Social Media: Friends and Followers

Episode 201 · December 17th, 2021 · 39 mins 55 secs

About this Episode

Many of us enjoy social media as a convenient way to share our art with others, for the sense of community it offers, and the easy way it lets us keep up with people we seldom see in person. But artists who are not enthusiastic about social media can feel pressured into participating because of the benefits it offers, yet squeamish and awkward when they do. Today we’ll talk about the role of social media in art practice and how to find a comfort level with participating if you’ve been avoiding it.

Most artists have many friends who are much more like followers because this is how we tend to connect with an artist we like. Even though many artists have professional pages on Facebook, we don’t always think first of following them there when we are interested in an artist's work. Sending a friend request seems to be the default mode to connect.
As a result, your artist page, if you have one, may not really be getting nearly as much traffic as your personal page where you may have thousands of people listed as friends.

Our session today emphasizes the idea that you can consciously use social media to enhance your image as an artist. It is probably wise to exclude anything that may weaken the impact of your artwork. In fact it may discourage people to connect with you if they find your posts either uninteresting, too revealing, or in some way off-putting. ideally, you don't want to post things to your thousands of friends --many of whom are followers rather than personal connections--that will conflict with your image as a serious and focused artist.

Crafting a social media personal to emphasize your work is not presenting a false impression if what you do say is authentic. It's fine to keep large parts of your life private and when you do that, you allow your work to take center stage. It also relieves you rown anxiety about maintaining privacy.

How to navigate the world of social media is a personal decision, and there are plenty of opinions about how to do this. But in terms of enhancing your presence as an artist, consider that is may be best to treat it as a useful tool rather than a platform for a wide variety of topics. You can do a great deal to enhance your professional image of an interesting and thoughtful artist by being conscious of what you post as visible to everyone, especially if you have a lot of followers you don’t know as perosnal friends.

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Rebecca and her partner Jerry McLaughlin are excited to be launching year two of Cold Wax Academy's membership program, which began in October of 2020. In the coming year, live online learning sessions will feature an entirely new set of topics---beginning with a deep dive into technique and the steps involved in developing a painting. Other topics for year 2 include professional development, abstraction and realism, principles of design, and expanded uses for cold wax medium.

As always, members have access to recordings of all previous sessions including everything from the first year, so it's easy to join anytime. Fall Quarter begins October 6th. Please visit for details about membership levels and to sign up for a year of exciting learning experiences.

Here is what a member named Sandy has to say about her own experience:
"Rebecca and Jerry have presented the most professional, authentic and structured approach to a creative activity I have ever come across. Their selfless sharing of all their knowledge and encouragement is a gift in my life unsurpassed."

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