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All Eyes on You
How to Social Media

Damien Stuart Wood
Art Heroes Contributor + Self-Proclaimed
Wannabe Art Guy at the end of his rope
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It's Saturday night and you've been awake since...
sometime Thursday? Wednesday? Or...

It's Saturday night and you've been awake since some
other day ending in "y."

You've run your body as much on caffeine as on oxygen,
taped your eyelids open, hands to your mouse and
stylus for that home stretch.

Maybe a loved one came in to hit you with a bucket of cold water. Whatever it takes, right?

You're done. It's done.

It'll go viral. So viral. New fans will hit up your online store. You'll get emails from art directors. It'll be good. So good.
how to pose a character in zbrush
You load your piece up on Instagram, dress it with some semi-witty gibberish, hit post and wait.

And wait.

And wait.

A couple thumbs up and a comment to check out someone else's feed.

All good.

You cruise Twitter a while until you've had enough of getting scream-typed to by someone who recently read a thing and has an opinion. You're not sure what their thoughts on votes and vaccines have to do with your list of top brushes and breakfast cereals, but whatever.

Back to Insta. Seven thumbs up and a second comment that's actually a bot's ad for d!ck pills.


All good, all good.


You switch over to Facebook and post your stuff there too because that's where mom hangs out and she's always good for a like or 10.


Over on the 'Gram, six thumbs up and... wait, what?


ALL. GOOD.


You go binge some Tiktok, and watch pretty people do pretty dumb things until you a) feel better about being any sort of artist on the internet or b) fall asleep.

Look, building yourself up on social media is like critiques in art fundies or intro to illustration, where everybody puts their latest and greatest up on the board to be hammered, except there are hundreds or thousands or hundreds of thousands of you and the teacher giving the final grade is an algorithm.


It's... well, it's a poopshow. It's also today's necessary evil. Nobody's strolling Haight and Ashbury with a baby carriage full of comics these days, you know?


So learn the game.


Be short and sharp, They'll tell you. I don't know who They are but you've got the timespan of a thumbswipe to get Their attention, so get in, get out, and maybe punch someone in the face in-between.


Be consistent, They'll tell you. Because once you've got Their attention you need to be aware its base level is usually let's go ride bikes. Keep creating Shiny Things.


Be a human, They'll tell you. You're still a content-churning meatpuppet, but knowing your name and your favourite colour makes Them feel like They paid attention.


And hey, They'd be correct. Those are all apt notes for navigating the internet's popular people platforms, so let's chew on them...


1
Show your best stuff in the right places.

Resist the urge to share all the things all the time in all the places.


Be consistently visible, sure, but consider just curating the very best of what you worked on that day, or even that week, if you're starting off slow.


Also, think about what site(s) or app(s) will get the most mileage-- maybe you want to post where all the cool people in your field post, or maybe you want to go rogue and hit a different demographic with content they don't normally see.


2
Show your process.

Consider filling in the gaps by sharing a little bit of what went into making your best pieces.


Talk about your stuff. Share preliminaries.


Sketches and scaffolding can be insightful to others, either because they're trying to do something similar and are struggling where you succeeded, or because they just think it's interesting and inspiring to see. It also leads to the next point.


3
Show your personality... or maybe not.

People dig feeling connected with the artist as much as the art, so let a little bit of you creep through, sure.


Unless you're an ass. Then, you know, maybe don't.


As a general rule, if you're going to share some thoughts about some things, ask yourself first whether you want said thoughts about said things forever associated with you and your work. It would be a shame to shoot a foot out today or to have a landmine go off a couple years down the road.

And that's all I've got. #tellyourfriends


Cheers,


Damien

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