I have noticed recently that my rankings are slipping, bigger competition from big companies like Not on the High Street and Etsy makes it hard to keep up. The individual can never compete with big company who has specialist web designers working on their site and SEO daily. It is sad and frustrating but unfortunately a fact of life.
What has saddened me even more is so much more of the competition is based around digitally manipulated pet portraits. in fact the market seems to be flooded currently with these anthropomorphic pet portraits that are digitally created. There are two website that offer this in particular, that are doing well in the organic rankings, but even the paid ads seem to be full of them. I am not saying digital art doesn’t have its place, of course it does. Much like the kindle, I have a kindle. I love the fact it is light, small and I can have so many books on it, it’s convenience is amazing. However it still doesn’t stop my love of books. I am a tactile person and I love the feel of a good paper back novel, or the beautiful photographs you can find in Nature or Geography books for example.
I know in the art world generally digitally produced art can be received quite badly. I think there is a lot of distrust around the art form. I do believe that if something is painted from scratch digitally it is very different to a digital work that was originally a photograph and has had a few filters applied and maybe the odd tweak here and there with a digital paint brush. I think the distrust appears in the world of photography as well as so many images can be cleverly airbrushed, bits added and so digitally reworked if you compared it to the original photo it would bare little resemblance. It causes a massive amount of distrust in both communities, because often they are so well done how can you tell the difference, can you really trust the image you see in front of you. Of course we are aware of a lot of digitial manipulation that goes on, especially in the fashion world as no-one has perfectly smooth and blemish free skin and bright white teeth and eyes that sparkle quite like that! Unfortunately magazines, social media and television adverts portray people to be like this it is ultimately very damaging. I can see why see why many people have formed this dislike of the digital medium.
All that said digital art has it’s place and true digital art has an awful lot of skill involved. I couldn’t do it, but the quick manipulations which can look very good can be offered cheaper than hand painted art as can be mass produced, these companies can churn out great volumes of work, that looks lovely, for a minute price compared to something I create. How can I compete with that. In fact I don’t know how they make the money at the prices they charge.
I just hope these don’t replace traditionally hand painted work. There is something that you can’t beat. I put my heart and soul into my pet portraits and I every piece I produce takes a bit of me with it. Digital art like these, that are mass produced just don’t have that. They look good yes, but surely you can’t beat something somebody who has created themselves, every pencil or paint brush stroke has been put down by their fair hands, not quickly edited on a computer.
I have seen other sites that also offer hand painted work for very little, in fact not much more expensive than the digital art. I am not sure how this is even possible, if they have to pay the artists that work for them a wage. They must have a few artists working on the pet portraits as their turn around is far to quick for it to be any other way. I just really don’t know how they do it! I am only paying myself a wage! I can’t fathom it!
I just hope that people out there will continue to appreciate hand painted fine art for what it is and that it’s value isn’t totally lost in this digital age. Like I say, I am sure they can live in harmony side by side, but it would be such a shame for the traditions to die out. I can understand the appeal of having something that is cheaper and looks the deal on your wall, but surely you must agree there is nothing like having the real thing hanging there!
If you want to visit my hand painted pastel pet portraits you can find links the galleries below, you will even see my own anthropomorphic hand painted pet portraits in them!