Finished paintings VS consistency on social media

  • Hi all,

    I've been pondering something for the past few weeks, and I would love your input.:

    There are positives to posting drawings on social media everyday - it helps break through creative blocks, it shows your followers you can be consistent, etc., but what if 1) you want to take your time to create finished paintings, and 2) this keeps you from posting consistently everyday? Wouldn't users then sense a lack of consistency?

    I wonder if one has to be sacrificed in order to achieve the other: if you post everyday, there may not be enough time to bring it to a finish, but followers see you're being consistent, or you post finished work once a week, and it's not consistent enough to keep their interest?

    It would be interesting to hear how you've all tackled this issue, and if there is such a thing as posting finished paintings everyday - something I sure don't have the ability to do - or if there is some middle ground I haven't considered.

    Note: Once again, not bashing daily challenges in any way - I appreciate them. πŸ˜€

  • I've had issues with this too. But I saw a clip with the legendary David Bowie a few months ago. I'll share it below. He talks about an artist fulfilling other people's expectations. It's something I watched and I was WOW - truth!

    So now I don't worry about who sees what or if I'm consistent. I'm just going to share something that feels good to me and me alone. Even if it's half finished or not perfect, it's my work. Hope that helps!

  • I agree with @lovetherobot , we think that people are expecting this or that from us on social media but I think the truth is nobody cares if you're there every day. Your followers would certainly value that you take time to create something that you're happy to share with them whether it is unfinished or finished. We really put to much pressure on our shoulders with social media!
    The best is to do it your way, whatever makes you feel creative and happy πŸ™‚

  • Moderator

    @lovetherobot That's a great vid link! David Bowie was one of a kind, but I think he's pretty spot on with that clip.

    And I completely agree with @marine . Well said!

    @animatosoor I think your relationship with Social Media and its place in your work cycle may vary depending on your age and how you perceive its power. Old coots like me aren't really plugged in all the time. I, personally, don't have any "expectations" from the people I follow on Instagram or whatever--good grief, I'm a passive observer who gets to see what they choose to share. I can't have "expectations". I only get to have those if/when I'm actually buying something.

    So I don't post consistently. I don't maintain my schedule around Social Media. I may be backwards in that respect but I really do sense the ratio for "return on time investment" with Social Media is shifting.

  • When I follow people on Instagram it is because I like their work. The quality of the work is much more important to me than how often they post.

    I want to have a schedule I can keep up with while creating the work I want to create. If I post something once a week, and actually manage to do it every week, I am also being consistent. If I post something once a day, but run out of steam after a few weeks because it is too much work, and then don’t post anything for three months, I’m not being consistent.


  • @lovetherobot He was so brilliant. Thanks for sharing the video!

    It's great to know you have developed this mindset! It's important that we do what works for us.

  • @marine You're right. Thing is, social media can be really tricky to navigate, and we place enough pressure on ourselves as it is to improve in our craft, without this thrown into the mix. At the same, having a following seems vital in getting exposure. Thanks for the lovely comment!

  • @karolifo Thanks for your input! Such a good point about falling off the wagon and losing the consistency. I think it's becoming clearer to me that I would do just fine if I posted my finished work once a week.

  • Moderator

    I personally love seeing sketches, and wips, in between finished work. I'm a sucker for a good sketch. Everyone is differen't.

  • @CLCanadyArts Yes, sketches and WIPs are great! I really like when there’s a good mix between WIPs and finished work, so that you can follow the process πŸ™‚

  • @Coreyartus Thank you for the comment, Corey. I somehow completely missed your comment earlier, which is really weird. So sorry about that! 😳

    To not have any expectations in that way must be very liberating - I would actually love to get to a stage in my journey/career where I can say I have achieved that as well! I don't think you're backwards, and again, it sounds like a really positive, freeing thing to not be plugged in all the time. I remember going for a number of years without my personal Facebook account, and I was so happy without it. Lol

    It could be that at this early stage in my art career I do perceive the power that social media holds as being rather great. That might change down the road.

  • @CLCanadyArts Yeah, like you, I really appreciate seeing that with artists I admire and follow on social media as well! It's great to include work-in-progress, for sure.

