Up until fairly recently, struggling artists had to hustle in order to make connections and generally promote their work. Oftentimes, this meant physically hauling a portfolio around from gallery to gallery and trying to persuade disinterested owners to show their pieces. These days the need for fledgling artists to make connections is still just as vital as it always has been, but the methods of doing so have changed.
Take social media, for example. The social revolution has fundamentally changed the way most people communicate and information gather, and in turn this has changed the way artists of all types promote and disseminate their work. With popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, the unknown artist has more ways than ever before to deliver their vision to a wide audience and establish important connections in the process.
But, as far as marketing art via social is concerned, there needs to be a method to the madness. So thinking along those lines, here are some ways average upstart artists can use social media to kick off their career.
Use business to promote art through social
Because many businesses are now using social to promote art. Take The Creator’s Project, for example. This global social media-based art installation is the brainchild of Intel and Vice magazine and uses location-based sites like Instagram and Foursquare in order to spread the word about new and exciting artists. They promote events throughout the world and even launched promotions at the Coachella Music Festival. Also, a single promotion in New York generated thousands of tweets in a day for one single gallery showing. These are impressive statistics that any starving artists would do well to consider.
Focus on presentation
While social media is the wave of the future, that’s no reason artists should settle on antiquated methods of presenting their work via these sites. For example, simple photo slideshows may do the job of actually displaying the work online, but this method of presentation doesn’t exactly jump off the page, so to speak. Many new artists are using all the creative resources the Internet provides in order to develop new and exciting ways of sharing their work.
Take underground sensation Andre Wooley, for example, who used a parallax-scrolling graphic that presented his work in a manner that bundled the actual work with relevant factoids regarding the creative process. The point is, the artist should flex just as much creative muscle in regards to how he or she presents the work online as they do during the process of creating the art itself.
Create an online community
The working life of the visual artist may be one of solitude, but that doesn’t mean the promotion process needs to be as well. In fact, struggling artists can count on strength in numbers to deliver them to the promised land of success. And in today’s modern world, this can’t be done without social media. That means not only building up a following of friends and supporter on Facebook and Twitter, but hosting local events via social as well. With enough online friends, the otherwise anonymous artist might just be able to pack enough attendees into a small, self-funded gallery show to make even the bigwigs sit up and take notice.
Make a firm time commitment
It’s crucial the artist commit to the long term when it comes to promoting his or her work through social. Setting up a single page, making a single post and checking in once every two or three weeks simply won’t cut it. That means daily updates as well as searching for new friends and followers. The good news is that this can be done in as little as 15 minutes per day.
In the end, the best way to generate more followers and friends on social media – and thus promote the work to a wider audience – is to make a strong connection. The artist shouldn’t be afraid of showing his or her personality as well as the art. Because those who can properly engage an audience via who they are will have no problem getting that audience excited about what they are offering.