One issue as an artist is the ability to sell yourself and network. I think it is fair to say that a number of artists find that the marketing aspect of being creative is not easy. As a much younger artist or someone who wanted to be an artist my idea was that I would be hidden away in some studio space and left alone to create. This is not how things work. Locking oneself away in a studio might produce a good amount of art but what do you do with it when it is finished? Hide it under your bed? Store it in the Attic? If you want to make a living as an artist the art needs to be seen, if you want the art to be seen you need to interact with other people.
Today the ability to have the work seen is really greater than ever. Anyone with a camera phone can take pictures of their art and upload it for the world to see. This can be a huge positive and a huge negative. Unknown talent, amateur talent, have the possibility of being discovered. This creates the attitude of if they can do it why can’t I? So what does that create? More and more people make the attempt but more and more people also gum up the works with inferior work. Somehow you must use everything at your disposal to get the work seen. Be consistent, be relentless, have focus and discipline when it comes to promoting yourself as an artist.
I will fully admit I haven’t quite got the complete hang of this yet. (After all this blog isn’t even a week old) I kept my Facebook page mostly personal so I wouldn’t miss posts by the people I really consider friends. But if you want to work in an industry similar to those you went to college with my advice would be to friend as many of them as possible to increase your professional network. Facebook has alerts for the people whose posts you really want to see, just use those to keep in touch with friends. I do most of what needs to be done but keeping up to date on Social Media can be a full time job within itself. I have the following accounts in the world of social media: Facebook, A Facebook fan page, Twitter, Instagram, Deviant Art, WordPress, LinkedIn, An Alumni page, a personal website and probably some others I don’t even recall at the moment. That is a lot of places to promote yourself for basically nothing. Consistency is the key. Keeping things updated and connected.
When I Instagram do I share it on Facebook and Twitter? Is my blog connected to my LinkedIn profile? Is the artwork on the Alumni page up to date? Are people stealing my images from Deviant Art? Being that many of these services are free is my work protected? Should I be trying to sell my work through Instagram or Facebook?
The ability to promote is there and much of it is free but it isn’t as easy as it seems. I am curious to hear what other artists have done in the world of social media to promote themselves. what works? what is a waste of time?