This article is by Moshe Mikanovsky, Regular contributing writer for FineArtViews. An emerging artist searching his way in the art world, he loves to share what he learns. With over 20 years of technology experience, Moshe combines his technological background and his passion for the arts with the goal of "working his dream". You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.
10 Ways to Use Your Smartphone to Help Your Art Career
The other day, I was taking the subway downtown, and as usual, I was using my iPhone to catch up on things. As we moved along the underground tunnels, I thought it would be a great idea to share with you what I was doing. So I quickly switched to a Notepad app and came up with the following 10 ways to use your smartphone to help your art career!
Yes, I love my iPhone and I use it everywhere. And one of the reasons I got it was so that I will be able to save time and use a lot of the dead-minutes during the day in a productive way. You don’t have to have an iPhone specifically. I am sure other smartphones will do just as well. But, I know that the following works with iPhone, so here we go:
1. Reference pictures. Using the built in camera of your phone, take as many reference pictures as you can. Even if the camera does not have the best resolution, it is still better than not having a camera at all. It can also supplement your sketchbook. When you are back at the studio, flip through these images and see if anything can help you with your next project.
2. To do lists. Don’t you always have ideas or things you forgot to write down and need to remember? Of course you do. We all have them. I find it useful to collect them all at the same place and my iPhone is the one tool I always have on me - I don’t need to look for pen and paper. I have several To Do lists and the most important for me are those related to my art and what I need to do next.
3. Blog ideas. Did I mention I wrote this post on the subway? Well, just the list of 10 ways to use the smartphone and then I continued elaborating on them on my computer at home. This way I used “dead-time” at the subway, where even network connection is not available. And, I did the post, or the core of it, immediately, so I didn’t forget about it and it was fresh in my mind. Even if I don’t write the blog itself, I always “carry” in my iPhone a master list of blog ideas. I update it every time a new idea pops up (so, everywhere really), and I refer to it whenever I am out of ideas.
4. Read newsletters and eBooks. Do you find yourself spending too much time on your computer, taking away from your time at the easel? Well, who said you have to read all those newsletters and eBooks on your computer, the one in your studio? Instead, you can download them directly on your smartphone and read them when you have the spare time. In line at the grocery store, waiting for the movie to start in the theatre, walking the dog (or while sitting on the bench at the park waiting for it to do its business). And many other places, including some I should probably not mention here, if you know what I mean.
5. Socialize on Social media. All the social media sites have smartphone apps nowadays. I rarely use Facebook or Twitter sites anymore. I mainly use my iPhone apps for each. Again, I do it on my dead time mostly, earning some expensive time back to my day. And I focus on promoting my art, by linking people to my blog, and connecting with other artists.
6. Art ideas. This is taking the To-Do lists and the Reference pictures one step further. Why not dedicate some smartphone space for capturing and recording some of your art ideas? We are creative people and our brains don’t just stop creating, or at least coming up with some brilliant ideas, associations, new images, eureka moments. Don’t wait till you forget them - record them when they are still hot.
7. Catch up on emails. Again, saving time on those mundane tasks that would be otherwise taking some precious time from your creative process. Now, not everything can be replied using the Smartphone web app, but many emails could. At least you can do the reading of the emails and leave the reply to later. Have in mind that usually when writing emails on a small device, people tend to use shortcuts and short-language. If it is important for you to look professional on your correspondence, take the time to reply properly. It can be done on the smartphone, no problem. And one more tip: you know how many emails sent from the iPhone are “signed” with something like “sent from my iPhone”? It will be a good idea to change it to your own signature, with your contact info and website. Why not? And if you don’t know where to change that, let me know and I can direct you there.
8. Broadcast live from art shows. This is another things you can do live, while at the event. It can be a show you participate in, or other art shows you have interest in. You can use the Social Media sites, like Facebook for example, to instantly upload images or videos. The immediacy of the information will bring you immediate feedback and followers.
9. Make new art. Or do some sketches. Ok, I admit that I have not done this myself. But, I have seen some artists who solely create on the iPhone. You can see some great examples on the iPhone Paintings blog, and by also Googling it, you will find many examples.
10. Use new technology. For example, QR Codes, those new style barcodes that allow people to reach any website, or really, any text. Read how I have used it myself in an art show I had at a local espresso bar.
11. Record your easel location. This is an extra one I came up with while I was writing the post (not at the subway). While in an art class I took recently, we had a 3 week figure painting session. Our teacher recorded the model’s setup with his smartphone. I recorded my easel location with my own iPhone, using smudges and paint stains on the floor as a reference. The following week, using my images, I was able to stand my easel at the exact location, keeping the same angle and lighting on the model. How did they do it 10 years ago before those smartphones were invented?
In summary, I could group all these ways into 3 main categories: (a) another art tool, (b) Catch up tool, and (c) save time by utilizing dead time.
So, if you don’t yet have a smartphone, did this post convince you to get one?
How do you utilize your smartphone to help you with your art career?