The Artist And The Internet

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The Internet has changed our lives dramatically.

Artists in search of instruction, inspiration or fodder for subject matter had limited choices before the birth of the Internet.

Traveling far afield to take classes was expensive and time consuming.

Searching for inspiration and motivation among galleries, art shows and festivals was limited for many artists by geographic constraints. Compiling a morgue of reference material required photographic skills or subscriptions to magazines that featured full-color graphics to cull and collect.

The Internet has changed all that. An artist can never leave the studio and have a world of art right there on their computer monitor. Add to that, the ability to gather with other artists through forums and websites devoted to artists and their chosen medium, and the entire insular world of an artist is complete.

Online Video Instruction And Real-Time Classes

Pick any medium, technique or subject matter and you will find videos, both amateur and professional, to guide and instruct the artist in the intricacies and details.

There are free previews from professional artists, encouraging the viewer to sign up for the paid, full course of instruction. These videos are available to view on the Internet or offered as DVDs that are sent to the student. The beauty of these courses is that they can be viewed as often as needed, paused and reversed to play back a confusing passage or used over a period of time that meets the artist’s schedule.

Free videos are often the contributions of amateurs. There is, of course, a wide range of quality and skill in both videography and artistic ability. However, there are ample instructions from many talented amateur artists, which are useful and fun to watch.

There are also live seminars and classes, featuring professional artists and teachers. Many have live question and answer sessions and are similar to attending a live class. They are generally available as archived recordings that may be reviewed at any time. Someone who was not a participant at the live session can also view them for a small fee.

Although these options are not as exciting as getting out and rubbing elbows with fellow artists, these seminars make it possible for students who don’t have the time, money or means to attend classes.

Artistic Inspirations On The Internet

Inspiration is a curious thing. It can come out of the blue while leafing through a catalog or jump in the passenger seat as you drive down a road.

The Internet has a wealth of graphics, photos and reproductions. If you want a visual of a steaming cup of coffee, it’s easy to find. Perhaps you want a view of coral reefs and the neon-colored fish that live among the formations. Type a keyword into your favorite browser and you will instantly be bombarded with thousands of graphics.

Other artist’s interpretations of subject matter can also make good inspiration. A curious hue used to paint a bird or a unique perspective of a landscape can charge a fading creative spark. Artists, both professional and amateur, create their own blogs or web pages to display their work. Art websites feature galleries of current and historical artists.

You may wish to copy and save images that appeal to you for future reference. The acquisition of images for personal use is not a problem, if you are not reproducing them. Reproduction includes posting them on your own website, blog or manually copying them for distribution, either with a printer or your own artistic skill. You may save them for your own reference, but they should not be plagiarized.

Browse the Internet

Spend an hour or an afternoon just browsing the Internet for inspiration. You never know what alleyway you may be lured into that opens up a new and exciting idea for a painting.

The Internet holds almost limitless possibilities for an artist or student. It can instruct, enlighten and inspire. It can also frustrate, amuse and entertain us with its technicality and confusing algorithms and query results.

An artist is constantly learning. Whether it is a new skill, technique or product, there is always something new. Learn to use the Internet as a constant companion. It will help you grow as an artist and provide a wealth of information and creativity, regardless of your medium or skill level.

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