Oh, social media. I have such a love-hate relationship with it.
There were days when I finish an art project and I am superbly proud of it. I think to myself, man, this must be my best work! My followers will love it!
So, I go and post it… excitedly waiting for the feedbacks, likes, and shares to roll in.
My brain implodes with shame and I am left wondering if my art just really sucks.
I am sure I am not the only one that has gone through this feeling. Social media as a whole seems like a giant enigma. One day, you’ll throw a half-assed sketch on Twitter or Tumblr and people will worship it, showing it with likes, comments, and shares. The other days, when you put up your best polished work and by the end of the day, you can count the likes on one hand.
It makes you wonder what the special secret ingredient to social media fame is, right? Why do some artists get a bazillion likes and shares with whatever they post and why can’t you be like them?
You might even think to yourself, man, these artists that are getting so much social media attention… they aren’t even good. I am better. I should get more attention.
Clearly you will never be the next artist that becomes famous through the use of social media, so you throw in the towel.
I’ll be honest here; the chances of you becoming the next Sam Spratt or Alice X. Zhang is rare.
Or at least, it’ll be rare because you will literally be waiting for the opportunity to fall into your lap. The chances of an art director coming across your work in the vast internet is abysmally small – considering how much junk the internet has in general.
Does that mean social media is useless? Maybe we all should just give up on social media?
Well, no. Social media is still immensely useful even if it won’t be your one ticket to fame. In fact, you shouldn’t consider using your social media just to create viral content. There is so much more a social media platform can do for you. Especially if you choose the right one.
Social media showcases the artist behind the art
Do you know what an art director’s #1 concern when it comes to choosing an illustrator to work with?
It is that they are good with deadlines and that they are capable of being collaborative.
The thing is when you show a portfolio, it only shows the best of your work and very little of the process behind it. Even worse, most portfolios out there don’t even show the personality of the artist.
As the name social media says, a social media platform is the best way to showcase your personality traits and your work process via being social through communities. It can do the heavy lifting that your portfolio or website cannot.
Additionally, social media also brings even further authenticity to your work as you showcase your projects consistently. It gives an idea to how your true work ethics is as a person and these are all things that good clients are on the lookout for.
Social media platforms are the best way to get instant feedback to your work
When you use social media platforms in the right way, your work can get instant feedback to whether you are on the right track or not.
Just where else will you be able to get feedback within a few hours of posting your work?
The key is of course that you have to utilize it in the right way. Make sure that you take part of art communities. With various search functions in social media, it makes it superbly easy to find where artists are gathering to post their art for constructive criticism.
Same thing with DeviantArt, which is a great place for starting artists to find their footing. You could invite people to submit criticisms in form of scores to see where your art is lacking – but first, you have to find the right communities!
Art directors are looking for their next illustrator on social media
And of course, the big one is that there are big time clients out there that are looking to hire for their next upcoming project.
However, in order to increase your chances of being noticed by them via social media, you should try to use social networks that are specialized for art directors, illustrators, and designers. Using social media platforms like Behance and Art Station will increase the likelihood that an art director will see your work.
Additionally, a 2014 survey has shown that art directors will look up your social media presence, if you have cold pitched or applied for a job in their company.
So, everything that we mentioned above comes into value then.
In the next blog post, I will talk more about how to utilize your social media platform to its maximum potential.
But first, I’ll love to hear from you about your experiences on social media. Do you have success stories with social media? Or have you been discouraged by social media? Do let us know your thoughts in the comments below!