Member Update May 24, 2006

Posted May 23, 2006
Last Updated Jun 21, 2012
As traffic on the site continues to grow, we have noticed a certain trend in the type of feedback we have been getting at the Artistic Network. Most of the emails we get are from members asking direct questions about using features on the site. But a growing percentage of the emails we get are from students, parents and teachers asking for advice on various topics relating to art.

The most common emails relating to art are those asking for advice for troubled teenagers who are gifted artists. Some of these emails have come directly from the kids who are having difficulty in school. Some are from their parents and teachers.

An example of these emails follows:

“My wife and I have tried to get our daughter interested in many different sports and activities. She has not been impressed or has stuck with anything. She does however spend 2-3 hours everyday drawing characters that she dreams up. I know she has a talent there and I would like to know what steps she should take to possibly make a career of it. She is 12 yrs old.”

The owner of the Artistic Network, Shawn Olson, is used to getting emails like this in the Central Ohio region, which prompted him to write Smart Kids in Distress. Olson, however, avoids giving direct advice about a career in art. Olson said, “I am really not qualified to advise kids on a career in art since art is a peripheral trade for me; most of my livelihood is made in web development. If it was left up to my art alone (photography, journalism and design) then I would be the classical starving artist.”

Because these requests for advice are growing in frequency, and because one of our missions is to help inspire young artists, we are asking that all professional artists on this site write an essay on wise ways to pursue an art career. Such essays might include personal challenges, history, insight and advice on entering the art world. We would like these essays submitted under the Art Essay topic; we also want to reiterate that we would like only professional artists to give this advice, since we are advising on career decisions.

In other news, we have made a few changes to the site in preparation for the release of Internet Explorer 7 (IE7). The site still has some visual bugs in IE7, but we anticipate on having them all fixed by the time IE7 is formally released. Among the changes are new graphics for the image previews… which were never pretty to begin with. Since the image preview stopped working in other browsers a while back and no longer works in IE7, we reduced the size of those preview images; they will continue to work in previous versions of Internet Explorer.

As always, we encourage feedback, ideas and criticism on our site from all our members.