What’s more frightening to you; showing off your artwork or showing off yourself?
Each option may feel equally as daunting. However, when we think about how the online art world has changed over the years it does seem a little easier to post your finished work on Instagram and hide your face behind your computer, doesn’t it?
Think about it. How many times do you talk directly to your followers over live stream? Does the thought of interrupting your feed with a selfie fill you with dread?
Because overcoming that fear and doubt is what’s going to elevate you from one level to the next.
Coming out of your cage doing just fine
When we talk to the artists we work with, many of them say one of their biggest fears lies not in what people will think of their work but in what people will think of them. It’s a natural human reaction and one that plagues creatives because you’re not just selling your artwork, you’re selling yourself. You are your art and your art is a reflection of you.
If you’re the type to hide away at your desk, only sharing pictures of each finished piece instead of you and your artistic process you’re depriving your followers of 75% of the story.
Your history, your inspiration, your thought process behind each piece, your triumphs AND your failures all create a narrative that your followers are hungry for. By giving your followers an insight into your day, you’re inviting them along on the creative journey.
It could be something as simple as showing a before and after shot of how messy your workshop gets throughout the day. Something as quick as sharing 5 personal facts about yourself on Instagram stories. You could even own up to the tiny mistakes you make along the way and show how you incorporate them into each piece… via a video, which means people will actually hear your voice! Shock horror.
Don’t wait until you’ve ‘made it
Maybe this is the sort of thing you think you don’t have to worry about until you’ve ‘made it’ and if so, I have some bad news. Sharing who you are as an artist is how you’re going to make it. It’s what sets you apart.
People might not just recommend your work, they’ll start to recommend you personal. Why? Because only you can be you.
Maybe they love your work, but they’ll only tell their friends about you when you post something hilariously relatable to them.
They might have loved your last print run, but it was only when they discovered how you came up with the idea and how long it took you in the workshop before they were motivated to buy and understand the value.
Even your customers, those who you think already ‘get you’, will be compelled to show off the work they’ve purchased when you really give them something to talk about.
When you start to tell your own story, people feel like they’re part of your work. They feel compelled to share your tale.
So pull back the curtains. Step outside your comfort zone and let your followers in.