Forum > General discussion > Art and Social Media
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"Art and Social Media", 12 days ago, 2:00 PM #1
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Does anyone feel like social media and art doesn't always mix well? For me personally I have been uploading art on social media and the internet for over 10 years now and I feel like it social media doesn't work well with artist being how it pushes so much for content creation. For example I remember several years ago on instagram it was great to publish your work because all you had to do was tag it and the more tags it had the more it would be exposed to others at that time it was better than Tumblr because it wasn't going to be submerged in a sea of popular blogs. But then later Instagram changed to where your art would only been seen by your followers and others if you constantly posted, so if you took a break or didn't post often your work would submerged in a sea of constant accounts that posted daily.

I feel like the current social media algorithms only makes it more stressful for some artists to come up with material to produce. A while ago you had to constantly produce pieces to have your work shown but now you have to make short videos and etc which takes planning and some time.

Even though me personally I don't like this type of work flow I can understand and respect artists who put in the effort to make their accounts compete with the algorithm. I just wish there were more options for artists to publish their work instead of having to feel like a full time content creator.
12 days ago, 2:07 PM #2
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Yeah, I just don't have it in me to make the social media thing work. Even for people who do - the ones who have thousands of followers - it's like...how many of those people really care that much, or equate to actual fans and/or income? It just seems like a lot of stress that doesn't amount to much for many : /
12 days ago, 2:18 PM #3
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Me either, I can't really be so quick on a daily basis to post things. I know some big artists who have accounts around different platforms but it seems that being a content creator in itself takes away from genuine creativity. I know Jazza used to have a good channel back in day but his channel is more so about chasing trends just to get clicks, Loish is good but even still she said in the past she has to plan a head just to keep up content (I also believe she has an injury), there's a lot of other artists who post content but it seems posting and creating content takes up more time than actually producing work, which can get stressful.
12 days ago, 5:00 PM #4
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Yeah, social media and art don't always work well together. Sometimes they do, but I feel as much as it helps people it also hurts others. It takes a lot of work and effort to be able to advertise yourself on platforms. You have to be like 25-50% a business person as well as an artist, at least if you're trying to get recognition or make money.

I just don't have the time or energy to do that, so I don't. Even when I did have time to do so, I was never really good at advertising myself. At this point, I don't even really care to do so anymore.

And there's the pressure to keep making more and more. And there's always the fear that you might put something out there that people don't particularly like or, god forbid, something controversial. It's easy for people to dogpile on creators if they make it seem like a piece of artwork is offensive or something and drive them off the platform because they don't want to be harassed. But that last point isn't just strictly for art. A lot of these things can be generalized to other stuff outside of art as well.
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12 days ago, 5:30 PM #5
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jmluvsbob: And there's the pressure to keep making more and more. And there's always the fear that you might put something out there that people don't particularly like or, god forbid, something controversial. It's easy for people to dogpile on creators if they make it seem like a piece of artwork is offensive or something and drive them off the platform because they don't want to be harassed. But that last point isn't just strictly for art. A lot of these things can be generalized to other stuff outside of art as well.


I agree a lot with this because social media now is more about providing more for people to consume. Its not like the days where social media was more so treated like a blog but its more about how to stay relevant. I can't really post art daily because i'm an adult now with a full time job and have responsibilities. But for artists who do manage to find the time they have content or works that are produced in ways that makes them seem like they have to managed their business along side doing what they love. Then on top of that you can't just have one platform you have to manage several accounts which can be daunting. If you are someone who draws fanart that starts out on instagram then goes to tiktok, have a youtube channel, along with twitch, can do you have time to do your work and be yourself. Then I also agree with posting something offensive because you don't want to get cancelled for something even if its not really offensive.
12 days ago, 6:52 PM #6
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I got on social media specifically to promote my comic but the extra stress of having to create content for it is starting to drain me. I will never have a huge following on any of the platforms because my primary focus is the creation of my comic and I don't have the time (or energy) to post on social everyday. I'm not gonna sacrifice my creativity for a huge following of people who, like @bharts said, probably don't actually care about my content.
But I have noticed an increase in website traffic since I started posting on social so even as little as I've posted I will continue to do that. Just trying to let people know I'm here, ya know. Not trying to make a living off it 'cause I feel that will kill my passion for the project. That being said, I did open a Patreon, but that's mostly because I'm having trouble not posting pages as soon as they're done :P Figured there might be other people who can't wait either haha
12 days ago, 7:54 PM #7
Taking Names & Spitting Images
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EEUGH yeah social media |:-(

I'm not a fan, but I suppose it has its role in society - I mean, like, it's hopeless at this point to wish that everybody in the world would just detach from it overnight, even if it feels like Instagram is killing creativity, while Facebook seeds disconnection and negativity.

