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Monday
May092011

Technology: Keeping Up to Date

Last week Aletta interviewed one of my favorite people on the planet: Photographer Connie Bransilver.  

 

Connie made a very good point about the necessity of keeping our skills and equipment up-to-date: "Digital technology in cameras, lenses, computers -- hardware and software... change almost moment by moment, so to be a photographic artist today means keeping ahead of all the technology as well as creating a visually compelling and artful image."

 

Chasing TechnologyEven if you're not a photographic artist or a digital artist, her point still applies to you. As a professional artist you are in business, and running your art business will require a computer, software and other gadgets. How do you know what to invest in and keep up-to-date? 

 

What does "up-to-date" mean? It used to be that we could get along on one version of something for years. Software and hardware.  Now, it's more like a year, or two max.  You will need to adjust your budget to include more frequent purchases of computers, computer accessories, and software.

 

It's worth it, you'll save a lot of time and frustration.  It will give you better (and faster) results. Important: Let your computer check every week for updates that fix bugs and security issues. 

 

Do you have to run out and buy the most current version of everything you have or want? No. That gets expensive and isn't necessary. Think about what you use most. What is critical to running your art business and producing your art? Keep all that updated and current.  The rest? As needed.

 

Your art, business, and computer skills need to be up-to-date also.  Remember the story about the artist client of mine who spent three days (really) trying to print out address labels? Poor computer skills + outdated computer + old software = big waste of time and money. Money? Yes, waste of money. Your time is worth money. Either outsource the job to someone like me, or keep your skills sharp so you can get it done quickly and easily. Then get back to doing what you love: creating your art! 

 

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P.S.   Want help figuring out what you need to invest in, and what can wait? You can have a complimentary 15-minute consultation (if you haven't already had one with me). Or, sign up for a 60-minute brainstorming session with me. Just $75 and worth every penny. 

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Reader Comments (2)

Hi Robin,

Thank you for a timely post.

It's so easy to glide along as well as everything is working well, and spend much valuable time, fixing it when it won't go any farther.

My question is how do we know when to take the time to update our still working computers? ...Well, you answered the question already when you wrote "Think about what you use most. What is critical to running your art business and producing your art? Keep all that updated and current. The rest? As needed.

In your post of February 2, 2010 you gave a couple of valuable links to keep us on the right track.

Hi Ellene:

Thanks for your nice comment. I would also say that it's important to look for critical non-obvious things to update.

I am guilty of an oversight in that area and spent two days and $50 for tech support this weekend to fix our broken wireless network. The work I do is 100% dependent on having a fast, reliable internet connection and our wireless router had not been updated in three years. I was, as you said, gliding along because it was working fine, until it broke.

Oops! I discovered that if I had updated the hardware sooner the problem would not have happened at all and I would have had my R&R time over the weekend, and my $50. I was so focused on my computer and software that it did not occur to me to look at the router hardware.

You may have things that are "not so obvious" that should be updated. Like your internet connection, network (if you have one), telephone and voicemail, everything is worth considering before you decide which are most critical and need to be updated. Then check the website of the company providing the hardware/software/service to see if there are new versions that you should be using. Often you will find vast improvements that will help you run your art business more efficiently.

Good luck!

~Robin

May 16, 2011 | Registered CommenterRobin Sagara

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