Can I be honest about Social Media?
Anyone who knows me personally will know I'm actually quite private, something that is at total loggerheads with being an artist where you're constantly sharing a part of your soul publicly. So you'd probably guess that I find Social Media a little bit difficult.
Unsurprisingly, I have a severe love hate relationship with Social Media and am a bit tech-dyslexic. I did a Masters in mud after-all - you can't get more primal than that! But that hasn't meant that I've managed to get away without living within our increasingly virtual world.
So yes, I do have a Facebook Page, an Instagram and am trying out a new Vero thing because there's parts of social media that I love, like how it allows me to connect with people like you all over the world, sharing insights, techniques and ideas.
But also lots that I find utterly tiring, like how it takes us away from the present and encourages us to compare the highlight 'perfect' reel against our many many MANY messy drafts behind the scenes in order to create a curated feed. This makes me question the authenticity of it all, as well as how genuine I am being - which is one of the main reasons I set up emails, it seems more sincere and personal, like writing to a pen pal where I can really share the behind the scenes.
Then there's it's ability to warp time - I'm sure you can relate to going on for only a minute, only to reemerge an hour later?! And that's just watching...you wouldn't believe just how much time is spent keeping up with daily posting when you're marketing your business. Sometimes I question if it's worth it, especially with changing algorithms meaning a depressingly few of the people who like a page actually see anything that's posted. Valuable time that could be spent elsewhere.
Also it's increasingly become a pay to play system that's making our online experiences riddled with ads and generally making small businesses like mine disappear. Facebook and increasingly Instagram's business model has effectively evolved to sell your audience back to you - as such the bigger the business and more money you have, the better chances you have.
Thankfully there's ways around this 'pay to play model,' like pulling together with other people in your position such as the #MarchMeettheMaker Challenge by Joanne Hawker, Joanne came up with the idea a few years back when she became a little lost on Instagram and wanted a challenge to get her inspired and going, but couldn't find one. Undeterred, she decided to set up one herself and a few years later and there's literally thousands of people across the world taking part in #marchmeetthemaker.
It's really rather inspiring!
This challenge was a fantastic way of seeing how other creatives got started and navigate the land of making, plus how they each approach the same question in such diverse and unique ways. It also created a kind of community, reaffirming that you're not the only one out there working away creatively.
I took part because it felt like what I've been yearning for online - something that will help me connect in a more meaningful way, sharing a little bit of the 'behind the scenes' and less about the curated and manufactured timeline, linked up with creatives across the country, So this year, I gave it a try.
In case you missed it in real time, here's a second chance - just click the images for each response.
I enjoyed pushing my comfort zone with some of these prompts, however I will still keep my most personal insights for those who choose to be on my mailing list.
I find emails a truly personal way of connecting with you online because you become like a pen pal, a friend, and I value my friends deeply which is why I offer first spaces on classes, portraits, provide insights into making a full time living from art, deliver free lessons and tips and provide mates rates exclusive to you for signing up to my mailing list.