We believe that artists need to be able to connect with one another to share information and resources, to collaborate with one another, and to inspire each other. It’s great to be able to connect with your local community, but physical proximity isn’t a possibility for some artists depending on geographical location, physical ability, or discipline. You might be the only harpist in your town, or unable to physically attend meetings or classes in your area.
For artists and arts organizations, posting on social media is important. Social media, whichever platform(s) you choose, will help you raise awareness about your work, keep your audience engaged with you between performances or other big events, let you connect more deeply to your creative community, and ultimately drive sales and fundraising donations. A successful social media strategy requires regular posting, which leads to a big question for many artists. What to post?
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For many artists, Instagram is the social media site where you spend the bulk of your time. It is a visual platform that allows you to post images with captions, stories that disappear after 24 hours, Reels (which are similar to TikToks), longer videos on IGTV, and even livestreams. You can even have a webstore on Instagram. We’ve seen artists conduct sales, performances, and interviews using Instagram. For more of an introduction, check out our social media basics and our coverage of different social media platforms for artists.
A few months ago, we announced the launch of our online community for artists, the Creative Outpost. It’s a space for artists to connect with one another, crowdsource solutions to challenges you might run into, and to share inspiration and ideas. We are building the Creative Outpost because we believe that community is essential for artists and for a thriving and just arts sector.
Our mission at Fractured Atlas is to support artists, to help you manage some of the administrative or bureaucratic tasks that are required to support your life as a creative. In addition to our fiscal sponsorship program that allows artists to receive some of the benefits of our 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, fundraise using our platform, and apply for a wider range of grants, we also assist artists looking to receive visas to the United States. We provide artists with peer letters of support as experts in the field of the arts.
Social media helps artists connect with your audience and to expand it. You can use social media to keep in touch with people who have already engaged with your work by attending a show or purchasing a piece. You can use it to let your family, friends, and professional network know about your creative practice. You can share your work, upcoming events, fundraising efforts, and more. Artists often connect with one another on social media, staying inspired by each other’s work and sharing tips for navigating the art world together.
Social media is in many ways ubiquitous. It’s how people stay in touch with far away friends, family, and colleagues. It’s how many of us find out about art events, political happenings, and show ourselves off on the days when we are really, as they say, feeling ourselves.
As an artist, you are always working with other people. You might be working collaboratively to put on a performance or create an interactive installation. You might hire a freelancer or work as a freelancer. But even if your work doesn’t appear to be collaborative, you are probably still working with other people. You might rent a studio or performance space or work with a retail location or gallery. For example, my work as a ceramicist is very independent in terms of the creative process, but I still am a member of a shared studio space and sell my work at a neighborhood shop.
For many artists, fundraising is the way that you get your work financially supported. Through strategies like crowdfunding campaigns, grant applications, membership drives, and end-of-year appeals, fundraising can help you secure the financial resources to realize your creative vision. While fundraising isn’t the only way for artists to bring in funding, it can be an important part of your life as a working creative.
In the face of economic uncertainty, the ravages of the gig economy, layoffs and closures related to the pandemic, and to overall austerity related to the arts and culture sector, artists need better economies. We need ways to build sustainable creative practices, to really own the value of our labor, and to build collective power. We need better ways to make a living as an artist beyond the uncertainty of freelancing and the constant need to fundraise and write grants.