Over twenty years ago, during the last ice age and when mammoths roamed the earth, I created the www.crabfish.com website. I used the at-that-time state-of-the-art technology called FrontPage by Microsoft. My artist wife, Fran Slade, and I called it ‘crabfish’ after we looked at our initials CR and FS, and found a word that coincidentally incorporated our zodiac birth-signs, Cancer the crab and Pisces the fish. We thought that we were so clever.
With rather expensive help we created a bespoke database and shopping cart facility for our online art gallery. The website worked. We could easily update our catalogue of paintings and prints, plus the shopping cart ticked off the print stock as we sold them. Everything was wonderful as www.crabfish.com sold our prints and original paintings using FrontPage. We basked in contented bliss very thankful to those nice MicroSoft people.
A rude awakening!
Then, to celebrate the passing of the 20th century, in 2000 Microsoft stopped supplying FrontPage in its Office bundle. Last year, in 2015, they also stopped supporting the ancient FrontPage technology. So gradually our www.crabfish.com website started to go wrong. After a couple of successful decades we would have to look around and see what more recent web-designers were using. We found out that it is called WordPress.
Then we embarked on a new learning curve. We adopted Mac technology, researched thousands of documents, purchased courses, read books, and scoured the Internet. We have now redesigned our online shopping experience using WordPress.
And at the same time we renamed the site www.artpublish.com because that it what we do, we publish our art. It also gets over the problem of people asking us if we sell crabs, fish, or other seafood. [We do not.]
So what is this ‘publishing’ thing?
Well, besides the internet and the online art gallery, another stupendous change in the art world coincided with our first website. In the 1990’s there was a seismic revolution in print-making. Basically it involved computers being used to control images, and digital printers to make fine-art prints.
Publishing art has now become very grown up. Today our prints are of exceptional, tested, archival quality. Plus the process eliminates wasteful and expensive over-production. We can publish very high quality, artist-signed fine-art prints that are both affordable and give best value to knowing art collectors.
The beauty of this system is that it is ‘print and publish on demand’. The image file is safely stored on a computer. This can be accessed whenever required. An artist can produce prints one by one as people ask for them. And artists can offer a range of print versions from the same image, either prints on fine art paper or fine art canvas, in a variety of sizes.
How is it done?
Artists can still choose to paint pictures first.
Or, sometimes the artist might create the whole image digitally using a finger or tablet pen or similar on-screen gadget.
Then the picture can be scanned, saved, and a digital file is created on a computer.
If the artist desires the file can be further developed using computer wizardry.
Variations can be explored. Colours, sizes, etc can be changed. Crops or even flips can be tried and saved.
Finally the artist can use a print bureau, or even their own special printer, to print out the digital file creating archival-quality fine-art prints on paper or canvas.
We did all that, way back.
Our website celebrates this. How lucky we were when we found that nobody else had grabbed the www.artpublish.com website name before us.
So, it sort of says what it does on the tin, www.artpublish.com is a website where you can go see lots of our art that we self-publish.
Whereas our old site name might suggest that it is where you buy fish.