I am an artist. I don’t enjoy social media.
This past spring the digital media realm surprised me by introducing me to real 3D people and professional opportunities. It changed my opinion about social media. I discovered not all social media is equal. Twitter turned out to be the social media that worked for me.
My husband suggested that I post my photos and videos on twitter. He had read that twitter was the best social media for making real business connections. I figured out how to create a basic post, and upload my videos and jpegs of paintings. Within a few minutes of uploading people were making remarks or retweeting my post. It was amazing!
I wanted to meet people who live in my neighborhood. I mentioned my plein air painting locations in every tweet. I posted a 30 second video of me on location which included my finished painting. Within a few days a local twitter “newsfeed” started to retweet all my posts. People following the “newsfeed” retweeted my posts about my plein air outings. I received messages saying how much they liked my paintings. One tweet came from an ocean-front inn. After painting one day I stopped by to see who was tweeting from the inn. It was the owner, who invited me to be the artist in residence at her inn for the summer. I received free parking and a beautiful open lawn overlooking the ocean, with easy access to the seaside nature trail. My first artist residency of the year arrived through twitter!
Several weeks later while painting at the inn a young couple appeared and the man said; “Mary?” He was the publisher of the “digital newspaper” who first retweeted my posts. He recognized me from my videos on twitter. I told him I was the artist in residence at the inn because of his news feed.
I continued to paint at the inn and on the ocean all summer. Visitors watched me paint every day. After an evening of painting I would go to a local harbor for dinner. One evening my husband suggested I stop in a gallery and say hello. I walked in the door and the woman behind the desk asked “Are you the artist everyone is talking about? Were you painting out on the rocks tonight?” It appears I was noticed as I was painting so frequently in the area.
Several weeks later I met the gallery director. I sent her one of my daily plein air videos. Two days later the gallery owner called and asked to visit my studio. They left with a van full of paintings and a few weeks later I gave a talk and had a successful opening.
What else happened because of tweeting? A couple who met me while I was sketching on the nature trail immediately commissioned me to paint a wedding ceremony. My twitter publisher friend arranged a new artist residency later this month with 2 days of plein air demos at an inn in a nearby village. I am doing a second artist talk and a painting demo at my new gallery next month. I have new collectors who have invited me to paint at their historic ocean front home. There is another invitation to paint at a resort on the ocean in a neighboring town. Every time I go out to paint I make sure to post my paintings and daily 30 second plein air video on twitter. And those tweets keep getting retweeted. Its getting better all the time.