SHOP @ TOYSREVIL

2.8.14

Where You At? Establishing An Online Resource For Yourselves As Artists & Creators

Let me preface this with the following disclaimers:

1. This is in consideration of folks who might not already (consistently) follow you as an artist, and is more geared towards new folks finding out about your works, and wanting to know more about your work.

Imagine a mega-site like Boing Boing discovering your work you had done, posts about it, but is unable to URL-link back to you, because you don't have a site to be linked back to. *Fist-Pump* for promos! *Shed A Silent Tear* for no linkage back to you ... :p

2. I am sure most of you just want to do your "art", and not the frills that come with it - there are other folks who do that for a living (ironically film directors are tweeting their own promos for the work they do, puts people out of their jobs tho LOL) ... and the task of "self promoting" might be a chore, or even actively "selling your work" might be a challenge … Consider this a step towards not needing to constantly need to hustle and hype. Maybe.

3. I am not a self-promotional guru and neither do I need to claim to be one, or insist this is a "sure-fire" way to success. These are personal observations thru my paltry years of blogging, which I hope to share with you, to help you along whichever road you intend to journey unto.

4. I am not going into what I term "pro-websites" ("professional" meaning you pay someone to design and/or create your website, host on a specific server and pay for said server). I have my own personal experiences with such a situation, and none of them are happy stories to share, sorry :p

Also, unless you are a website designer, you might not need this particular set of stress ~ LOL



Here are a few www-locales you can consider (or already have) where you could park yourself and your work, for the entire world to see - that is currently "free" to use - and specifically in the delivery of visual medium:

BUT FIRST, THE MOTHERSHIP
A somewhat "sexist" term for "where all links come to, or go from". It could mean a www.yourdomainname.com (which you pay for) which provides multiple URL links to ALL your www-locales, like Facebook, Instagram, etc, and in many ways a sort of "self-branding" that I feel is needed, a price for which needs be paid, of course … or simply set up free pages at https://about.me/ or https://flavors.me/ (which needn't be a complicated daily upkeep except for being the "mothership").



Being a "visual medium", it's mostly about storage and presentation of visuals and images. Either you pay for dataspace, or go for these free to use www-locales:

FACEBOOK
Opening up an "Artist Page", with dedicated albums uploaded with your works, categorized or "mix-cassette-tape" style, plugs you into the social media network. And this is different from your own personal page - whose Privacy Settings might "protect" your own personal life, but for your Artist Page, everything is set to Open, so folks can SHARE your image(s). "Watermarking" is a whole other consideration and choice :)

Two Optional Considerations:

(1) Control what people can post on your public wall - on one hand they could post assorted news and reports about you (YAY!), or on the other hand, they could just come on and post/link to their own work (Works for a news-based site like mine tho ;p). The choice is yours.

(2) Control what you post, categorize them into dedicated albums. Folks that follow your work might love seeing your work-in-progress instagram snaps or wall updates, but to circumvent folks needing to shift thru tons of images to see your work, dedicated albums help loads, IMHO.

Folks in the early-to-mid-2000s might remember "Multiply", a platform site that provides exactly this ability for free uploads unto an infinite number of "albums" (virtual "online folders") which you could create at your whim and fancy. And if you don't know by now, Multiply has since become an online market-place, with previously downloaded hi-res images of your own, reduced to minuscule pics when you were asked to download before they deleted your account, to convert to their current site. Much like Yahhoo-Albums from decade back too hahaha

I constantly refer to Multiply because it is simply a past parallel to online use / "service" as it is now ... Will FB someday turn in a similar direction? Hey, you're not paying for it anyways, right? :p

CONSIDER THIS: The number of "Likes" on your FB Artist Page versus your personal FB page should not be a point of contention. Your FB Artist Page is to be used as a point of www-reference, and not a result of a "popularity contest" … unless you really rock, and folks love your work LOL ... half-joking here! 10K "Likes" does not necessarily equal to 10K-number of folks who will purchase your art/custom/print/work, yeh? Just a "Perspective-Thought", is all ... :)

INSTAGRAM
The "hottest" thing right now, with stream-of-consciousness updates without the need for lengthy-text (unless you choose to provide it). Swell to look at, great for followers of your work to be constantly looking at your work, and be a "comment" and "reply" away to being your "friend" = What's not to like?

But besides being a direct-cyber-connection to your fans/followers/friends, what "other" folks need, is "patience" - to be able to wade thru your multiple images to find what they want.

A lot of artists use IG for multiple purposes of posting snaps of food, travels, cats, besides their work - like a "visual blog" for this particular period of the www-age - other that purely "work" and/or "art" related pics. So the choice is yours to make: Exercise Restraint, or Let The Good Selfies Roll! LOL

And now that Instagram provides you a way to embed your image? *BONUS* :)

TWITTER
Is a text-based delivery platform. Sure you can tweet a pic, but it could simply be used to tweet a URL-link to your FB etc, to see the pic, and in turn, more of your work.

PINTEREST
Untapped resource perhaps, but in providing eye-candy to things you find only and want to share, you too can share your own work. But remember images on Facebook can be shared, but just the image itself alone, and not thru the FB-page it sits in … a URL-watermark on your image in the first place, would help, IMHO.

TUMBLR
I've recently read different folks saying; "People don't read blogs anymore" - for which I strongly disagree, BUT in lieu of that, folks might turn to Tumblr, and they offer free image uploads as well! Works for me hahahaha

BLOGS
The "stress" of having a "blog" might be the need to have "text" along with your images, and many folks might not want to get into that (and for those who use other bloggers' words or text to describer your work, please at least seek permission to, AND provide a URL-link back to where it originated from), and that's why (ironically) platforms like Tumblr works in this regard.

But consider this, platforms like Blogger allows free uploads (not unlimited dataspace, but still GBs worth) of images AND videos, and it would be a waste not to utilize this.

REMEMBER: To tag / label your published posts - like "Custom Toys" or "Artwork" etc - so that folks can see them IN ONE CLICK specifically if they want to.

DEVIANTART
A by-default go-to portfolio site for many, specifically for a visual medium. AND being able to embed images unto other blog platforms, is a PLUS!

And it is also a specific link to where your fans/followers/friends are, and if you don't mind "the competition", it's all good :)

BEHANCE
I've never used Behance (as it is more relevant to being an online portfolio), but seems as "pro" as it gets, IMHO. But the ability to let folks "comment" on the albums lets it spiral into the context of a social-media-type quandary too.



But hey, "talking" - or in this case "blogging about it", is easy. The "hard" bit is you uploading and categorizing your own work! And remember, it is not about "self-critique" (more about "self-censorship", because you choose what to present or what not to show), and neither need it be a "discography" if you don't want it to be.

Or if you prefer to do the "Directory" route, there's Trampt, or even my own (Facebook based) Art Toy Nation and Art Toy Nation Asia :)

IN CLOSING: Please provide you URL (to link back to you) to whomever you email your news submissions to. Do not necessarily "assume" folks already have you on speed-dial (like on phones lol), and this is a helpful tool to whomever is helping to promote your work - Thank you for your considerations :)



This post is in compendium to my earlier article; "Promoting Yourselves In The Internet Age" and is also in many cases, parallel that of another previous blogpost; TOYSREVIL's Digital Footprint.

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