Is Social Media bad for Artists?
Before I begin I would like to inform the viewers of a few important things. I’m only going to speak about the benefits for artists when it comes to being on social media sites. NOT for people in general. You are free to roam social media every day. However, I do not recommend “all day” every day. Moderation is very important to one’s mind, body & soul. Thank you.
Let’s be positive first before I give you all my honest answers. Artists can benefit from social media in a couple of ways. You, artists, want to be productive yes? So consistently posting is key to gaining attention on social media sites like Instagram for example. Adding hashtags (Like this #) helps shows your posts to a wider audience.
When you post, people will leave positive comments/helpful feedback. It can be one person but it can also be 100 people. You slowly but surely grow an audience of people who love your work & are willing to support you. And of course, seeing/hearing works from other artists no matter how famous they are, can be a very helpful inspiration/motivation for you. The word “aspiring” is an illusion. The moment you put your pencil on that paper and draw an apple for example or a poem about apples, or make a rap song about apples, then congratulations, you’re an artist (regardless if you like apples or not). You’re inspired by others and you want to make things as good as them or better.
Now, back on topic. Here are the downsides for artists trying to “stay on top” on social media. It’s easy to get “likes” and “shares”, just post a drawing you did, add some hashtags, and boom 50+ likes in less than a day. Being a “famous “ artist on Instagram or Twitter isn’t difficult it’s STAYING famous is the difficult part.
With a big enough audience roughly around 500+ to 1K (a thousand) followers, they expect more from you as an artist. Even if it means posting daily. The coming & going of followers is like a rushing tide. They come & they go. But if you aren’t consistently active, your follower count will drop significantly. But being productive can be very tiring.
Very often artists are compared by others. Sometimes, comparisons may come off as a compliment, but, they can also spawn negativity & misunderstandings. Being accused of “plagiarism” for example, drawing/singing something, someone else has already done. Even if you had good intentions & didn’t realize it, even your community will hang that guilty over your head. But most of the time, being compared to other artists can damage not just your credibility but your confidence to learn from other artists. Your mind creates this “illusion” that you have to be “original”. Originality doesn’t exist. Why? Because inspiration does. Do not be afraid from learning from other artists because you will inevitability create your own content.
And lastly, always do any form of art for yourself. Creating art for an audience, views, and money is also a good thing but you must do it for your own sake. For example, have a sketchbook with you. You make such an impressive drawing you immediately think you want to post it online & share it with your followers. But you’ve done that with your other personal work and it didn’t get as much attention as you thought. Your followers will send you “requests” or “suggestions” themselves on what they want you to draw for them. Even send you money as long as you draw what they want from you. But will that make you happy? Sure you’ll make them happy by drawing something they want to see. Sure they’re willing to give you money to see a certain drawing. But I ask again, will that make YOU happy? Find & keep that happiness of being an artist. If you’re just going to be miserable, applying to your follower’s wants/needs, doing things you don’t like to do, you may as well put your pen/pencil down for good.
Even artists on social media need to be consistently active in doing their art commissions. Someone pays an artist(s) to draw them something for a profit. Most jobs for artists come from social media websites through “DMs” (Direct messages). Not all artists are successful when it comes to doing art commissions. You must have responsible prices. Nothing too expensive but also nothing too cheap. Otherwise, you won’t get any customers at all. Let alone customers who pay well. Your art also needs to be presentable. No one is going to pay $25 for a stick figure drawn on a napkin. Most art is done digitally and not every artist is ready to make the switch from traditional to digital and be good enough to make money off of their recent skills.
Let’s come back to the big question at hand. Is Social Media bad for artists? The answer is Yes & No. It has excellent benefits but it also has serious consequences. It can be enjoyable & convenient but stressful & frustrating. For artists. Social media is a “double edge sword”.
I do have a few solutions for artists who failed to gain a presence and clout (attention) on social media, it’s important to try again & be persistent. People have lots of opinions & it can be overwhelming but theirs no harm in either “muting” them so you won’t see their harmful words or blocking them so they won’t see your content at all. Surround yourself with positive energy by creating your own community of folks who like you & your work.
The other solution is making your own website and posting your artwork there instead. There’s no need to go to college and learn computer science for 4 years, these days it’s simple to learn how to build a website from scratch. And the employees at SpringBoard Incubators can assist you every step of the way. Not just in building a website but making a portfolio as well. Not to mention sharing your finished website with various clients so getting a job in the art field is easier.
If you want Springboard Incubators to help you make a website, the contact information is right here.
One more thing. Don’t spend too much on the internet all day. You can do it every day if you wish but not ALL day long. Put your phone or laptop on sleep mode and take a walk outside, get some fresh air.
Thank you for reading.