Sequential artists and illustrators are amazingly versatile - we work for long hours, both alone and with company, and produce excellent content on the regular. So isn't it frustrating when your following isn't as large as you'd like? After all, you want all that work you've put in to be appreciated, and for your beautiful new content to be shared everywhere.
But your following won't grow unless you're willing to become your own biggest spokesperson. Promoting ourselves, both online and in person, can be a daunting task for those of us on the shyer side. But self-promotion is just as important as the art that you make - without it, your art can't travel. It can't be shared, loved, and appreciated. And therefore, your own name and recognition as a professional can't grow. Over time, it will begin to stagnate. There are so many incredible artists in the world that no one has heard of simply because they don't know how to promote themselves.
Talent will only get you so far - after that, you've got to put work into building your persona as an artistic professional and increasing your visibility to employers. Self-promotion is how the world comes to learn who you are and why they should appreciate your unique vision and talents. After all the work you've put into your pieces, you owe it to your art to share it on all of your platforms.
Here's some easy ways to become a better self-promoter!
1. Go to a talk from a visiting employer or company. SCAD is constantly scheduling new visitors, so take advantage of this chance to learn what skills companies are looking for and which ones you might be a good fit for. After the talk is over, you may even want to ask follow-up questions to the employers one-on-one. This helps you stand out from the crowd.
2. It never hurts to just apply to a job. If you don't go after that job, someone else will. You can always decline a job offer later on if you decide it's something you're not ready to pursue.
3. Update your website once a month. Wix.com is what the HoneyDripper uses, and it's great for startup artists and professionals. Each month post your new work so that any employers visiting your website can see your most up-to-date creations and skillset.
4. Post on social media every day - Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Gaining followers is a slow build, and it can take months to grow that number. On the plus side, those followers will be people who are invested in the stories you have to tell!
Be patient with yourself - self-promotion is hard. Remember to be tactful - not every situation is the proper time to discuss your own abilities and works. Nonetheless, you should feel proud of the art you've worked so hard on, and it deserves to be shared on your platforms on a regular basis.
Good luck! Go and shine!