If you're always looking for ways to make the business side of your art life both more productive and more fun, these three new apps for OSX and iOS could be just what you need.
It seems like Adobe releases a new iPad app just about every week. One of their newest, Adobe Slate, offers a great opportunity for we creatives wanting to get the word out about our work.
To get the idea, imagine a professionally-designed, website-style digital magazine on a specific theme or piece of work that you can easily share with collectors and subscribers or embed into your website or newsletter. Slate gives you a scrolling design with transparent elements and a bunch of different templates to choose from. You can have a design done in less than 15 minutes with no cost!
Here's one I did to test out the app:
And here's a video of the app in action:
At the moment, there are only a limited amount of templates which are going to get stale pretty quickly as you can't customise them. Maybe Adobe will introduce additional paid themes or customisation in the future or open it up for designers to share/sell new designs.
In the meantime, Slate is a great way to get the word out about something you new you have created or a project you are working on. If you give it a try, do post a link to anything you create in the comments.
My favourite of the three new apps has to be the iOS app, Periscope.
Periscope lets you broadcast live video and allows your followers to comment and send you hearts in real time. Periscope uses your Twitter lists to build a network around your broadcasts as well as notifying people when you broadcast and suggesting people for you to follow.
Limited Replay - Enhanced Exclusivity
When your broadcast is over, you can make it available for replay so viewers can watch later and add comments and hearts. Replays currently last 24 hours (although you can delete your replay at any time) which gives the content an element of scarcity and exclusivity sorely missing in YouTube video.
You can further enhance this sense of exclusivity by choosing who you want to invite to your broadcast - ideal for creating special content for your blog subscribers or collectors.
Use Periscope for broadcasting:
Painting demo on Periscope by Wendy Macnaughton
One of the ongoing issues for visual artists is that of keeping track our inventory - and the harder we work, the bigger that inventory becomes and the more venues it gets distributed to.
Given the elevated costs of web-based art inventory systems - which lock you in to monthly or yearly payments with no guarantee that they'll still be around in five years time after you've invested not only money but all that time in inputting the data - a computer-based database seems the logical solution.
However if the idea of putting together your own database is just too daunting, Art Handler offers some hope. The app provides a basic database which allows you to create entries for each piece of artwork.
Features of Art Handler include:
Martin, the developer, says his overall goal "is to refine existing features" and that he aims for a "minimalist application that is well designed and implemented". Two features on his to-do list are printing, and export of both single artworks and the whole database.
10 Copies of Art Handler to Give Away!
Since the $12.99 price tag (Mac OSX only, possibly iOS in the future.) is a little hefty for an app that's still in quite a raw state (though perfectly stable), I'm chuffed that Martin has given me FREE promo codes for the first 10 people who email me with the words Please send me a promo code for Art Handler in the subject line.
This great offer is an opportunity to get in on the ground floor with an app that holds a lot of promise. You can also contribute to its development by feedback to the developer by leaving a rating on the Mac app store or a comment here.