Modern-day artists are continually looking for ways to expand the reach of their art, and one of the most popular ways is social media. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and many more, have millions of users and accounts that cover every interest imaginable. For artists, social media can be a world of opportunity.
Utilizing social media for artists can provide artists with a platform to share their work and reach audiences across the world. But it can also provide distraction, discouragement, and become a waste of time.
We’ve put together a few pros and cons of social media for artists, and how you can utilize these platforms best to grow as an artist.
What Social Media Can Do for Artists
Market your artwork
Social media enables artists at all levels and skills to market themselves free of charge. Places like Facebook and Instagram allow artists to share their process, connect with other artists, and develop a following of people who enjoy their work. As an artist, you will often find yourself looking for every possible opportunity to advance your career and improve your work. Social media provides a free, fairly simple way to do this.
Develop an audience
Artists need audiences. Regardless of what it is you paint, you want your work to be in front of the people who it speaks to. If you are putting paintings of cityscapes in front of nature lovers, your sales probably won't increase. But when you find your target audience, you can have a big impact on them.
Social media will enable you to find that audience without leaving your studio. People from around the world with similar interests, looking for the type of art you are making can be found using social media. Utilizing these tools, an artist can develop an audience and following, boosting their visibility.
Find peers and inspiration
Utilizing social media, you can meet and interact with people around the world. For artists, this can be priceless. The more experiences and interactions artists have with the world, the more their art is influenced and potentially strengthened. By seeing other artist's work and interacting with the artists themselves, you can grow and expand your thoughts, building creative ideas unique to you and your experiences.
What Social Media Can't Do
Social media can't sell your art by itself.
Posting your paintings online doesn’t automatically mean they’ll sell. In fact, the majority of your followers will never purchase your work. Using social media to foster relationships with potential buyers is a great idea. However, simply posting a picture does not guarantee it will sell without a lot of work put in.
An online presence can take time away from studio work
Many beginning artists invest too much stock into social media platforms. As an artist, the majority of your work happens at the easel, honing your craft and producing thoughtful, dedicated work. While maintaining a social media presence is helpful, it can be a time trap, taking time that should be spent in the studio. Set boundaries for yourself in order to ensure that you are putting in the necessary work to succeed in your painting techniques before focusing all of your energy on promoting your social media pages.
It can create pressures and compromise authenticity
If you’ve ever felt pressured by the successful, thriving people you see on social media, you’re not alone. It is easy to share only the beautiful, successful parts of life, while the struggles and messes remain hidden. When social media is used well, it provides a view of hard work, some failure, and successes. But without that, pressures arise that can discourage and turn away many new artists. Comparison steals motivation and quickly derails an artist.
How to Use Social Media Successfully
Protect your time
Track how much time you spend actually preparing content and scrolling through social media. Set a timer to protect your time and make sure that your time is invested, not wasted.
Put in work in the Studio
Avoid creating work purely for social media. Have a vision and a plan, and use social media to enhance it, rather than creating work solely for an app
Be social and authentic
Be authentic in what you share and post. Failures and lessons learned can often have a bigger impact on your audience than constant highlights. Authenticity goes a long way to share your real self with your audience.
Share your experience! Every artist has something to offer. Be open and honest, share your journey through art, things you’ve learned, and revelations about becoming an artist. Your journey is unique and more people will resonate with it than you think.
Social media can be a helpful tool for artists, but it doesn’t guarantee success. By using it as a tool to enhance your skills, meet fellow artists, and gain new insights and experiences, social media for artists can be very beneficial.
Protect your time, keep working on your craft, and remember that your journey through is worth sharing with an audience!
How do you utilize social media for your art? Leave a comment below!