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October 2012

October 2012 -- Magic



  • Ask an Artist:
    Questions of Social Media
  • Artist Spotlight:
    Interview with Pierre Carles
  • Behind the Art:


  • Half the Story: DPI
  • Magic Effects


  • Fiction: The Sound Down by the Shore

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  • Questions of Social Media
    Ask an Artist
    by Ursula Vernon

    Again, we offer a feature where Ursula Vernon answers questions about art and the business of art, for our edification!

    Question: What are your thoughts on social media? Too time-wasting? We know you blog - do you tweet, or Facebook, or Tumblr? How has blogging influenced your career? Any uses of social media you'd warn artists away from?

    It's a good question, and I think the answer is "Do whatever you can keep up with."

    A website or a blog is only valuable as long as you keep up with it. It's fabulous if you can update once or twice a week, it keeps you in people's brains, it makes you something they live with and want to support. Blogging has been extraordinarily helpful for me, on a personal level and certainly in terms of art sales--but you have to be able to DO it. And some people can't or get exhausted by the notion of writing blog posts and find it cuts into their productivity, and I have no problem telling those people to stay off the internet and do what makes them happy/makes them money, and to completely ignore all those gurus who tell you that the secret to VAST INTERNET WEALTH is to get a billion likes on Facebook. Doesn't work. If you have a billion likes on Facebook, you have a billion likes -- not a billion dollars, not a billion sales, not a billion extra minutes in the day. The exchange rate is not nearly so good as people would like to believe.

    I tweet mostly personally, to my friends and followers, and I mostly follow people I know. Facebook I don't do, Tumblr I don't do, Google+ I've mostly forgotten about -- I have only so much time, and you have to keep it down to what you can manage.

    Question: PC or Mac?

    I've done it all, and I do mean all. I started on an Amiga 500. (Some of you over a certain age are cheering at the screen right now.) I did Mac when they were "graphics machines" and then I did PC when Mac had lost that standing.

    For a very long time I was on a PC custom built for the amount of heavy graphics processing I was doing. On the one hand, it was a really solid machine for four or five years, and fairly inexpensive to build. On the other hand, when it broke, it BROKE, and since I had divorced my tech support at that point, it required a parade of very kind friends to get working again.

    When it was finally time to knuckle under and get a new machine, I took most of the pay-out for art delivery on one of the Dragonbreath books and bought a high-end Mac. In terms of art processing, there is frankly no difference between it and the PC (it's faster, since the PC was old, but frankly, six of one, half a dozen of the other these days) and it was certainly not cheap, but it's much more user friendly and if it breaks, I have a place to take it that does not require imposing on my friends. At the end of the day, that was important to me.

    I am still a little bummed that some of my favorite games don't port, though...

    Ursula Vernon

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