I am not artistic. (If you want some proof, see some of my childhood samples on my travel blog - this was the *peak* of my drawing ability!) But I am in absolute awe of anyone who can paint or draw or sculpt. In fact, I confess, my husband was very smart to bring one of his incredible paintings to hang on an empty wall in my apartment shortly after we'd met - I was thrilled at the idea of hanging out with someone who could paint!
And I've also been thrilled to be able to work with some artists over the last few years, artists who have been looking for help with blogging and social media as a way to get some more (well-deserved) attention to their artworks. Obviously, social media is an ideal place for artists to hang out. Most social media platforms are extremely visual and if you're an artist with beautiful stuff to show then you've got it made.
One of the artists I was especially glad to meet is Jennifer Sulaj. She was wanting to get more serious about making painting her work and life and realised that social media would probably help her out, and despite being really not too keen on sitting in front of a computer when she could be in her studio instead, she's now doing a marvellous job of it - have a look at Jennifer's Facebook page and I'm sure you'll agree. What I think she is doing right, and what I have suggested to other artists I'm lucky enough to work with, is to post these kinds of things on social media:
- Images of some completed paintings along with a story about how they came to be, what they mean to the artist or something unusual that happened while painting it.
- Photos of works in progress, because the process of painting is fascinating not only to artists but especially to non-artists like me, who can't imagine how anyone can produce something so beautiful.
- "Life of an artist" type posts, for example, images and stories of exhibitions, sales and even a simple thing like where and how they buy their paint or other supplies. (One of my favourite recent posts on Jennifer's page was the tale of the mishap when she bought a new van and it broke down an hour later, meaning her paintings were delivered late to a new gallery - nice to know that artists are human, too!).
- Short tales of inspiration for starting a painting, for keeping on going, for getting back to work when it's hard to be inspired.
- Sharing posts from other artists who inspire, or who have an interesting or different style.
- Images of a studio, because for us non-artists it's hard to imagine what really goes on in an artist's studio.
I think that every kind of business has a place on social media - of course for some businesses, LinkedIn might work better, or Twitter, or something else - but for artists, one of the best has to be a Facebook business page. I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in being fascinated by the life of an artist and they've got so much pretty stuff to share. A perfect match.