It can be easy to create a piece of artwork, such as a painting, a poem, or a photograph when you’re passionate about your work.
But then what?
How do you get noticed for creating it when you’re … well … unknown–especially when there are so many people pursuing the same artistic goals?
It’s this question alone that has puzzled artists for centuries, causing many to give up exploring artistic expression all together due to the odds it presents.
But unlike the artists of yesteryear, artists today live in a self publishing world, where they have access to powerful publishing and communication tools.
How to Establish Your Profile As An Artist
With that said, let’s say you’ve just sprayed a new sketch with fixative, polished a new sculpture, or mixed a new song, but you’re not sure how to share it and establish yourself as an artist.
Create Your Home Base
Your home base will act as your main web presence. It’s the place where you’ll publish content about your journey, build a following around your work, post updates, and sell your work … it’s your blog.
To create your home base, you’ll need three things:
- Domain name — this will be the address of your blog (for example, the domain for this blog is www.creativeblogger.net)
- Web host — just like your water or electricity, hosting is a service provided on a monthly basis.
- Content management system (CMS)— this is the blogger’s command center. I’m a big fan of WordPress, but recommend you read WordPress vs. Joomla vs. Drupal before deciding for your own needs.
Once you’ve successfully created your home base, you can start establishing your profile as an artist.
Create Your Social Outposts
Chances are you already have several of these. A social outpost is simply another term for social profile, such as your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn profile. When it comes to establishing your profile as an artist, they act as one of the most important tools in your arsenal because they’re often the go to source for information when someone becomes interested in learning more about you within the network.
For example, if you post a quip from your latest poem on the wall of the poetry page on Facebook and it catches the attention of several other poets, chances are they’re going to click through to your profile before visiting your home base–this is why your social outposts are important.
The key here is to let people know you’re an artist and build as many outposts as possible–think of outposts as windows into your home base.
Publish Your Work
Many artists create incredible work, but never get around to sharing it with others–rather, they store it away to collect dust. If you can overcome this barrier and successfully leverage the space you’ve created as your home base, you’re already ahead of the majority of artists.
By creating your own home base, you don’t need to rely on magazines, shows, or trades to establish your profile as an artist, you simply need to publish your work to your home base. This isn’t to say publications and shows aren’t necessary, but rather, that you can free yourself from depending on them to advance your creative career.
As you continue to publish work, your profile as an artist will grow more and more established depending on how well you perform the next step.
Share Your Work With Friends
Once you’ve created your latest piece of art and published something about it, whether a sample of audio (if a musician) or photo, you need to share it with your friends using your choice of social platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
The best way to do this is to create a brief note about the piece you’re sharing and either post it along with a link pointing to the page or post featuring the piece or send it to a friend.
Bookmark Your Work, Find New Fans
Social bookmarking is a great way to increase traffic to your blog and further establish your profile as an artist. To bookmark your work, you must first sign up with the various bookmarking sites, such as Reddit, StumbleUpon, or Digg.
Next, you’ll need to submit, or bookmark, your own pages and posts to the bookmarking site. Pay close attention to how you tag and categorize your content, as you may be able to target readers in search of content similar to yours.
One trick I’ve found helpful in streamlining the process of bookmarking my content is to make use of my own chicklets at the foot of my content (see below, and be sure to bookmark or share this post while you’re at it). To do this, you’ll need to manually enter the code where you want the chicklets to appear or make use of a plugin, such as ShareThis.
How does it all work?
Bookmarking sites take into account how much a piece of content has been acted upon (shared, bookmarked, voted) by their users, and ranks it higher accordingly … this is why it’s a big race to reach the front page of Digg.
In essence, bookmarking sites are community-run periodical. And even if your content doesn’t reach the front page, including it alone increases your exposure and chance to find new fans.
Continue and Repeat
When it comes to establishing your profile as an artist, blogging is one of the best mediums. By continuing the process of publishing your work, sharing it with friends, and reaching out to strangers with social bookmarking, you’ll be able to establish and build your profile as an artist, build your following, and even boost sales.
There’s no right and wrong way to go about it, and a lot of times an artist finds something works especially well for them that didn’t work well for others, so be sure to experiment and explore.
I’d love to hear what type of artist you are and what’s working for you. What hasn’t worked for you and why? What is working?
creative commons image credit: rs-foto