Today started again with editing more artist statements. Like last week, it was great. Since today was the due date for the artists to send in their written and image elements, I had a decent stack of documents to occupy myself with. Having studied and come to understand my ex-classmates’ artistic styles over the last three years, it was fascinating to see their approaches to writing.
Whipping the images into shape proved a little tougher however. I’d been putting off dealing with artist images since last week, as several of them were not correctly formatted. Despite specifying for images to be 300dpi and either JPEG or TIFF format, about half of the images sent were of far lower quality. And for some weird reason someone sent in a screenshot, of a photo, of their work. It’s not like I was trying to be difficult – the images needed to be of a certain quality to look good on web and print publications. To be honest I was kind of expecting for this to happen. While I hate to generalise (as I know it’s not true of everyone in the industry) but I know SO MANY artists who can’t quite get their heads around tech.Not that I’m an expert, but it does kind of go to show the importance of staying updated re. technologies important in your industry.
Frowning ever so slightly at the ten or so lacklustre images I had to work with, almost trying to wish them into being better quality, I thought about my options.
- I could send emails back to everyone asking for them to, please, send images with the correct specifications. But I realised this might just result a whole bunch of people not understanding the issue, or how to solve it.
- Ask Google.
Unsurprisingly, I went with option two. Turns out some smart cookie has already solved this problem and created an online program for converting image dpi. Now I’m pretty sure there’s a reason why you’re not supposed to do this. I vaguely remember being told in a photography class that this does something to the image size or something something. But after testing out an image, and seeing vast improvement for only a little bit of cropping, I was sold. All hail Google and people who put free stuff up online.
I then spent half an hour calling hydroponic supply retailers. For art, I swear.
An artist who was going to be exhibiting soon at Hazelhurst wanted to use silver-backed mylar film for an installation and wanted to know where it could be sourced from. While I don’t hate calling people, I have always found it awkward as heck. Something about not being able to see someone’s face and gauge their response – I always end up talking over people by accident. But realising that I am inevitably going to have to call people all the time in every sort of job I ever have, I got stuck into it. I eventually found out answers to all of the artist’s questions and, as a bonus, learned what a ‘um’ was in regards to measurements.
For the rest of the day I got to research another big upcoming exhibition at the gallery. The exhibition was going to bring together the work of artists across the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) lands.
I knew the exhibition was a pretty big deal for Hazelhurst, as they’d just been lucky enough to receive Australia Council funding for it. Which I presume, with the recent federal funding cuts to the arts sector, may be one of the lasts grants not gifted in the form of food stamps.
Researching art from the APY lands was a pretty great way to spend the afternoon really – all I had to do was look up previous images of the exhibiting artists and catalogue it with all the usual details. Plus I got to learn more about a region of Australia I’d only previously heard mentioned in passing. 4.5 star afternoon