyers who already collect work by the artist in question, or have seen their work in a gallery or at a show. As for where we are now, I don't know about power, nor the history of the gallery world and how it came to where it is now, I do know that it is difficult (at least here in Santa Fe) to even get into a gallery, economy aside. Being days away from homelessness, I would happily "play by the rules" of the gallery world just to get in one. Life looks different when your politics are confined to bread. But I also think that WHO decides which artists get representation is one of the points fueling Mischa's discussion. If you own a business, you have a right to decide what you will and won't stock. Obviously, if you don't see a market for a product, you won't carry it. HOW they decide totally baffles me - take a walk through the galleries in this town, take a look at some of the shit they sell as fine art, and it will baffle you too!
Kym's second point may well point to an answer for the current situation. Let me explain by citing an example: a coop gallery just opened in Santa Fe, Vivo Contemporary. 9 artist/investor/gallery workers banded together to take charge of the showing and selling side of the business. Obviously this isn't the first coop gallery in the world, it's not even the first in this town. I do believe having your work in a gallery, or another venue where it can be seen and sold, is a necessity. A gallery makes the most sense because people go there to see and buy art - vs. a restaurant or wherever folks like Grant suggest you try. The problem isn't the venue, it's the way it's set up and the artist's cooperative model is the soundest solution I've seen yet. I don't have any money or I would get something like this going myself.
As for online selling, I'll repeat: I haven't talked with anyone who makes a living as an artist selling online. If you know someone who does, please share their name with me so I can ask them how they did it. I think looking at the net as a replacement for the existing gallery world may be like comparing apples and oranges. I think it is a viable marketing tool. If you develop a list and keep it updated, keep communicating with the folks on it - emails, newsletters, opening announcements, etc. it is invaluable and may be a good replacement for the old postcard, US Mail method. Having your work on a site, like ours here, is a great way to get a lot of images of your work in front of people - either those googling "art" or whatever, and those who know your name and search for you. But as a replacement for a gallery, in an established art center, that does advertising? I don't see it happening.
One other point I'll raise before concluded War And Peace here is: the great thing about the internet is always the worst thing about the internet: volume. Even carefully worded searches return such an overwhelming number of sites. No one site, nor even group of sites, is THE place online collectors click to. Even those sites that promise you lots of relevant metatags are often nowhere to be found. I read recently that many search engines aren't going to be using metatags anymore anyway. The writer said activity levels will determine what tops your list. Again, I wonder how well this will work - don't we all look for the shortest line in the grocery store? And I remember all the grumbling when art marketing "pros" talked about how important the administrative side of the business was. "Artists want to create, not do a lot of paperwork," was a common plea. Well, if success online is determined by how many blogs you post to, how many "friends" you add to your list on Facebook, or how often you "tweet," won't you just be back to spending a lot of time doing administrative work?
A few years back one of the big art auction houses started a free online gallery site for artists. They even held competitions to keep up the excitement level. I recently went back to the site and found it was starting to stagnate. If a site doesn't produce results (and in short order I think) artists will move on to the next "new and Improved" site, hoping they'll fulfill the promise no online venue can, at least not yet.
I hope PVI is successful. I hope we attract a healthy number of paying members and grow the resources, education and training, and coaching sections. I hope every artist here attracts a larger following because of the site. But I don't think the online art market will ever replace the physical gallery world.
Sunday, 09 January 2011 06:56
DorianVincent ... I just realized I called you Vincent ... sorry for the cropping job .. you must have occurred as a Vincent for a moment! Plz Forgive.
dorianvincentdorianvincent on Sunday, 09 January 2011 07:04

No worries Kym, with that weird first name (Dorian) I've often thought of just using Vincent anyway!
BTW - Hope the above post didn't upset you

Sunday, 09 January 2011 06:06
Somonoce ... I finally took the time to read the entire article.  Thank You for posting the link here.  Vincent referred me to this article a while back but I had only skimmed (thanks, Vincent).

I agree with and applaud Misha's stand. I have spent a lot of time inside this conversation as an artist, as a founder of a non-profit company for women artists & now with Planet Visions. I think it is time for an awakening & for artists to own their art & their "industry".  As creators we are the ones to create a new model.  I think the Internet has begun the tumbling of the traditional art industry.  Now the questions are: how do we transition & what do we do during the transition.  Misha recommends for artists to create their own domains & sell their own work.  Bravo but a daunting task for most artists who only want to create vs.
integrate their creative process with a business.  It is a paradigm shift. All the old right brain left brain conversations float right to the surface.  She is right on target that it will not be instant ... not just the tumbling
of the old empire but the reinventing of the of the followers of the hierarchy into the next leaders.

So I see a need for several things simultaneously:  
1) Taking responsibility for our piece in the current model (no one evert really takes our power away we give it way) & altering who we are for ourselves so that we succeed, no matter what, least we create new models that we lose at too since we are the same old people with the same old beliefs simply using new models &
systems. Who will we blame then?
2) Finding a way to use pieces of the current system to our advantage for the time being as we build our own new model (to Misha's point ... this is not going to happen overnight & how many of us can wait years to create cash flow); 
3) Getting to work individually & collectively to create the new model (which includes the education, training & coaching required) ==> the day to day actions.

Let the games begin ... let's keep this rolling ...
Sunday, 09 January 2011 05:11
Tabatha Mudra
Hi Somonoce, I skimmed the lengthy article, I'm not huge on e-books ;)>

Dropping a line to say I did notice it, and I have watched Zeitgeist... and as far as what you may or may not discuss here, well Im interested to find out and create along the way.

Happy New Year all, excuse me, Im off to create and tell later.
Saturday, 08 January 2011 15:43
Got this article from a LinkedIn's interesting... what do you all think of it??
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 11:14
Hey! Anybody else reading this? What sort of things should we be posting about/ disussing here?? Deep, philosophical discussions about art? or maybe just complain about what challenges/ issues we've had lately with our art/ life/ creativity?? :)
Tuesday, 14 December 2010 06:56
Have a business we should all know about? Create an Ad! Go to My Studio > My Ads & set one up today. You choose your market & budget.
Have an EVENT we should all know about? You can have it advertised to all of us or some of us. Go to My Studio > My Ads & set one up.
You can have your AD show up here or wherever you want. Go to My Studio > My Ads & set one up today. You choose your market & budget.