FineArtCollector.com

July 6, 2015

FineArtCollector.com is a website developed with a very clear business plan.  Using an online gallery of top-level artists, the goal is to show and promote the best work and provide it to a nationwide base of Member Galleries.  If a collector requests a painting, the painting is shipped to the gallery of their choice, at a minimal charge.  The collector may then purchase the painting, or not.

The advantages for the collector are obvious.  FineArtCollector eliminates any risk or doubts associated with traditional online buying. The advantages for the gallery?  Equally obvious.  The gallery gets access to a substantial collection of art and artists they were previously unable to offer.  They get free marketing, attracting new clients and getting sales with no outreach effort.

The site was built around the FineArtCollector Search Widget, which allows the user to filter paintings on 8 criteria, as well as keywords and name searches.

Along with Gallery listings and a gallery locater, the site has substantial Artist listings, with biography information, a gallery of their work, and links to their own home pages.

Each painting page listing has high-resolution views of the painting, some with frame suggestions as well as views of the work in an interior at scale, to give the collector an impression of how the painting will appear in their home.  (A custom service is also available, to show the work in their interior, with their provided photos.)

Using the Intercom service, we’ve incorporated live chat support to answer questions about how we operate, our terms and conditions, the mechanics of the site, background on the artist and the work, and whatever other questions a user may have.

The discrete use of pop-up features allows inoffensive, yet compelling “call-to-action” reminders:

Our live chat feature is coupled with support from several “Art Advisors” – members of the staff who are particularly qualified to advise and counsel collectors on any number of art collection issues.  The Art Advisors are available on request by name, or by chance, and are available by email, chat or telephone.

Finally, a “How-To” page provides detailed instruction on several features on the site – selecting work, making “Collections”, sharing Collections with other users and more.

FineArtCollector.com was developed using the Black Studio team via Codeable, and was launched January 2016.  Promotion and marketing channels include Google AdWords, print and online advertising campaigns, sponsorship and leveraged marketing through artist and gallery channels.

Areas of Responsibility:

  • Helped in early development of concept and implementation, including development strategy, sourcing development and managing development team.
  • Developed operating procedures and basic protocol architecture for inventory control, documentation, shipping and storage of artworks on site.
  • Managed upgrades through several versions, integration of Intercom, Search functions, and mobile optimization.
  • Managed artist relations, attracting new talent and curating collections.
  • Day to day maintenance of site: Artist pages, Painting collections, photography, retouching and anti-spam strategies.
  • Advised marketing strategies and developed advertising and marketing materials.
  • Managed rollout through social media.
Advertisements

Screen shot 2015-03-14 at 9.28.08 AM

Somehow, over the years of hammering away at programs like Photoshop, I’ve had sort of a mental block trying to learn even the most rudimentary CAD software.  Not too long ago Sketchup was a free program offered by Google, and I gave it a try…  and failed miserably.  Lately though, I decided it was something I really needed at the very least a basic understanding of.  So I tried again.

I fetched around the internet and found the official Sketchup training videos – here’s the first basic intro, here:

The next thing I decided after messing around with dumb objects that had no real purpose was that I should work on an actual part.  The dolly shown above was one that I’ve been wanting to draw, so, after chunking around with some not-so-actual parts, I decided to take a shot at an real design I’d been thinking about.  This is the universal-fit wheel assembly for the X-Y Easel.  That was the first step that made a real difference it learning this stuff.  Do something real.

As it turns out, it’s not such a steep learning curve after all.  It’s just, well, different.

Here’s the cool thing about a 3D modeling program.  You get to look all around it.  Here’s the bottom view:

Screen shot 2015-03-14 at 9.28.48 AM

Once I got around the toolbar a bit I realized it’s a lot like building a real thing.  You need parts.  You can get parts from the online source, or you can make them yourself. Here’s the basic wheel mount, with the brake assembly:

Screen shot 2015-03-14 at 9.29.54 AMThis is made up of a few “Components”, which are distinct parts that you can move in and out, much like a real assembly.  Unlike when you draw additional things on a model, components stay intact. The blue frame shows you the outline of the component, in this case the wheel brake idea I had:

Screen shot 2015-03-14 at 9.30.10 AM

 

This is a spring that I found in the “Component Warehouse”, after trying in vain to draw one myself:Screen shot 2015-03-14 at 9.30.20 AM

 

After making some pretty rudimentary parts, with no curved edges or anything, I decided to try to figure out how to make curved edges and refine the shapes a bit.  The tutorials were OK, but when I just started Googling what I was trying to do I found some pretty helpful amateur tutorials.  Unlike the official videos, these are much more specific to one subject.

Here’s the wheel I made, using the actual dimensions from a Rollerblade wheel:

Screen shot 2015-03-14 at 9.32.13 AM

And here’s how it fits into the assembly as a component:

 

Screen shot 2015-03-14 at 9.30.31 AMSo using that, I now have real-life dimensions I know will work.  I can also see conflicts and problems before I start cutting stock – for instance, this slot for the brake spring mount is a problem if I don’t pay attention:

Screen shot 2015-03-14 at 10.02.14 AM

…and yes, of course you can move the light around and get a good look at things, just like real life.

Conclusions?  Well, first, it’s not such a big deal.  My biggest hurdle is to accept the fact that the tools aren’t the same as Photoshop.  I found it frustrating that my instincts and habits were so, well, just wrong, and I had to get over it.

Second, I’m coming to the realization that the program probably isn’t all that great.  It feels like one of those packages that tries to be simple, but in doing so is kludgy and does stuff you don’t expect or want.  It’s useful, but I suspect messing around with a more professional program like Solidworks or Autocad is ultimately going to be more satisfying – though a much steeper learning curve.

