Art & the Computer

colorful pastels

Wow, what a summer!  It was busy, interesting and creatively filled.  My husband arrived back from a nine month out of state work assignment, we saw family we had not seen in a long time, plus I received numerous art opportunities.  In June, another artist and I were discussing how much the computer has aided artists in everything from advertising to social media.  Later that day I was downloading some photos of my art to my website and I recalled when digital cameras were first coming out and I must admit, I was a bit skeptical.  Supposedly they were all the rage, but many of us weren’t buying it.  The photos were a bit grainy, and to me they looked, well, cheap.  How could someone possibly want their art photographed in this way when the 35mm had it down to a science?  Well, as technology usually does, it greatly improved.  Now, with our websites, blogs, social media, etc. many artists cannot function without their digital camera and/or computer.  I was comforted by the fact that we have Carbonite online backup on our six year old system, something I hate trying to remember to do faithfully.  We only had one minor issue with the computer in all that time, yet in the back of my mind I knew the day would eventually arrive.

Then came mid-August.  First, the modem went out.  Okay, either replace it or purchase a USB adapter and tap into the wireless network, either way not a major issue.  While deciding what we would do, the computer screen suddenly went blue.  In the computer world I found out, that is a major problem.  Then it would not do a thing.  Nothing.  Nada.  Zippo.  No keys, mice or vocabulary could coax it to respond at all.  Ten minutes later after a hard shutdown, it lumbered up to another blue screen displaying lines of code that was apparently telling me what the problem was.  Then it translated: ” the system has recovered from a serious error”.  Serious, yes, recovered, not quite.   Once up and running again the entire desktop would disappear, or sometimes just the icons; some things you could access and some you could not.  Now what?

After consulting with a few folks who are much more computer competent than us (i. e. professionals), it was unanimous that it was a hard drive issue and we should replace it with a new one.  We researched for a couple of days, made a decision and ordered.  Once it arrived, there was the setup process, which by the way, went much smoother then expected as I am NOT a computer person.  Then the ultimate test:  restore all of our files with Carbonite, as in artwork, photos, records, everything.  Plus, we were going from one operating system to a new one.  While it did take a couple of days, I must say I could not be happier.  I am truly impressed with Carbonite.  Now I need to  learn all of the updates to the programs and the operating system itself, but it all appears to be much easier than before.

While I didn’t like taking the time to completely redo the entire computer system at this time (when is a good time?) as always it was a great learning experience.  I was amazed to see just how much my own art business relies on the computer now.  I also know the importance of having a backup plan, and Carbonite was everything it said it was and I highly recommend them.

So, how does the computer and internet affect your art?  Could you operate your art business without it?

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