Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The virtual studio

One discussion/lecture that I missed at Illuxcon was on the topic of virtual studios. For some reason I misjudged what this was going to be about, and I'm very sorry I missed the information. From what I've gathered, a virtual studio is using digital tools to recreate the feel and communication of a physical, shared creative space where a number of artists are in close contact and able to bounce ideas off one another. Because illustration is often a lonely profession where one works from home, there is a real need to be in touch with other artists for feedback and critique. Forming a virtual studio with like-minded artists is also a great way to share information on professional issues and opportunities.

At Illuxcon I was lucky to meet a great group of young, brilliant and promising illustrators who are deeply plugged into the scene and the tools. In the past few days we have set up a virtual studio using a program called Google Wave. This is a collaboration/communication tool that is working brilliantly for us to share ideas and get instant feedback. The tool works like a cross between instant messaging and facebook, where you can have real-time conversations about images. All this is easily organized into topics and the discussion members can be conrolled by the topic starter. While I'e only used this for a few days, so far it is a wonderful way to get much needed feedback. I reccommend using Google Chrome as your browser if you intend to use Wave, as the program seems to work better with that application.


Calydon said...

Mike, do you have any invites for Wave that you could disburse?

I think virtual studios are the way of the future, although they will likely always have some drawbacks too.

Mike Sass said...

Its pretty cool, and very helpful so far. Another guy started the group and invited me, so its not really my place to invite others, as I think the plan is to keep it pretty small. Sorry about that, but e-mail me @ mike@sassart.com and we'll talk more! I guess you and Trent were gonna do lunch the other day...