Probably the biggest hurdle is learning “the rules” – or, in other words, figuring out the behavior of the program.  What you can do, what it won’t let you do, especially since you’re moving things around in three dimensions.  I still haven’t figured out how to draw certain things on certain planes without having to rotate them after.  Really, that’s just a matter of practice and, as usual, digital hygiene.  Nothing new here, folks.

But, at the end of the day, is this a 3D model that I can use?  Most definitely yes.

www.TedDillard.com: Index

January 11, 2015

Welcome! 
The common thread throughout all of my interests is the melding of technology and personal expression.  This is an index of the work I have online, both past and present.  For detailed samples, please visit my CV, Resume page: Case Studies, Sample Pieces and Portfolio
Contact me here.
Current work:

16832095_10212609991624249_9033646382689152030_n

Writing

Power in Flux: The History of Electric Motorcycles (Kickstarter Project and book)

InsideEVs contributing author: Motorcycles and other EV-related subjects

Electric Motorcycle Primer “InsideEVs Style”: 5-Part Series on EV tech

The Electric Chronicles: A builder’s reference site for Electric Motorcycles


 

new-studio-3

Fine Art Reproduction

The Atelier Print: Redefining Fine Art Reproduction


 

Screen shot 2015-01-11 at 6.09.47 AM

Photography: “des flous de ted dillard”


Projects, Builds, Inventions and Solutions

The x-y Easel: A tool to redefine digital Fine Art Reproduction


Websites: FineArtCollector.com
FineArtCollector.com is a website that redefines on-line art collecting.  Learn more here.

 oh,  and this.

  Drag Racing Belt Sander: World Record Attempt

wait.  wuuut?

The Archives:

Digital Photography Help Videos: Youtube page (Raw Pipeline, ColorV2)

Ted Dillard personal videos: Youtube page (TedDillard)

CV, Resume: Case Studies, Sample Pieces and Portfolio

View Ted Dillard's profile on LinkedIn


And now, may we present, the rest of the blog!  Thanks for your interest.

Well, hello there.  Thanks for the visit!

Here, in one place, are links and listings for the more interesting and important work I’ve done over the last few years. Yeah, I’ve done a lot of stuff. Photography, Marketing, Electric Vehicles, “Maker” and “builder” stuff.  I can’t seem to stop myself from writing.  Obsession is such an ugly word.

(Links are either to the original pages, or to PDF versions of the documents in case the pages have disappeared into the ether.)

Editorial

Contributing Author, InsideEVs

Contributing Author, Home Power Magazine

Home Power published articles:

Editor and Publisher, The Electric Chronicles

Operations Manager,  FineArtCollector.com

  • From concept to completion, development of online gallery to redefine art buying.  Integrated unique Search Widget, Live Chat, SEO Optimization, daily operations and operations protocols, Artist and Gallery Relations

Managing Editor, Head-to-Head Reviews

Contributor: The Gardener’s Eden

Publishing

Author, Lark Books (Sterling Publications)

  • Raw Pipeline, Lark Books (Sterling Publications). Digital photography and RAW processing.
  • Color Pipeline, Lark Books (Sterling Publications). Color Management and RAW processing.
  • Smart Object Pipeline, Lark Books (Sterling Publications). Complete guide to Smart Object RAW.
  • Black and White Pipeline, Lark Books (Sterling Publications). Digital Black and White process.

Author,  …from Fossils to Flux. A how-to guide for basic DIY electric motorcycle conversion.

Advertising, Marketing, Public Relations

Director, Mt. Washington Auto Road ALT-E Summit

Founder, Master Printmaker – The Atelier Print

Advertising/PR/email newsletter Writer, Blogger – Parrot Digigraphic, LLC.

Site, complete concept-to-launch: TheBigScan.com

Advertising/PR/email newsletter Writer, Blogger – Tech Superpowers, Inc
Non-Linear Project Management: Masters and Versions (pdf-Non-Linear Project Management)

Press Releases for The Electric Chronicles (samples of resulting stories): DealerNews on …from Fossils to Flux, EarthTechling on DIY conversions.

Social Media Management

View Ted Dillard's profile on LinkedIn

(All material here, and linked, is ©Ted Dillard, 2014 unless otherwise noted.  All rights reserved.)

Forward

This whole thing really started when I sat down to play with an image I shot on the way to work. It was one of those images that I really thought I had no idea how I wanted to print. I shot it at dawn, and it had all the rich magenta, blue, yellow and peach hues, and a fairly large contrast range. In truth, the vision was there… as it always has been, I just was not used to the tools yet.

I did a quick conversion from RAW and played around. After a series of test prints, I finally got a print that I was happy with but when I looked at the many adjustment layers I had made to get there I realized I had hacked up the file pretty severely. I reprocessed the RAW, this time very deliberately for the values and tones I saw in my final test print file, and when I printed that file, a little light flipped on in my head. The print was remarkably richer and deeper. There were colors and transitions that simply had been missing. The first reprocessed print looked as I had visualized it when I shot it.

The entire process started coming together: The implications of the RAW file, Adobe’s release of Camera RAW, a 16 bit Layered workflow, Adjustment Layers, Image Layers and Masking, linking the Histogram display on the camera to printing the Step Wedge…

On reading my chapter on the Histogram and the Step Wedge, a friend said that, for the first time since he started working with Photoshop, he realized we still needed Ansel Adams and the Zone System.

I couldn’t have put it better.