Updated: Jun 28
The current virus crisis has forced me and my wife Nikki, who runs our art business with me, to turn our sights toward the only game in town: the online world.
Before this, we were content to do our art shows across the country and in our city during the 2nd Friday Gallery walks out of our studio. I loved connecting in the real world and like a dinosaur, I didn't see how you could really create or be part of a community online, where people would interact regularly, emotionally, spiritually, like people do... And I also didn't think you could get people to be interested enough to buy art without first holding it in their hands.
Facebook and Instagram were things I dabbled in, posting occasionally and often halfheartedly. My web site was ok, but didn't have an online store.
Fast forward a few months after we started to realize that an entire year of shows was going to be stripped from us, and we are now ALL-IN online!! Its been a truly amazing and eye opening experience!
I've learned that you can connect just fine with people. That you are connecting in different ways, some ways better, some worse, mostly just new ways. Its like I was blind and now I can see!
I'm proud of how quickly Nikki and I have adapted. We now have an entirely new web site, built from the ground up, infinitely better than the old one. Of course, it now has a store with some cool features. Most of the artworks have before and after images, some have videos. Getting a more in depth view of my art has never been easier. The front page has a banner video showing me at work, again providing greater depth for my art.
And then there's our Facebook dive-in! We've had to take a crash course on how to best be present on social media. We have mostly settled on Facebook, with a secondary push on Instagram. I've been posting daily on Facebook, usually twice a day! I post mostly stuff unrelated to my art, and searching for interesting material to post has been another revelation. I've been diving deep into all kinds of art and culture magazines, opening my eyes further in the process.
And of course, our monthly Art Giveaways on Facebook!! They're a blast! Giving truly is the best gift we can give ourselves. And luckily I have a wife who feels the same way.
And in terms of my art, my approach to the online world is similar to how I am in the real world. I won't be any less generous with my time with someone who isn't going to buy anything... maybe they just really like my art and have questions and I'm happy to oblige.
I expect our online presence to evolve over the years, but even after we're back on the road, doing our busy schedule of art fairs, we'll still remain extremely active online, because if there's one thing we've learned, there's just no going back.