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How Social Media has transformed the Art industry for Artists

Historically, the great painters and artists could only hope to get discovered, then were dependent on benefactors such as the church or royalty to support them and finance their work.  In today’s Art World, an artist needs to show their work in as many places as possible, establish themselves as serious members of the Art Community, try to get good press from art critics, and work their way up the gallery system while doing everything they can to sell their work.  Their success or failure as an artist depends on how well they market themselves and their work.   That marketing process has been transformed by the emergence of Social Media.

Seventeen year old  Hamilton Artist Josh Tiessen is an example of the next generation of artists using Social Media to promote his work and himself as an artist. On his website you can read his bio and CV, keep abreast of his exhibits, link to his YouTube videos and purchase his paintings.  He still exhibits at local galleries and is active in the local art scene showing how the old and the new can work hand in hand.  He even used the above video on YouTube to ask supporters to vote for him in the “So you want to be an artist?” competition.  As a result, it will be hung in the National Art Gallery!

Like Josh, serious Visual Artists … painters, sculptors, photographers, etc. …  are taking full advantage of the internet to get themselves known, to promote their work and to sell their art online.  Most have their own websites, many blog, show their work on Pinterest, post videos on YouTube and use all the other online marketing tools that any other business has at its disposal.  They need to establish themselves in the Art World, and are using Social Media to gain exposure and build relationships in that world.

An Artist’s success hinges on getting as much exposure for their Art as possible.  Once again, in the Art World as in the Business World, the internet is playing a major part in this process.

Next time, we’ll look at how Social Media has changed the Art Industry for Art Galleries.

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