More Online Resources for Artists Part Four

More Online Resources for Visual Artists Part 4

The Best Online Resources for Artists Part Four


Each week I write a brand new article for members of our three wonderful art groups on Facebook, The Artists Exchange, The Artists Directory, and The Artist Hangout. This week we continue with the recent series of finding the best online resources to support you as an artist!

Welcome to part four of this current series where we take a look at some learning resources and programs of art interest that you can even listen to while on the move! There’s a focus on resources from around the world but a particular focus this week on resources from some of the leading British art institutions too, as well as the usual mix from elsewhere, but they’re all accessible and relevant wherever you’re based. So where do we start?

2018 is the year of the Podcast!

I remember the time when you had to download a podcast to an MP3 player and you would get about 10-minutes of a pre-recorded show that had been created by someone sitting in a corner of a room. Today we can stream podcasts directly to our phones and the number of people creating them has increased dramatically since the early days. Podcasts have been a thing for fifteen years now but they are only just starting to become mainstream. They’re mostly professional studio recorded affairs too, and the quality of podcasts has come on in leaps and bounds over the past few years.

If you are wondering what on earth a podcast is, and I know a few people who listen to them without realising what they are called, essentially it is an audio file which is either available for downloading or streaming where radio style content is offered as a series or in instalments. Listeners are then able to subscribe to the series and have the latest episodes available to them anytime and anywhere. If they have been downloaded, you can usually listen to them when you are offline too.

Podcasts are great and cover every single subject that anyone could ever think of talking about. Some podcast presenters have even gone on to become internationally recognised as experts in their field and more than a few have become internet and TV and radio stars.

Whether you are driving a car, sitting on a train, or you have gone out for a run (why?), a podcast can keep us company, can keep us entertained, and we can even learn about stuff too. In the UK it is estimated from new research, that some six million people listen to a podcast each week. While that might seem like a relatively low number, it represents almost a 60% increase over the past two years. Podcasts are growing up. 

More and more people are turning to listening to podcasts to keep them informed whilst on the move, and of those people, many fall into the 16-34 age bracket and who are classed as Millennials. The Millennial audience is increasingly important to artists as these are the very people who will be buying art at some point soon even if they aren’t already. The millennial audience is notoriously difficult to engage with, podcasts are likely to be the tool of choice for reaching out to them and engaging them in your work. As artists we need to reach out to new audiences and let them know about our work, and podcasts might just be the way to do it!

As current audiences mature and inevitably pass, new audiences have to come in to fill those gaps. The Millennial audience is one that has been particularly difficult for traditional broadcasters to reach out too, with many of the Millennials consuming content very differently with the advent of streaming and as more and more people change their online and offline viewing habits. If your current audience is ageing then you need to bring up a secondary market to take its place at some point. That sounds a little cold but this is simply business.

Up until a couple of years ago podcasts were very niche and the topics covered often sat in even smaller niches. YouTube really started to change the way people viewed and consumed video content, podcasts are now starting to do the same for audio.

There are quite literally thousands upon thousands of podcasts and when you start accessing the back catalogues of many of the podcasters, well there’s enough content around to keep you entertained and informed forever. Because art is visual you would probably think that podcasts that have no visuals would be limited, but they’re not. 

Take a look at some of the established podcasters within the art world such as Lean Into Art which you can find here, and you’ll wonder why you haven’t been listening to them long before now.

Take a listen to The Lonely Palette here and you will find a wealth of topics which explain about individual artworks and artists.

If you want to have a go yourself, there are plenty of tutorials online that explain how to set everything up. Not only will you be able to reach new audiences with your art, there are other ways that can allow you to monetise your podcasts too. 

Advertising is perhaps one of the biggest reasons many create podcasts, but if you are offering coaching sessions or master classes, you can if you have the subscribers, make a decent enough side business too. If your podcasts are good enough there are opportunities to syndicate your content too.

Last year on this site I spoke a lot about using video particularly on social media, this year podcasts are on the up and should definitely be factored into your strategy of engaging with your audience.

If you want to know where to start, take a look at Shopify’s blog because they have written a great article on how to start a successful podcast for under $100. You can find that story right here.  


podcasts for artists


European Art…

If you are looking for a little European inspiration then you might want to head over to the Europeana Collections where they work with thousands of European archives, libraries, and museums, and share cultural heritage for enjoyment, education, and research.

It’s a large resource so you will need to set aside plenty of time to explore, with access to more than 50-million digitised items, from books to music, artworks, and more, you could spend hours at a time going through the site. 

I particularly like the fact that you can also carry out a 3D search so you can really explore statues and the video footage available through search provides a true multimedia experience. 

You can find this wonderful portal into the European world of art right here.  

British Art…

British artists are loved the world over, so if you are looking for their works then Art UK which can be found here is the place to go. 

Art UK are tasked with putting the nation’s art online, in partnership with more than 3,000 public art collections and they are now at more than 200,000 works. The art comes from museums, universities, town halls, hospitals and even a lighthouse, and much of the art found at Art UK isn’t currently on display anywhere. 

At the moment the art is made up of for the most part, oil paintings but they are starting to add watercolours and other works on paper to the online collection too. They also commission and write about artists, artworks, exhibitions, and the stories behind the paintings from the world famous to the more obscure. 

