The Visual Artist and Social Media

May 21, 2013

social media, facebook, twitter, instagram, artists, visual art


How Important is Social Media to the Visual Artist?

Extremely Important! Images are king on social media….and for an artist, that’s good news. People tend to read a post with an image over a text-only post because the image grabs their attention. Of course, don’t just throw any image in with your post, make sure it is relevant to what you are saying. If you have something in your own art portfolio that works with your post, definitely use it. If you don’t, try and find one. There are many websites that offer royalty-free images…..photopin is one I like. However, not ALL posts have to have images but I make sure the majority do.

If you use your own artwork, please make sure

  • your handwritten/painted © is clearly visible
  • watermark your © over the image using photoshop or a photo editing platform such as befunky or photobucket
  • another good idea (I am just starting to do this) put your website address at the bottom of the image

Don’t clutter up your art too much with the above…make the watermark very light and put your website address small at the bottom corner of the image. While we want to share our work with the world, we don’t want to become vulnerable and make it easy for someone to use our art without permission.

Using social media platforms, visual artists have new ways to market their work and connect with people all over the world. These sites are fun, easy to use and best of all FREE! Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, Google+ are quickly becoming as important to an artist as the art they create.

While social media is a wonderful tool for an artist, it can be time consuming and a bit addictive. What good is connecting with thousands of people if you have no art to show or sell. It is smart to set aside a time of the day to work on your social media and it doesn’t hurt to set a timer as well.

Hootsuite can manage multiple social media networks from one place. It allows you to send a single post to all your social media platforms all at once. You can also schedule multiple posts to be uploaded throughout the entire day. You will find some people will follow you on Twitter, but not Facebook and vice versa, so it’s fine to have the same post on both platforms. Hootsuite is a lifesaver for someone who is active in many social media platforms.

If you plan to just join a couple of social media platforms to get started, I recommend you at least join these:

  • Facebook (a business or "fan" page)
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram



When you start your business facebook page, use your first and last name. Be consistent and do this for all your social media platforms. example, my facebook address is www.facebook.cotm/teresakogut. As an artist, you want your name to be synonymous with your art. You are building a brand. The more people see your name associated with your art the more you become recognizable and they feel connected to you.


Twitter can be a powerful tool. For starters, I recommend you link your Business Facebook page to your Twitter account. By linking them together, all your FB posts will also post to your Twitter account. This was the best move I ever made because I was always on FB and would forget to post to Twitter. Now I post once and it appears on both.


I cannot tell you how much I love Pinterest. Pinterest is a tool for collecting and organizing the things you love. I use to cut out pictures that inspired me from magazine after magazine and file them under categories for future reference. Now I do all that at Pinterest. It is a virtual pinboard. When you first get started you will want to set a timer because you can get "lost" because of your enthusiasm. You can set up a board with your name and pin your artwork there. I recommend pinning your art from your blog or Etsy shop so when people find your art, they can click on the image and it will take them to the source you pinned it from. It’s genius! (remember to put the © watermark on your art first) To get an idea of how to set up boards, check out my Pinterest site here


Instagram is an online photo-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures, apply digital filters to them, and share them on a variety of social networking services, such as Facebook or Twitter.  A distinctive feature is that it confines photos to a square shape, similar to Kodak Instamatic or Polaroid images. Download the app to your IPhone or Droid and start sharing!


Why is social media so important? It’s not only is a great way to get your art in front of people but more importantly you will connect with people. Have you ever admired an actor, musician, singer or artist and thought, "I wonder what they are really like behind all the glitz and glam". It is the same idea. People not only love your art but they want to get to know the person behind the art. Social media has changed the way people do business. It’s personal. People want to support the companies and people they connect with. Having said that, it is imperative that you be authentic, be transparent, be natural, be you! People want to know YOU, not who you think they want to know.

IMPORTANT! Don’t sell all the time. People will leave your facebook page faster than you can say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious if all you do is try to sell them something. Let it happen organically. Once they get to know you over a period of time and feel connected to you, it will be more natural for them to want to purchase something from you because they like you and your art. Also, you have earned their trust. Share your inspiration for a painting or tell the story behind a painting and leave it at that. Post a video of you creating a painting or post a picture a day of the process of creating a painting, etc. Every post doesn’t have to be about your art or business either. Share your favorite recipes from time to time. Share photos of your family, pets, vacations etc. These type of posts will open up conversations with people, too, and that is how people get to know you. Besides it’s fun to share in the lives of others. I have met some pretty amazing people through social media and you can too!


Did you find this article helpful? What is your favorite social media platform and why? Comment below

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