I'm enjoying reading all of your articles, Ayin, and think you're so good at writing! I keep getting pressured to get on Instagram but I am resisting. Maybe I'm too old school to care about "likes." I wish articles like yours had been available to me when I was younger. Never in any of the art classes I took in college did anyone ever talk about the realities of building an art career and all that it entails. Thank you for all the wisdom you're sharing from your own experiences.
Donna, thank you! Writing is something I'm always working at, but I still don't feel I'm all too competent with. I don't have much formal education with writing. I've only taken an English 101 class at a community college. That was more than twenty years ago. But I'm so happy to hear that you're getting something good out of the articles so far. I've heard over and over (for many years) that artists do not learn anything about how to go about putting together their practice after art school. It's why I'd been asked to come to speak to undergrad and even a few grad school classes in the past, but I'm so bad (nervous) to speak in front of a crowd. Some of my educator friends wanted me to speak to their student about how I've done it, and I'm happy to share it, so I thought writing about it would maybe be better.
Instagram is a double-edged sword of keeping yourself "out there" and getting caught up in those "likes" and comparing yourself to other artists. There is an option to turn off seeing other people's followers and likes, which I've had to do from time to time, when it starts to get to me, because it has! I hardly get "likes" each day as a matter of fact. I don't have too many followers either, not compared to many other artists I know. But from talking to them, they don't have many sales, so I know the optics of popularity do not equal success. It's the quality of people who follow you, not the quantity. It's just hard to keep that perspective sometimes.
Many people also BUY followers, believe it or not. I'm not saying all these other artists are doing that, but we don't know who is doing that and who isn't. There are also algorithms that Instagram implements that show certain posts more often than others, and there's no control we have over that.
I basically use Instagram to post art every day, and promote my blog and website. It's also to have some semblance of a connection to other artists and curators, especially since I moved out of the LA area. And despite Facebook owning Instagram, I hated Facebook for many reasons. I need at least one social media platform. Another one I really like that is geared only for creatives is ello.co
, but of course it's not as popular. I rather like that one, but not on it too often.
Sorry this got really long. Ha ha.
I should have just said "thank you" and closed my mouth!