5 Reasons Why 2008 Was a Good Year For Artists

Published Date: February 14th, 2009
Category: Graphic Arts

By Nina Alvarez

I spent 2008 reading art blogs, Web 2.0 marketing blogs, and thinking up guerrilla marketing tactics for artists. I saw social networking, social media, and the democratization of the art marketplace put more selling power into the hands of artists.

Therefore, I’d like to share 5 reasons why, despite (and because of) the economic crisis, I believe 2008 was a good year for artists:

1. Web 2.0: A New Frontier for Art

A number of artists have actually started to create art around the concept of Web 2.0: collaborative, multimedia, and interactive works. For example, an artist may make the artwork, coordinate different contributors, then relinquish control completely to the public. Culture-Buzz.com highlights a selection of interesting projects.

2. Social Networking Sites (Facebook)

A Facebook page is a fun, direct way to connect to your friends, supporters, and acquaintances: usually people who have bought your work in the past. You can easily post your website pages or blog posts to Facebook, which your friends will be more likely to see and visit. The Brooklyn Museum of Art developed a Facebook application called Art Share. It lets Facebook users share works art from Museums around the world on their profile. Artists can upload and share their own work using this application.From Facebook to Artspan to Deviant Art, artists are finding that there’s a lot to be gained from banding together. Online art communities share inspiration, tips, links, ideas, and encourage a spirit of healthy competition. 3. YouTube (Val’s Art Diary) Look out Damien Hirst. Without galleries, auctions, or dealers, this young artist turned herself into a art-selling powerhouse. Her art, under normal circumstances, would maybe make it into only a handful of galleries. Yet she’s managed to go from selling no paintings to selling EVERY PAINTING SHE MAKES by filming in time-lapse, editing economically, posting the video to youtube, then selling the piece on eBay. Almost all computers come with video editing software. Why not try your hand at a video of your own process?

4. Twitter

The world seems divided between people who think Twitter is the greatest gadget of 2008 and those who think it’s a big, weird waste of time. It took a little while, but I now belong whole-heartedly to the ‘greatest gadget’ crowd.

Like any tool, Twitter is what you make of it. If you develop a following and tweet regularly, you can keep your art and your brand on the minds of the people who are interested. If you don’t mind mixing the personal and the professional, Twitter and Facebook are the ways to go.

5. The Recession

That’s right! I said it. A downturn in the economy might be the stuff of nightmares for some, but artists can turn these into defining moments, challenging themselves to really take action, to sell more art, expand their resources, deepen their message, and connect to their comm unities. Why not doubly defy the bad economic news by deciding to:

  • donate to an art fund
  • sponsor an artist in a developing country
  • join more museums
  • invest in your art career

Nina Alvarez, Chief Editor of Artspan.com, an online artists community, and writer of the Artspan blog at http://artspan.blogspot.com.

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