I'm 45 years old and have been creating art in many forms and across mediums and media for the bulk of that time. Historically, my productivity has been derailed by major life events - such as divorce, job loss or chronic health condition -- but I still managed to remain creative during that time.
My failure has been my ability to keep my creations coordinated. Up until this year, my life was an ever-expanding quagmire of great works without a coordinated titling, identification and/or inventory system that tied everything together in a fashion that represents a professional artist appropriately.
I credit my closest friends for pushing me to build a better Art user experience. I could list them all here, but if you're reading this, you can take credit. You got me this far through your belief in my work.
The first step in the building of the library is the collection of the content -- the books -- or, as in my case, books plus canvas art plus philosophy plus photography plus digital art plus mixed media art plus candles.
All these pluses equal a lot of hours constructing walls that many will never see, but the few that do will appreciate the journey.
The Library of Alexandria
I named the revolution of my inventory and user experience after the marvel of the third and second centuries because it is the model for my direction: The Library of Alexandria wasn't just a historical landmark our timeline of knowledge; with thousands of scrolls collected from vast spaces, it tackled the user experience of tracking, managing and maintaining collections of content that were nothing more than papyrus. In order to appreciate the important information locked in the shelves and stacks, there had to be a system. It helped pass the torch of knowledge to continous generations through commitment to the collecting of content.
My #projectalexandria doesn't purport to be as important as the Great Library. I don't have hundreds of thousands of scrolls. And I won't be using tablets and rustic tools to connect visitors to my Serenity Gallery works.
However, as I've spent time digging through my creations in the wake of my Father's death, I discovered so many phases of my life that generated art that I've dismissed. My collection became dismally fragmented, disjointed and disconnected. I became a distant appreciator of my own work, having forgotten much of what I created. The rare finds and forgotten gems are exciting, but add to the work of consideration into the full Gallery experience. I've mostly ignored the expanse of my creative abilities for the span of my life, operating under creative amnesia that helped forget the greatness throughout the journey. For decades, there have been creations that never saw the light of day.
A Legacy Evolves
Like a miner who continues to discover veins of gold, the more I dig through my dusty papyrus, paper, canvas, pixels and photos, the more I'm presented with a forgotten treasure trove.
5,000 Instagram photos, hundreds of thousands of posts across Facebook and Twitter, hundreds of photo collections from all over the world, hundreds of candles and works of art and a few books have all generated unique content - often via digital remixes of content -- that deserve consideration in the Library of Artemis Sere, the Serenity Gallery.
And now, with my new direction towards welding and metal fab art (SereSteel), I will add to the Gallery in exciting, dramatic and interesting ways.
No matter what I add to the legacy of Artemis Sere, the core conundrum remains the same: the Library, and how interested fans of my work can access and engage with what I've produced and accomplished as Artemis Sere across the course of my lifetime.
If my digital training has taught me anything, it's how to build and connect experiences, like bridges to unknown realms.
The Drudge to Somewhere
I left a 50-hour work week in Corporate America this year, intending to spend more time enjoying my life and freedom of schedule, a personal commitment to the memory of my Father. I didn't concept this as a "Project" until I realized I was rebuilding my library, its inventory and its user experience from the ground up.
To do this, I had to figure out what my own pieces were named. And whether I had accurate sizing. And whether I had an HD picture for prints and low-qual one for a quick pic experience. And pricing. The last time I updated my inventory was in 2016, and in the three years following, I created hundreds of new pieces. As I am constantly creating and always have a piece in process, my inventory of fine art work has bloomed to near 600 pieces.
Using the Sortly app, I began pulling together the scattered papyri of my life into the Great Library of Artemis Sere. I've estimated that each piece will require an average of an hour for full digitization, including being set up for prints.
Which puts me at 500 estimated hours of work for just one phase of the Project.
At 40-50 hours/week, that means I'll be done the project completely in 3-4 months. The renovation of the user experience of the Library is key to the project as well, and calls for its own dedicated work.
So far I've:
- Updated core page tags and content.
- Updated SERE content.
- Reviewed/updated old blog content (much more to go).
- Upgraded the Serenity Gallery section, added Digital Works, Fine Art (Serenity Gallery, all pieces with dedicated pages), Octaves, Photography and Dreamscapes areas.
- Began development of the Seretic Studios business section, with pages to Portfolios of my expertise and other business information. Currently hidden, more info coming soon.
All the administrative and maintenance work aside, when the digital Serenity Gallery has been built, it will be the accomplishment of my lifetime -- and set a legacy up for lifetimes to follow. One that can't be burned down by Romans, or be completely abandoned by time.
The digital footprint for Artemis Sere and Seretic Studios will be broad and profound soon.
Justifying the Means
These days, I burn the candle at both ends, but know the work is valuable. By the inventory count, I'm about halfway through the Project, but am meeting the timeline I defined. I'm distant from friends and family, and have become consumed by the project, but know I've been building this my whole life - from when my Dad forced me to track the family VHS video collection on looseleaf paper; to the details of inventory tracking systems and digital experience; to content marketing and storytelling. The content and story I'm creating right now will resonate from this Seretic base for years to come. As I invite others to dance with the Gallery through social media, I will have years worth of content to share and create conversations around.
An artistic experience aligned to the SERE purpose.
A Gallery with a redesigned experience, given the attention it deserves.
Ultimately, creating content has never been my challenge; building and maintaining a consistent and accessible library of content has. Project Alexandria, when fully completed, will solve most of my current challenges.
Thank you for your patience as I undertake this important life calling. If you're interested in getting advanced access to the Seretic Studios Sortly inventory, contact me with your email address and I'll give you access.
You'll need to download the Sortly app in order to access, but once you have access, you'll have a first-look at the Seretic Studios inventory.
ABSTRACT: Tag, picture and catalog all current Serenity Gallery items, and create a digital library of Artemis Sere organized and available to the public for print or purchase off my Seretic Studios website
GOAL: Organize art collection into a digital library that smartly represents Seretic Studios products, offers an efficient viewing experience for all Artemis Sere creations and enables ecommerce and portfolio reproduction for all current and future work.
PHASE 1: Gathering the Collection (April - July 2019)
Inventory refresh - product info collection, correction and cataloging
PHASE 2: (Re)Building the Library (August - September 2019)
Redesign the digital experience to support and connect all content for tracking, print and product purchasing, and easy search engine access. Additionally, the refreshed experience will reflect the portfolio of Artemis Sere and serve as the information hub for Seretic Studios LLC and its associated products. Launch of "The Static", Seretic Studios Newsletter.
PHASE 3: Opening the Doors (October 2019)
Re-launch the SereticStudios.com experience with the full story of the SERE philosophy, information on Seretic Studios LLC and Seretic Studios creations and products, and the artist Artemis Sere.
PHASE 4: Invitation to the Dance (October 2019 - December 2019)
Drive traffic to the refreshed Seretic Studios experience, collections, publications and octaves and Serenity Gallery. Reinforce Sereticstudios.com as the hub for all content and experiences, while using social channels to promote the new experiences.
PHASE 5: Year of Serenity (January 2020 - December 2020)
Execute #YearofSerenity and #serestorm calendars starting Jan 1, 2020 to promote and drive traffic to Serenity Gallery pieces and other Seretic Studios productions.