January 1


Social Media and Art

By Patrick Turner-lee

January 1, 2020

art, art practice, artbusiness


Complaining is a sign of defeat

As we move forward in our art practice it is only natural that we encounter difficulties. Making a sustainable art practise is so much about connecting with our natural resistance to various aspects of putting ourselves in the public eye.

This may manifest itself in many ways -

Technical difficulties ...............

My favourite is I get ready to work on the online stuff like making this blog for example and my PC decides to behave strangely.

For an artist of any kind, this awareness of resistance is already part of our experience. I believe that to gradually build a sustainable arts practice taking into accord our own way of reacting to a certain situation is the best way forward.

Rather than concentrating on what we can't do it is better to get on with what we can and then often in hindsight we realise that what we thought we needed to do was counterproductive. If I get caught up with complaining about how hard it is then I don't do anything and become quickly downhearted. In a sense, complaining is divisive, inside.

We do have a great opportunity to polish ourselves by using online resources to express our understanding of our social art practice.

Social Media is beyond me

Criticism is an important part of our work. To be able to have a healthy relationship with criticism takes practice. The prevalence of social media is irrefutable. If we see this as an inclusive social art practice then our tendency to be overwhelmed by technology will soon be manageable.

The first step in embracing Social Media as a platform that is useful for our practice is to be honest with our feelings towards it. If our critical nature spills over into these platforms then the outcome will be ineffective. So how can we get over our block or fear of using Social Media

Social Media want you to be using it

The advantages of engaging with these platforms are many, especially for an artist. In 2019 I have used FB live to engage with small pockets of audience and potential clients. To share your way of working on this platform is really useful. Whatever we do if we are looking to sell our work confidence is important. Now a few of us are born with abundant confidence and are fortunate enough to use it in a healthy way.

I am not one of those people. Through live performance on FB live articulating my story has improved immensely. Blogging like this has improved my writing  skills and helped me hone my work strategies. There are times where it seems to be a complete disaster but with persistent efforts the value becomes a foundation.

If you are low on experience in the use of the different platforms the effective route is to pick one and make a start.


Maybe you have already experienced being involved in an exhibition. This could have been at college or with a group of artists. It is a lot of hard work isn't it. Also when it has passed the motivation to do it again, especially if you don't sell is low. What can we do about this?


Since my relatively short career as an artist since 2014 I have had about 20 exhibitions of different styles. In 2019 I have also been a musical director for a musical play and formed a band that had a launch in the Autumn.

If you are willing to say yes and have a go the results from doing a show or exhibition contribute to the building of self confidence. 

Very often Creative Arts are a solitary activity. After working in a company for years I must say that the beauty of painting in the studio on my own is tangible. It is possible to regulate the networking time and gradually become better and managing your solitary time too. Socially engaged artists can enjoy a growing understanding of their own work if they can embrace those around them.

Too much of either will have an impact on your output of creative work. There are other aspects to managing this part of your sustainable art practice. Sometimes aloofness will pay dividends for the popularity of your work. It all depends on what you are trying to achieve. Either way awareness of your tendencies and how to use them to your advantage is an advantage.

I will now be keeping a daily visual art practice journal so that I can become more aware of these issues myself. Overall the aim of becoming more aware of our tendencies will help us with our overall wellbeing. Then our art practice is congruent with our whole life.


Patrick Turner-lee

About the author

Reveal the Artist within Inspire yourself and then others Sustain a consistent creative life Connect with those around you

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