An artist is nothing without their supporters.
They can be incredibly skilled in multiple types of medium, but without an audience to see their work, it is redundant. One of the main reasons most artists draw is because they want other people to see their works— the pieces that they worked hard on. This is why we are eager to show our families and our friends the artworks that we made, no matter how small or big they are.
This is where social media comes in. The first thing that we usually think of when someone says ‘social media’ is usually websites like Facebook or Twitter— and that’s correct. Social media, as we know it, are websites where people from various points of the world can come together and share content (“Definition of social media in English,” n.d.). These ‘people’ can vary from your close friends and family to complete strangers on the internet who simply support the work that you showcase.
(“Official twitter logo,” 2016)
Fans, or followers are not only the people who view your artworks— these people are usually the motivation of an artist. Comments and likes on their posts are always welcome especially with content creators like us. But most of the time these are hard to get.
A fanbase doesn’t automatically come to you, you have to give them a reason to view your projects and to stay. Of course, not everyone who comes across your artworks will like it— there are those who wouldn’t mind them, there are those who love them enough to follow you and leave a comment or two, then those who lie just in between.
Posting artwork is one of the first steps into building your own fanbase. For there to be supporters there must be something that they would support. Most artists usually create fan art for different television series, games, celebrities, etc. so that they have a higher chance of gaining an audience quickly. Tags are also deliberately used so that their art would be easier to track and might draw in people who have similar tastes to those of which you post.
Most websites— if not all— already use these features. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and many other ‘big’ social media sites use these in order to filter the content being shared by their users. There are also websites that cater to a specific niche of people; for artists there’s DeviantArt, Behance, Dribbble, and many more (Talnts Team, 2015).
(“New deviantart logo,” 2014)
But simply posting your works online won’t get you the exposure you deserve; you have to connect with others as well. Be it in the form of asking for advice, or simply commenting on other people’s works is already a great form of networking. For a long time, social media has been used to connect people around the globe, and also helps people online meet each other and create new bonds— this is something that we, content creators, can use to our advantage. Networking with other artists does not only mean gaining more audience, this also means forming new friendships.
Though it is, indeed, a quite difficult time to show your art to the world, the journey towards it is fun and educational. The thing about being in an online community is that you will never really stop improving and developing— there will always be things that you can work on to become a better artist— a better person. You will meet tons of new people and you will come across many lessons, and the truth is that the journey only ends if you choose to.