Yesterday, I discovered there are about 300+ social media channels worldwide. Which poses the question, which are best for the artists and creatives of this world? Anything with ample room for the immediacy of images from events, exhibitions or progress shots, like Facebook, Google Plus and Instagram perhaps?
I hear regular comments from creatives I work with about how they don't 'understand' twitter. Fair enough, as it struggles with the visual content, but is excellent for writing about conferences. Or arguments. Or making up after an argument. Or pop commentary with cleverly coined hashtags (think #dirtystreetpie from our recent love-hate affair with the Bachelor that took place in Australian lounge rooms and now splshed on magazine covers). Inherently my experience as a visual artist was sometimes an isolated one, so perhaps it's easier via a visual trail to conduct the conversation.
Someone famous once said, 'eyes are the window to the soul,' but after years of working in the sector and beyond, I'm rethinking that statement to translate in 2014 as 'your social media are the window to the soul'. If you are in the creative space, here are some thoughts about what your social media channel should do:
* As artists in Pop Up can attest to, because your project is sometimes of a temporary nature, social media can be the link to your continued life outside of the project space. Also it shows the progression, the journey, occupying a virtual space and in turn a physical space that is linked and connected and pictured perfectly for all our viewers to see. In particular, I believe Instagram does this better, because in my experience, Pinterest is too polished, too clinical, and Instagram allows the grungy and hip into the media space, which, let's face it, often makes for more interesting and diverse content. Every time I post original content on Pinterest, I worry if it's beautiful enough for the channel, in my mind, there's pressure to make it look like light-box perfection.
* Often when I've given talks about Pop Up, the most powerful shots that resonate the most with audiences are the 'before' and 'after' shots. Like weightloss or gym junkie pictures, a potent mix of what is achievable with a bit of creativity and mountains of hard work is awe-inspiring. It combines the renovation challenges of the block (with minimal budget) with the dream that only a creative can achieve of how to make something better.
* At the pop up studios and arts centre for instance, Rising Pictures have recently ripped up carpet, polished the old timber floors, a huge risk with dropping serious cash into a space which is due for demolition in a few years time.
* Meanwhile, over at Connection Arcade, The Prospector Store has become an inspiration, now renovating the third property in 2 years with a particular unique style in mind which keeps clients coming back in hordes.
* The Epping pop up project was a similar challenge, the Pop Goes the Easel team, turning a 200 square metre pigeon riddled floor into an outstanding community gallery.
* But sometimes the vision can go down a particular pathway which is unattainable. There are others I have come across who are so engrossed in getting everything to look good, they forget about their practice. But their Pinterest accounts are stunning. But, I'm hungering to see the journey, so it can be followed, analysed an commented on through social media. The work through to the destination is just as valuable.
At the end of the day, track your journey through your social media weapon of choice, choose whatever channels work for you, but choose wisely. Keep content relevant to the target audience, and go with where the audiences go (for example soundcloud rather than myspace). And have fun!
Which choice social media?
Merryn Spencer - Saturday, October 25, 2014
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