does handmade benefit from hi-tech?



i’m a little bit of crunchy granola at times.

Not so much a hippie, as a bohemian, eclectic spirit. i like hands-on projects and as i’ve posted before, i really love to see the hand of the maker in a final artwork.

Organic wobbly lines, varied textures, imperfections. i like to juxtapose these elements with intricate, hand-drawn artwork and fine detail. i want my art to look human, not all cold and factory-perfect.

So, i’ve been a little intrigued of late at how much i’ve actually begun to rely on technology to accomplish my goals.

Am i succumbing to my inner techie?!

Let’s see…..

#1 – um, my name is stephanie and i’m addicted to my graphics tablet.

it saves paper, and erasers and eraser dust! i can utilize cool brush tips to look just like i’ve sketched in pencil or ink or marker and not this plastic stylus. i can make sketches on various photoshop layers instead of relying on my lightbox for tracing off steps in the illustration process…..Basically, i can just keep my butt firmly in one chair and complete an entire batch of client sketches without fetching paper, and fresh pencil lead, and prints off the epson and a seat at the drafting table. When i’m done, i don’t need to scan and clean up my sketches. i just SAVE AS and email them off into someone’s inbox. It’s revolutionary….and fast.

#2 – oh Canon EOS Rebel T1i, where have you been all my life?!

amazing zoom lens, manual control i’ve dreamed of, the ability to take photographs of my larger artworks that essentially have the detail of the scans i used to have to piece together because of the darn teeny scanner bed’s limitations. Plus, the amazing speed of upload to my computer means i pretty much have the image on my screen a mere moment after i take the shot! That’s productivity!

#3 – Facebook, you are addictive and i’d try to quit you…..if my sales weren’t so positively affected by our daily chats!

i never post to my personal page. its a rarity. But my “Fan Page“, the one i use to update folks on artworks and professional projects?…..yeah, i’m addicted. The feedback is better than a focus group, the platform is simple, the reach is phenomenal and the results speak for themselves. My excellent sales in the past 6 months are NO DOUBT directly related to the exposure i’ve gotten by answering the ubiquitous FB question often…..”what’s on your mind?”

Technology is so crucial to the survival, efficiency and growth of my art business these days. And that flies in the face of my usual “purist” ways. But maybe those ways were just a crutch so i didn’t have to really push myself? Lord knows, right now i’m pushing….everyday!¬† i feel so blessed with work, wonderful new friends and clients. i barely have a minute in the day to spare.

But that’s awesome!!! Right? No sense feeling conflicted about that!

If technology can help me to “make” more art, satisfy more customers and advance my art career, i’m not gonna be all pouty, and close-minded and resistant to it!

Bring it on!

i’ve changed my outlook. i don’t think that technology is dulling my ability to effect my handmade vision anymore. Instead i’m starting to really understand and appreciate how it has enhanced it.

What technologies have you recently¬† discovered that have “changed your life?” What are you amazed you ever lived without? i wanna know. Seriously.¬† Because i’m gonna run out and get one of whatever you tell me! …then i’m going to post about it on Facebook : )

{image by bleu cherub by JL67 }

13 thoughts on “does handmade benefit from hi-tech?

  1. I totally understand where you’re coming from stephanie!

    I don’t know how I ever lived without pinterest! It has been so useful for me to collect all the images that I love on one site, rather than bookmarking pages or just forgetting them!

  2. I haven’t gone completely techie yet, I’m still trying to figure out how to get Facebook to work for my business. What I have become slightly addicted to and find is a great tool is Twitter. I love it. When I post or re-tweet or whatever on there my hits on my blog go way up for that day. I also get a lot of good information from the people I follow. Three months ago I knew nothing about Twitter, didn’t want to know and thought it was silly. Who knew?

    1. lori, i agree. there are still endless people who think my time on facebook and twitter is a waste…but i know better and am really happy with the folks i’m meeting online and the sales that are resulting.

  3. Mac, iPhone, iPad, wireless….. need I say more. Not to mention the technology that has gone into producing better material and finer tools that I use to create my glass art.

  4. Seriously, I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but Twitter has totally changed my life. Its how I found out about this place, so reason enough, right?! But the new peeps I’ve “met” and the ideas that have impacted my day to day emotional barometer are amazing. I am so NOT an “online people meeter” type, and when I first tried twitter (for different reasons) a while back it was a lost cause. (Following Ashton and Demi didnt help!) Nowadays I try to keep up with Twitter, I accept that whatever I glean will have to suffice but no doubt it will be good!

  5. I couldn’t agree more… except for the FB thing. I admire your tenacity regarding it. I now approach it like I would a rabid dog. But you do present a compelling argument.

    BTW, I just named you a Stylish Blogger on my latest post. Do with that knowledge what you will. But I know you’ll wear it well :)

  6. I love this! I like to call myself technically creative, so I completely get this and had to laugh reading this because we just got a T1I yesterday and I am in LOVE!

  7. Hi, love the streamlining possibilities. Was wondering what graphics tablet you use, I have drawings all over the place and would love to have a digital sketchbook that is true to life i.e. feels like drawing in a sketchbook! and that keeps everything in one place, can edit etc. Please share any tips you have for buying the right drawing tablet. Much appreciated!

    1. i use a wacom intuos 4 in the large size. i’ve had it a few months now and i really love it though i know i’ve only begun to scratch the surface of its capabilities. i asked artist friends on twitter and facebook what they’d recommend, did my online research, and then just went for it!! i love it.

  8. I have to agree with you.

    Most of the time I create my illustrations digitally, but sometimes I want a hand drawn look, so I work with pen and ink on paper. And my new printer has a scanner, I think I love it.
    Also, like many people I really like digital photography so much better. So easy to develop and edit photos.

    I long ago came to the conculsion that the computer is just another tool, one that often lets me create in ways I wouldn’t be able to by hand.

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