Varoom 32 – The New Social extra

 

Career boosting, selling platform, discussion generating – social media for freelancers has much to offer. Derek Brazell got expert insight from six illustrators prominent on various social media platforms for The New issue of Varoom, asking questions on the pros and cons, benefits, interactions and audiences, revealing the gains, the frustrations and contrasting takes on selfies.

Here is exclusive unseen content, not included in the magazine, from Ping Zhu, Frannerd, Cachetejack, Holly Exley and Sarah McIntyre.

Read the full article in Varoom 32 The New out now

 

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Ping Zhu

Do you need to commit significant time to social media? Do you use any time saving platforms such as Hootsuite?

I’m not familiar with Hootsuite but I also don’t set aside time specifically for social media. It’s been a very natural extension of my thoughts and process, casual and professional, and I usually engage when I feel that there is something to show or say. My hope is that it reflects who I am for the most part as a person for those who haven’t met me- I try to be conscious of how much I’m editing for the Internet- so when and if we do, it’s not a huge shock. Although for people who are naturally more uncomfortable in social gatherings, I feel it’s also a good practice to be able to engage with others in a way you feel most fitting.

 

Have there been any negative aspects to your social media success? Do you believe there should be appropriate behaviour/etiquette on social media?

There are always going to be trolls who serve so little purpose in their actual lives that they feel compelled to write nonsense on your platforms. I think the golden rule still applies, because has there ever been a benefit in being unnecessarily cruel? It’s also more of a reflection of the person who is rocking the boat, which I think is sad, but I don’t like wasting my time feeling sorry for people. The ‘block’ feature is very effective!

www.pingszoo.com

 

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Frannerd

Do you need to commit significant time to social media? Do you use any time saving platforms such as Hootsuite?

Actively? I don’t think so! I only tweet when I really want to say something nice, make an announcement or reply someone else’s tweet. The same happens with Instagram; since 99% of my posts on Instagram are illustrations, I need to draw, paint and ink the illustration before I post it, and that makes me think twice before I post something. But passively, which means the time I’m reading tweets, watching videos or scrolling down Instagram and not posting anything is HUGE. But NO, you don’t need to commit a significant amount of time in order to have an online presence. The idea of those platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, Snapchat and so on) is that they allow us to share our thoughts, projects, ideas, behind the scenes and the things we do and love. But if we spend all of our time there, what time is left for actually creating? As creators we need quiet time from social media every day. I’m not even saying “turn off your cell phone and don’t look back at it until the end of the day”. We all know our boundaries, schedules and in some way, we need to get used to work with a lot of (potential) distractions. Especially if you work from home!

Since I post content on my social media without an agenda or schedule, I don’t use any type of platform manager, but I’ve heard how useful they are. If you’re juggling with a daily structure content (like a blogger with daily posts), plus multiple social media platforms, I highly suggest you try one of those managers. 

 

What do you see as the tangible benefits of being active on social media? 

Usually all the benefits I see in social media are intangible: I get to know my audience more (and they get to know me), you build a relationship based on trust and transparency, and you help growing a community. 

All the tangible benefits comes from those intangible experiences: since you have a presence on social media you might get more job opportunities or commissions, more sales on your online shop or now, for example, I’ve been really really lucky on my Patreon page, where people are helping me by supporting my work. 

www.frannerd.cl

www.youtube.com/user/frannerd13

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Cachetejack

Do you need to commit significant time to social media?

We try to post something everyday (social media spreads pressure) but this is done in few minutes. For the most part of the day we are working on our personal projects and commissions. We’re conscious of life, time and enjoyment so we don’t want to feel trapped in technology. We want our work to talk about us, so there is no other way than working hard!

Have there been any negative aspects to your social media success? Do you believe there should be appropriate behaviour/etiquette on social media?

We dont like to enter in this etiquette of filters and cool hashtag. We are just active to show our work, but we are not thinking about success, we just want to keep in touch with creatives and keep doing what we like more always being honest with ourselves.

