Email Address, Blackberry and a Website: The New Essential Art Supplies

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 6.19.01 PM“People always fear change. People feared electricity when it was invented, didn’t they? People feared coal, they feared gas-powered engines… There will always be ignorance, and ignorance leads to fear. But with time, people will come to accept their silicon masters. “ Bill Gates Every once in awhile, even today, I come across an artist who is still resistant to the idea of using the computer. Okay, there might have been some justifiable excuses 10 years ago, “I don’t want to spend my time learning about something that is just a passing phase…” or, “I am getting along fine in my life right now without the use of a computer, so I don’t need one.” Or, my personal favorite, “my ___________________ (insert wife, boyfriend, brother, daughter, neighbor) has a computer and will do stuff for me.” Unfortunately, the tides of technology are changing so fast, that even if you get on board right now, you will be hopelessly left behind. Like swimming fast against the current, you will need to use all your resources just to stay in the same place. The art world, being the technological dinosaur that it is, was the last to come aboard. It took forever to galleries to understand the need for a website and email and just now are starting to use the more sophisticated techniques of electronically sending enhanced digital images to maximize communication with collectors and sales. The art business is changing rapidly and an essential part of that business has become instant visual communication…immediate access. To offer to FedEx materials is so 1990’s. So, now in addition to a snail mail address, a telephone number and a fax machine, everyone expects you to have an email address. Part of the responsibility that comes with having an email address, however, are the expectations that go along with it. Most people who send an email expect a response within hours, if not minutes. To wait over 24 hours to respond to an email is considered rude and unacceptable. In an effort to drag all you Luddites out there into the 21st century, I’ve created a mandatory checklist for 2007. To be seriously considered a professional artist in the visual arts world you must:

  • Have a website devoted exclusively to your work. Make sure it is simple to navigate and allows fast access to images and a way to contact you. Maintain the site with new work and develop a strategy to drive traffic to it. (More on website design in my next article)
  • Own your own domain name, such as You can purchase a website address at or
  • Read and answer your own email within 24 hours, even if you need a PDA or Blackberry to do so.
  • Be capable of sending and receiving digital files and JPEGS

Moving forward at the pace of today’s technological changes can appear intimidating. But, start slowly, ask for the help you need (any 5 year old can probably help you) and practice, practice, practice. Good luck!