Finding Art Using A Search Engine
Having just completed my six-part series on finding the best free online resources for visual artists, this article turned out to become a bit of a bonus offering for those who liked the series. Think of today’s offering as article 6.1, which sounds as though the answers to Brexit and other world cock-ups can be found within. They can’t, but I did find some weird and wonderful stuff and I came across some you know, actual art too. There were even things which turned out to be really useful, and not surprisingly there were similarities in results whichever Search Engine I used.
Conscious that I didn’t want my weird Google search history to interfere with any of the results I got from carrying out this experiment I set a few criteria that would almost guarantee that the results I got were not going to be influenced by anything I had previously searched for or looked at through Google. I’m not overly convinced that there wasn’t some bias towards past search history, but this is as good as it gets.
Secondly I decided to use Google Chrome as the default browser, and I cleared out all of my search history, cookies, and pretty much every temporary cached file from my computer and whatever else I could think of that could influence the search. In theory Google should by now have no clue who was searching for what. Just to be extra certain, I ran it all through a Virtual Private Network choosing a UK location to run the tests from.
In theory this should have ring-fenced the activity I was about to carry out, whether it did or not I can’t be entirely sure but it was as good as it was going to get given that I was working to a time limit on this particular exercise. Some results were just too bizarre to publish, so when this happened I picked the second or third option on the list of potential search terms Google gave me. After each search I reset the cookies and started the whole process again. The time limit kind of went out of the window after this.
Let’s start with the letter A…
Typing in art followed by the letter A resulted in me immediately being directed to Art Attack. Now given that many of my readers are based in the USA, this isn’t going to make much immediate sense, but Art Attack was a British children’s TV programme about art.
At least we were on the right track and Google hadn’t decided that I was looking for something completely weird. The first result was for Wikipedia and a description of the TV show, the second result was from IMDB. The third result was from the Huff Post and this is where it got a little weirder.
Neil Buchannan was the host of the show, I remember watching a few episodes when I was just coming out of short trousers in the 90’s and had only just begun a professional arts career, but what I hadn’t realised until reading the Huff Post article was that the sidekick which was a head, had the word SEX carved on top of it. As the Huff Post commented, it took nearly 30-years for anyone to notice, but still, this was a kid’s programme!
You can read the Huff Post article right here.
The Letter B…
Art followed by the letter B came up with Art Brut. For those who haven’t got a clue who Art Brut are, they’re a Berlin based English and German rock band. I hadn’t got a clue either so you’re not alone.
Second on the list, Art Brut directed me to the art term on the Tate website which I was a little more familiar with. It’s a French term that translates as ‘raw art’, invented by the French artist Jean Dubuffet to describe art such as graffiti, or naïve art which is made outside of the tradition of fine art. I have to say that this is one particular style that really does seem to be coming back in vogue of late.
The Letter C…
Art followed by C returned about 112,000,000 results with the first being a link to a Pinterest board offering a completely free elementary art curriculum. The link then directed me to How to Home School for Free, which you can find right here.
Clicking on the next link once on the above site took me to a feature on the YouTube learning channel called How to Draw and there were some good links to free art projects for 1st to 5thgraders.
The Letter D…
By the time I got to the letter d, well half of my evening had been taken up with being amazed that the word SEX had been carved into a statues head on a children’s TV show and I had lost a couple more hours to YouTube. However, the letter d, as it turned out, pointed me towards art deco wallpaper. The kind of wallpaper you hang on walls rather than your PC, and now I am the proud owner of three rolls of Gatsby Art Deco Wallpaper which I intend to get around to hanging in the upstairs bathroom one day. By this time I was also about £120 lighter in my pocket, which demonstrates just how seriously I take writing these articles, does anyone ever read them? I know Cliff does, thanks my friend.
The Letter E…
My mind went a bit blank after realising I had spent the best part of a week’s grocery shopping budget on three rolls of wallpaper and by midnight I was flagging and couldn’t quite remember what letter came after d. I pondered and it was e, and what did I end up with?
Art Exhibitions at the Royal Academy of Arts. Run by artists since 1768, The Royal Academy of arts is celebrating 250 years by opening up like never before. You can find out more right here.
The RA as it is known by those in the know or those who find the website online, also has a beautiful image collection which you can find right here.
You can look for people, works of art, books, archive materials, exhibition catalogues, and frames within the RA collection. So I did and the time was 3:23am.
The Letter F…
Oh how I was dreading this one, so much so that I decided that it would need to wait until Sunday morning in a few short hours. I couldn’t make a coffee for fear of waking the rest of the house up so I resumed my activities at 10:30am on Sunday morning. I’m not sure Time had a bearing on the results, I’m just letting you know that I have a real problem sleeping.
