If, as I said last time, I want to raise my profile as an artist, than I have to do more than just dabble in social media. I love to seek out knowledge. I have found some good books and sites that have helped me, from where I have been taking ideas and synthesising them with my own experience and knowledge. I want to use this post as a way of getting my thoughts about social media out of my brain, so I will share those resources on another post soon.
Artistically I want you to see, on all the different sites, my love for the beauty and delicacy of the natural world. I paint feathers, shells, and other treasures that come my way (and some teapots!), plants from the outback of Australia and from Flinders Island. So my activity on whichever form of social media has to show this. The place online where I can exhibit many of my works is the Etsy shop, AnneLawsonArt. Therefore social media has to link back to the shop. And one thing I have learnt is that if there is no link, then people cannot follow it!
Of course the shop is not just an exhibition space. I sell there, and I would like to increase sales. To do this I need to tell the story of my work. What inspires me, how I create the works, how a piece could look in people’s homes. Building up my profile as an artist is entwined with selling my work.
I have explored different sites; some I can’t be bothered with and others I enjoy. When I wrote about joining Instagram, Meeks, a talented writer, wrote, in the comments, how lucky visual artists were. The internet loves photos and I enjoy the sites that are photo dominant. They are perfect for artists.
So, some thoughts on the ones I enjoy and can see a reason for being on……
This is not strictly a social media site. It is a feature offered by Etsy ~ sellers post photos with short captions, then link the photo to an item in the shop. The fantastic thing about it is that it goes to the Etsy feed of anyone who has bought from my shop or made it one of their favourites. In other words I can speak directly to people who have already enjoyed my art! It’s a great way to invite customers behind the scenes, to show how a drawing could look in a frame or my creative process.
You know that I am a newcomer to Instagram @annelawson54 but already I am a convert! I love looking at the work of so many artists, liking, commenting. I love exploring hashtags. Mostly I love choosing photos to post, selecting ones that tell people more about me as an artist. The more I use it the more I can see ways to tell the story of my drawings and paintings. I am challenged to find appropriate hashtags and interesting ways to encourage people to visit the Etsy shop. It looks like being fun too, with challenges that pop up and people to interact with.
Just in case you don’t know Pinterest is a like a big filing cabinet, a place to keep all sorts of bits and pieces you collect. It took me a while to join because I knew that it would encourage me to explore all sorts of fascinating but time wasting worm holes. What made me sign up was the realisation that many of my views on Etsy came from Pinterest. This month I have had 282 visits. I needed to have a presence there. So I am Anne LawsonArt
I use it in a couple of ways. The first seven boards are of my work and each item I pin links directly back to the item in the shop. This is important because the images can be repinned and then float off into the virtual world. I want them to be like kites, with a string back to the Etsy shop. It is not fool proof, but it gives me some control. It makes me smile when Pinterest sends me an “We have found pins you might like” email and one of the images is a feather of mine!
The other way I use it is to pin things that I am interested in ~ blogs on watercolour brushes, inspirational art, sketchbook ideas, things to read and so on. I always make sure that there is a link back to the original site. That’s courteous behaviour.
Like Instagram I am only beginning to understand how to utilise it properly. For example I have found out about group boards, and want to find out more about them.
Like most people I have been on Facebook for a few years, and I set up my AnneLawsonArt page not long after. My blog links to it, and I post photos about my work. But it is only recently that I have understood what a unique platform it is for me. Again, things to learn. I have left it in the corner a little too long, while I have been playing with the shiny new sites. It doesn’t bring a lot of people to the Etsy shop, but I know that people see my work there. A painting friend remarked that she hadn’t seen any of my work on Facebook for a while, making me realise that people do take note, even if they don’t “like” or comment.
Facebook is almost an amalgamation of many of the good points of the other sites. Photos are vital, but there is room to write a decent caption. I can post a series of photos that tell a story. There are groups where I can hang out with people who share my passion. I can link back to people who inspire me, or blogs that give advice that others might find useful. I like to share the work of others because I don’t want my online presence to always be NEW ITEM IN THE SHOP!!! or BUY!BUY!BUY!
Which brings me to here, my Blog
It is so different to the other sites. This is home. This is where I sit down with you guys, my friends, with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and chat. You let me chat away about my art, or anything else that I feel like talking about. The thing that got me into blogging in the first place was that I could talk about the things that I wanted to talk about. It is fantastic, and humbling, that there are people who enjoy listening to me! Your likes and comments are important to me, they remind me of the wonderful supportive blogging world.
I don’t think a lot is going to change here. Last year I made an effort to answer “Yes” to the question “Does an artist live here?”. Lots of posts are art inclined, but not all. It depends on where I am and what I am thinking about. Some of you have bought my art and that is fantastic! I appreciate your support of my work. But I certainly don’t want my posts here to always be linking back to the shop. This is home. The art work is hanging on the walls, you can look or not as we sip that glass of wine and natter!
So…that’s where I am at the moment, splashing around in various social media places. If you are there, give me a wave. 🙂 And let me know in the comments if you have a different take on these sites or others.