Some brands companies offered us to make advertisement with them just because of number of followers and we have rejected that approach because we feel it is not professional and moral for us. We want to be part of the illustrators’ community because it’s our profession, we are not playing a role about “how I want to show my life to others”.

www.cachetejack.com

 

 

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Holly Exley

What do you see as the tangible benefits of being active on social media? 

It’s a world-wide, easily accessible, free platform to share new work and build an audience. My audience have continued to support my small business by buying prints, paintings and promoting my work which has led directly to securing commissions. 

 

Platforms such as Behance and The Dots, have differing offers but many are aiming to become relevant for creatives by making it possible to have free portfolios of work. LinkedIn has adapted to those wishing to show visual material. 

How do you see social media and networking platforms developing in relation to your profession?

Every week I receive an email from a new site claiming to be the best portfolio site for artists, or an amazing opportunity to sell printed merchandise through their platform and I do feel like this market has become over saturated. There are so many new sites wanting to make money from the increasing popularity of illustrated goods and the interest in independent artists. I feel like it’s important to be selective, and know that you don’t need to buy into all of these schemes. Social media is all about individuality – promote your work in a creative way and it will stand out. 

I started my channel last year having watched Youtube videos for years. I thought it was a great platform to make creative content and build an audience on a more personal level and hopefully make better connections. I saw there was a bit of a gap in the market for videos for and about artists and set up my channel to record parts of my daily life to those who might be interested in a career in illustration.

Video making is quite time-consuming and also quite nerve-wracking for one so shy, but I’ve had an amazing response so far and I like that I am able to offer advice to those just starting out in their creative careers. I have plans to build my channel further this year by making videos about freelancing, watercolours, finding clients and news from the illustration world.

www.hollyexley.com

www.youtube.com/channel

 

 

 

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Sarah McIntyre

Do you need to commit significant time to social media? Do you use any time saving platforms such as Hootsuite?

I’m sure I spend more time on it than I ought to. And I briefly tried Hootsuite, but I gave up since basic Twitter on my browser was much simpler. I don’t worry if I miss people’s tweets (there are too many to follow), I just dip in and see what’s swimming by. I have the Twitter app on my phone. I use Instagram, too, but just as a sort of dumping ground for random photos; I don’t curate it very carefully as I see some people do.  I think Instagram is all about hashtags, and I just can’t be bothered to do all that tagging. I use Pinterest for the sole purpose of keeping track of which hats I own. (I own a lot of hats.) People always try to sign me up for extra social media, but it’s too much, I can’t manage any more platforms without dropping another one.

I recently set up a second Twitter account – @StudioTeaBreak – so I could retweet all the #ShapeChallenge drawings, and the hashtag community could go back and see their artwork all in one place. I also set up a Virtual Studio web page – http://www.jabberworks.co.uk/virtual-studio/ – so people would feel more comfortable jumping right in with the drawing challenges. Sometimes people seem to feel they need permission to join in on hashtags or post their artwork, and I wanted them to feel welcome right away. But the webpage also gave me space to explain that I might not always be able to respond right away. If I start feeling a slave to Twitter, I need to take a break.

 

Platforms such as Behance and The Dots, have differing offers but many are aiming to become relevant for creatives by making it possible to have free portfolios of work. LinkedIn has adapted to those wishing to show visual material. 

How do you see social media and networking platforms developing in relation to your profession?

I hate LinkedIn; it’s awful, like bedbugs. I tried to exterminate my account and it will NEVER let me go. Stephen Collins did a hilarious cartoon about trying to escape the clutches of LinkedIn. The algorithms of Facebook feel totally lame; I don’t want to be ‘rewarded’ with exposure to my friends list for wasting half a day on it. The thing I like most about Twitter is that it’s pretty casual, there’s no expectation: I can turn up, use it, not use it, browse it, ignore it, and the Twitter stream flows by just the same. Posts with images tend to garner the most clicks and retweets, which is perfect for illustrators; images are what we do best. Sometimes being seen to be available can be a curse; people get annoyed at me when they don’t get an instant response or I don’t take up their campaign or donate to their charity.

www.jabberworks.co.uk

 

 

Read the full article in Varoom 32 The New out now

 

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7th April 2016
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