HP Innovation Issue 19: Fall 2021 | Page 80


“ The traditional art world has been exclusionary and inaccessible for disabled artists for far too long .”

“ You ’ ve got collaborators all around the world working on shared digital projects , and they were able to capitalize on these new monetization methods ,” says St . John . “ Many were able to supplement income streams that dried up with lockdowns and social distancing .”
Taylor notes that these new platforms are also opening doors to collectors and those who want to discover art in nontraditional venues . “ There was a time when , if you didn ’ t live in a certain city or you didn ’ t happen to go to a certain art fair , you would never discover a certain artist ,” he says . “ Now , millions of people are able to discover artists and creatives from all over the world .”
A NEW WAVE OF MULTITALENTED “ CONTENT CREATORS ” Steven Sharpe Jr ., a stylist , photographer , podcaster , blogger , and mental health advocate , has found an eager audience online . He ’ s merged his talents into a successful career as a “ content creator ,” a job title that ’ s becoming more and more prevalent .
“ When I say ‘ creating content ,’ I really do mean utilizing all my skills , from styling to shooting images to putting them online and then writing copy that speaks to what I ’ m learning in mental health ,” says Sharpe . “ My whole deal is that I want people to feel seen .” This year , Sharpe launched his own agency , Nobius Creative , to further this mission , work with brands that align with his values , and make a living from his art .
Lorraine Nam is another artist who has grown a sizable following on social media . Her cut-paper collages have been featured on book covers , in kids ’ magazines , and even as illustrations for a picture book by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson .
For Nam , creating content requires both hands-on artistry and tech-savvy skills .
“ Even though a lot of my stuff is tactile and handmade , I do use technology a lot ,” she says . “ All of my sketches are done digitally . I use a computer , a tablet , Photoshop , and Adobe Illustrator . I have a machine that helps me cut out papercraft templates .”
Like Sheridan , Nam had to pivot some of her projects in the wake of pandemic-related closures . In lieu of in-person workshops , she doubled down on digital efforts . For one papercraft tutorial she created in partnership with the arts-and-crafts chain Michaels , she had to learn how to film herself for YouTube — a brand-new skill .
She also embraced work that was easy to create and distribute remotely , such as collaborating with brands like HP to make and publish downloadable , printable PDF templates of her papercrafts .
“ Everyone needed an activity last year ,” she says . “ With this type of project , kids and parents could just print and make the designs themselves at home without having to buy materials .”
IMPROVING ACCESSIBILITY FOR ARTISTS AND ART LOVERS Emerging platforms and technologies also represent a doorway for artists who have long been shut out of the industry . Ava Halvai