WHAT SEPARATES POPULAR ARTISTS FROM THE REST! [How to Get Your Art NOTICED FINALLY]
Hey everybody, it’s LavenderTowne and today I’m going to talk to you about how to get your art noticed on the Internet and how to build a fan base. A lot of people think that you get a fan base when your art is good enough, and yes, that is one piece of the puzzle, of course, but believe it or not there’s actually a lot more to it. Just being good at art will not get you a fan base instantly unless you’re really lucky. I’m gonna give you some tips and tricks that have worked for me in the past, so let’s get started. So, people say that the internet gives everyone a voice but sometimes when you’re posting your work online it can feel a bit like just shouting into a void where anything you make gets swept away by the amount of posts that everyone else makes and that it’s actually really hard to get noticed by anyone on the internet and I definitely felt this way when I was a younger artist and I was first starting to post my work online. For me, my first website I was really trying to post on to was deviantART and deviantART works the way a lot of sites work where you post your work online and you show up on like a brand new page or whatever. And your work will show up at the top of this, like, ‘What’s New’ section for one millisecond and then it will quickly be drowned by other posts and it can start to feel really impossible to find any sort of audience online because there’s just so many people posting. And especially on a site like Instagram or something like that where there are literally celebrities and just everyone and their mom has an Instagram, it can seem really difficult to get out there and be noticed whatsoever. I’ve noticed three main reactions that people tend to have when their art isn’t doing that well on the internet. Basically, the three different ways that people explain to themselves why this is happening. The first one and I think the most common one is the self-deprecating one where you say, “Well, my art isn’t doing well on the internet because I’m just not good enough yet so I’m just gonna keep practicing and then eventually when I’m a good enough artist, I will become popular.” This is something that I thought for a long time and I just thought, you know, that It’ll just happen as soon as I get good enough, I’ll get the exposure that I want. Another sort of approach that people have sometimes is they get really angry at people who are successful. They look for flaws in popular artists and basically, just get really frustrated and say, “Well this is this is nonsense. People don’t have a good sense of what should be popular or not and my art should be more popular than this artist because they draw the same thing over and over again or my art should be more popular than this artist because the way they do this is weird,” or something like that. This is sort of the angry lash out approach. The last approach I see a lot is sometimes people just explain it away by saying well, it’s all luck based. Either you get lucky or you don’t. Well, the last one is partially true. There’s a lot of luck involved with getting your work out there. There’s also a lot of things you can actually do to be proactive about making sure that your work is out there in the right way. The first thing I want to talk about is how you build your page. Now whether you’re on Tumblr, or Instagram, or Facebook, or wherever it is, you want to start off with a clean slate. Do not use your own private account that you were previously just using for jokes and, you know messaging with friends and stuff like that. You do not want to use something like that for a couple different reasons. First of all, it really muddies the look of your page and if someone sees your art and likes it and clicks to your page and then sees a bunch of, like, memes and random stuff that they’re not interested in, or fandom content for like an anime they don’t like, they’re not gonna follow you. Even if your art what is working for them, and that’s such a shame. There’s no reason that should happen Everyone should have a personal and an art blog or you know, whatever it is. An art Twitter, an art Instagram, because then, you know, you’re not narrowing the scope of who can follow you by your fandoms and by your sense of humor. You don’t want to do that. You want your art to be able to stand on its own and survive on its own and it actually really helps people follow you without having to worry about liking all these other things that you happen to like. Also, if you do get popular, there’s a perfect chance that someone’s going to go through your entire Instagram, or your entire Twitter, and then see it back when it wasn’t an art blog and there’s probably stuff in there that would make you feel really embarrassed or that doesn’t represent you well today. Also, it just really helps out the aesthetic if you keep your art separate because posting pictures of your, like, Taco Bell lunch sometimes doesn’t go well with, like, ethereal pictures of angels and stuff like that. You just want to keep it all, keep it all separate. And obviously you can still have lots of personality in the description of your picture or anything like that. I’m not suggesting that you, like, hide who you are or anything like that. I’m just saying, you know, people want to follow a blog that’s going to consistently show them art. Not a blog that’s gonna have, like, some blurry pictures of your friends and stuff like that. I mean, if they do want to follow that you can obviously have your personal blog open to the public as well. But, at least this way, it can be a choice that your audience can make. On this note, I also recommend you looking at your art in the thumbnail format and seeing if they all look good next to each other. Are you drawing pictures that have a color scheme that go together? Now, this is kind of an upper level kind of concept and some people really don’t like doing this because obviously you want to post art that you believe in you don’t want to be locked into an aesthetic or something just because the previous picture you did had certain colors or whatever like that. And, yeah, try to make sure that your work is looking comprehensive together., if not all in the same like color scheme or something like that. It could at least be stylistically similar. I don’t recommend having, like, watercolor landscapes next to you know, a digital cartoon drawing, next to a figure drawing or something like that. While that can work for some people, I’ve found that in general, people want to see stylistic consistency. The next thing that makes a huge difference on how much people are seeing your art, is paying attention to how it looks in thumbnail. Now the thumbnail is basically just the small, sometimes cropped version of your image that websites show to people. So, like, if you put your image in a tag and then someone’s scrolling through that tag They will see a thumbnail of your image And if the thumbnail looks bad, It doesn’t matter how beautiful the actual image looks, because they’ll never see it because they’ll never click on it. So, the most important thing actually to getting your art seen is the thumbnail, not the image itself, which is crazy. This is something that took me forever to figure out and it’s really frustrating to look back on now because it’s a relatively simple thing to figure out. The first thing you want to make sure of is to make sure that however the thumbnail is presented, usually a square, your image fits well within that square. If you