Sharing is Caring – How to help an artist
Image by Ed Quast.
A large proportion of my friends are struggling artists and I hasten to emphasize the word struggling. They are photographers, musicians, filmmakers, writers, actors, poets or some sweet creative combination of the above. They are also, though their twitter won’t admit it, part time bar staff, self-employed caterers or working on zero hours contracts in retail. They are the kind of people that make really good homemade presents, which is fortunate as this is definitely what their friends and family get for Christmas.
This, however, is not a post about the plight of the struggling artist. I mean these guys are not struggling in any real sense. In fact they mostly come from fairly fortunate backgrounds, are generally well educated and will no doubt slot into the workforce somewhere, eventually earning enough money to go on biannual holidays and sustain their commonly held addictions to guacamole.
The only respect that these guys are struggling in is that they cannot get a big enough audience for their creative work. They are talented, in some cases really talented, and yet their work is not getting out there as much as it could be. Here is where the purpose of this post becomes clear: The fact is that none of us do enough to help our friends out in sharing their work online.
The importance of an online presence for any creative these days cannot be overstated. Social Media is where an artist’s work is viewed, read, listened to, judged, scorned, praised, bought and sold. All of my artist friends are well aware of this and I have put links at the bottom to some of their various websites. However getting people who are outside of their friendship group to see their online portfolios is a challenge, which, in order for them to overcome, often relies on their friends to do one thing – click share.
Picture Facebook for example in terms of circles, which get bigger as you go outwards like growth rings in a tree trunk, and then imagine the artist in the middle. When she shares her work it reaches the first circle, her friends, but for it to reach the next circle relies on her friends sharing her original link themselves. The second circle is still somehow connected with the artist at the middle, however tenuously. They are friends of friends and therefore still somewhat emotionally invested in the success of the artist. Only when these friends of friends share the work does it reach circle three, people that are in no way connected to the artist. These people will share something purely on the merit of what they are watching/reading/listening to. If they do share it then essentially the work has gone viral.
Maybe I overestimate how talented my friends are. Maybe when their work reaches the third ring it would be scoffed at or ignored. But that’s beside the point; the point is that we don’t help our friends get to that stage of review. How hard is it to click share on facebook? The answer of course is not at all.
So help them out. Who knows, maybe you’ll get a nice homemade collage for Christmas. 😉
People you should check out:
Lemon People – Collective: http://www.wearelemonpeople.com/
Fil – Photographer: http://filmawiphotography.com/
Ed – Photographer: https://www.flickr.com/photos/edwinquast/
Boris & Jack – Filmmakers: http://www.deadbeatfilms.co.uk/
Megan – Photographer: http://www.mkeagles.co.uk/
Joe – Poet: http://www.josephalanhodgson.tumblr.com/
Matt – Actor: http://www.peculius.com/handlebards.html
Lily – Photographer: http://lilyrosethomas.com/
Will – Artist: http://williamboydart.weebly.com/
Elliot – Musician: https://soundcloud.com/antimatterpeople
Sam – Photographer http://www.samhushon.com/
Laura – Photographer: http://lauralittle.co.uk/
Megan – Stylist: http://www.hungertv.com/feature/young-blood-6/
Joe – Tattoo Artist: http://instagram.com/harperjoseph/
Felix – Filmmaker: http://www.hausofmagdalen.com/