Hello, me again! Here’s a quick look at what has been happening ‘behind the scenes’ in my practice.
My presence in my studio was somewhat halted recently due to a well earned and greatly appreciated holiday in the Lake District. I didn’t stop working however! I was dutifully armed with Oliver Grau’s ‘MEDIAARTHISTORIES’, Gaston Bachelard’s ‘Poetics of Space‘and Tom Rolt’s ‘Railway Adventure‘ – the latter being my escape from the art theory! As you can see below I was also armed with my camera and, as a later blog post will show, my 3D printer pen.
Whilst in the Lakes I did keep an eye on the region’s local galleries noting that the tourist market was obviously their biggest seller. The area is saturated with lakeside paintings and photographs, separated by minuscule differences in the progress of boat a boat’s journey across a lake. This succeeded in creating a sense of déjà vu whenever you stepped foot in a gallery which I found most off putting and by the end of the week had not bothered to step foot in one gallery after seeing more of the same in the window display. I did wonder wether it was possible to assemble a stop motion film through documenting the repetitive nature of the work.
Saying that, however, there were some galleries I had found that shifted focus from photography and painting to small sculptural pieces and I did overall find the change in subject matter a welcome change from the national commercial galleries and their current flooding of a select few artists onto the market. One can also not deny that the Go Herwick lamb trail is a great bit of fun and reminiscent of Liverpool’s ‘Superlambananas‘!
Artist Vs Technology
As mentioned in a previous post, I had been trying to find some decent (and free) video editing software in order to show the 3D drawing process with my web. I thought I had found the answer with ‘Wondershare Filmora‘, it has an unrivalled library of effects and options for free software but it was only when I came to export my video that I discovered the downside. My video was hidden behind the largest watermark I have ever seen! The effects I had been so keen on were no longer the key element of my video.
I searched around for alternatives and eventually settled on VSDC video editor. Whilst this program doesn’t have the same extensive effect library in its free version it does allow for exporting video without a watermark and allows greater freedom to edit your video, working in much the same way as Photoshop.
Watching the footage back I did rather grimace and had thought the footage to be at all flattering, it was therefore important to me to disguise myself as best I could and draw more attention to the movement of the drawing.
The basic black and white filter certainly removed a lot of the distracting elements in the film. I tried various ways of editing the film, some are pictured below.
I eventually found the ‘motion blur’ effect which, in the film, now appeared to be dragging myself into the corner of the image, as if I too was part of my web. I set about really playing of this effect and increased the contrast before deciding that I was completely satisfied.
Exercise in Social Media
So what’s happened with the online side of my practice since my last update? I’m finding wordpress so easy to use now, in many ways it has almost become my sketchbook – documenting my thought progression.
Facebook is constantly providing data on the performance of my art page, seeming to suggest that overall page views are down 67% since 18th July and likes have also slowed down for the minute.
My post reach and engagement are on the up, as can be seen from the data below. My total video views are at 432 which isn’t bad either when considering I only have three videos!
Another element of facebook’s feedback element is the ability to determine from what platform people are viewing my page. As you can see from the chart below most people are using mobile devices which is one reason I suspect that my mini essay style blog posts are performing at substandard levels, people do not want to be redirected away from the social media platform. Another reason being that the vast majority of my page likes are friends, friends who have better things to do than endure some art theory!
I did have a bit of a panic after my review of Martin Creed / Dub Vampire / Moderate Realism / Sally Gilford after receiving likes Dub Vampire’s facebook page and then likes from front man of Dub Vampire, Brian Turner! At last my page is being liked by outsiders to my own social circle.
I am feeling comfortable with Twitter, it seems to be where my essay posts are more greatly appreciated for now. In an effort to streamline my social media posts, after finding that my posts between facebook and twitter were greatly different, I have enabled my facebook to share what I post there to my twitter account too. Whilst this is great it does also mean that blog posts from wordpress are shared twice to my twitter. I will have to work on this.
I have really started to use my Instagram app on my phone, unfortunately only for editing photo and video. I have yet to really engage in its social media aspect.
I expect that this week I will take the plunge and get a nice portfolio website set up (as opposed to a ‘orible one). Having spent a long time looking and deciding just what I want I feel that now I am able to proceed further.
The Learning Curve
I did recently receive the news that a commission I had put many hours work into was no longer wanted. Understandably I was disappointed and not at all happy, having just lost out on a nice bit of money that I was rather relying on earning.
Undeniably the loss of money could have been prevented if I were better prepared but as they say, we learn by doing.
In future commissions from myself will require a down-payment before work is started in order to cover material costs and ensure the project is followed through.
I will also charge by the hour for my efforts.
A final charge for the finished piece will also be added (this probably applies more to copyright for design work).
I think that is all for now, expect more updates this week!