Recently I upgraded my TV to a “smart” one, thinking it was yet again time to embrace new technology. It was supposed to make my life simpler, as the TV could do all kinds of things it thought I needed.
Alas, weeks have passed and I’m now realizing that my TV, like most such devices, speaks a language I have to learn. This seems to me also true for artists trying to keep up with an art world that has gone digital.
Let’s first remember why technology is so challenging for many artists. Creative people perceive the world primarily through the senses. You are visual and tactile, you need to see and touch in order to understand. Yet so many aspects of technology are invisible. Since you cannot get inside your devices to see how they work, you have to learn their language.
Yet that language can be confusing! Many technical terms, like function or format or interface, are abstract, and others are familiar but actually have a different meaning (like my personal favorite, “cookies”). When you don’t know what technology terms mean, you cannot master technical tasks. You have to speak the language.
So that’s where you start. If you don’t know how to do a technical task, begin by defining terms. Using Google or another search engine, you might ask “what does it mean to embed an image in an email?” Find an answer written in clear language, with step-by-step instructions, so you can see the words that explain the process. Print out the instructions. Then do it yourself, several times, trying and failing until eventually you get it right.
I’m going to talk to my Smart TV now. I think I understand what it’s saying.
Mary Edwards, Ph.D
Career & Life Coach for Artists
“Left Brain Skills for Right Brained People”
As an artist coach, I bring a unique combination of business knowledge, art world experience, and professional coaching skill to my practice.