I’m not sure what your Instagram or Twitter feeds look like, but mine consists of many young artists. I try to follow a lot of people in the name of connecting with other artists. With that being said, every day I am constantly reminded that someone 3 years younger than me has an article in Teen Vogue or i-D or what have you. That people with similar pictures to me have about 10 times as many followers as I do. I barely sleep…ever, I work multiple jobs (some freelance art stuff, content creation, working at a dog groomers, and working for my own clothing brand). Every day feels like a punishment, like telling myself, oh no you can’t sleep because if you sleep you’re lazy and you still have to do this-this and this. I love art, I really do, and I know if you’re reading this you probably do too, but doesn’t it suck sometimes when you are KILLING yourself to no avail? This is the point where people start buying a shit ton of self-help books, try to crack the “Instagram code”, maybe even cash in for those followers.
I know not everyone reading this goes or has gone to art school, but let me tell you one thing. Not a single one of my professors I’ve had this year have any sort of Instagram “clout”. They all have roughly around 300-600 followers from what my stalking could gather. Some preferred not to use social media at all. However! ALL of them are successful artists. Some have been exhibited in the MFA, others in galleries across the country and the world. Next time you go to a gallery, look up the names of the artists on Instagram, you’ll find a lot of them are not “famous”, and some of them are not even on Instagram.
I’m going to say one thing, listen to this: INSTAGRAM IS NOT AND WAS NEVER MADE FOR ARTISTS. Stop killing yourself over the following, try making meaningful comments on other “””””smaller””””” artist’s posts. You’re really just sold this formula for “success” that is really just a game of luck, playing to the masses, and maybe even having friends who already did the hard part of getting a lot of followers.
I’m going to end this with a big, fat IDK! I don’t know what to think or where to go as an artist anymore, but I know for certain Instagram is not that place. WE NEED AN ARTISTIC REVOLUTION!
No one needs social media, it was invented as a way to connect people as in friends and family. Artists existed long before it and can thrive without it, or without A LOT of it.