I’ve been trying to simplify all areas of my life, weeding out the stuff that doesn’t work so I have more time to do the work I love. I was appalled to find I still had a MySpace page, something I’d completely forgotten about. Was there a time when this was a cool thing to have? I kind of doubt it–I can’t even remember ever using it, although I must have, at some point. Then there were the four blogs, both a Facebook profile and a fan page, Flickr, Twitter, YouTube–just on and on. I weeded out as much as I could, sacrificing links to other sites and really trying to consolidate what was out there so I didn’t have that cloud over my head–you know, the one full of obligation and guilt for not updating stuff. I hate that.
And in the process, I realized that if this is an issue for me, it’s even more of an issue for artists who use their online presence as a way to get noticed and to make contacts and just generally get their work out there. The internet can be fabulous for that, but you really need to know where to focus because there’s just no way to keep up with all of it unless you have an assistant. So I asked some of the top editors: where do you go to look for new talent? Here’s what they had to say–excellent information and a peek into the way they do what they do.
First, Tonia Davenport (soon to be known as Tonia Jenny). She is the Senior Content Developer for North Light Mixed Media Books and she finds talented, creative people to publish books as well as to share interesting information on CreateMixedMedia.com.
The first place I go is Flickr, most of the time. When I’m looking for
something new, I usually have a general idea of the kind of artwork I’m
looking for (collage, assemblage, etc.), and so it’s easy for me to go on
there and do a general search for that type of artwork. From there, I’m able
to find groups with great artists in them and look at artists’ favorite
pictures. Any time I’m searching for artwork or artists, whether it be on
blogs, websites, etc., it’s a bit like slipping down the rabbithole. One
thing leads to another, and suddenly I’ve been looking at artwork for the
photostream (which isn’t difficult, as you can upload your blog pictures and
have them post to Flickr automatically), and also maintain a website. The
reason for this is that websites are a great way to show who you are as an
artist. Make sure your website has links to your blog, Flickr, and anywhere
else you are present online. Also be sure to have a clear-cut and easy way
for someone to contact you.
Places you never look?
For me, I use Facebook for fun. The more friends you have, the more “stuff”
you have to wade through. Occasionally I’ll find artwork on there, but I
don’t seek it out on Facebook.
first? Blogs (via Google or Facebook). Make sure to tag photos and articles so that a Google search will find you! I also love looking through our online galleries at clothpaperscissors.com and online stores like Etsy. And probably most importantly, my submissions inbox firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beth Livesay is the editor of five magazines at Stampington & Company and her writing has appeared in many other print and web publications. To learn more about her, visit www.coutureovercoffee.blogspot.com.
When you’re looking for new art, new artists, new ideas, where do you go
first? This is a horrible answer: I don’t go any one place first. Honestly, I go to the places I personally enjoy going for myself (Etsy, Pinterest, FB, Blogland, Twitter, Instagram) and I find things there while on my daily morning routines. Sometimes my colleagues send me things from a number of places on the Web, but I’ve gotten to a place where I don’t need to Google “altered artwear” etc. I would encourage artists to keep up with whatever media they feel compelled to as routinely as they will allow themselves. The best, most direct way, that is given a first priority for making contact is email. I always turn on my inbox first thing in the morning and I answer every email. Best to approach me. It’s a guaranteed way of getting seen and heard than hoping I discover you on the Internet (although it’s possible).
If an artist has time for only a limited online presence, where would you recommend they spend their time posting their work? A blog? Website? Flickr? And why do you recommend those? I suppose a blog or a website are best because I feel like a Facebook is more personal. I associate a blog or site with professionalism and a greater canvas to showcase work, process and social media platforms etc.
Places you never look?I don’t ever look at Myspace or Google Plus. There might be other social media forums that I’m not aware of too … I admit that.
As you can see, preferences vary, and it’s great to get an idea of where people are looking and where you might want to focus your time and energy. If you still have a MySpace page? Good luck there: I just now discovered that my account hadn’t actually been canceled: my email address had changed, and the confirmation of cancellation email didn’t go through. Trying again, though, and hoping it goes more smoothly for you~~
MORE RESOURCES FOR MIXED MEDIA ARTISTS