Written by Molly Egan
As if creating work isn’t difficult enough, promoting it and gaining attention is a whole other animal. I’d be lying if I told you that I have it all figured out, but I have learned from successes and failures along the way. Here are a few tips that have really helped me get my work out there.
1. Create as much work as possible
I honestly believe that you have to make a lot of not-so-great work before you start making great work. The only way you can get better and evolve as an artist is by continuously making work and challenging yourself. It can be difficult when life gets in the way, but if you truly want to get out there you have to dedicate as much of your free time as possible to creating. When you make good work, people will absolutely pay attention.
Check out Molly’s Youtube for her sketchbook flip throughs at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSrHorSiwLc
2. Use Instagram
Instagram has been a huge help to developing my business. I’ve gotten freelance work, sell items in my online shop, and have made a support system of artists across the world from it. So many people that use Instagram are interested in following artists, which makes it a perfect platform to get involved in.
A. Post Consistently
Creating as much work as possible ties back into this idea. It seems like the more you post on Instagram, the more favorable you become with Instagram’s algorithm. If you can, try to post something once a day. If you miss a day, it’s not the end of the world! But I can tell you from experience, it really helps to be active.
B. Post Well Lit, Interesting Photos
Instagram is all about the pictures. I’m a photographer by no means, but I do what I can to create an image I think looks interesting. Avoid taking pictures at night, and instead wait until the morning to shoot with daylight. I also like having a backdrop for my work. I actually go to AC Moore and buy cheap scrapbook papers in different colors to add a but of interest to my photos. I think it’s important to note that I don’t use any fancy equipment at all. I just use my window, scrapbook paper, and my iPhone.
C. Instagram Challenges
Instagram challenges can be a lot of fun! Not only do they help you artistically, but they can also introduce a lot of people to your work that are following the challenge. The 100 day challenge is very popular, and it’s going on now! Definitely not too late to start 🙂 Last year, I did 100 days of mini sketchbooks and had a blast. I enjoyed it so much that I looked for more small sketchbooks and found Pentalic! Now I use my Pentalic Traveler Pocket Journals to do a mini sketchbook spread once or twice a week 🙂
D. Meet People
Instagram can be a great community to meet and interact with artists that aren’t in your immediate area. It’s fun to chat with people that are in the same field and bounce opinions off each other. It can also be helpful if you share their work and they share yours!
3. Even More Social Media
About a month ago, I started experimenting with YouTube to share timelapses of my work. It’s so different from Instagram, but I’m enjoying the challenge of something new that has the possibility of reaching an entirely different community. Other good platforms to for artists are: Dribble, Behance, Tumblr, etc.
Go to Molly’s Youtube channel Mollytheillustrator to see her timelapse videos at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyNzrN8MlbY
4. Enjoy Yourself
If you aren’t having a good time creating work and sharing it, it’s absolutely going to show. This field is super competitive, but it’s worth all of the hard work if you are truly enjoying it. Have fun and work hard and you are bound to have success.
See more of Molly’s amazing work on her Instagram @mollytheillustrator