Art F wasn’t as surprising as I thought it might be. The first link directed me to Art Fund which is a national art pass for free entry in more than 240 museums, historic houses, and galleries across the UK, and 50% off entry to major exhibitions. To be fair I had subscribed to one of these when they had a three-month free offer on a few years ago, this time I spent the princely sum of almost £60 but I am looking forward to receiving their Art Quarterly magazine. My wife is going to kill me.
You can find out more about the Art Fund right here.
The Letter G…
I knew exactly the result I would get as soon as I started typing this one. Art Garfunkel. The first link was the expected Wikipedia link, the second took me to the official website of Art Garfunkel.
I quite like The Sound of Silence which was a number one in the charts in the USA in 1966, before I was even a twinkle in my father’s eye. I think though I was expecting a little more from the official site, its very text heavy and the front page was at the time promoting a new book, but digging down there were some videos which whiled away an hour or so and convinced me to look for an Art Garfunkel album on Apple Music.
Great to see that there were plenty of upcoming tour dates and I am also tempted to buy a ticket to Ridgefield, CT, in November to go and see him live. You can find out more here.
The Letter H…
Art H was also obvious before I searched and I kind of had an inkling that art history would pop up. Again Wikipedia took the top results spot but the second link down caught my eye which took me to Arthistory.net which if you click right here, will take you to the same place.
There’s plenty here to keep you entertained for a few hours if you want to learn about art history, artists, styles, mediums, ancient art, everything seems to be very well covered.
The Letter I…
The letter I brought up art ideas and about 4,420,000,000 results so I was a little spoiled for choice. The first link, however, took me to Morning Chores which you can find right here.
There’s a heap of content here that will give you some inspirational ideas, from how to get prepared for planting fruit trees and bushes this fall to 100 functional DIY nightstand builds to instantly impress your guests.
That latter one coupled with my new art deco wallpaper means that I now have many more things to complete on my to-do list.
The Letter J…
Art J resulted in art jobs. Now I should probably take this as a sign that I should change my day job to one in the arts. Given the number of vacancies I saw on the Guardian website, there seems to be a huge gap for us creative types here in the UK with many posts to fill.
So if you are looking to work in the arts and heritage sector in the UK, take a look at the Guardian job listings in this link right here.
Oh and some of them are paying significantly more than I have noticed similar job postings have in previous years, which is definitely surprising although not necessarily representative of the health of the whole of the arts and creative sector.
The Letter K…
I’m wasn’t sure what would turn up when I searched for “art k” and the first two on the automatic list of search terms that popped up were totally irrelevant to anywhere other than Britain, bringing results for art kit from British retailers. The second result was for a Thai restaurant which I am sure serves really nice food, but I made an executive decision to go for the third random result of art keywords figuring that would really be useful.
The first site on the search engine results page (or SERP as us geeky kind call it) was for a site called Mondovo which you can find right here.
According to the site, Mondovo’s free keyword tool will bring you an exhaustive list of keywords to use in your art marketing. We’re a world of animal lovers as “pet art” appeared in the number one spot of one of the lists, and unsurprisingly, nail art appeared in the number three position. I say this is unsurprising because every time I do a Google search for anything related to the arts I always get a lot of nail art tips and salons.
The lists here represent the most searched for terms and phrases on Google relating to the arts and can be useful in your marketing strategy, you can even download the list.
As an aside and just as a bonus because I am good like that, you can also do the same thing with the official Google keyword planner right here, which should redirect you to your local version automatically. If not, just type Google keyword planner into Google and look for the official version.
The Letter L…
The letter L was a portal into another world entirely and the first result was for the art loss register. Experts around the world use the register to check the provenance of art items before they buy or handle them. There are also options to register the art you own just in case the worst thing happens and someone decides to steal it, and if that does happen you can also report the theft here.
You can find the Art Loss Register right here.
The Letter M…
The search for “art m” didn’t produce any unexpected results, I kind of knew it would lead me to a museum. Princeton University Art Museum was the first result which you can find here.
With a collecting history that extends back to the 1750’s, the Museum is one of the few university art museums of truly universal scope. Its collections which number more than 100,000 works in all media, range from ancient to contemporary and span the globe.
The usual sections of museum websites can be found such as the online catalog, and there are also some useful learning resources and the museum’s video collection which can be found right here.
