The art world has gone digital. Whether you like it or not, exhibiting work means having an online presence. So much so, studies have actually found social media sites, particularly Instagram, actually shift the way artists produce work. Plus, I’m guessing with COVID, this effect has only amplified. So, we get it. Social media has become a major game player for artists. Yet, as its use grows in popularity, it begs the question: how can you remain authentic in such an oversaturated and often, superficial environment? Plus, is it worth it?
With it being all the rage to complain about social media now, it’s easy to become intimidated by the prospect of sharing your art online. Plus, social media is a lot of work. It’s why organizations specifically have to hire someone for its management. It’s also why I was so resistant to participate. Despite this, last year, I finally took the plunge and started sharing my work online. And I’m glad I did.
My main motivation was accessibility. The platform is changing the way we view art and as a result, more people have access to works of art they never would have had before. It takes away the exclusivity of needing to access a certain gallery space in order to view something, which I think is pretty cool.
It’s also a way to share the process with other artists. It provides a platform to connect, allowing you to learn different practices. Plus, an added bonus is it helps you keep track of art events and opportunities. For example, Facebook reminding me the day of deadlines and events has been a life saver.
Most importantly, the platform provides a space for you. While many artists like to only show finished products on their pages, I like to use Instagram as way share my experiences. It’s why I’m particularly fond of sharing “behind the scenes” photos. I view the page as a place to have fun. A place to be vulnerable. And I think this is the key to authenticity. When you share the process rather than the product, perfection seems less important. Instead, it’s about relating with others.
So, if you’re debating whether using social media for your art is worth it, for me, it has been. Granted, it still has its pitfalls. However, I have found the positives outweigh the negatives. It’s a place for connection. And during times such as these, connection is all the more needed.