If you want some fun then head over to this link here, where you will find thirteen of the weirdest and most wonderful portraits on Art UK. Again as with many of the Open Access type art sites you can curate your own collection but you are also able to save searches and create albums too. 

If you are after some inspiration then head to this link here, where you will find the story of Sidney Herbert Sime. 

The British Council…

Again we stay in the British Isles for this next one with visual arts from The British Council. You can find the site right here.  

Since 1938 the British Council has been collecting works of art, craft, and design to promote abroad the achievements of the very best British artists, crafts practitioners, and designers. The collection has no physical gallery and has been referred to as a ‘Museum without Walls’. 

The site allows you to explore the collection, its history, and you can find out more about viewing the works in real life. There is also a watch and listen section which allows you to filter between audio and video resources and you can find that right here.  

This is a terrific resource that has a number of video interviews with artists, crafts practitioners and designers, and also of the exhibitions and works. 

LIFE…

If your staple of outstanding photography has been looking through LIFE magazine then you will be delighted that the LIFE photo archive has been hosted by Google. Stretching from the 1750s to the present day, many of the images within the archive were never published. 

You can find the LIFE archive right here, but here’s a tip, did you know that you can create a search term on Google that will only pull in results from the LIFE archive? 

All you need to do is to add “source.life” to any Google image search or general search and only results from the LIFE archive will appear! So if we were to look for photos of computers you would need to add in this text to the search bar:

Computer source.life and it will take you to this link.  

Asian Art…

Asia meets America at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery - together, the Freer Sackler, the Smithsonian’s museums of Asian art. Located on the National Mall in Washington, DC, the museums hold and care for world-class collections of Asian and American art. 

The Freer Sackler is home to some of the world’s most important holdings of Asian art and in the Freer you will also find late nineteenth-century works by James McNeil Whistler and his American contemporaries, whilst the Sackler hosts contemporary art from Asia as well as international loan exhibitions. 

The entire collection is available online to view in all of its digital glory right here,  and there are further breakdowns such as American Art which can be found here.  

You can also experience Asian and American treasures by downloading mobile backgrounds and desktop wallpapers and even social media headers including a Facebook banner! You can find some examples right here.  

VADS…

Badged as the online resource for visual arts, VADS (the Visual Arts Data Service) has provided services to the academic community for twenty-years and has built up a considerable portfolio of visual art collections, comprising more than 140,000 images that are freely available and copyright cleared for use in teaching and research in the UK. You can visit the site right here.  

The image catalogue provides access to many collections which you can start by finding here, and there are a huge number of resources for learning available too which you can browse by looking here.  

Wellcome Collection...

Wellcome (yes there are two Ls), is a free museum and library for the incurably curious. The homepage is right here, but there are thousands of Creative Commons licensed images from historical library materials and museum objects to contemporary digital photographs which you can take a look at right here.  

Based in London, The Wellcome collection is a free museum and library that aims to challenge how we all feel and think about health, so within the images you will find that many will have a health related theme. 

Located at the top of the Wellcome Collection is The Hub, which is a dynamic interdisciplinary research space where people from different backgrounds and with a range of expertise collaborate on projects exploring medicine, life and art. You can find out more about The Hub right here.   

TATE... (Again!)

The TATE keeps on appearing on my radar and whenever I think I have finally discovered everything about the TATE, something else springs up that I know will be of value to those studying the arts. 

TATE have a number of research publications which they make available online, and you can find them right here, and if you are after a good video showing the restoration of Roy Lichtenstein’s Whaam! Then you will find it right here, which is just one of the many videos available on the TATEs website.


advice for artists beechhouse media


Still more to come!

I had intended to run this series for three articles but given that our new Facebook group will be looking at arts education I felt it was worth stretching this out a little and creating a useful directory where you can find some of the best online resources available for the arts. Whether you are an artist, art collector, or just someone who loves the arts more broadly, hopefully you will have found this series useful to date, there is much more to come!  

I’m still working on putting the group together and I am busy in between being busy, creating a range of educational units which anyone in the new group will be able to explore. As always in the interim, if there are any resources you need and can’t quite figure out where they are on this vast space we call the internet, please let me know in the comments below and I will try my best to source them for you and I am sure other readers will help out too!

I will be releasing some brand new art soon so that I can carry on maintaining this site and bring you the very best information I can, so keep an eye open on Facebook where I will be posting the links as soon as the artwork is released. 

About Mark…

I am an artist and blogger who specialises in abstracts, landscapes, and seascapes. My work is sold in more than 150 retail locations across the USA and Canada including The Great Frame Up, Framing and Art Centre, and Deck the Walls and you can also buy from Fine Art America or my Pixels site here: https://10-mark-taylor.pixels.com   

I also offer some works directly and these come signed with a certificate of authenticity. Please do get in touch if there are any pieces you are interested in owning.

You can also follow me on Facebook at: https://facebook.com/beechhousemedia and on Twitter @beechhouseart

If you would like to support the upkeep of this site or just buying a coffee so I can keep on writing hopefully useful articles for you at https://gofundme.com/mark-Taylor-beechhouse-Media  

There’s no obligation to do so but in time I hope to remove adverts from the site entirely and create more pages which focus on and support independent visual artists.

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