IMO if you really want to be successful at both social media and art, then the best thing to do would be to delegate your accounts to *another person,* whether it's someone you hire or a willing friend; anything to create a buffer between yourself and all the negative associations of social media. Then, you can just be an artist and your art can speak for itself - without absorbing the energy of a mass of nameless strangers, developing Imposter Syndrome, or getting your priorities warped by the dopamine hit of someone hitting a "like" button.

Regarding people who are actually successful on social media: Influencers are, in fact, the Influenced. They never initiate new ideas but rather hold a mirror up to the teeming majority, reflecting back an image of their followers. This is the antithesis of good art: Good art is raw, personal, honest. Good art doesn't give a shit what people think about it. New ideas and counter cultures always start on the fringe, not giving a shit how many people subscribe to their line of thought. By the time you hear about something from an Influencer, it's already gained so much traction; the Influencer's role is simply to validate and cement it in the public mind.

So uh... Yeah! For your average small-time comic artist, I guess it's still helpful to have a social media presence so that people can at least find you, b/c existing IRL and existing on the internet are two separate spheres. But if you're starting to notice that you feel stressed or that social media engagement is starting to hijack your attention in a way that feels bad, then it's very important to reflect on why - and to pull away, if need be.

I am in the "pull away" crowd. I nixed my Facebook years ago, I don't engage on Twitter, and the only reason my Instagram is still up is b/c I use it to look at pictures of my sister's dogs (I treat it almost like a scrapbook - very low stakes uploads; engagement is not my goal which is almost a misuse of the app).
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12 days ago, 8:29 PM #8
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I mainly use social media to interact with other artists rather than trying to promote my art. There's a little bit of both but it's a big reason why I've never worried about just posting about art stuff.

So in that respect, I really do like social media. But that's because I like you guys xD


The only thing is, I wish Twitter wouldn't save every image I upload into my media tab. So much of it is just meme stuff that doesn't make sense out of context in a gallery format. I'd really love to be able to organize that because the best next thing I have is Deviant Art and there's one person on that website I bother talking to.

But idk, maybe that's what my patreon will become?
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12 days ago, 8:42 PM #9
loved birds way before they were the word
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I have a specific target market in mind when I make my art. That target market is myself.

Like Kokoneos, I use social media to interact with other artists. I focus less on making art to work the algorithm and more on sharing what I already do and connecting with my art friends. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t use socials to promote my art, but I don’t care about being mega popular, either. I figure that if I do the type of art that fulfills me, the right people will appreciate it. Hey, I’m gonna be dead in a few decades, and maybe even sooner than that, so why should I waste my time making cute but creatively bankrupt drawings to game the algorithm? I already have a day job, so I don’t feel the need to monetize my comic at the moment. I’m content hanging out in my weird little corner of the internet.

I have two accounts on Twitter: one for my art and a locked personal account where I mostly shitpost and talk to myself. It’s been helpful to keep the two separated.
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12 days ago, 11:56 PM #10
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I post on Facebook but it’s mostly just for family and friends to see it. I share it in a few Facebook groups too, but only get a few likes here and there, maybe one comment in a long while. I’ve toyed with the idea of going on Instagram, Twitter or Tik Tok, but haven’t made the plunge. I’m not real big on self-promotion, and the idea of having a huge fanbase kinda scares me anyway. I can’t imagine trying to post new art every day. I save my works in progress for patreon.
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11 days ago, 8:12 AM #11
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Ugh, social media, the eternal problem.

I started public social media accounts to talk with other artist friends, and then later started promoting my work, and now I feel like I forgot how to interact with people. I don't feel pressured to create content, I just post what I'm already working on most of the time, but I can't help but feel like I'm being drowned by the algorithm. I just want people to see what I'm making and it feels impossible.
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11 days ago, 12:27 PM #12
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Lutzbug:I have a specific target market in mind when I make my art. That target market is myself.

Like Kokoneos, I use social media to interact with other artists. I focus less on making art to work the algorithm and more on sharing what I already do and connecting with my art friends. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t use socials to promote my art, but I don’t care about being mega popular, either. I figure that if I do the type of art that fulfills me, the right people will appreciate it. Hey, I’m gonna be dead in a few decades, and maybe even sooner than that, so why should I waste my time making cute but creatively bankrupt drawings to game the algorithm? I already have a day job, so I don’t feel the need to monetize my comic at the moment. I’m content hanging out in my weird little corner of the internet.

