Adventures with social media

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……

Shop update

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.

Instagram

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.

Pinterest

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.

Facebook

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.

 

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About anne54

Botanic artist
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23 Responses to Adventures with social media

  1. ladyredspecs says:

    Ann you are inspiring me. Cooking became my fallback creativity when I needed to earn an income and exhibitions were for the elite of the art world. There was nothing like etsy then, there was no internet! I have been dabbling again of late, but I still question why, I feel so self indulgent, to draw and paint, it doesn’t seem to be contributing much to the household or the wider world. I’m not ready to put my work out there yet, but it’s definitely food for thought. Thank you 👏🏻

    Like

    • anne54 says:

      I love that you are getting back into drawing and painting! (And if I have played a little part in that….then that makes me feel good!) If you enjoy doing it, then just go for it. So often our lives are defined by what we SHOULD be doing — carve out a space to do what you WANT to do. As for showing your work, well, of course that it a personal decision. However, my experience is that people, especially in the blogging world, are very supportive. I, for one, would love to see what you are doing, and follow you on your journey.

      Like

      • ladyredspecs says:

        At this stage I’m doing some life drawing, fiddling with some multimedia still life, just getting my eye in and re establishing my feel for different media. I love that I’m able to lose myself in the process. Thanks for your support Ann

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Very interesting to hear your thoughts about social media! I have my facebook page – Lesley Alexander – Artist, but that’s all! I have thought about others but steered clear as i could spend all day on them! I work 4 days a week as well as trying to become better known as an artist so I can’t afford the time! Perhaps I need to bite the bullet – your blog has certainly made me sit up and think about it – thank you for that! I know I need to prioritise my art – but in a catch 22 as until it starts to pay, I can’t afford to give up work, which leaves me no time to see if it will pay :-/. Ummm, tricky. If you were only able to use just one other social media FB being the other, which would you think would be most beneficial?

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    • anne54 says:

      I really understand the time dilemma. I worked full time, and often, even when I had the physical time I often lacked the mental energy to set to creative work. Going to weekly classes was the only way I could keep up my art. So congrats to you for whatever you are able to do. I am going to check out your Facebook page. (BTW I am going to to another post in my “In my studio” series and encourage others to share what they have been up to, or something that is happening in their creative space. I would love you to link to something on your FB page.)
      As for another site…..that’s a tricky one because it depends on what feels right for you. It is the relationships you build up on the site that are important, so go to where you feel you can make those connects. I am going to post about some of the resources I am finding useful, so they may be of use to you too.

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  3. katechiconi says:

    I have never been tempted to join the majority of social media, but I adore my blog and the community it has brought me, and I love my Pinterest boards, which are a fertile source of inspiration and a constant reminder how creative the human imagination is. I have nothing to sell, so I’ll never need an Etsy or Facebook shop, or the links that go with it, but I do love a site where all these things are well considered and executed. Your work is lovely, and deserves a user friendly approach!

    Like

    • anne54 says:

      Pinterest is fantastic as a source of inspiration. And it is exactly that delight that uses up so much time! I can wander there for hours! You are so right about blogs. It is possible to build up a genuine community. That doesn’t seem to happen to the same extent on the other sites. Maybe it is because it is a platform that allows a good old chat!

      Like

  4. acflory says:

    -grin- Yeah, blogs are home. For me they’re places where I can most purely be myself, and like you I’ve been warmed to discover that there are so many kindred spirits out there as well. Maybe blogs are places where we can experiment a bit too.

    Like

  5. EllaDee says:

    Social media ticks many & varied boxes personally & professionally. I love that artists, writers, creators, ideas-people can share via various media without middlemen… so accessible to me! As my use of social media is personal, I compartmentalise – Facebook for family, friends, ideas & info (who needs magazines!), Instagram for friends who enjoy photos more than FB status updates, Pinterest for ideas (who needs magazines!), Twitter occasionally for sharing and yes the blog world is also my second home where I can be assured of good company, an interesting read and glimpses into other’s lives to inspire me 🙂

    Like

    • anne54 says:

      I love how you use social media, EllaDee. Did that compartmentalise come about through use, or did you go onto each site having a reasonable idea of how you were going to use it? And yes, who needs magazines?!

      Like

      • EllaDee says:

        My social media evolved… blogging started by accident via demonstrating to a friend that WordPress wasn’t difficult… curiousity and desire for competency drove me to explore the others.

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  6. Anne, I’m impressed! You’ve put a lot of thought and work into making social media work for you. I agree with you about our blogs feeling like home. I know mine does. I get minimal traction from my Facebook page (for Organized at Heart), but I like having the presence there nonetheless. There is a lot to think about with all these forms of sharing.

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