In this social-media-obsessed world, creating an online presence is tough. As much as you’d love to show off your creativity on the internet, other posts just garner all the likes and shares. And when you don’t get enough of those, social media can make you feel like your works are worthless.
Teen artists are particularly vulnerable to the detrimental effects of social media. While posting their art gives them an opportunity to develop their brand, it also cultivates an instinct in them to compare themselves to other artists. As they scroll through their feeds, they’d notice the post with the most number of Likes, and wonder why their own posts never earn as much.
If you’re a teen artist struggling to put your name out there, know that social media isn’t the only platform to showcase your art on. Sure, internet users flock to social media the most. But like a business’s product, your art also needs a specific audience. And all not audiences are found on social media.
That said, here are the ways for teen artists to develop their online presence:
1. Overcome Your Insecurities
As cliche as it sounds, you need to deal with your insecurities first if you want to put yourself out there. You have to develop a love for your art so that you can show it off proudly. If you keep finding faults in it or believing that it’ll never be good enough, you’ll stay stuck in your bubble while great opportunities pass you by.
Overcoming your insecurities starts by abandoning the habit of comparing your art to others. It’s okay to look at somebody’s art and admire it. It’s also fine to try achieving something similar to another art style. But don’t let others’ work discredit your own creativity and hard work. Just because another art looks magnificent doesn’t mean yours do not. Besides, no matter how good you become, there’s always someone better. It’s pointless to compare your work to others at the end of the day.
Practice positive self-talk to raise your confidence. Instead of saying “I’m not good enough”, or “Maybe I should just quit”, praise yourself and your work. The words you say reflect on your work and emotions. If you keep deprecating yourself, your art will keep looking mediocre in your eyes. On the contrary, if you enjoy what you do and commend your small progress and victories, you’ll learn to believe in your talent.
Surround yourself with people who support you. This may be another cliche advice, but one that never fails. Focus on creating a circle that uplifts you and hypes up your work. Emulate their positivity, and use it to fuel your creativity.
If you find yourself feeling insecure again, take a break. Frustrations are inevitable, but it’s not a reason to give up. Just rest, do something that calms you down and get back to work with a refreshed perspective. Being an artist doesn’t mean you’re confident every day. Rather, it’s being passionate and loving towards yourself and others.
2. Choose a School that Strengthens Your Talents
Your learning environment is also crucial in developing your online presence. After all, it’s your classmates and schoolmates who will usually see your art on the internet first. Hence, choose a school that places a high value on artistry.
Look into exceptional online K-12 educational programs. Your goal should be to achieve balance, meaning thorough learning in all fields, including math, sciences, language, and reading. Your art education should improve your performance in all academic subjects, like what multiple research prove.
Your passion for art shouldn’t stop you from performing well in other subjects. After all, you can also incorporate science, for example, in your art. Let say you want to raise awareness about global warming. To do that, your art should present a visual depiction of its effects, one that can engage the senses and invoke emotions.
3. Explore Other Platforms on the Internet
While you don’t have to quit social media, it’s also wise to explore other platforms. And if social media is still your top platform of choice, there are several ways to improve your presence there.
Participate in trade shows and art fairs. Every time you attend an event, distribute your business card to other attendees, especially the ones looking for art to buy. Consider submitting your art to competitions as well. Social media and other websites periodically host contests to help expose budding artists.
And if your portfolio is already diverse, create your own website. Post your works on Pinterest as well, because it’s usually where other artists find inspiration. Expand your digital presence by partnering with an existing art platform, such as Saatchi Art, Vango, Artfinder, Ugallery, or others. Choose the platform that suits your needs the best, and allows you to reach out to your desired audience.
Your online presence won’t improve overnight, so be patient and don’t stop believing in yourself. You’re still young, so you’ve got a lot of time to evolve your art and hone your skills.