On my trip out west this past July, I learned a lot about not only my photography but also myself. Besides the odd realization that huckleberries are great and the learned knowledge that bison loses its flavor if it is cooked past medium-rare, I realized that it is just as much my duty as it is my followers’ to support artists. To be completely honest, I am ashamed of myself that it took this long for me to come to terms with this. As artists, we often think for ourselves. How can we sell more of our work so we can feed ourselves and our talent? Is there any way we can sell our art for more money? If I go door-to-door, will I gain more followers, likes, comments on my social media accounts? Or will I gain nothing but more disappointment?
Maybe this is human nature or maybe it is just me being ultra-greedy. While I’m not sure which it is, I do know that if we are to thrive as individual artists, we must first come together as a community.
Like, Comment, Follow, Repeat
In a world ruled by social media, many of us feel we are only as good as the number of likes and comments on our social media posts. Since this does not seem to be going away anytime soon, the only way to combat it is by helping another one another. If you see a post you truly think is awesome, hit that “like” button and leave a comment if you feel so obliged. Hell, if you love that artist’s work, give them a follow – please keep this online only; do not stalk people for it is illegal – and maybe check out their website to see what they have to offer.
Speaking of websites, be sure to check out their site, provided they have one. People are obsessed with numbers so seeing just one unique visitor on their site can be enough to bring them joy. This could benefit you as well since everyone’s website is different. Maybe they have a feature or option on their website that you didn’t think of before visiting. The way they layout their work could inspire you to take another look at your website and alter it a bit. Although I do not condone copying each other completely, taking ideas and implementing them has never been a crime.
Prints, Services, Money
So I have saved the best for last. The big kahuna! When my family stopped at Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone, there was a nature photographer selling signed prints at a table. Thinking that it was David Brookover, my mom found and excitedly told me of him. Curious, I left Mel in the shop and went to see what sorts of prints were for sale. It wasn’t Brookover but I still bought two signed and personalized prints from him since I liked his work. On top of that, we traded business cards and talked a bit. And this got me thinking: why don’t artists seem to support each other more often? Why do we become so picky when buying art for ourselves yet expect everyone to buy our art no matter what?
I know this is not all of us but we as a society must start thinking about others as much as we think of ourselves. I say we support one another as best as we can. Lets create a community who supports one another not just through social media but through print sales too!