The Digital Artist Toolbox
As the NFT space expands and new platforms pop up daily, artists are presented with several pressing questions: How do I get my art seen? How do I build a sustainable career? What are collectors looking for?
Let’s start with a discussion of why these considerations matter. The current hype surrounding digital art means that casual artists and amateurs are rushing in to make quick money. In many cases, these artists have not devoted themselves to becoming proficient in their craft.
This means that the seasoned artist gets easily lost in the shuffle. If an artist spends time thinking about and doing creative work, there’s little time or energy to devote to full-fledged personal branding campaigns that require multiple social media platforms and constant chatter about the space.
For the artist who wants a successful career, collectors need to be able to find great work so that they can enjoy it and legitimate artists can make a living. Going underground in an attempt to be contrarian or mysterious leaves a void where more visible (but not necessarily more talented) artists will seize the opportunities and income artists like you deserve.
The solution lies in your story. As a collector and artist advocate, I want to know you, the artist. I want to understand your journey, your process, and the context for your art. I want to understand the series and collections you create and what threads tie them together.
Your job is not merely to create great art. If you want a career, you have to court the right attention and be versed in the basics of business so you can protect yourself and advocate for yourself. This also means you have to develop the skill of articulating the narrative around you as an artist and your work.
So what does this look like practically? If you’re short on time, choose a platform, maybe two, and devote a certain amount of time each week to two key activities: building relationships and sharing your story. If you’ve only got a couple of hours, be judicious about where you spend the time.
Set goals to connect with a certain number of new people or to promote at least one of your pieces each week. Over time, you’ll see a return on this investment in time, and you can decide how and where to expand your visibility and marketing efforts. The artists who tell the best stories get the most spoils.
When building your artist persona and story, think like an observer, and answer the burning questions they have. Who are you? Where are you from? Why are you an artist? What inspires you? What is your art about?
What is your creative process? What are you for or against? Carve out the time to answer these questions for yourself then write your artist’s statement. Use this narrative everywhere you have a presence. Pin a tweet or make an Instagram highlight that tells the short version of your story. Get creative with how you share this; you’re an artist after all.
Remember to place a short and long version on your owned and operated website (i.e. yourname.com) as well. A presence on the various platforms is important, but a digital home of your own is a necessity if building a sustainable career is your goal.
In the next installment, we’ll unpack relationship building and networking.
Lisa Nicole Bell is a Los Angeles-based art collector who is leveraging her professional expertise as an entrepreneur and media producer to create resources and opportunities for digital artists and collectors.
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