I have two accounts on Twitter: one for my art and a locked personal account where I mostly shitpost and talk to myself. It’s been helpful to keep the two separated.


This is pretty close to how I view social media for myself!

My own experience in spoiler:


I do post frequently (though not always every day) but often it’s just a messy WIP or even something random, like “oh hey I watched this today, it was good!”
For my patreon, I feel compelled to produce content consistently, since those few patrons are donating out of the goodness of their hearts which they don’t have to! They more than deserve something in return at the very least, but I keep it simple, otherwise I’d never be able to keep it up.
11 days ago, 8:05 PM #13
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A very interesting thread about your various thoughts and experiences on that topic - thank you all of you for sharing those!

I don´t use FB, Insta or Twitter at all. For years I was satisfied to build a little horde of watchers on my DA-account by submitting some 3d (cgi) graphic novels. Stories I wanted to tell. Also to act out my weird kinks. Sometimes I made (rather large) breaks. Just because the passion wasn´t high enough anymore. So why not pausing? No one forced me to do something.

Roughly one and a half years ago DA started a still unabated purge and kicked out dozens of artists from my niche and also many artists who made artworks/stories in the BDSM genre. I am still on DeleteArt (that´s the right name now for this platform) but I had to hide hundreds of works behind a little paywall. Maybe this is hopeless on the long run, I don´t know. It feels uncomfortable. It´s like the sword of Damocles is hanging over me for 18 months now. I feel also a bit lonely on this platform because so many with whom I corresponded were deleted.

I began to look for other platforms. To look for something like a safe haven for fetish artworks. Platforms who still take the value of the freedom of art serious. I found some (like pixiv and artuntamed). Lately I found comicfury and I thought I give it a try. A wide variety of webcomics, also many in 3D, so why not.

I submit and also promote on a couple of platforms. But not on a professional or even semi-professional level. I think it can easily steal you the time away that you need to create your stories/artworks. I still don´t do any commissions because I always thought it can go very quick that you are producing/loan working and not creating like a hobby artist. I create foremost for my satisfaction and to act out my urge to tell stories and to act out my kink. If there are people who like this I am very delighted and pleased and that also keeps me keeping on.

For the first time I will try to sell a graphic novel in the near future. It is a thin red line I guess. I have still the feeling of passion and satisfaction and the story and the pictures are 100% me. But I also have to spend time in promoting and selling. But that´s somehow unavoidable. Important thing: I have already one person who purchased. So I can share myself. That´s all. ;-)
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10 days ago, 5:29 AM #14
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im so tired of everything online being advertising space and everyone who creates anything having to also be 30% marketing wiz to be noticed ngl. i post my silly little pictures and links online, but im certainly not good at "driving up engagement" or whatever the correct business term is.
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10 days ago, 7:46 AM #15
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I abandoned most social media I have except Facebook which I just use to promote my store in their groups. I'm not a really social person and social media just amplify my anxiety.

(This is my opinion, feel free to think differently)

There isn't a point in posting art content on social media anymore. Your art is just there to serve as a free ad revenue generator for the website as long as you keep producing to keep or direct audience there and you receive very little in return unless you are already big.

You are better off posting in niche websites (furry, gaming and etc websites) or the ones that are designed for artists (Pixiv, Newsground and etc). While, yes you are also generating ad revenue for these websites as well but they don't have algorithms that were designed to limit your reach to your own followers.
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10 days ago, 4:29 PM #16
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Unfortunately we live in an economy where you must balance our artistic vision with the meta set forth by social media. Social media is very much a game, but it’s a hard game to play because no one really knows the rules and worse yet they are different for every site and constantly change. Unfortunately if you want to be freelance it's a skill you have to learn because you need to grab attention in order to do such stuff.I think some of the ideas posted here are excellent, niche sites like newgrounds, and targeting select markets, if there is anything I can add other than learning the game, I would say start talking to different art communities, find a small discord, join forums, a good size art stream, etc.
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10 days ago, 5:02 PM #17
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It's a double-edged sword because your reach is basically guaranteed if you get enough people sharing stuff, but community standards are fickle and inconsistent, so you never know when your stuff is going to get removed for something arbitrary.
10 days ago, 6:21 PM #18
Taking Names & Spitting Images
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I-ninja:Unfortunately we live in an economy where you must balance our artistic vision with the meta set forth by social media. Social media is very much a game, but it’s a hard game to play because no one really knows the rules and worse yet they are different for every site and constantly change. Unfortunately if you want to be freelance it's a skill you have to learn because you need to grab attention in order to do such stuff.I think some of the ideas posted here are excellent, niche sites like newgrounds, and targeting select markets, if there is anything I can add other than learning the game, I would say start talking to different art communities, find a small discord, join forums, a good size art stream, etc.


