So Where do You get Your Information on the Web?
I hear this question ALL the time. People are amazed at the details that I can find on the web.
Now I am not a genius, but the amount of research that I have done over the last twenty years does aid in the process. You can also get good results by being systematic. The Internet isn’t everything! I also have an extensive library of real honest-to-god books at home, but sometimes it is just not enough. A customer will often approach me with an idea for jewelry or a dress accessory. Other times they want something that they have seen someone wearing and ask me to make it. Now obviously if it is a fantasy piece I really don’t need to do much research, unless they want me to incorporate some specific symbolism in the piece. But if the piece is supposed to resemble, or copy, a historic piece, then I usually need to do some research.
So where do I start? Google it! No, I am not kidding. A lot of really good information will come up and plenty of garbage, too. The quality of most of the information becomes easy to spot as you become more familiar with the topic. www.google.com
If you really don’t know anything about a topic go to www.Wikipedia.com and do a search there. I think of Wikipedia as an encyclopedia. If you are old enough to remember how cool it was to be able to browse in a REAL encyclopedia, then you should realize that encyclopedias are not always accurate. Well, neither is Wikipedia, but it often has enough good information for you to be able to learn enough to do better quality research. And some of the articles there really ARE incredibly accurate and detailed. Even if the article that you read is not perfect, it will probably give you enough information to do a more detailed search.
So, say I am looking for a picture. I once spent over three hours online looking for a picture of a lesser known painting by a specific Spanish Renaissance artist. Where did I finally locate a photo of the picture? Google Images. The museum where the painting is on display did not have a picture online, but Google Images did. I have learned the hard way to go to them early in my search. They often have links to really good websites, like museums or academic sites, where there is an article about the picture.
How about letting other people do some of your work for you? Pinterest is the place for that. There are literally thousands of people on Pinterest. Many people use their boards to collect very specific information on very specific topics. You say that you are interested in Historic Slavic Costuming? Or Metal Casting? Or Japanese Gardens? Or Recipes? Not a problem! You will find these and much more on Pinterest. I even use Pinterest to actively share recipes with my daughter.
While there are many other locations to find things on the web, I hope this blog helps you find more of what you are looking for!
Next time: Specific websites that I use for research.