Tuesday, 2 April 2013

How the internet changed my creative life.....................

How the internet changed my creative life.   The timeline dates back to the late 1980's when visiting a friend at Oxford University and being shown electronic mail.   In seconds a computer written letter was transported instantly to another electronic mail address in Italy.   It was a revelation and I gasped at this new technology, it was magic.

Fast forward to about 1996 when "Tiny Computers" and other computer manufacturers advertised all in one packaged bundles of software with a printer and loads of other bits.   I remember visiting the shop in Exeter and carrying all these boxes back to the car.   The cost was over £1000 which seemed a huge amount to spend.   The thing was I needed a new computer as the basic one I had was mono and unpredictable.  We were going through a major legal situation at the time and  needed a reliable machine.

With the package came a CD disc saying "internet"  and I immediately wanted to try it out.   I plugged it into the phone socket .....beep beep.......and hey presto.....internet live........it was a doddle.   Email was set up with lineone and was touch and go whether a connection would fire...........remember those beeeep beeeep sounds.......

Shortly afterwards my Dad followed the internet trend and somehow managed to upload  the image on the right. I think he must have done it via a CD.   I am wearing of one of my early chintz patchwork waistcoats.  At the time it was a real performance trying to link it to an art website.  Working on my own I persevered and learnt by trial and error.   To think that the whole world could see my work by clicking a few letters on the keyboard, was sort of overwhelming.   The search engine I used was AltaVista  or Lycos, before Google was born.

Realising the potential to market/sell my work I
started by looking at Ebay.  In those days the listings seem to consist of sunglasses and other items based in USA.  Not much down in Devon.

I paid a professional to create my first website. It was rubbish and a waste of money, but at least I had a profile on the internet which unfortunately I could not update.

The next time I looked at Ebay was in 1993.  Technology had moved a long way, digital cameras and scanners where almost common place.   My first sale on Ebay was a book on Crewel Embroidery.   It was a great thrill to see the item go green with a bid.    From there I progressed to selling fabrics from my collection.  In those days I remember selling vintage fabric packs for much more than they would achieve these days.  From there I started selling patchwork paper templates and waistcoats, firstly on Ebay then creating my own websites with shopping carts.  

Pre-internet most my sales were from galleries and exhibitions.   These events were very enjoyable and profitable but extremely time consuming.  Sometimes I think I should do a few shows here and there but then do I really need too.  Not at this moment, No.

Life has been very busy and rewarding using the internet as a selling tool.    Its wonderful to be able to read emails from happy customers and get to know people who buy frequently.

Yes, the internet has changed my creative life.

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