Artists often aren’t the best marketers of their work. We have a tendency to tell ourselves the art itself is more important than money or exposure. And this is certainly true, but without exposure we can’t share our vision, and without money, well, let’s just say it’s not fun counting pennies to buy paint. Like it or not, a successful artist is an entrepreneur as well as a visionary.
The Internet’s made it easier than ever to disseminate art and connect with other members of the artistic community. Today’s artists use social media to promote shows, introduce themselves to art gallery curators, meet other artists, and, yes, sell their creations. Social media already successfully promotes everything from video games to heavy construction equipment, so why not art?
Four giants dominate social media: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest. All four offer opportunities to artists. Facebook gives artists access to millions of potential art viewers quickly. Artists can create galleries easily on Facebook using the websites’ image features, and post links to events, blog updates and other news.
Twitter works well as an announcement board, offering followers a view into the artistic process and announcing upcoming events. As for Pinterest, well, an image-based website where people share and repin images should have obvious advantages to anyone looking for artwork exposure.
LinkedIn is a more professional networking system, where people within industries meet, share ideas and interact. A LinkedIn profile can introduce artists to art galleries, wall art online companies and curators.. For artists working in web design and advertising, the social network also offers job opportunities.
Art-Specific Social Media
While the large social media sites offer tremendous opportunities, they have some drawbacks. Carving out a name for yourself and attracting attention in the maelstrom of Facebook posts and Tweets is challenging. Sometimes it’s better to forgo the Big Four in favor of sites dedicated to art.
Art-centric social media sites abound, with names like artists2artists.com, artreview.com, Artrise.com, and Artween. Most have similar features. Artists can create their own profiles and art galleries, often including audio or video features. Most sites also host artist blogs and discussion forums. A few, such as Artist2Artist, have on-staff curators who review and critic your work.
You can sell artwork on many of these sites, which are often frequented by collectors and curators as well as artists. Perhaps most importantly, however, you can make connections within the art world.
Don’t try to establish a presence on every site: you’ll spread yourself too thin. Instead, pick one or two sites and stay active in the community. Like and befriend other artists and engage in online discussions. Artists who develop good reputations on these sites — as artists and individuals — are more likely to be noticed by art galleries and collectors.
Adrienne Erin is a social media marketer and wannabe artist who works in cut paper and animation. You can find more of her written work on her Twitter.
This blog is brought to you by Blue Horizon Canvas Prints Sydney.