Posts Tagged social media
A fellow artist (who has done work for Blizzard) had emailed me, asking me about a few things us artists all want to know, so I thought I’d share our conversation along with you as I answer his questions. And by the way I’m totally addicted to World of Warcraft, so it was an honor to talk to the artist who has rendered some of my favorite work for my favorite game:
If you don’t mind, I’d like to pick your brain about Licensing & fine art. I really enjoy finding another artists who actually see a bigger picture and understands the value in diversifying your talents across industries. I’d like to hear your thoughts on the differences, problems, and benefits with the different fields.
I have no idea how profitable those fields can be.
Have blogs helped you? Why do you prefer WordPress over blogger, facebook etc? …. Best, Sean”
Thanks Sean! My advice:
ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
I’m still working on finding the best options in the business. Selling online has it’s pros and cons, so promoting is almost like an experiment.I’ve found that testing out all the options has helped me find out what works best for my business and my art audience. It may differ depending on your audience and art style as well. Some people find Facebook is a lovely tool for promoting art. I haven’t found it work for me, but yet I do get lots of networking opportunities as well as new fans through Myspace or through Twitter.
It probably took me about two years of working with all the available free online programs and communities to find my audience and know who want to see what I had to offer. Social media has given us really great opportunities to promote and expose our art to people worldwide. You learn alot by being able to connect with your fans too. I love that part of social media.
ON LICENSING ART:
With licensing, I think it’s important to make it a regular routine to contact companies yourself.
Thought I’ve recieved most of my licensing deals by being contacted by the companies themselves, I have found that they are responsive to inquiries by artists. In the web, it’s hard to find artists that are really good, are talented, and marketable, so I think they like to be approached. It helps cut out their hard work to find you.
You may find a future opportunity you wouldn’t have had, had you not contacted them yourself. I’ve had several opportunities because I scouted out connections and people who’s company would benefit from my art.
When it comes to self-publishing, I have told artists to definitely seek that out. Seek out companies that offer self publishing like Imagekind.com. I was with Art.com since 2004 and because of them, I had achieved many opportunities, including spots on television, movies, and commission deals that I wouldn’t have been offered before. Unfortunately there are cons to that as well.
Art.com was a company that had changed it’s structure, closed it’s connection to emerging artists, and in doing so cut royalty opportunities significantly for artists. I also lost a significant deal with them that had been discontinued because their business’s plans had totally changed. I’m still waiting to see my art be part of their site again, instead of just being in the Emerging Artists category. They really reduced my possible sales (and their own profit) by having done that.
But in saying that, I’m not saying it’s bad to have your art in these places. Any exposure is good exposure and the people that want art like yours are out there, searching the net for it. Putting it in places where they are looking for art gives you the chance to find new collectors and fans! Finding a publisher may not be as good as publishing yourself. It all depends on the deal you are offered, or what you can negotiate.
It does take time to really understand the value of blogs. I have been blogging since 2004, when I started to offer my art online. I’ve used Livejournal, Blogger, Vox, and others until I found one that worked for me. I learned about HTML, blogging etiquette, design, and networking. Be sure to connect with other artists that blog. Comment on their blogs, read them every week. SUBSCRIBE! Which really makes it easier to read. I have mine come to my email. Also, try to blog every week at least 1-3 times. Even if it’s just about you. I think people like to be able to see your personal side as much as what you are doing. They want to know what you are about. But, like I said before, it’s about experimenting, testing, figuring out what works for you, what’s right for you, and what people respond to that will determine what you blog, how you blog, and what you do on the net.
by Natasha Wescoat
Here are a few things that really help draw traffic to your blog:
-Commenting and linking. Be sure to take time each week to comment on at LEAST 3 other blogs related to your company or style.
-Network with other bloggers. Getting connected is the most important and normally neglected advantage we have to use in our growing business.
-Contribute or ask to contribute to other blogs, where you can do advice articles or reviews of other things. Do commentaries on art you admire or for that matter, don’t.
-Do product reviews on your blog of similar companies. Reviewing your competition is actually good for your blog. This is a way of linking to other sites and keyword searching will draw people to your blog
- Get linked on blog directories
- Ask other blogs or sites to link to you, but let them know you link to them. It’s best to follow the earlier tip on commenting and networking because this would be the best and most effective way to get a link to your blog from them.
- Blog often. Keep it regular. WordPress, as far as I have known has a timestamp tool that allows you to plan your blog posts out. Really awesome if you are out of town or vacation and want to keep it consistent. It keeps you up in traffic ratings.
- Incorporate other internet media to draw traffic to your blog. Link and discuss it on your other sites, in your email signatures, and on your business cards.
by Natasha Wescoat
Many of us artist have been made hip to the new social networking tools out there.
