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The Highs and Lows of Social Media

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I don’t want to live in a world where everything that I say, everything I do, everyone I talk to, every expression of creativity or love or friendship is recoded
Edward Snowden, former NSA Contracts and Whistleblower

I agree with Mr Snowden, so why write about Social Media on one of my first blog posts? Thats simple, I have a love-hate relationship with YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, I have not so affectionately named any platform of social media ‘The beast that must be fed’, in other words, you can feel that there is a need to keep friending, posting, pocking and commenting with ‘the beast’ never being full. Quite frankly all of this can be overwhelming, I can find myself waking up to 100+ alerts  and continually be monitoring my phone throughout the day and evening.

Social medial is an invaluable tool if used correctly, what a fantastic soap box for any artist. Gone are the days of having to be tied to an art gallery giving artists the freedom to connect and build up relationships with their buyers.

YouTube can have a positive and negative effect on mental health
Quote from web

Art and mental health is a subject which greatly interest me and will probably be a subject for another post, but It’s only ever positive when you get great comments! It’s not so great when you record a video and your too scarred to look at how many thumbs down you get! Any artists will tell you that a certain thickness of skin is needed, everyone is entitled to an opinion on your art, after all contemporary art is subjective and there are those who simply ‘don’t get it’. Constructive criticism is a good thing with many comments being valid, perhaps pointing out something that you didn’t see and have overlooked, but social media opens you up to the masses, those good, lovely people who encourage you and those who quite frankly are very rude!

As a graphic designer I look after many social media accounts for various clients and if I have learnt anything it’s to treat my accounts as I would any businesses, I very rarely post anything on my personal Facebook page (that’s my choice), I still keep my posts to everything thats art or photography related. I began a YouTube channel only a few months ago, for a few varying reasons. It’s a fantastic way of recording your work, your progress and engaging with your followers. But there are few fluid artists in the UK who have their own channels, compared to the numerous talented individuals in Australia, Canada and the US.

Paints, pouring mediums and canvases can be very different with very different prices in the UK, it’s good to share your knowledge with those who want to learn.

My advice on how to manage your social media? Treat it as a tool to promote your work. I paint twice a week and record a video once a week or even every ten days, but I don’t want to be a slave to that schedule, after all artists want to create art and not spend more time looking after their social media accounts. We live in a very modern world with art accessible to all and by in large we have the internet to thank for that. I am learning to leave my phone alone when I’m with my family or out with friends and thats how I keep it in check.

I am sure this is a subject which will encourage many comments, let me know how you as an artist manage your social media accounts!

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