Social Media for Artists

If you’re an artist, illustrator, or designer, chances are you’re already showcasing your work through social media.
If not, or if you want to switch mediums or add more, this page is for you.

Social media are a great way to:

  • Showcase your work
  • Find and connect with your audience, and build a following
  • Get discovered by potential customers and clients
  • Learn more about what your audience thinks about your art and products, and give you some fresh ideas for new work
  • Spot trends and see what’s hot and happening in the art and design world
  • Discover, connect and collaborate with other artists
  • Learn about opportunities, challenges and competitions in the creative industry

Just starting out or need a social media refresher?
Read this handy article by Artwork Archive, A Fresh Social Media Strategy for Artists in 2017 (and beyond!).

The first three platforms mentioned below are the ones Judy uses the most, but since it’s a matter of preference, just pick and choose what works best for you.
Also, social media change, so what worked (well) once might not work anymore at other times. Stay flexible and adapt or switch if you need to.

1. Instagram: Online Art Gallery
The visual social medium for artists to share their work and discover new artists.
It’s all about imagery, not words, so for blogging or discussions look elsewhere.

2. Pinterest: Sharing, Discovering & Curating Art, Mood Boarding
A visual curating platform based on pin boards.
Great for collecting imagery, but not so much for social interaction.
Share your work and work of others, create your own (public or private) digital art collections, and start (public or private) mood boards for creative projects.
Like Instagram, Pinterest is all about images, not text.

3. Facebook, esp. Facebook Groups: Join an Art Group
Facebook is a well-known social medium for private use (through a personal profile) and business use (through setting up a page for your creative business), and is great for social interaction, esp. on your personal profile.
Unlike Instagram and Pinterest, there’s more room for text and discussions.

For (creative) businesses it’s a lot harder to get people to see your posts (unless you’re willing to pay), but the platform is still worthwhile for its groups.
Join Facebook art groups to learn more about your craft, meet other creative people, and stay motivated and productive. Or start a group of your own!
To find a group, enter a subject in Facebook’s search field and hit search.
Then click the “Groups” button.
For example, “illustration” will give you a list of active illustration groups.

Some of Judy’s favorite Facebook groups:

4. Others
There are a lot of other social media and sharing platforms out there, but below are a couple of established and successful ones artists tend to use often.
All platforms can be used for free, some offer upgrades through paid subscription and/or advertisement models.

    • Behance — Portfolio Platform by Adobe
      – Start an online portfolio to showcase your work to potential clients in the creative industry & connect with other artists.
      – Comparable to Dribbble.
    • DeviantArt — Social Online Community Platform for Artists & Art Lovers
      – Share and sell your work & connect with other artists.
    • Dribbble — Showcase Platform Comparable to Behance
      – Showcase your work to potential clients in the creative industry & connect with other artists.
      – Dribbble is considered more of a sneak peek or work-in-progress platform which happens to be used a lot as a portfolio website, whereas Behance might be more suitable for portfolios and case studies, but artists tend to use both.
    • Flickr — Photo Sharing & Organizing Platform
      – Originally a website for photographers, but also used by artists and designers.
      – Share and sell your work, join groups & connect with like-minded people.
    • Tumblr — Microblogging & Social Networking Platform
      – Share your work and interests & connect with like-minded people.
    • Twitter — Online News & Social Networking Platform
      – Tweet about your work in realtime & follow other artists.
    • Vimeo — Video Hosting Platform
      – Watch & share free art and design tutorials, interviews & documentaries.
      – Comparable to YouTube but ad free, which results in more mature, high-quality vids and more serious, personal audience interaction.
      – Has a smaller reach than YouTube, although still millions of users.
      – Suitable for hosting your own online paid e-courses.
    • YouTube — Video Hosting Platform
      – Watch & share free art and design tutorials, interviews & documentaries.
      – With over a billion users, it has a way bigger audience than Vimeo and hosts more videos.
      – Has a lot of ads (you might want to install an ad blocker).
      – Susceptible to spam videos and comments, and rude behavior.
      – A paid upgrade will get rid of the ads and give you access to prime videos.