Speaking from personal experience, the only really important thing people told me to do as an artist was marketing. But while this may be true, it shouldn’t become the only thing we do as creatives.
I have been sucked into this bottomless pit of self-branding, self-promotion and social media; and after almost a year of pushing in this direction I have to say it just doesn’t work as a primary focus point of any artistic career — at least not for anybody I know.
My point is: while marketing is immensely important, it is not and should not be the main agenda on the table for us creatives. I mean, that’s why we’re creatives and not marketeers! But I feel a lot of us tend to overdo it (I know I did in the past months) and just push and repurpose our content a thousand times over, without really making anything new.
And this weird amalgamation of a long creative hiatus coupled with still working 10 hours a day is horribly destructive, because it gives us the impression that we are working, while in reality we aren’t really producing anything.
Yesterday I actually caught myself wanting to upload something on my social media and finding that I had nothing at all left and striating to repurpose old images and it struck me: I am a painter and photographer and content should’ve been the least of my concerns!
But alas, I had nothing.
Now, after an intense period of introspection, I have decided to push hard against this steady decline in production and to focus much more on creation of art and documentation of the process.
So, my message to anyone who might be intensely building up their media presence:
Do it; surely people need to know that you exist, for your art business to flourish. But do not overdo it. Focus on creating, not so much on theory or the whole support structure of your craft (unless you have none, then surely this should be addressed as soon as possible), and just prioritise your art and create as much as possible and as regularly as you can.
It’s so easy to think you’re creating, when in reality you’re just making YouTube thumbnails and Instagram posts, while the real works that made you become an artist in the first place silently start to gather dust. I guess sometimes we just lose sight of the forest for the trees.