Stitching in Wales, between the mountains and the sea  . . . . .

Social Media – eeek!

For the past 6 months, my life has been …. tricky and all my creativity has flown away.

At my time of life I have learnt that it WILL come back and there are tricks I can do to ensure that I am “creative” in other areas, such as:-  gardening, dressmaking, sorting the studio, doodling. The creative flow will sneak back in when I am not looking, this week however, I have been looking at my social media. Or lack of it.

I am aware that social media is one way to;-

“Increase my public profile, drive traffic to my website, and therefore increase sales“.

I don’t actually have anything for sale on my website, So I am not sure how I would benefit from driving traffic to my website via social media – but hey-ho – I find it quite interesting to research and who knows – one day I might make enough “stuff” for an online shop!

My focus this week has been “Pinterest for business” and so I have been delving into the optimised pin size, branding and other such “businessy” related tutorials, podcasts, “how to” blog posts and so on.

Today, while I was looking at beautifully created, pins, with matching size, shape and colour, tidy typography, plus templates that could be mine if I signed up and download them for a mere few $ …. I was struck by how …. well …. “businessy” it all looked. (But then I don’t curate my instagram account so you will find real life in there as well as art)

It got me thinking about allotments – (I know, don’t ask how these creative leaps of thought happen –  I bet that you do it too).

I was thinking about the new allotments in our village, and how although all the same size, already the individual plots are taking on interesting differences with sheds and fences, water butts and greenhouses. When the crops start growing there will be shades of green and a variety of colour, of height difference, of form. It is this uniqueness, this messiness, and this eccentricity that I enjoy.

I guess this is how my life is, how my art is – messy, random, good, bad, colourful, and sometimes dull. If I am to be real and authentic – this is also how my social media ought to be!

The other thing that I am going EEEK about at the moment is that both instagram and Pinterest give more weight to videos, and facebook have “stories” as well – do people REALLY prefer watching little videos? Have our attention spans become so short? Have we reached a point where stillness is uncomfortable?

(Or does the word video just terrify me – probably)

I wonder if for an artist, social media is a gift or a curse or a bit of both – what do you think?

Please let me know in the comments

If you would like to share …

4 Responses

  1. I am not an artist but I would say both a gift and a curse. It allows you to be discovered by people around the world and connect with them. On the other hand, I see too many people worrying about “Instagram-worthy photos”, staging, and curating their feeds. A pretty photo is nice but where are the mistakes, the mess, the imperfections, the wild hare that leads you off in a direction that clashes with your color coordinated IG feed? Creating beautiful things is a messy business and that’s what I like to see. Worrying that something isn’t “good enough” for social media is a waste of time and energy. I agree that your social media should be real and authentic, just as you are.

    And, I’m glad to see you posting again….mess and all =)

    1. Thank you for your kind comments Paula and thoughtful reply, I do believe being authentic is important, and I do love wild hares – I have lots that lead me to all sorts of weird and wonderful places! And Paula – I know you say you are not an artist, but you ARE a maker and a creative.

  2. Hey Karen,
    What I think is also how it works for me. I have pinterest for my own use so when I need inspiration I can wander around being in awe of the work of others.
    Instagram oh well I like it now, since I finally understand how to use it. But selling your work is something very delicate when you work as an artist. My experience is that, as soon I try something business like approach, my inspiration to create art goes away. I’m not a professional sales person and I refuse to be one, because making art and selling stuff are 2 different jobs. I hate the second one. So I made an etsy page, I have facebook and instagram, somehow I searched for people there who also make or enjoy art and they followed me back, share my work and I hope to sell something. So the question is, what do you want? Because there are easier ways to find buyers. Being a maker is the most beautiful job there is, being successful (you truly sell stuff occasionally) is another job. And it’s not fair that video’s on how to etc give you the idea it’s easy, because it’s not. It’s a day time job, it gives you the idea you do something wrong but the truth is most people only like to watch art and buying it is something only a few do. And to be recognized as an artist needs a lot of exhibitions with a lot of people around you, telling you how to make your art, and when they sell if for you, you give them a commision.
    So I say yes to social media, but keep your art close. Make sure it’s you who makes the rules for selling.
    Ps You can leave 1 link on instagram. I did this to lure people to my webshop and it works. I have sold some of my work. I can’t pay my house, but it’s a start.

    1. Lovely to hear from you Eva and your informative and considered reply.
      So good to read that you have sold some of your work via your Etsy shop and Instagram. As the exhibition I was to be part of in the Autumn has been cancelled, my next step is to look at selling from my website! And – now that I have had covid I feel better about teaching some day schools / workshops.

Leave a Reply