Social media is storytelling

I’m a former newspaper journalist, currently a magazine editor, and an artist. So my work and creative play are about telling stories—in writing as well as in imagery.

As I think about social media and continually explore it as part of the presentations I make to artists about using digital channels, I can clearly see that social media really is all about storytelling.

I strive to approach social media as an artist in the same way I do as a writer creating a story, asking and answering the most important questions for gathering content and presenting an interesting narrative: Who? What? When? Why? Where? How?

Who am I telling the story about—myself as an artist, as a mother, as a professional? What story am I trying to tell, what is interesting about it at the moment and what is the best way to tell that story? When do I want to tell it; when does it fit info my schedule? Why am I telling it (for collaboration, to invite opportunities, to showcase what I do, to rant about a cause)? Where should I share it? How will I know that I’m succeeding in my goals (by the number of followers, by the interactions and engagement with others, by the resulting opportunities, lots of sales)?

As artists we have a lot on our plates—creating work, designing and managing websites, writing blogs, pursuing exhibition opportunities, marketing, teaching, procrastinating, fighting off the inner critic. Social media is one more demand on our time, but it is a valuable tool for telling our own story and for supporting the work at hand. The trick is not to let it become overwhelming by developing a social media strategy.

So make a plan. Ask and answer the questions. That will help you narrow down and shape which digital platform is best for you—Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Figure out how much time you want to devote to it and when you can to fit it into your schedule, and decide what your goals are.

My story unfolds one post at a time on various platforms and websites—Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, RedBubble, Etsy.

How do you use social media and how has it helped you in sharing what you do and pursuing opportunities? Share your success tips by leaving a comment.

Preparing for holiday fair

Tonight I’m working on handmade cards for the holiday fair that is coming up on Saturday in Dorchester, Mass., at the First Parish Church. I have a lot of new holiday inspired ones that I’m very pleased with. That’s AEDM/Creative Every Day entry. After spending a good chunk of this weekend working on the “Lady in Waiting” painting, I’m taking a break from her to look at her and think about her a bit. I don’t want to rush the work this time. Stepping back will help me see a bit clearer as other artists wisely have pointed out. I really love the community that has developed through Leah’s blog. Each time I sit at my craft table or step to my easel to work, I can feel the connection of all of these artists everywhere doing the same thing, facing the same struggles. It is exhilarating.

Love/hate

Lady in waiting2OK. I’m in a love/hate relationship with my painting-in-progress. I’m not liking it right now after I added darker levels of color. It’s all so random. What am I doing? I think my Muse is on vacation. I basically found colors that I like—purples, greens, oranges and layered them on. Boy, do I hate this now. I have no idea how this will turn into a painting that I like. When I look at the image of it just one post down I love it. Why didn’t I just stop there? WAAHHH! Tell me that things will work out. Tell me that you thought that you have “ruined” a painting, kept working it and came out on the other side with something marvelous. Tell me!

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