Social media and VFX Artists
This blog post is about the effects of social media on artists and how to use it properly to get the most value.
Why use Social Media?
The main goal of social media (Behance, Twitter, Artstation, Youtube, Instagram, Vimeo, Dribbble, Facebook, DeviantArt, Pinterest…) for artists is to show people what you do, what you are capable of creating and to display your creations somewhere like a museum. Especially getting feedback from artists just like you and creating a personal brand for yourself is another giant plus. Also sharing WIP (work in progress) versions of your works will let you get ideas and different opinions from other people which you may have never thought of. So why do you need to display your work and make a brand, because this’ll let you get noticed and help you find a job. It doesn’t mean that you’ll get a job because you got 1000 likes on your work. Think of sharing your works on any social platform like writing a CV for art based jobs. (Where I think a showreel or portfolio is usually more important than a CV)
As I wrote in my blog post here (LINK), to become a unique person, you’ll have to be present almost always on social media. People need to see your works, hear about what you created, read about them constantly to find your place in their minds as the go to guy for that special thing.
How to use it?
Let’s assume you made a super hero or a celebrity character model, even if it is not good, people tend to give likes to your work especially on platforms like Facebook or Instagram. People might hit the like button because they are acquainted with you or they are your friends/family or because they just like that celebrity you modeled. That is why I can even say that “giving a like” is very easy on those platforms and aren’t worth anything.
The main goal should be to get feedback from other people, not likes or views. Feedback and helpful comments from artists or filmmakers will improve an artist. You get the most value from the feedbacks of people that have the technical and artistic knowledge and from the ones that you do not know. Because if they are not acquainted with you, they’ll be honest and won’t worry about hurting your feelings. In addition, it is better if a character modeler can give remarks on your super hero character model, or an fx artist on the crowd simulation of another fx artist. I know that it is not easy to get the most valuable comment from the people you need, so you’re going to have to check each person who wrote their ideas maybe even filter out some. Another option for getting correct feedback is to send your work directly to other people in your sector (preferably the ones you know or talked to before).
One last thing is to separate your personal social media account and your work based artistic social media account. This is a way to filter the unnecessary comments or likes that can come from your distant relatives or friends. Only people that are interested in your creations and does similar stuff will follow/like/comment which is the goal for us.
Is social media good for artists?
Of course it is, you get to see different works of millions of artists from all around the world. You can get suggestions, become inspired, exchange ideas but it all comes with a cost we usually neglect and that is distraction. I am talking about the notifications that we get on our smartphones which distracts us, sometimes pulling our focus completely from our work on to our phones. (I received 4 different notifications while writing this post)
Let’s say that you have your notifications off, there is a chance that you may still find yourself watching a cat video, reading an irrelevant post or reading about the pro plan that site has to offer you, whereas a minute ago you were checking the color palette and little details of the latest work of your favorite artist.
As a conclusion, if you ask me, social media is a great source of creativity and inspiration if you can put some limits/boundaries to it and not waste your time with irrelevant stuff.
If you want to read about a very technical and statistical study paper about the art and social media (especially Instagram) check this amazing work here.