have a really wide or really tall image, it’s going to be cropped awkwardly, or it’s going to be shown really really tiny within a square with giant white borders around it. You do not want either of those things to happen. The other thing you want to make sure of is that there’s strong shape language and silhouette. This is something I’ve talked about extensively in my creature creation video, so you can check that out if you’d like. I’ll put it up in the card in the corner. But anyway, basically, it just means that there are big shapes of, like, color and darkness and light that allow people to see at a small size what your image is going to be all about. Because the little details are going to turn into a pixelated mush when it gets shrunk down small for the thumbnail, so you need something else to properly represent your image when it’s in that small size. Now, I’m doing two different versions of this vampire girl, one of which has a big black coffin behind her so that she’s really popping out and one that doesn’t, and you can see that when they’re shrunk down small you can’t really see much of her unless you have something dark like that behind her that really carves her shape out and shows it better when it’s at such a small size. This next point may be an obvious one, and I’m sorry if it’s something you already knew, but, I know that there’s definitely some people out there who try to do the whole, like, sub4sub, please check out my channel kind of comments on other people’s art, or a video, or whatever it happens to be. Now, I don’t get mad when people do this kind of thing, but, it is something that can frustrate some other artists, and it basically never works. asking someone straight out just to check out your channel is usually something that is met with annoyance by other people and it really, even if it did work, it would only reach like a handful of people. It’s not enough to really build a fan base. What you want to do instead is to just focus inward on the art itself. When you’re trying to create an appeal for it, just try to make sure that it’s something that you would be interested in. So, try to look critically at your own work in your own page and try to imagine that you’re seeing it for the first time and you are a stranger to it. You don’t know how much time was put into the art You’re just literally looking at it as a consumer. Is something that would be interesting to you? Is this something that’s polished, enough or fun enough, or whatever, that you would click on it and want to stick around for more? These are the kind of questions that will really make you appealing to your audience and grow your audience in a way that begging for attention will never ever do. So, then, how do you reach new people, you might be asking? Well, the secret is, basically, fan art. I mean, this is only partially a joke. I really think that getting into the right tags can make a huge difference in introducing people to your art. Obviously, It’s really hard to get that snowballing effect of enthusiasm from your fans pushing out to new people when you don’t have any fans, so there’s really nothing wrong with trying to get into the right tags and finding new people that way. I don’t recommend just doing fan art for whatever’s popular if you’re not actually into it. Try to find something that you actually care about and then make art about that. And, then the fan art that you make can actually be the introduction to your style that people need in order to get interested into your original art and original characters. I’ve seen it time and time again, I see some fan art for something that I love and I’m like, “this is amazing,” and, “oh my gosh I love this style,” and then I end up following that person and being more interested in their art than I ever was in the character of the TV show or whatever it was that originally drew me to them. Fan art can be a great bridge to new people and it can be a great way to introduce people to your work. And, there’s really nothing better than giving someone essentially a gift. I mean, when you see really great fan art it feels like the artist is giving you something. And, that’s the impression you want your audience to have rather than this idea that they could do you a favor by checking out your art. You don’t want people’s to have to be doing you a favor to check out your art. You want them to be genuinely interested. So, getting that genuine interest is way better than asking for it. So, I really believe in these tips and tricks and I think that if you guys start using them you will see a difference in how many people are seeing your work and how well your work is doing online. But I think now I should probably give a disclaimer about popularity on the Internet and how much it is actually worth. Now, I think it is super important and it can even be your career, obviously, I’m an example of this. If you can get enough interest in your work, you can really, um- you can really do great things and really be very successful just based on internet popularity. However, there is a dark side to all of this and I want you guys to be prepared for that if this is something that you’re going to really try to make happen for yourself. Constantly getting comments about your work, and constantly getting feedback all the time, and getting really trapped in the numbers of it all can be detrimental and it can make people feel a little bit bad. Especially if you get used to a certain number on something, and then it goes down, or if you start getting too much criticism one way or another, it can really get inside your head. And, You need to make sure that you’re grounded and that you understand what you want to do with your work and how much other people’s opinions should matter to you. You don’t want to start to only feel good about your work when you’re getting praised for it online. And, there should still be art that you keep for yourself. This is something that you can really fall into a trap of, and feel, like, this sense of obligation and this heavy weight of all these eyes on you, and it’s something you have to make sure that doesn’t suck all the fun out of what you’re doing. I also recommend making sure that the way that you talk to other artists online is something that you carefully consider. There’s a lot of, like, weird bullying and saying that stuff is cringy, or telling people that the way that they draw a character is wrong, or something like that. I think we should all be a little bit gentler on each other, because I really don’t like seeing young artists getting discouraged on the Internet, especially for silly stuff like, I don’t know, fandom stuff and things like that. Like, let’s just try to be encouraging to each other and just realize that we’re all trying to learn and trying to be our best and, yeah, that that has value in and of itself. So, anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed this video. I hope it was helpful this is the kind of video that I had always wanted to see when I was younger because I really really had a lot of misconceptions about how popularity on the internet worked. And, yeah. Good luck to all of you in your endeavors and I will see you next week. Thank you to all of my patrons including Scott Peterson, Christy Stewart, paint Hamill, TheArtsyMoose, Elizabeth Alban, complim hone, trashomaniac, Micah Dactyl, Okamorei, Matthew Kincaid, left, sergeant pendulum, Shiori, Lena Christine, DaSweet12 He was, taka, lovely, Lachlan MD, Mystic, Enzo Joubert, Ya boy ST, JJ Jade, Le-Blehblehbleh, and a D visual.