Friday, January 27, 2012

I'm just writing this to get it out of my system.

I think you could call this my love letter to the internet.

A few times in the last year I've tweeted my opinion that we are living in the most creative time in human history.  I strongly believe this, and can get quite excited by the awesome possibilities of sharing work via the internet. I just had to write something here explaining what I meant, and to state the facts as I see them (It's quite possible that no one else cares, plus a lot of this is obvious, and I find it more than a little embarrassing that I can get worked up about this enough to write it all down, but it's my blog, and it's no secret about how nerdy I am, so...).

I'll start with photography and it's growth in popularity in recent years.  When I was in school studying it, I carried a camera with me an awful lot. How geeky did I have to be to do that? Very. Carrying a clunky 35mm camera around your neck at all times isn't very cool, or comfortable. But nowadays, how many people do not have a camera with them at all times thanks to their phones? And in those days, unless you were a student, or a member of some sort of club of photographers, who could you share your work with? What was the motivation for the average person to photograph anything but family, or to remember your vacation by? Who would you show it to? Now with Flickr and groups like it, it's so very easy to become part of a community to share your work, so you are motivated to make more. That's really what this is all about, I think, the ability to share. And how many people have discovered the joys of photography thanks to the ease of uploading an image to share immediately via Twitter? Lots, I would say. So many people are on the look out for something funny or beautiful to share.  Same goes for movies. Creating videos to post on Vimeo and Youtube is possible for anyone to do at a very low cost. Barriers have been removed.

Think about the art of writing for a minute. Think about creative, or biographical, or whatever kind of writing. Before blogging, how many people wrote any more than it took to fill the space of postcard? If it wasn't their profession, I'd say very few.  Now, it seems like everyone has had a blog at one time or another. And now "micro-blogging" is in style thanks to Twitter.  Not as many words you say? Right, but it's a different skill that people are learning. Very concise wording.  Do people want to post boring tweets? Of course not. People spend quite a few minutes of their day trying to write interesting, humorous, or informative Tweets and Facebook updates. Small bits of creativity for sure, but add them up on a weekly basis, and it's quite a bit. 

I think of all the craftspersons who have learned from each other on-line. Popular knitting blogs for instance have taken that old past-time of grandma's and made it mainstream.  Before Etsy and the like, where would a person sell the scarves and hats that they made besides the occasional craft fair?  I mean, a family only needs so many scarves, and then the knitting needles were put away. Communities on the web not only serve as a place to share work and ideas, but that also serve as shops to sell your product worldwide, creating a reason to make more, and to try new, crazy ideas. Kind of incredible.

My work exists because of the internet. If it weren't for people on the internet urging me on when I started, I wouldn't really have known I was "onto" anything when I began Bent Objects. Showings at galleries were few and very far between, and I sold practically nothing for months at a time.  Creating and posting work onto the internet is almost immediately satisfying and informative. Feedback is quick, and inspires me to make more. Going back to the days of making things to only display in a gallery would be depressing and slow down any evolution of my work immensely.  People inspire each other with work on the web in even real time at this point, thanks to things like "hangouts" on Google+.  (And as far as getting inspired by other peoples work? 10 years ago, you could buy a magazine and see work that was months old, look at a book with work that was years old, or go to your local museum and see the same work that they've shown for decades. Not exactly cutting edge stuff.) 

Now, here's when someone says- "Sure, there's a lot out there now, but most of what is created today is crap," and... I would agree. I've even said that, but there's still a lot of it that isn't. First of all, everyone starts out by making crap. But more importantly, with only a half-hearted try, a person can find many amazing things every day on the web, and thanks to the ease of sharing with others, more and more people are having a go at it.  How can this not be the most exciting time for artists, writers, musicians, or whoever wants to try something new? If you have something good to share, people will take notice! And if they don't? Try harder, or try something else.

Paris in the 1920's and 30's is looked back on through a gauzy lens. So many artists and writers, from Picasso to Hemingway were there making some of their best works, meeting up in caf├ęs during the day, in bars at night, an exciting brew of our creative heroes inspiring each other to great heights. Last year's wonderful film, "Midnight In Paris," visits that era with great flair.  One funny thing is that the characters in the film in that classic era don't know that they are living in a special moment in time (of course) they are longing for one a few decades earlier. It's just what people do, I guess. My contention is that these days we live in right now will be looked back on with longing, especially with various governments trying to push through laws to control the internet. If that happens, these will be the good old days, so don't take them for granted. Look around and enjoy. I think this is an incredible time to make things, and I hope it stays around for a while.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I've been building a house.

This will be part of a story I'm making. Not that I have any takers for it yet. I'll just have to try and make it so good that they can't help themselves, I guess. That's my goal anyhow. It's good to have goals.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Crab Meat

In an effort to raise funds for a new project, he can be yours for $75 sold(more for international mail). 
One of a kind, by me.  People who tell sad stories to get a better deal are welcome to look for the occasional one I leave behind on holiday.  Good luck! :)