  • I made a blog post about this basically divorcing social media.

    So I had challenged myself to post every day for the benefit of consistency and also the Instagram algorithm. But it wasn't long before my art started suffering. It's just too much 'performance' for me, especially cause I'm still very much learning the fundamentals and need to focus on getting those right and developing my own style. It's a real trap to try and create for the invisible audience and it became too much to try and please them every day. I wasn't creating art for myself and I think my followers probably felt my art was soulless too. Had many follows, but also many unfollows in the time, leading to no growth.

    So I'm not making art to please social media anymore, but rather to hopefully soothe my creative spirit. Every now and then I'll post something finished, but I won't be putting that pressure on myself to get 10k followers or whatever achievements you hear about in TED talks and from gurus. Maybe it works for some people, but it was definitely harming my creativity. The funny thing is, the rate of growth on my account is increasing since I stopped posting every day. That's just my two cents though!

  • @NelsonYiap Hi Nelson, and thank you for this well thought out comment. There are lots of nuggets in here: when we force ourselves to post everyday, we may not be giving ourselves enough time and space to take a step back from our art and evaluate what direction we are going in (in terms of subject matter, style, process, etc.,) and it can leave very little time for practising and improving in our weak areas.

    It's always interesting to hear different approaches to this. I know that on the Three Point Perspective podcast episode titled "Why you should do an art challenge," Lee very respectfully put across his point that these daily challenges need to be balanced out with good analytical thinking and self-auditing to ensure our art is moving forward, which sometimes means we might not be able to post every single day. πŸ™‚ I am quite inclined to agree.

  • SVS OG

    Let me go nerdy for a minute: looking at this from a psychological perspective, there is a lot to be said for intermittent reinforcement. When training a dog to come to you, for example, you are supposed to start out giving them a reward every time they come so they understand what you want and that rewards are available but gradually you taper off your consistency. Sometimes when they come you give them a huge reward, sometimes a small one, and sometimes nothing at all. This actually strengthens their response because if they don't know whether they will get the reward or not, they will come for fear that if they don't, this might be the time you were going to give them a huge reward and they missed out. (This is why gambling is so addictive.) If you apply that to social media, I would think that followers would become more likely to look for your work if they never know whether they will get a finished piece (huge reward), a sketch (small reward), or nothing at all that day. Even if a follower has their feed set up so that they never miss what you offer, I still think they will be more likely to notice your pieces if they aren't part of a regular pattern. The follower will be skimming their feed and suddenly say, "Hey, here is a piece from so and so. I haven't seen them in a while. Let me take an extra second to look at what they have done." In social media, having someone's eyes on your work for even just a few extra seconds is important and reinforces their bond with you.

    Disclaimer: I have no data to back up my hypothesis though I have trained a lot of dogs. As far as I know, however, they don't use social media (though one of them likes to watch TV) πŸ™‚

  • SVS OG

    You really don’t need to post finished pieces every day. You can post WIPs or sketches or color comps. People appreciate you sharing your progress. You could just post 1 finished piece per week while posting the behind the scenes during the other days. Or if you only want to post finished works, you can do what Simona Cecarelli did and post at least 3 simple illustrations per week, spacing them every other day. That way it won’t be too heavy on your shoulders.

  • @demotlj I am a dog training addict too ha ha πŸ™‚ ! I do agility with my dog, it's a blast! it was fun to see the dog training analogy you made. It's all psychology for sure.

  • @demotlj Hahah, nerdy is good! This is a very interesting point. I know artists who have already established a huge following do "tease" sometimes and hold off a little bit before they post new artwork. Some have made it work in their favour.

    @demotlj said in Finished paintings VS consistency on social media:

    Disclaimer: I have no data to back up my hypothesis though I have trained a lot of dogs. As far as I know, however, they don't use social media (though one of them likes to watch TV)

    πŸ˜‚ This is awesome. XD Thank you for the insight!

  • @nyrrylcadiz Sounds like a great approach. I'm considering posting three days a week. I've just begun taking this a bit more seriously, so it's all still very new to me.

  • @Coley Having had no experience with dogs - except loving them very, very much - this is all very interesting to read about. πŸ˜„

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