The Letter N…
The letter “N” brought up Art Nouveau as the first search term and the first result was for Wikipedia as most results usually are. However, the second search result directed me towards a website called The Art Story with a synopsis of art nouveau which you can find here.
The site is one that I had never come across before but it is one that I will be visiting again. You can find the homepage right here.
There are sections about art movements, artists, timelines, ideas, and a blog, and looking through the site it is all very nicely laid out, written simply without the overuse of complex art terminology which many sites fall foul of doing.
Looking through the artists section there is a synopsis of the artist along with key ideas, quotes from the artist, the artists most important art, biographies, influences and connections and useful resources which point you towards videos, books, websites, articles and more to discover even more information about the artist and the artists’ works.
The Letter O…
Searching for “Art O” resulted in many “art of…” results with the first being the art of war. The Art of War is an ancient Chinese Military treatise dating from the Spring and Autumn period. The work is attributed to the ancient Chinese Strategist Sun Tzu and comprises of thirteen chapters.
Each of the chapters are devoted to a distinct aspect of warfare and how that applies to military strategy. It’s a fascinating read and you can find out more right here.
The Letter P…
Searching for “art p”, resulted in lots of results for Art Parkinson, an Irish actor who began his acting career at the age of seven. Here’s the thing though, I must be watching the wrong movies because I have to confess I had never heard of him before this search. I’m sure his fans will be mortified but unless he has appeared in Shark Week, art documentaries, Jurassic Park, Star Wars, or anything from Marvel comics, then I’m afraid anyone outside of those are not going to hit my radar. It’s not you, it’s me because I have never even watched Game of Thrones, maybe I will one day.
So if you are anything like me and want to find out who this superstar is, head on over to his IMDB profile right here.
The Letter Q…
Art quotes, that is what I got when I searched for “art q”, and I got a lot of them. From creativity takes courage (Henri Matisse) to “We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents” (Bob Ross), you will find the ten best quotes about art right here.
Look down the search results and even do a Google image search and you will be forever inspired to bust out the paintbrushes, never give up, and feel inspired to get creative.
The Letter R…
A search for the letter R came back with plenty of results for art references, many of the top hits were ads but lower down there was a really useful article on how to use reference images provided by Creative Bloq, and which can be found here.
There are eight pointers to using reference photos effectively and at the bottom of the article there are some further related articles on subjects such as how to get harmonious colours in paintings which you can also find here, how to draw and paint with a hundred pro-tips and tutorials which you can find here, and 7-must know painting techniques for artists which you can find right here.
The Letter S…
The letter S presented a lot of results and indicated some of the websites I have already pointed you towards over the previous six weeks. Art Styles was the immediate result and it pointed me towards ArtyFactory which I have covered before. You can learn more about artistic styles right here.
The ArtyFactory homepage is right here, and this is where you will find free art lessons for all. Their latest project is still life painting and explores the process of painting a still life through simple step-by-step lessons, where the process is broken down into manageable parts to help you improve your technique. You can view the still life project right here.
The Letter T…
Another surprise for me when I searched for “Art T” was another website I have been unfamiliar with until now. It lead me to a wiki on art themes within the Art Inspired Wiki website which you can find right here.
The site promises visual art ideas and resources to inspire and motivate your lessons, artwork, and art curriculum and I have no idea why this one never appeared on my radar before now.
I have to say this is one the best wiki’s I have come across and I really am so annoyed with myself for not finding it sooner! I just know someone is going to reach out and tell me that it’s been a staple of the art world for years or something, but I don’t care, I’ve found it now!
The Letter U…
The letter U is all about universities or more specifically art universities which again didn’t really come as a surprise. There were plenty of universities based in Britain as expected, and one I did stumble across was the Complete University Guide which I am sure there are similar websites for around the rest of the world too.
In Britain, Oxford ranked number one for the arts but there were a few surprises here too, some of the universities I expected to rank higher were actually lower than I thought they would be, and some I thought would be nestling at the bottom of the table ranked higher than I thought they would rank.
So if you are looking for universities or will be looking soon, here’s the link to the site right here, and there’s plenty of information if you are thinking about going to university too.
The Letter V…
The letter V resulted in lots and I mean lots of art videos. The first result below the ads and obvious YouTube video links though was for Vimeo which seems to be gaining popularity and has a great section on the arts and design with plenty to keep you entertained for hours, maybe even months.
You can access Vimeo’s art and design category right here, where you will find more than 210,000 videos in this section alone.
There are also sub-categories such as the art world which you can find here, with just short of 40,000 videos, and you can see installation art right here.
Blog Source: BEECHHOUSE MEDIA | AN A TO Z OF FINDING ART