Surfing the Internet a year ago, artist Geoff Krueger began to notice a trend of artists creating daily artworks little bursts of creativity sold at a bargain price as a way to attract an audience.
But that wasnt his style or so he thought. Krueger is known for his large-scale, tightly crafted Hudson River School-inspired landscapes of roiling rivers, abandoned houses, lifeguard stations and other iconic scenes that takes months to complete.
In late 2012, he decided to take his Web inspiration seriously and dedicate himself to making one piece of art every day.
Krueger auctions off his Daily Dose of Painting, a series of 5-by-7-inch still lifes he whips up in a couple hours, at GeoffreyKrueger.com. Bids start at $100. What he sells notwithstanding, the bigger payoff is less tangible, he says.
Taking this small risk pushed him out of his comfort zone, loosened his style and now is beginning to influence his larger work.
Its been really freeing, Krueger says. My thoughts of what my artwork can be have expanded. It opened up another world to me.
Kruegers experience is just one example of how the Internet is influencing artists in Idaho and around the world. It can serve as inspiration and context for work, a way to communicate with other artists and patrons, and a source of inspiration.
Nearly every artist has a personal or gallery website and a Facebook page they use to network and market themselves.
Painter Cassandra Schiffler finds endless inspiration on the Web.
You now have so much access to images through the Internet, she says. You can look at Goya prints in one tab, Sean Scully paintings in another, and check out whats up at the Tate Modern in another. Looking at other artists work either in person and on the Web inspires me and pushes me to do better.
Metal artist Zella Bardsley never thought shed be as Internet-savvy as shes become.
She has her own website ZellaBardsley.com plus five Facebook pages and websites from the galleries shes involved in. The biggest impact comes from her personal Facebook page.
It is amazing how many sales and commissions come to me because of an Internet presence, Bardsley says. While I dont get to post images nearly as much as I should, every time I do something I notice a difference in my checkbook.
With Google and Facebook data, artists can better track whom their audience is. They can tell where theyre from, what they looked at and how long they stayed on a particular image, and if theyre returning or new visitors, Schiffler says.
Artist Marcus Pierce has noticed his site growing.
Lately, I have been seeing hits from Europe as well as throughout the U.S., he says. I had a band from Australia contact me to use my work for their album cover.
Pierce also finds the Internet seeping into his medium. His current body of work Moire Series is directly inspired by the Internets influence on society, he says.
Both in art and through online social networking, we control and artificially self-fabricate our identities because of our desires to affect others and the world around us, he says.
The individual portraits nest together in a golden spiral, simulating how social networks build, he says. Yet, each individual portrait is housed behind layers of plexiglass, which isolates the actual image.
Most of the people Pierce used for his subjects made his image of them their Facebook profile picture.
The marketing of personality is nothing new to the art world, and though I am critical of the phenomena, I acknowledge I am a part of it, Pierce says.
But the Web has two sides, Pierce says. It can be both a wellspring and a time suck.
It can be full of wild goose chases, hours wasted and endless procrastination, Pierce says. Also, the Internet can provide countless examples of how other people create, but does little to inform you about how you create. Infinite possibility can be the enemy of creativity.
The connectivity of the Net is one of its most useful aspects, says artist Cody Rutty.
A painter, Rutty moved to an affordable studio space in New Meadows a few months ago to work on art full time.
If New Meadows didnt have the Internet, I dont know if I would have made this move, Rutty says. Given that Im connected and available to the world has mitigated the remoteness.