Screenshot from Water Night by Eric Whitacre

Social Media for Artists: Promote and Inspire

Artists can utilize social media for two completely different purposes: finding inspiration for new works and getting exposure for completed works. This is true no matter what type of artist you happen to be. Musicians can collaborate via YouTube; painters can display their works and find inspiration for new projects on Pinterest. Social media can serve as an inspiration for artists and is an excellent way to expose current and (hopefully) new fans to their work. There are many artists who are using social media to their advantage, and we wanted to shine the spotlight on a few of them.


5 Social Media for Artist Examples

Lisa Lehmann, Jewelry Artist Lisa Lehmann, Jewelry Artist

Known as The Bead Girl on Etsy, Lisa designs handcrafted jewelry. She is active on Twitter and Facebook and also maintains an active blog which utilizes Google Friend Connect. Her Facebook banner and Twitter background are composed entirely of individual images of her jewelry; however, she does not limit herself to tweeting about her own work or even that of the industry.

She tweets on a wide variety of topics but does include updates, works in progress, and new offerings throughout the week.  Her blog is a mixture of personal antics and opinions interspersed with informative posts about fashion and jewelry. It has a personal feel, but effectively promotes her artistic endeavors as well.

Floating Gemstones Necklace by Lisa Lehmann

Finally, do not overlook the social component of Etsy. Within this specialized community, Lisa has cultivated a long list of admirers. (I met Lisa at the Type-A Parent Conference a few years ago, and I’m happy to say I own some of her beautiful pieces!)

R. Luke DuBois, Multimedia ArtistR. Luke DuBois, Multimedia Artist

While R. Luke DuBois does have a toe in the pool of social media, he has used it more specifically to facilitate his own artistic expression. DuBois has the obligatory Facebook and Twitter accounts, but for the most part, he is very low key in these venues.

Instead, he has used social media to create his own art. He created the series “A More Perfect Union” using the social media capabilities of a variety of online dating sites. Using 19 million profiles compiled from 21 online dating sites, he compiled the most used words from specific locations and created a visual representation of those responses on demographic style maps. He sold six pieces from this series at a recent gallery viewing.

Thumbnail from A More Perfect Union by R. Luke DuBois

Eric Whitacre - Musical Composer and ConductorEric Whitacre, Musical Composer & Conductor

Eric Whitacre is one incredible example of how a single person can utilize social media to make a work of art that incorporates thousands of people from around the world. His most recent creation includes 3,746 videos from people in 73 countries. The first video began as something of an experiment after Whitacre saw a fan video on YouTube. He eventually invited people to submit videos of themselves singing the same song and worked to combine them into a fully integrated choir, a result that has been enthusiastically received by fans. It should be no surprise that someone has utilized on social media site to create such a stunning musical collaboration would also be actively involved in the Facebook and Twitter communities. (Confession: I signed up to learn more about Virtual Choir 4, because I’d love to take part in it!)

Screenshot from Water Night by Eric Whitacre

Robin Plemmons - IllustratorRobin Plemmons, Illustrator

Do you ever stop to think about all those sentiments that Hallmark doesn’t make cards for? Robin Plemmons is an artist who is trying to fill in that gap. I met Robin in the same place I met Lisa, at the Type-A Conference a few years back, and I own several of her creations. One such is a card that says, “I love you with all of my butt. I would say my heart but my butt is bigger.” Though not currently for sale in her Etsy shop, Robin also makes several designs that she brings along with her to sell at blogging conferences that only fellow social media addicts can truly appreciate.

I Love You More Than The Internet by Robin Plemmons

Robin also brings her brand of humor to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and her blog. Her self-promotion is so entertaining that no one seems to mind, as evidenced by her “shit that i made” board on Pinterest that has over 1,600 followers. And every once in a while, she designs things that are purely digital.

Been There, Pinned That by Robin Plemmons

Lucas Johnson - MusicianLucas Johnson, Musician

Lucas Johnson is a musician as well as an audio engineer, producer, and sound designer. While he does use Twitter and Facebook, he can also be found on Google+ and a handful of social media sites that cater specifically to musicians, like SoundCloud. He’s even waxed poetic about social media both creating and killing inspiration. Not surprisingly, he also has his own YouTube channel.

Lucas’s innovative use of Google+ hangouts for collaborative music opens doors for many artists. Oh yeah, he has a profile on Ted too, so he’s kind of into this whole connecting people and ideas thing.

Artists and Social Media

Whether artists are promoting, collaborating, or creating it is clear that social media is already playing a role in the artistic process. Considering the technology behind these social media sites is still relatively new and that the entire concept as a whole is constantly evolving to include more narrowly focused niche communities, it isn’t hard to imagine that the role of these sites will only increase. Who are some of your favorite artists in the social media sphere?

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12 Comments
  • Anonymous
    Posted at 15:26h, 31 May

    Hi Christina, what a wonderful way to show the usefulness of social media. “The Bead Girl” is proof that social media can be incredibly handy when marketing products. I work for an Australian marketing company, Think Big Online, and our challenge is to show small businesses how much social can do for them. One client says, “Why do I need Facebook? I have plenty of friends.” Of course we try to help him understand that his business needs friends too! http://www.thinkbigonline.com.au/why-twitter-facebook-and-google-are-must-haves-in-your-seo-arsenal/ LOVE what the illustrator, Robin Plemmons, has to say. Your blog post shows how humor is very popular when sharing/retweeting/repinning/liking. Cheers, Alisa

  • Jamie Izaks
    Posted at 16:24h, 31 May

    Christina, wonderful examples of how social media truly does promote people and their art.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 16:53h, 31 May

    Thanks for including me! Happy to have found inspiration in the others listed here!

  • robinplemmons
    Posted at 16:53h, 31 May

    Thanks for including me! Happy to have found inspiration in the others listed here!

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 18:07h, 31 May

    Thanks, Alisa! 

  • robinplemmons
    Posted at 18:07h, 31 May

    Thanks, Alisa! 

  • lisa lehmann
    Posted at 11:22h, 04 June

    Thank you for including me with these other outstanding artists! You rock!

  • lisa lehmann
    Posted at 11:22h, 04 June

    Thank you for including me with these other outstanding artists! You rock!

  • Christina Gleason
    Posted at 16:01h, 06 June

     You’re very welcome!

  • Christina Gleason
    Posted at 16:01h, 06 June

     You’re very welcome!

  • Christina Gleason
    Posted at 16:01h, 06 June

     You’re very welcome!

  • Christina Gleason
    Posted at 16:01h, 06 June

     You’re very welcome!

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