The struggles of social media!
We all upload our work to social media, right? We upload it to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc etc.. But why do we do this? What do we hope to get out of it? I’d like to make that the topic of my post today! Are you ready? :D
First of all, what reasons could we have for uploading our work to social media, what are we trying to get out of it? Are we just uploading to show the picture we made to our friends and family? I suppose that makes sense, as little kids we would make a drawing, show it to our parents and receive instant feedback from our moms or dads “Wow, you made this? It looks so good, really well done!”. And don’t lie, that felt good! It gave us a boost to our self esteem and we wanted to feel like that again, so we made another one, positive reinforcement! Thinking back, is that the reason you're doing art now? It's not exactly how it worked for me, but I'll bother you guys with that story some other time! ^^
In a lot of ways, social media is not all that different. Sharing your experiences and especially art on social media is, for the most part, just about getting positive feedback from friends, family and the most valuable one of all, your peers.
But is it really positive? If somebody just spend about half a second looking at your image that you’ve worked on for hours/days/weeks and clicking that ‘like’ or ‘heart’ button. Is that enough? Does it really tell you something about your work or is it simply a small polite gesture?
Another reason for uploading art pieces to social media instead of just to art websites such as CGSociety, Artstation, ZBrush Central etc, is to get more exposure. And why wouldn't you? There's always a chance that a potential client/company would see your work and get you that job.
Hell, I do it too, but seeing as how I do not have 4000 Facebook friends, or 10.000 followers on Twitter I don't really get all that much exposure. Perhaps I start following and friending random people just to increase the number of likes I get from “friends” and “friends-of-friends”. I currently have 321 friends on Facebook and if I talk to 10% of those guys, it’s a lot. So adding 3679 random people on Facebook would simply turn it into free-for-all of random posts that I really don't care about..
Even if I did have 4000 FB friends, there is this thing called the 'Facebook Newsfeed Algorithm' which determines which posts pop up in your timeline. So when you do post your own work, it's very likely that most of your 'friends' won't even see your work, leaving you wondering why you didn't get that many likes. Wanna learn more about the Newsfeed Algorithm? Feel free to check out this article as well, AFTER YOU FINISH READING THIS ONE AND LIKING IT ON FACEBOOK OF-COURSE!! ;)
When I do share something myself, it's pretty nerve-wrecking, I won't lie. I spend a lot of time working on a piece that I might actually think was pretty decent only to receive about 20 likes in total whereas the picture of the next person's meal at a restaurant gets 50 likes! That really doesn't feel that great.. To be fair though.. it was a pretty tasty looking steak..
In order to get my work out there I've starting to use different Facebook groups. I suppose most of you are familiar with Level Up! It's a pretty cool way of directly sharing your work with your peers and a good way to get constructive criticism. My experience using Facebook groups have been really good so far and I can actually recommend it to anyone. If I may add one suggestion, don't join to many different groups that cover the same topic, that'll just result in you seeing the same work pop up over and over which is kind of annoying. Just go for the group with which is closest to your field and has the most members :)
To end on a positive note, I do think social media is great for sharing art. I love seeing cool art come by on my timeline. There’s a bunch of artists that I do follow and seeing work from 3D artists such as Rafael Grassetti, Adam Fisher or Jon Troy Nickel come by is just highly motivating and ever so slightly depressing at the same time.
All in all, I'll just continue to post my work on social media but I'll rely on other website for exposure. I'll just use Facebook to continue to enjoy the work of others. ^^
See you next time!
- Robin // Ixi87