Make the most of social media for creatives
Social media platforms provide a huge amount of inspiration and guidance regarding new trends, colours and styles, and allow designers both experienced and new to get their work seen by a massive audience. Sometimes, however, I find that it can get a tad overwhelming and there is the risk of suffering a bit of a crisis of confidence, when one realises the sheer amount of outstanding work being done by a range of fabulous designers. I occasionally feel intimidated by it all and can start to wonder if my own work is up to task, on a commercial level as well as a creative level. Of course, this is not a good thing to get bogged down with and if you sometimes get these feelings, like I do, here are three things which work for me, which I do to reset my brain.
1_ Re-inflate your bubble.
I do this by cutting myself off from the ‘noise’ in Social Media for a little while. I am not completely isolated; I check in every so often to get insights on trends and colours, but I predominantly use this time to concentrate on my own work and not that of other designers.
2_ Immerse yourself in You.
For a short time, it is as if I am the only illustrator on the planet, and it is so refreshing. I concentrate solely on my own work, living it, breathing it.
3_Create something unique.
Although you may be influenced by a piece which you’ll find in someone’s portfolio, or on someone’s feed, don’t let the influence direct you so much that your next piece bears a resemblance to the influencing piece. If you create a totally unique work, your confidence will balloon and it will elevate your psyche to a different level, building up your confidence and renewing your zest for being creative.
Now your head is clear, I will describe a little bit about my own use of Social Media, and how to make the most of social media for creatives.
Make the most of social media for creatives
I have always tended to use Instagram, twitter and Facebook to share doodles, works in progress, experiments and finished pieces, but not very much at all about my own personal life. I will be starting to do that, in particular, my Instagram friends out there get a bit of a feel for my personality, my tastes and interests and what makes me tick. This will probably take the form of photos of places, patterns and items from my journeys, days out etc.
I feel also, that because my illustration style has taken a bit of time to consolidate itself, it used to be somewhat ‘all over the place’, as we say here in the UK. That means simply, that it was not very consistent and this shows in my feeds – Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. However, over time, this has become far more coherent, and my posts from the last, say 9 to 12 months can more easily be viewed as belong to a set of categories; Floral, Geometric, People, Animals, Illustration, and Pattern for example. This allows potential clients to see my versatility in a more structured manner, and that I am equally capable of designing for stationery, apparel, editorial, the gift industry and so on.
An important note for those who are either just getting started, perhaps after graduating, or have been designing for a while but have not yet fully grasped the potential Social Media has for their self-promotion, is that you will need to engage with your followers, and with those whom you follow. They are a form of networking and you can’t just upload work and hope for the best. That would be like being able to sing and doing it only in your bathroom, in the vague hope that a record company exec will pass by just at that right time when you are singing in the shower, and snap you up for a world tour! No, Instagram has a huge community of creatives, and you will enjoy being part of it, if you get involved and talk to people. Leave comments and show a genuine interest in others and their work. On Twitter, comment and re-tweet. Spread the love!
I learned, when I started blogging, that it is unrealistic to expect people to like your work and follow you, if you don’t like and follow first. Social Media is not a one-way advertising medium, as mentioned previously it is more like an interactive billboard, where you can praise others for their great work and in turn, you will get back what you put in. Instagram and twitter are global. Seriously global! They can play a huge role in getting visibility as a designer and are visual platforms. Design is all about being visual, right?
Here are a couple of links that maybe of interest for further reading about the points I’ve briefly discussed –
I’d like to share with you two recent design pieces too. With summer soon approaching, I’ve been creating patterns to get me in the mood for the warm summer season 😀
Emma Jayne x