The scene for independent artists grows daily with more and more digital outlets being created. For musicians, major label and record deals are no longer necessary. For painters, photographers, etc., the internet is swamped with online galleries to sell your work and get your name out there. For filmmakers, websites like YouTube and Vimeo have practically taken over television allowing for user created content to be king. With all these outlets available, here is a break down some helpful apps for independent artists.
Big Cartel allows artists to create personalized online stores where they can sell their art. It is essentially a website builder that is designed specifically with the online store in mind. Big Cartel thrives with its mobile app available on iOS. The app allows you to take orders for your products on the go. If you are showcasing your work at a convention or art gallery and someone wants to order one of your items, they don't have to write a website down and wait to get home—they can now order it right on their phone. Pretty nifty, eh?
This next app is for those running a gallery, or even a personal art collection. Collectrium uses Apple's iCloud to create a virtual and portable representation of your inventory. Upload information about the artwork, including photos of the work itself, to the cloud. You will then be able to access all of its information through either your iPhone or iPad. It helps you manage your art quickly and easily, without the hassle of a physical inventory database like binders or notebooks. All the art you have is all right there in the palm of your hand.
For many, finding a way to easily integrate purchases of their product on their website is a challenge. This is where DPD comes in. Unlike BigCartel, DPD allows you to add their services to a website you have already created—as opposed to creating an entirely new store. The service will publish works like eBooks or even general file downloads. The process is simple: You upload your eBook or other downloadable file to DPD who then publishes it for you. You receive virtual add-to-cart buttons that you can place on your own website, and that's all there is to it. All your customers have to do is click on the button and DPD handles the rest. The money is collected and sent to your choice of payment processors.
The last app I want to mention is SoundCloud. Although many know of SoundCloud as a website to find new independent artists, many don't know about the power of the mobile app. Available on both Android and iOS, the app closely resembles the standard website with the ability to listen to songs, comment, follow and unfollow artists, and search for new material. What many users do not know about is the recording feature. If a band is in the studio working on new songs, or a songwriter has written a new piece, they can record a rough demo on their phone and share it immediately through the app. The sound quality obviously isn't the best, but it is a cool feature to have and is a great way to keep fans and followers up to date on an artist's latest music.
So there you have it, the break down of some helpful apps for independent artists. Whether you need to create a mobile online store, add purchase capabilities to a website, keep a virtual inventory through your mobile device, or even share demos on the fly, there is an app out there to suit your needs.
Have you tried any of these apps? Or do you have any apps that you would like to share with us? Tell us about it in the comments.