Episode 223 – New Markets for Artists / Template-Based Apps and Games

Template-Based Apps and Games

Template-based apps and games are all very easy to make. You just fill out templates, add words and pictures, and then share the results with friends. You can post them on their walls, and when they use them by sending “gifts” to their friends, they unlock new parts of the game you made to share. For example, in the game I created called “Box that opens when you close your eyes,” the gifts you unlock are new pictures and words. That is how I chose to design that game app, but you could use images of your own art or any- thing else related to it.

This is the easiest possible way to create apps and games, because they are template-based, but if you are feeling  more adventurous, you can create an app for the iPhone or for Android phones. That is a bit more difficult, but it is possible.

iPhone Apps and Creativity

To make an app for the iPhone, you would need help, unless you are very familiar with designing software or willing to learn. Apple is trying to make it easier for people to create apps by themselves, but as of this writing, it is still too complicated for most. But hey, you might pay printers or fabricators to help you with your artwork, so you could consider this another art supply expense. If you’re considering making an app for the iPhone or for Android phones, begin by looking at the apps that are out there and deciding if you would make something similar or different. You might be wondering what could you possibly make. How about an app for the iPhone or iPad that allows you to paint by numbers using your art? Or maybe a puzzle where the final picture is an artwork of yours? Or perhaps even backgrounds—otherwise known as “wall paper”—for peoples’ phones or tablets? Be creative, and try to get ideas by looking at others. If your idea is really good, you can even charge people to download it, so that you can make an income from it. Consider this for a moment; it’s a truly new market. If you could find a way to send images of your own through your phone app in a way that is fun and entertaining, you could earn real money without doing any selling. There are many different approaches to this, like starting with a free app and upgrading it to a paid one, but take your time; think and dream about it and, most importantly, play with other apps to see which ones you like and don’t like, and that will point you in the right direction.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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Episode 222 – New Markets for Artists / An App as a Work of Art

An App as a Work of Art

Another approach to making an app or a game on Face- book is to make it a work of art in itself that is worth passing around. The app I made with this in mind is called “Box that opens when you close your eyes,” and it is a series of images and phrases that you can share with friends. The way the game is set up, you can put in perhaps twenty or more items, and then when people share one, they get a message that says that if they share it ten times, they will unlock a new gift, meaning that they will unlock another one of the picture and word combinations I made up.

Here are three examples of gifts that I made which are intended to be charming enough to share: a self-eating cake (accompanied by a picture of a cake); a soup that heals all wounds (with a  picture of a soup bowl); and a Qwerty Party (with a picture of a keyboard). All of these are a little more artsy than the quiz questions, but they are also more likely to be passed around if people are using them to send messages to friends. I made that one a year ago, and   it has been used fifty-seven thousand times so far! Is it art? Yes. Does it help me? I think so, because friends enjoy it and pass it along and they are reminded that I am an artist who works with abstract and poetic concepts. You could say I  am “branding” the work that I make under the name Praxis, which is the name under which my wife and I collaborate as artists.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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Episode 221 – New Markets for Artists / Make a Quiz

Make a Quiz

You can make a quiz about anything at all. It can be intelligent, funny, and even educational. To give some examples, I created two quiz apps on Facebook. One was called “Are you an artist destined for greatness or a minor one?” In it, I set up about eight questions to answer. I had fun with it and created questions like “Why do you make art?” The three possible answers were: 1. I can’t think of anything else to do; 2. I want to make money; and 3. For art’s sake. Other questions included “Do you think money and art mix well?” Possible answers to that question were: 1. Sometimes, but not usually; 2. They go together like soul mates; and 3. I hate money because it seems to hate me. Of course, I was trying to have fun with my answers and make it entertaining. I  also got to decide what the final result would be depending on how the questions were answered. One of the final results was this: “Wow, wow, wow! You are a hottie, and it will not be long before you are plucked from obscurity. You have talent, charm, and make art that rocks the inner worlds of your audience. Soon you will be the spokesperson for your generation. Be proud, and lead the masses to cultural literacy!”

Go Viral

That quiz is fun, so it tends to get passed around, and as a result my name is seen in more places, because not only am  I listed as the creator, I put my name into some of the questions. To get the attention of curators I made a quiz called, “Are you a cutting-edge fine art curator?” And this is the description: “So you’re a curator, but are you cutting edge? Will you be chosen to curate the next Whitney Biennial or perhaps the Venice Biennial? Take this quiz and find out where you stand in the quirky art world that will determine your fate.” The quiz-taker answers more art world questions, and when they’ve finished, the app tells them what I think. I posted this quiz on the Facebook walls of curators and as they filled it out, they passed it on to other curators. One of the questions I asked was, “Who do you think are cutting-edge artists?” Among the answer choices, I included myself and my wife as one option and put us next to Picasso, John Currin, and a few friends. I was having fun with this one, but you can see how it also gets my name out there to curators. Not only that, quizzes likes these tend to get passed around, and because the result of the quiz is published on your Facebook wall, you will have it working for you while you do nothing. In other words, at no cost to you, your name could be passed around as part of a quiz while you get the benefit of that promotion.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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Episode 220 – New Markets for Artists / Make Your Own App

Make Your Own App

Now that I have explained how an app can be a dangerous tool for hackers, I will tell you how they can be useful to you as an artist, both as tools for promoting your work and as a means for creating an artwork in itself. With tablet computers becoming more popular and smartphone use on the rise, we are going to see more and more apps in the future. As the industry grows, greater security measures will be taken to reduce the number of hacking apps. However, just as the battle to stop junk email and spam is not over, this will probably take a while. So in the meantime, in the same way that we continue to use email, we can continue to use apps—and create them as well.

First Steps to Take to Create a Game or App for Facebook

Let’s begin with how to make an app on Facebook. Unlike iPhone apps and other smartphone apps, Facebook apps are designed to be played with on Facebook itself. You can get very creative with them, but Facebook makes it easy by offering templates that you can modify. For example, there’s a survey app or quiz that you often see on Facebook, with titles such as “What I have in common with Justin Bieber” or “What kind of animal are you?” The point of these is to get you to fill out your answers to a series of questions, and based on your answers, you are given a final grade or category of some kind. These may seem childish, silly, or worse, but people love to fill them out, and this is an easy way to begin to understand how you can use them.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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