Want? Or need?
The most important question to be asked when window-shopping in PC World/Curry's: Do you need that new 100" LED Smart TV with free Wifi? And if you were to buy it, could you afford the license? Are you really that desperate to access 800 channels? Regardless, you'll probably end up wanting it anyway, am I right?
I'm not saying everyone should live minimalist lifestyles devoid of the odd techie treat, but (as parents never tire of telling us) you need to consider if you're going to actually make the most of something. Are you going to buy that expensive bit of tech, realise you weren't that desperate for it in the first place, and end up leaving it in a corner for it to gather dust? When it comes to buying new tech, make sure you use it to its full potential, or you'll end up kicking yourself later on.
With all the different options for machines that basically do the same thing (we're looking at you Apple) you need to think carefully about what your priorities are, and what your current tech already has covered for you.
Develop your art!
Well it wouldn't be called Arts Award Voice without art! Nowadays, technology has really helped to break down artistic boundaries and unleashed a whole new wave of art. Visual art is almost unstoppable thanks to Photoshop, and you can record and produce new music on your smartphone.
That's why it's always important to consider what will help you develop your art form when it comes to adapting your style further. For example, when it comes to that all-important transition from acoustic guitar to electric guitar, always think about what suits you best. Most guitarists tend to start off with a cheap and basic model to get used to, it's not until a few months later that they move on to more advanced types of guitars, and that's when you get to experiment with all kinds of amps, pedals, guitar models in order to find your style, or just have fun!
Also have a think about what you really need to help your art progress. This will vary from art form to art form - you can't really be a filmmaker without equipment - but it will help to write a list of exactly why you need additional tech. Does too much tech distract from your original artistic talent?
Remember at this point in time, unless you win the lottery, you won't be rich, so always start small and look for cheaper and more accessible forms of technology, i.e. a 30-day trial of Photoshop, online YouTube tutorials for dance moves, using your phone as a camera, etc. It's amazing to know that the tools to develop your art form are more accessible than you think.
Always be in the "know"
Ok, you've been thinking about tech, and you've been thinking about developing your art form. What next? Go out and find it of course!
But before you do anything, consider these things:
Your budget - how much are you looking to spend, and where are you going to get the money from?
Relevance - how will it develop your art form, and develop you as an artist?
Logistics - where are you going to get it from? Don't just go into a random tech store and buy really expensive stuff - look for bargains and deals so that you'll save money, and look up different makes and models online.
Tech - which tech suits you the most? Which tech is cheaper, more sustainable and matches your expectations? It's always best to check out any reviews first, but don't take them to heart - you've got to see it to believe it.
Don't go over-the-top - Bear in mind all of the above and don't go crazy. If you've spent all your money you'll have no fun making your art anyway. One step at a time, my friend.
If you buy it, then that's amazing but once that's in your hands, you need to have some responsibility and take care of it, i.e. don't brag about it, break it, have it stolen or lose it. Believe me, I've been there: It's not pretty.
Well, you've got the tech now and you've taken responsibility, so it's best to enjoy it whilst you can! Remember, there is plenty of advice out there if you ever want to learn about your new piece of tech, and how to use it efficiently. As long as you know what you're doing, then off you go my child! Enjoy growing and changing your art form as much as possible, but most importantly, have fun!
Image via Flickr