Whoa... Can I take this thread and spin it in a different direction.

I-ninja just re-awoke an old epiphany - that the world of art has ALWAYS been under the influence of a social network, in ways that have been very discriminating to art and artists that don't fit the mold. Like, the high art world still IS and has always been an extremely exclusive clique that chose to elevate certain people based on connections and arbitrary whims (an organic algorithm, if you will) while burying everything else, if only by refusing to host art in galleries or write about it in magazines. What's new, basically, is that instead of going head-to-head with the old-school art establishment, the internet has leveled the existing playing field, opened it up to EVERYBODY without discrimination, and has transformed it in ways where some parts of the "art world" are no longer recognizable. So we're going head-to-head with advertising robots now, instead of some stuffy rich man with his head up his ass. Our gatekeepers are an ad algorithm that's judging our art based on whether or not it thinks we can sell a 12-pack of toilet paper; it doesn't really make sense, but in a way it's more egalitarian. It's also harder to get noticed b/c the market for art is flooded with more content than a person could reasonably hope to consume.

Tbh, while it wasn't the intended purpose of the thread, I think art and social media are actually part of a massive conversation re: What is the art world and what drives it. I'm also curious to explore, at some point, how different mediums of art are affected by the popularity-driven platform of the internet being 2D.

But I digress: What's as true today as it's always been is that it's still TOTALLY possible for truly dedicated artists to toil away at their crafts, in relative obscurity, for their own satisfaction - perhaps to be discovered one day, perhaps not; perhaps not within their own lifetime. Art that speaks for itself doesn't require validation and artists that aren't seeking validation will continue to create.
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10 days ago, 7:06 PM #19
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As someone old enough to have started my creative journey before social media existed... indeed, before the internet existed...

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Social media has mafe it very easy for anyone to publish their work, but it's made it much more difficult to get your work seen.

When I started off doing comics, your options were to self-publish or go work for a major publisher. We'd go to comic and science fiction conventions, which were mainly about dealers selling comics to collectors. There would be a small section where (usually local) comic book artists / industry professionals would set up and hold court, and maybe one or two indys would purchase a table to promote their wares.

Eventually, some of the larger cons started having dedicated "Artist alleys." Getting in print was still a challenge because back then there was no digital printing- there was offset printing and to make that reasonable you had to have a minimum run of at least 2,000 books or so. Your other option was to go to the copy shop and print them via photocopier, which was doable but of course it didn't look professional.

If you were an indy publisher and were able to foot the bill for nice printing and stuck to that, spent years going to cons, honed your craft, and built a loyal following though rubbing elbows and getting noticed by the comics trade journals, you could make a living at doing a comic with a circulation somewhere around 12,000 or so.

If you wanted to break into the majors, and didn't mind spending a decade dutifully inking someone else's pencils of a character you didn't create and possibly had no interest in, you had to drag along a portfolio and endure the slings and arrows from industry pros. Some of them were nice and actually helpful and gave sound advice. Others were gatekeeper jerks who would try to protect their own positions by putting off anyone with talent. This has always been the same in any creative industry. There are always helpers, and there are always gatekeepers. Social media is no different- it's just you vs. various snobs, bots, shysters and tricksters... and a few loyal fans along the way who make it all worth it.

If we think of publishing a comic like putting a message in a bottle and tossing it out to sea for someone to find, the problem in the old days was that bottles (printing / distribution) were terribly expensive. These days, the bottles are free (webcomic / social media sites). The problem is that since they're free, there are about a billion bottles floating around out there, and getting yours picked out of the pile is problematic.

I still think going to cons and pitching your work face to face is very helpful. It builds your audience slowly, but steadily, and you have a personal connection with the people who buy your work (or at least take a card and check it out later.) Unfortunately, thanks to covid, I haven't been doing conventions. Maybe this year.
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10 days ago, 7:51 PM #20
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Oh they definitely don't mix very well, as things stand. All the major platforms reward quantity over quality, and most of the very well known, successful artists got their start before the algorithms really pushed this. Add differing censorship issues, display sizing issues, paying for advertising, bots, scammers and more into this, and I would not say any of them are artist friendly.
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Forum > General discussion > Art and Social Media
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