The Evolution of the Studio in COVID Era
So here we are, a world completely changed, a new normal, and the path of professionals, educational systems, and all social norms thrown to the wind. So what does it mean to be a fine artist in days like this? With the clear understanding that the expected next 5 - no wait -maybe even 10 years from now looking drastically different than we expected (that was only 6 months ago that the world seemed so very normal), it's time to dive into the foray of digital content and stick my nose where it now belongs.
It's wild to think 6 months ago I was planing on continuing work as usual, my son at school and my office job still at the office. I had my sights on several gallery options and the big booth setups from last year (huge success, BTW, so many thank yous to everyone who supported Squirrely Scribbles at Christmas Made in the South 2019!!). I was creating a road map to engaging my community in a very social, in-person dynamic that seemed to be building steadily in my relatively new home in South Carolina. But then the world screeched to a halt, and everything seems to be upended by this drastic quarantine, life-changing pandemic. It's now time to throw on the webcams, turn up the music, and get into the online communities.
There are so many questions, as an artist, that I have to ask myself now. It's like I'm rewriting the entire business model because of this new era. It is, by the way, an era. It's a very prominent part of what's defining all of us and our culture, and it's not going anywhere any time soon. So I have to ask myself questions such as "who is my audience?" "what kind of content am I producing now?" "how much content do I deliver?" and most difficult to tackle, "WHERE do I deliver it?"
So what am I changing? Well, I've jumped into the live streaming game, and so far it's been a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to doing different kinds of artwork live, and maybe down the road even talk through some tutorial clips. I've always enjoyed trying new mediums and sharing my thoughts, and working with an audience is a new experience for sure. But it's been a pleasant surprise to see how much I'm enjoying it. I am also bolstering my Etsy shop Squirrely Scribbles quite a bit. I've put up everything that I have already printed and packaged so that I don't have to chase the printers down and pick up materials. I am still figuring out how I want to move forward with fresh cards and prints however, so I'm looking into upgrading my printer soon, and possibly getting the prints on watercolor paper and cardstock done entirely at home. So I'm pretty much following the raid train and creating a more robust online presence, trying to reach people through online rather than in-person gallery viewing and contacts.
Here's to a new studio life, a new vision and new ways to share art in the world.