Be Smart About Art

Getting technology to work for you

written by: Susan J Mumford Sept. 9, 2018 1) RECOMMENDED-> Susan's weekly blog post 444 views

Getting technology to work for you

Back in 2007, I wasn’t sure what possessed me to buy the iPhone (the first one) The date is still clear to me, as my new acquisition was with me when I attended Miami Art Week that December, and those being the days before I understood about data roaming, well… you can guess what happened when using the phone in a different country from where I had my phone contract. Thank goodness I barely knew what to do with the device, as the bill could have been far more painful. 

Years later, it finally dawned that I’m an embracer of technology, championing how small businesses and projects can use it to punch above their weight. As we progress through the digital age, it’s important to understand how to effectively use digital technology. It’s also worth appreciating that technology is not there to replace what we do, but to compliment the work and unique abilities of our amazing human selves. 

There’s a catch with the effectiveness of technology: It’s only as good as the information you provide and how you use it, including keeping up to date with changes. 

Consider the example of an inventory management database. Artists from the BSAA community are raving about Artwork Archive* and how it helps them to stay on top of where their pieces are located, enables them to easily send lists of works to galleries, interior designers and others, provides a simple way to create consignment notes and much, much more. However, the platform is only as good as the information you provide. If six months pass and you’ve created a new body of work, you need to sit down at the computer to upload artwork details and images in order to make use of the platform in relation to those new pieces.  

Akin to a gym membership, signing up is only the first step. 

How then do you identify technology solutions for your own needs? Much like the development of your own projects, conduct research, get input and test. Only the other day, I was looking for an online Kanban tool (this is a way to manage projects originating ion the Japanese car industry, but now used for all kinds of projects widely used). I found various articles with trustworthy review sites, and eventually discovered one that suited my visual preferences as well as other needs. That was followed by researching reviews and setting up a 30-day trial - a common offering of tech solutions, as getting experience with a platform is an important part of converting paying customers. Only time will tell if I set up a paying account. 

Sometimes, you’ll discover that you only require a simple solution that might even be free. In my own case, I use iMovie (which is included on Apple computers) for editing videos, and Audacity (open-source software) for editing audios. 

Other times, paying a bit is worth the investment. As someone who manages teams, paying for Slack, a team communication tool, and Zoom, a video conferencing platform, is well worth the spend. 

Whatever digital solutions are right for you, it’s worth investing time in learning how to use them and keeping them up to date. This enables platforms to work for you, not only reaping the rewards, but also saving crucial time that enables you to do exactly as I’ve done in the image: spend a leisurely afternoon doing something for yourself. 

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Check out Artwork Archive’s platform. BSAA readers receive a 10% discount (after taking advantage of the free trial) for the first year’s subscription by initially using the following link: https://www.artworkarchive.com/from/besmartaboutart10 

There’s more for (BSAA) members… who receive a whopping 20% discount on the first year’s Artwork Archive subscription! Check out BSAA Membership. 

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