I recently wrote a blog post all about the dangers of comparing and this post is going to be similar but will go into a few of the other ‘hidden’ pitfalls of social media and art. If you are starting out you might be considering sharing your work on social media, should you? I will highlight some of things to be aware of if you do…
This one is probably the most obvious but if you put your work on social media or even if you are just looking at art on social media, it is near impossible not to start comparing your work with others. I recently wrote a blog post called ‘The Dangers of Comparing’ and although that wasn’t about just social media it explains why comparing is so damaging to our own unique style and our self confidence in art.
If you are a beginner and don’t want to fall into the comparison trap you might what to consider staying away from social media or just using it for a limited time.
‘The Scroll Hole’
Scrolling is addictive and it can waste large amounts of time, once you realise how many hours you are spending scrolling and you realise that this is time that you could have spent drawing or painting you can be quite shocked. If you want to avoid going down the ‘scroll hole’ why not set a timer or go onto the social media site with an intention, for example to look at a few artists of choice pages or to post.
Scrolling is habit forming so try to put your phone out of reach if you have those idle moments, why not replace the phone with a sketchpad and pencil and do a quick sketch instead!
Social media often features trending art and this can mean that we are being influenced and not following our own ideas or style. A similar idea is when we get fixated on certain artists that we might follow, our work can become heavily ‘influenced’ by their work. This influencing is totally normal and does happen and it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It is however more negative when we are so influenced that our work loses its unique style that is our own.
I think that beginners are at most risk of being influenced by other artists as they haven’t get found what they like and their own ‘voice’ as much as more experienced artists. My advice would be to look far and wide for these influences and not just on social media, go to galleries check out historic artists as well as contemporary artists living today on social media.
You could look into other disciplines such as printmaking and textiles for inspiration as well as drawing and painting if your work is started to be a bit too ‘influenced’ by others.
Taking a Break
If you are social media user, which is fine as it does have a positive side, such as making connections, having a community etc. consider taking a short break every now and then and you will feel much more refreshed and positive about social media and your artwork.
Treadmill of Posting
If you are posting, it can be easy to fall into a trap of feeling that you have to ‘produce’ so that you can post, especially once you have followers in any sort of number. My advice would be don’t feel the pressure, those that really like your work will wait as long as necessary for to to post. There are many marketing people who suggest all these strategies for creating reels, getting followers etc. and all that can take away from creating the art itself.
Try to find a happy balance between promoting or sharing the work and creating it, otherwise you could easily get bogged down in the treadmill of posting.
What are your experiences of social media and art and would you advise others to use it to share their work? Share your experiences below…