Art VS. The Content Machine

The new business of art urges introverts to become public figures. How are we supposed to preserve our sanity while exposing our often chaotic and incredibly personal creative process to the world? Social media, and the internet in general, are powerful tools for the art world. They allow us to broadly connect, override gatekeeping, further our education, sell work directly to buyers from all over the world & discover new opportunities. This new frontier also demands constant input, exposes us to unhealthy criticism, presents unprecedented comparison, and tries to colonize our attention spans. It’s a lot to deal with. It’s essential. It’s addictive. It’s not going anywhere. What do we do? We do what we do best- curate. Discernment is key with the internet and most areas of life. Here are some powerful ground rules for operating as an Artist in Cyber Space:


  • Design a manageable content schedule and stick to it. Decide what your goals are, and what level of effort you’re willing to commit to. If you’re not ok with unfinished work being posted, shift to sharing about your materials, inspiration, upcoming events, etc. You are in control. Planning ahead helps- if you have to decide in the moment what to post the answer is usually nothing. Make a game plan and take photos in advance to lessen the pressure/indecision.


  • Follow & Unfollow wisely. Use social media as a tool for growth & inspiration. Tailor your feed with motivation in mind, and leave the rest. If something or someone are becoming a distraction online- let it go.


  • Consume responsibly. If you are getting sucked in to the casino that is Tik tok or Instagram reels for hours on end- knock it off. That is valuable time you’re not getting back and chances are it’s not doing you any favors. Set a timer, install a program to limit your consumption- or go cold turkey. Make something instead of mindless scrolling- it’s healthier and way more satisfying.


  • Art is not content. What you make is greater than a like, comment, or follow. Do not allow social media to influence your creative practice- your creative practice should influence social media. You are a creator whether the device is on or off. Social media does not define you, it is a tool you wield. Art is real, it is timeless and often it is not trending. Make it anyway.
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