Twitter is known for 140 character posts with other people who follow you. It’s a great tool for quick messaging to friends, shouting out ideas, and sharing links. (EBSQ’s twitter is : http://twitter.com/ebsq)
Pownce, which was recently made open to the public, does that and more: allowing you to punch in html, video and other multimedia links, and sharing quick ideas without the 140 word limitation. It’s gaining notoriety, and inho would make twitter obsolete. It’s a matter of preference, I suppose, and…popularity of the tool.
Utterz is quickly gaining momentum. It’s the new micropodcasting site where you can record audio from your phone or via the computer. Now, you can record and post quick videos as well as photos and text posts. It’s a great way to converse with others should you forgo the use of the telephone/cellphone communication option. It’s free as well!
MICROBLOGGING VS. TRADITIONAL NETWORKING VIA THE NET
All of these tools and the many others available on the net would be an excellent tool to communicate and network with other artists on the net, and for these many reasons.:
by Natasha Wescoat
A SOCIAL MELTING POT
Social media is taking our world by storm. It’s the forerunner of Web 3.0, which is the integration of the internet as a symbiotic thing working throughout our everyday lives. Internet on Fridges and Tv’s, anyone?
Everything from blogging, videoblogging, podcasting, lifecasting/webcasting, texting, twittering, micropodcasting, microblogging, etc is becoming the norm, or at least us geeks think so. And what’s really fun is that it’s FREE and accessable in all forms and places.
And of course, everyone is cashing in on this free candy!
Entreprenuers, corporations, home makers, and teenyboppers are designing and creating media and building a web presence for themselves. With artists selling online, art sites are cashing in on this evolution, grabbing their virtual real estate and popping up in every corner of the web. Great things are being created, but it feels like we are being overwhelmed with art sites and art communities every which way. Thousands of artists are putting up websites and sticking their heads in every facet of the web to build their presence. It feels as if we’re in the same boat we were in before we started jumping in the water! Can anyone even see me in here?
There is also quite a slew of competition out there. Very amazing artists are finding a presence on the web, and building a huge fan base using social media tools.
So, how do we stand out, as media producers and artists? How do you attract attention amidst the hundreds, thousands, and millions of other internet media users/producers out there?
A Breath of Fresh Air by Poxodd
A long time ago, in an internet far far away, EBSQ used to be a 100% open community. Anyone could post on our forums. And often did. Much bitterness ensued. And we built a wall around our city to keep our residents feeling safe.
Six years have passed since our forums went, for the most part, private. We’ve weathered a lot of ups and downs. I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to keep a community healthy since then. Our community is harmonious, no question. Folks are generally happy, and quite comfortable. Real friendships have grown out of conversations started on our forums. But I also fear that walls are keeping as much out as they’re keeping in, and we’re becoming stagnant. I’ve been slowly trying to nudge folks toward opening a window or two in our wall, and letting a little fresh air in. One existing section that I’d love to see go public is our media-specific forum. I think EBSQ as a community could really benefit if the wider artistic community had reading / posting access. I have to say, I have been surprised at the resistence I’ve been getting.
Open Community vs Walled Gardens
Now, there have been some good arguments for why members don’t want to open this subdivision of our online neighbourhood to the general public. One artist is learning a new technique in her media and has a lot of questions. She’s concerned that she’ll appear unprofessional to people who might have otherwise bought her work. Others feel this section should remain strickly a perk for paid membership and that folks have to pay to play. Some folks just want the privacy to say whatever without having to worry about whether the section is public or not. One artist came right out and said she doesn’t like change. Period.
Here’s my problem with the above arguments. I think our forums would become even more valuable if this small but important section was open to the public. It would allow us to tap into a pool of knowledge we don’t currently possess while also letting our members add their collective wisdom to the general search engines for anyone to find. Regarding the previously mentioned artst who is learning a new skill–wouldn’t it be great if she actually had the courage to ask her questions publicly and someone who might not have been familiar with out community otherwise stumbled upon her questions and was able to give an answer that wasn’t available within our existing community? Or what about the non-member that was thinking about learning scratchboard art and found that we have in our community what I consider to be an expert in the field? Why can’t artists just talk shop?
Now, we’re not talking about throwing our doors wide open. We’re simply talking about metaphorically cracking a window and letting in some fresh air. As it is, I feel our lack of diversity, our lack of openess is killing our community. Slowly perhaps, but killing us all the same.
And so we put it to you, who ARE our community. How do YOU feel about this issue? If you’re a paid member of our site, we strongly encourage you to come vote on the poll we created to debate this issue internally. And if you’re a registered user, but not a paid member of EBSQ, or even just an artist who’s been considering EBSQ membership, we’d love to hear from you as well via the comments section of this post. Do we keep the walls up? Or may we crack a window?
Hi! We’re EBSQ
EBSQ is a creative space that provides art marketing tools and serves as a hub for the self rep and indie artist community. Join our artists, photographers, and crafters here at the place to see and be seen since 2000.
Contact UsEmail: info at ebsqart.com
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