Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My Love-Hate Relationship With Technology

Like most artists, I wish that I could spend all my time creating and let someone else do all the fulfillment work: inventory, printing, matting & framing, packaging, marketing, shipping, even displaying. Alas, all these other functions fall to me and they suck up so much time! (As you see, this is going to be another rant.)

To get ready for the new Sevi's Restaurant gallery, I spent the day yesterday trying to make several giclee prints for framing.

Two Flower Square (one of the prints I made)

Because my own printers are not working (see the saga below) I drove to the studio of a very generous friend (Paul Dunkel of The Archival Image) to use his professional Epson 9600 monster printer. I already had my very expensive box of Hahnemuhle rag paper and I brought him lunch in exchange for ink. Seven hours and much blood, sweat, and tears later I quit, having completed only a handful of suitable prints. Formatting your file to exact specs is key - so I learned. Then there are the little quirks of the machine, such as the printer head getting caught on the paper's edge and tearing it if you don't bend your paper into a curve just so. Paul helped me get set up and then left me to work on my own. The result was enough frustration to almost make me want to send my files out to a professional giclee print shop, expensive as they are.

Well, I survived. Now I really need to get my own printers working again. Here's the story:
I love my old workhorse, the Epson 2200. It takes larger paper and does a great job on most things.

Last year I bought (used) an Epson Professional 4000 with UltraChrome Ink, capable of making giclees. (Each ink case costs $100!) It is really a beautiful machine. However...

I upgraded my Mac's operating system a couple of months ago and suddenly my computer does not recognize either of my Epson printers. (Thank goodness I have a laser printer for everyday work.) I tried downloading new drivers but they are configured for the newer Intel macs. Apparently if you have a mac older than three years you have no business using new software. After much fiddling and talking to techies, I figured that I need to resurrect my older mac computer with the old operating system and see if I can get it to work with those printers. I will dedicate a single computer to my art printing and never change anything again (or at least until everything becomes obsolete.) That is the theory. Lets see if it works. Generous Paul said he would come over and help me make the transition.

Computer technology, while powerful and awesome can also be a cavernous time-eating monster. It almost makes me want to go back to doing only originals.

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