What effect has the Internet had on your work or career?

What effect has the Internet had on your work or career?


Illustration by Tamara Shopsin.

While I have a website, I don't have high expectations of sales from it. Having a site, driving traffic to it and selling through it are different tasks. I find its cachet of professionalism useful. The Internet also offers me immediate information and communication. My use of it for my business has diminished during my tenure as president of the Furniture Society, but it has grown by an order of magnitude in my daily work schedule. I'd be lost without it.
—Andrew Glantz, president, Furniture Society, owner, Zenith Design, Scottsdale, AZ

The Internet makes communication and research easier and faster. Early on in my studio career, I wrote the code for a simple portfolio-style website. Over the years it has expanded and evolved, but the original motivation remains the same: to serve as an easy access point for learning more about my carved paper sculpture. It has proven its worth in augmenting other marketing tools by displaying the full breadth of my work, filling in details, answering questions and redirecting interested parties to my galleries' websites for sales and future shows.
Jennifer Falck Linssen, handcarved paper sculptor, Niwot, CO

In the 1970s, when I was a young "stringer"-independent reporter-for the New York Times in Chicago, my assign- ments for trend stories arrived via telegram, carrying the cachet of extraordinary speed. With the Internet, I carry on a correspondence of remarkable immediacy and depth with people all over the world. But the best interviews still demand a person-to-person encounter. And when I really want to clarify a point with an editor, I pick up the phone.
Polly Ullrich, art critic, Chicago, IL

As an artist based in New York but originally from Rome, I've found that the Internet has allowed me to connect and collaborate with international designers in a way that would never have been possible before. It's as if we're all still sharing the same studio, even though we're oceans apart. Another major plus of designing in a web-based world is having such fast access to so many different resources and materials. This allows me not only to be more innovative in my work but to produce ideas more quickly as well.
Emanuela Duca, jeweler, New York City

The Internet makes it much easier for my gallery to research artists and to send images to the press and clients. It also offers a new vehicle for individual artists to market their own work at no cost and collectors to pursue artists directly-a double-edged sword.

The role of commercial galleries for contemporary artists is diminishing. In the future, nonprofit art spaces and museums—subsidized by the state, foundations or universities—will exhibit work where there is no business imperative. Commercial galleries will exist more and more exclusively for historical works and for showing at art fairs, an experience closer to surfing the Net.
­—Rebecca Cross, director, cross mackenzie gallery, Washington, DC

In the last 10 years I've been able to research and implement new technologies. I've taken in new ideas from the worlds of art, craft, design, fashion, science. I can't imagine this type of access—both the variety and the depth—without the Internet.

For me, the Internet always oscillates between being the best research tool and the greatest distraction machine. The boundary, of course, is painfully blurry.

Down the line, I see a new frontier for makers who are interested in creating objects linked via the web, as described in the concept of "the Internet of things."
­—Andy Brayman, ceramist, Kansas City, KS

Making products in the United States has only gotten more costly. One of the first things we realized when we took over Heath Ceramics six years ago was the need to sell direct as well as wholesale to make the business work. The opportunity of e-commerce has given manufacturing in the U.S. a second chance. The other really important aspect of the Internet is the ability you have to fully communicate your story. We take full advantage.
­—Catherine Bailey and Robin Petravic, owners, Heath Ceramics, Sausalito, CA