26 Sep 2011

4 More Ways to Use Your iPhone to Help Your Art Career

Posted by Moshe Mikanovsky

In the article I wrote last week for FineArtViews, I listed 10 ways artists can use a smartphone to help their art business. Actually, I had one extra way, so it was really 11.
After submitting the post to the FAV editor, I realized that I forgot to mention couple of other ideas, and in the post’s comments, some readerד suggested additional usages, so here is a new list with few more ideas:

1. Artwork Album.

Artist nik harron mentioned that he uses his iPhone as an impromptu album for his artwork. Someone he meets is interested to see his art? No problem. It is right there on his smartphone:

I cannot stress how important this has been for promoting my own art. When you meet a new person and they ask you what you do, as soon as you say you are an artist they are interested in seeing what you do. Sure, you could give them a business card with your website address but then you are relying on them to follow up.

An impromptu showing, even on such a small screen, can help you to make a connection, and possibly a sale. I’ve sold at least half my work this way.

I then recalled the many times I have done it myself, and how effective it is. Yes, you could use the low-budget, $1 pocket album with printed pictures of your photographed art. But the iPhone will look so much better, and professionally 21st century style. Moreover, there is almost no limit to the number of images you can store, and I you have videos from your shows or studio, even better.

2. Accept payments.

Artist George De Chiara mentioned that the phone can be used nowadays as a checkout tool when selling your art in an art fair. So true! I have not tried it myself yet, but I was always planning to use my PayPal account for this. Even if the buyer does not have a PayPal account, he or she can still use their credit card on my PayPal page. Another technology I have read about, but didn’t see in action yet, is the Square Credit Card Reader from Squareup.com. Artist Gail Mardfin mentioned it in the comments, and Art Biz Coach Allison B. Stanfield wrote about it in her blog.

Note that for payment to work, you must have a network connection, either 3G or wi-fi.

3. Relax.

Use dead-time (the line at the groceries store, remember?) to catch up on non-art related activities, freeing your work time to work – create great art. So you can read the news, watch a TV show you missed (many of them are broadcasted nowadays online), or just read something for the fun of it. Or if you up to it, throw some angry birds around. Just remember, it’s for the dead-time… Don’t let it control you.

4. The Art World.

Catch up on what happens in the art world. Some of this can be done just by web surfing, but with iPhone you have more options. Rich content apps are available these days to provide you with many tools and information. If you are into crafts, check out the crafgawker app, or the Handmade app (featuring Etsy items), both for free. If you want to tour the Louvre or the Vatican museum from the comfort of your couch, download their apps. Modern galleries and other venues also offer similar apps, and even some individual artists. And of course, some magazine.

What would you like to do with your iPhone that you can’t? Let me know and maybe I can build something for you.

Cheers

Moshe

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