Spread Your Work
“Happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness; it has no taste.”
— Charlotte Bronte
There’s one piece of advice that I wish 15-year-old Ryan knew: You don’t have to be a professional to share your work with the world!
Some of the most beautiful pieces of magic that I have seen have come from amateur magicians with boring day jobs. In fact, having your art be primarily a hobby can take off the burden of having to pay your rent and allow you to create better art.
Some of the worst magicians I have ever seen have been full-time professionals.
They tout their career as a magician to justify their “art,” but in reality they are just copying from the true artists who they have bought the work from.
They buy easy magic tricks and learn the script that the magician behind the sales counter used.
They use stock jokes and run-of-the-mill tricks that most other full-time magicians use.
It’s no wonder why potential clients think all magicians are the same, and so book the cheapest one; typically, 90% of the tricks ARE the same!
I don’t mean to sound cynical about this, but it is really a pet-peeve of mine when full-time magicians completely disrespect the art like this.
This isn’t just true with magicians; among every artistic discipline, there are professionals who hurt the art and armatures who elevate it.
That’s why it’s so important to share your work, even if you don’t consider yourself a professional.
After all, if it’s art, who cares how much money you get paid for it!
In today’s world, it’s easier than ever to share your work.
Social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are perfect places to get your work in front of the right eyes.
Yes, I said LinkedIn! If your target audience is corporate professionals, then this is the best platform hands-down.
Blogging & Vlogging
If you want to put your art in a place that people will see it, setting up a blog or vlog is the best place to start. This is a place where you are in complete control of your content, who sees it, and how it gets distributed.
Setting up a blog can be very cheap or very expensive. If you have good content that you want to share, focus on the content and don’t worry about creating a $10,000 blog. Instead, find a free or low cost service where you can get a domain name and start posting immediately.
If you want a free service, Blogger.com is a great one. It’s owned by Google and will give you your own domain name for free!
If you wanted to start a blog about hiking and skiing in New England, then your domain will look like MtAdventuresNE.Blogspot.com (this is an actual blog I started for a class project during my undergrad years!).
If you have a few bucks to throw at your new project, sites like WordPress.com, Squarespace.com, and Weebly.com are all affordable options that will give you a great looking site, your own domain name, and won’t break the bank.
I personally use Squarespace.com and am very happy with it.
Vlogging is blogging but with videos. Where blogging is great for written forms of art, vlogging is ideal for visual forms.
Telling jokes, showing magic tricks, and singing new songs are all great things to do on a vlog.
Even reciting written words such as poems and short stories can be done, as long as it’s entertaining for video!
It goes without saying that the most popular site for vlogs is YouTube.
You can create a channel for free, design it how you want with a profile picture and banner, and get creating!
YouTube will also give you the opportunity to interact and connect with other vloggers by viewing, commenting, and sharing their videos.
Vlogging doesn’t have to just be on YouTube, though.
If you set up a blog on your own website, then you can upload vlogs directly to your site (if your plan supports it; cheap ones might not).
This way, you can keep all of your content --- art, blogs, and vlogs --- on the same website. This will increase traffic and help with your search engine optimization.
Now, I hate to break it to you, but no one is going to view your art on a blog or vlog right away.
That’s why you need to tell people about it by sharing it on the rest of the internet. This will drive people to your website and get eyes on your art.
The best way to share your art once you have it up on a blog or vlog is via social media.
Sharing on Social Media
Social media will be the number one place to share your work. This is because uber-massive tech companies have made it super easy for creatives to publish and share their work on apps and websites.
The more creatives share their work, the more eyes stay on these social networks, and the more money the networks make. Capitalism is beautiful.
To start off, pick one to three social channels that work best for your art.
Don’t overload yourself; it’s better to have your work on one channel and dominate it than have it across every new app and lose track of all of them.
Each channel has its own unique benefits, so examine each one and determine which will display your art the best
YouTube is great for performing and visual arts, such as magic and singing.
Being a video service, really any type of art that’s meant to be watched or listened to will fit well with YouTube.
Facebook has also been investing in its own video sharing services, making Facebook now very video-friendly in an attempt to compete with YouTube.
If you’re artistic muse is in still visual art --- such as photography, painting, and sculpting --- Instagram and Pinterest should be your go-to apps.
These are designed for beautiful, engaging photographs, and you will have a lot of similar creatives on these sites to collaborate with.
Instagram also has a lot of value for video creatives. With the new Instagram feature, IGTV, it is now possible to share videos up to sixty minutes in length.
This makes Instagram (owned by Facebook) even more valuable for creatives and gives them more ways to share their work.
If you’re art involves a lot of writing --- like novelist, comedian, or poet --- Twitter can be a great place to get your work noticed.
With a maximum character limit of 280 per tweet, Twitter is a great place to share your ideas in shot, easy posts.
Of course, the large social network that encompasses all of the above mentioned is Facebook. This site really is everything for everyone.
No matter what social network you choose to focus your art on, you would do well to have a presence on Facebook too.
I mentioned LinkedIn in the beginning. Chances are, if you’re reading this you probably have a LinkedIn profile.
And if you aren’t actively seeking a job, you probably don’t check it.
This is fine for most people, but if the people you want your art to reach are corporate professionals, then LinkedIn is the place to be.
Art isn’t good or bad. It’s subjective and depends on the person who is experiencing it. However, art that doesn’t come from inside is hardly art at all.
If you create unique, original art, then the rest of the world wants to see it! That is what people love, and that is what we crave when we listen to music, watch a movie, or read a book.
No one is going to see it, though, if you don’t share it. Thankfully, social media and the internet of things has made this possible for creatives at every level.
Spreading your work online can place it in front of millions of eyes who want to see it. It can be challenging to navigate the waters of social media, blogging, and vlogging. But with a bit of practice, it will pay off big time.