I'd love to hear opinions on whether or not you think that the
internet has hurt or helped artists in our field.
It has helped me, specifically because I live in a very isolated
spot, quite a ways from the flea (small town) on the backside of a
dog. It has helped me to reach markets I wouldn't otherwise have
access to, and it has helped my customers find someone who does a
particular style that isn't popular in their area. I live in Wyoming,
and most of my internet sales come from the eastern states.
Do you think it has hurt sales for galleries?
The way I have mine set up is that if an item is currently in a
gallery and a customer wants to buy it, I contact the gallery and ask
them to ship to the customer and provide them with the info they need
to process the sale. The gallery makes their commission and they're
happy with the set up, and I make the sale and didn't have to go
through the bother of packing and shipping the item, which would
include a trip to the flea town to mail it, since there are no rural
What about the oversaturation of jewelry artists - how much
of a part do you think the internet has had in this?
Sure, there's oversaturation, but most people are looking for
something very specific and will use those keywords in their search.
So when I'm setting up the pages, I key in as many words and
misspellings I can think of, so that when they're looking for that
specific keyword, it comes up. Some examples that seem to get word
hits a lot are: elk teeth, crystal, reticulation, keum-boo, etc.
These are savvy people that know exactly what they want, and if my
style is what they like, then it's a sale or a commission.
Do you think online sales could be hurting attendance at art
I enter into some art shows, but most people who go to art shows are
there for the experience and actual interaction with the artists.
They are looking for a different experience than the internet
What kind of changes do you see happening in the future?
I think in the future as the internet becomes more developed and
development tools become easier for non-techy types to use, it will
become more commonplace for people to use them. I see computers and
internet connections becoming as ubiquitous as the television,
phones, cable and wireless capabilities. Poorer countries that don't
have the physical infrastructure that developed countries have, will
be able to use these new technologies. It is my hope that eventually
it will level the playing field, not by undercutting cheap labor, but
by making labor more equitable, and providing more opportunities for
leveling the global economics.
Do you see online sales becoming the main point of sale versus
I think the internet will become part of the marketing mix, in
addition to brick-and-mortar storefronts and art shows. It allows
more access to artists for a larger market, and more access to
galleries to find new artists and to reach new markets. Art shows
will still have their place, but I think they will become clustered
around large metropolitan areas that encourage cultural exposure and
face-to-face interaction. Instead of going to half a dozen shows, you
might only go to one or two events per year, both as a customer and
Much of this is still in the development phase, since the internet
and its place in society is still developing, and often outpaces
itself. Its growth has been exponential, and hard to keep up with
except for the techno geeks, or any teenager. Its hard for us old
fogeys to keep abreast of all the latest. My kids keep hammering at
still trying to wrap my mind around the concept of what those words
are, let alone how I implement them. I have an analog mind in a
digital age, and the only things I multitask at is answering the
phone, while cooking supper, while doing dishes, while chucking a
couple of snacks in the general direction of starving people waiting
for their supper. But don't expect me to hold a conversation while
I'm resizing an emerald ring :-} !!
And, oh yes, the website is under a reconstruction that will allow
me to keep up with it, without having to wait for one of the kids to
come home from college to help me on the things I don't know how to