The State of Art at the Cusp of the Millennium
Obviously, image creation, illustration, photography and computer imaging will be enormously affected by the Internet, and it will become the primary means for finding and purchasing images. Transparencies will be replaced by digital files. High-resolution images will be delivered by way of the Internet, in seconds rather than the minutes—or hours—needed today.
The demand for print—still the most convenient, intuitive and, let's face it, enjoyable medium—will continue to grow, with the probable exception of newspapers that are vulnerable to the Internet's on-demand news offerings.
Printed matter should gradually undergo a shift from a means of imparting
information (as with newspapers, newsletters, bulletins, etc.) to a more recreational medium (books, special-interest magazines, catalogs and brochures). The use of images and illustration, photographic or digitally created, will reach staggering proportions, numbers that most of us in this transitional generation can't envision.
Being 20-something helps. The younger generation is up to its neck in the future, and to them the new way of doing things is the traditional way. The cost of communicating, of being connected, will continue to fall, and this will sustain the headlong rush toward globalization, with more individuals and small companies discovering that there are markets beyond their own "neighborhood," and it's relatively inexpensive to reach them. This phenomenon will make it easier for foreigners to market their talents in the U.S. The other side of the coin is that it will also be easier for Americans to promote themselves abroad. And they should.
Finally, one of the most significant trends I see is that highly talented people who know how to promote their talent will be more in demand, more richly rewarded, in the coming millennium than in the past, and this will be at the expense of those who are less gifted.
Marie-Christine Matter is the president of Images.com, New York City, the holding company for Stock Illustration Source (SIS) and Graphistock Collection.