The trap of social media


Over the last two weeks I have wondered about all my social media commitments.  Posting on Facebook, Instagram, doing my blog, keeping up to date with my DeviantArt profile and more.

I decided about 18 months ago to systematically build my presence on the internet.  Never being a fan of social media, this was hard for me.  I am not the type that likes to show the world what I eat for breakfast or tag every movement of my day.  But, I was made to believe that as an artist I would have to stay with the times and get my stuff out there.

18 Months later and I feel robbed.  Every day I put in my time (at least 1 – 2 hours), I researched the right words to use, I made sure I didn’t overwhelm my audience with rubbish and I posted my journey.  What do I have to show for it?  Nothing, Nada, Naught.

Okay, I know that I might have inspired some people out there and that was part of my goal, but the larger picture was to sell my art. Not one sale in 18 months off the internet!

And then I found this amazing YouTube clip that made me rethink the whole thing:


So, what do you other artist think about this?  Maybe I just suck at social media marketing?  Let me know your experiences with this tool.

Anyway, this is the newest girl off my easel – I really enjoyed painting her.




8 thoughts on “The trap of social media

  1. Richard Huckle says:

    The part I find most interesting is that he (Cal) uses social media to put his point across. At the end of the TED YouTube presentation, did he really request feedback via Twitter?

    Will discuss further via email or other direct method.


  2. Cole says:

    I hear you on the topic of social media, but 18 months is a relatively short time against which to gauge success. It is definitely time-consuming, especially when all you really want to do is focus on creating art.

    There are two types of social media user:
    – those who are already famous and can instantly find an audience on FB, Twitter, IG, etc.
    – those who need to constantly engage, engage, engage to build up an online brand in which to generate their audience before they begin to sell.

    In order to not become disheartened by not achieving your goal (selling art on the internet), perhaps it’s worthwhile to be more specific about your goal:
    – how much art do you want to sell? (Not “all of it”, but rather, decide on a realistic and measurable sales figure as a good starting point)
    – who do you want to sell to? (Again, not “everyone”, but rather, a well researched and thoughtful idea of who your ideal audience is: male/female, young/middle-aged/retired. You might need to do some surveys and polls, both online and in person to find out who likes your art, or what type of art your ideal audience wishes to see)
    – where do you want to sell? (locally/abroad, in person/in galleries/online?)
    – why do you want to sell? (to make money? … surely there are easier ways of making money then than art. But if making money is a nice side-effect of doing art, then what is your main reason for doing art and why should people take notice?)

    The important part of making a success of your social media presence (or any effort, anywhere, for that matter) is to figure out your real and honest intention behind it. If it sits well with who you are, then by all means, continue… persist… persevere. However, if social media doesn’t sit with who you are and you feel like you’ve given it enough of a go; have promoted yourself silly through it; or it makes you uncomfortable to the point of not enjoying it, then simply don’t do it anymore. If you feel it’s a waste of time, then don’t do it. Not having a thriving social media presence doesn’t make you any less of an artist. Not making art does.

    Just some thoughts… use it, don’t use it. Just keep doing you.

    PS: I’ve just come off a social media hiatus because when I don’t feel like it, I don’t do it. I’m ready to come back with some great content now, so I pick up where I left off. “Nobody makes the rules for me” is my approach towards social media. There are no hard and fast rules, so don’t let it get you down. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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