As many people know, or have at least noticed, it has become increasingly difficult to see the content you want to see on Facebook. Our newsfeeds are becoming littered with promoted posts from large corporate companies that can spare the insane amount of money to compete to show up in between posts our friends make. Like many others, I’m extremely irritated by this, and feel like Facebook has betrayed the millions of small businesses that have made Facebook their social media home base. I am one of those directly affected. As of this moment, I have 6,355 likes on my facebook page. Six months ago, this felt like a huge accomplishment because those numbers really mattered. I could count on a post reaching more than half of those people. Those people have already done what they needed to do to in order to be made aware of new updates: a simple click on the “like” button. Now? The process to stay updated is so complicated, I couldn’t tell you what magical order of clicks it takes to have a fan make sure my posts show up in their feed. When I post now, an average link with a small blurb reaches a little over 1,000 people and receives an average of 20 likes. My admin panel infuriates me. I used to be able to view recent likes. If a bunch of likes came in, I knew that someone shared my page link somewhere, and I could go check that out. If the amount of new likes was slim, I was reminded that I needed to post more content. Now it’s covered up by an ad to make ads. I can’t figure out how to hide this, and now every time I visit my page, I am reminded that, unless I want to spend an obscene amount of money, reaching my audience is near hopeless.
I really enjoy the business side of being an artist. My knack for marketing is largely responsible for how I’m able to continue making a living as a self employed artist, but since Facebook has pretty much wiped out the large part of my fanbase from seeing anything I post, my sales and support have dropped significantly. I am really hoping to be able to make it to a full year as a self employed artist and illustrator, but a large chunk of that income has typically been from print sales. Facebook has directly impacted that. It’s not all about sales, of course, but let’s be real: the more exposure I receive, the better my chances are of sales of original paintings, prints, and bringing in new commissions, and the better chance I can continue to do what I love for a living. I mean, you guys — I’m living my dream. And I want to maintain this as long as I can.
So, I have a few links to share. These are in the order of most updated to least.
- My Instagram account. Yes, I post some photos of my cats (um, they’re adorable), but I also post a lot of in-progress photos of current work. This is the best way to keep up with my work right now.
- My Twitter account. Assuming you check yours often, I cross post almost everything from my Instagram, and all of my Facebook posts to Twitter.
- My Personal Facebook account. I have thought long and hard about sharing this, but I realize that if you choose to follow my account, the chances you will see my public posts–which include all important art related announcements and new work–are significantly higher than seeing posts from my page. Please realize that if you send me a friend request and I have not interacted with you on a personal level, I probably won’t accept your request. It’s a personal account for a reason, and I like to maintain a level of privacy. I hope you understand!
- My Email Newsletter. You can sign up from my homepage! Just scroll to the bottom left corner. I intend to make better use of this, but I’ve typically only used it to make important announcements, and have sent out a newsletter no more than once a month. If you check your email, this is a surefire way to be made aware of important updates.
- My DeviantART account. If you just want to be made aware of new work and not other fun updates, this is the place to be following me.
- My Tumblr account. I post a lot of things that inspire me, and my new work when I have it. I only use it when I’m either bored or looking for inspiration.
- And, of course, feel free to subscribe to my blog posts. I will also be doing my best to make more frequent and better posts.
This is possibly the best time yet to be a self-employed artist because of the internet and being able to directly influence your own exposure, and I am thrilled to be able to make the best of that. I am also endlessly grateful to those who follow my work, support me, and especially those who are able to purchase prints or originals, or commission me. I certainly wouldn’t be able to make the work I am today without you.
I am currently creating work for my upcoming solo show at Subtext Gallery in San Diego, California, opening May 3rd. I feel that this new body of work is more raw, emotional, and frankly, stranger than my previous work. My entire self is involved in creating these pieces, and they are directly drawn from my own struggles with conflict, weakness, and anxiety. I can’t wait to share it with you! Please consider purchasing prints in the meantime, as I have put many of them on sale to help maintain a livable income while I commit myself to creating this new body of work. Pending sales, I am doing my best to find a way to fly out to San Diego for my opening.
You can visit my online shop at this link. I have just added one new print and three original paintings. Several other prints and originals have been put on sale as well. As always, sharing this post (buttons are below!), the new additions to my shop, and your enthusiasm is extremely appreciated. I couldn’t do this without you. <3
When my solo show work is complete, I will then be working on illustrating a novel my husband has written. We will be taking it to Kickstarter in an effort to self publish, so please keep an eye out for that in the late summer.