Before the days of the internet, creatives of all stripes have had to find ways to promote themselves and get their work out into the public sphere. It may seem like a lifetime ago, but before the internet became the biggest scouting grounds in the world, musicians had to pay their dues playing at nightclubs, painters had to hold physical exhibits, and actors needed to go to auditions. But now, gone are the days when creatives have had to take traditional routes to promote themselves and their works. Here are some ways artists are leveraging technology to get their name out there.
There has always been a close relationship between art and technology, with some of the world’s most illustrious inventors also known for their art. At the dawn of the internet, the well-loved Bob Ross showcased his talent through his now ubiquitous TV show The Joy of Painting, and artists have had to hold exhibits by renting out spaces and coming up with new works every time they want to monetize their talent.
While nothing will ever replace a physical exhibit, the COVID-19 crisis has caused artists to rethink how they showcase their works. Since the pandemic hit, museums have had to move their exhibits online, and the public health crisis ironically created a level playing field for more renowned artists and those who are just getting their start at it. One example is a young painter and activist who’s using digital technology to hold an online exhibition supporting other young artists and talents.
The other type of professional artist who leverages technology to promote their work is graphic designers, who have an edge in understanding how the online world can be used to their advantage. Since many graphic designers can no longer go from one office to another to find jobs or to even attend business meetings due to the various restrictions placed by the pandemic, many graphic designers bolstered their promotions by building a website or community software that can help them reach as many people as possible.
While having a Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram account has given them a platform upon which they can showcase their portfolio, there is nothing like their own customized website or platform to help them meet their goals in terms of building and engaging their community. Many of these platforms also provide ways for clients to leave reviews and interact with other potential clients, so it’s a smart way for graphic designers to showcase their work and get in touch with people who might need their services.
Similarly, writers of various kinds also maximize technology to help their works reach the biggest audience possible. From the blogging platforms of the 2000s and 2010s like Tumblr and WordPress to the newer platforms like Medium and Squarespace, there is no shortage of avenues where writers can publish their works without submitting their works to more traditional broadsheets. These free and public platforms paved the way for Instagram poets like Rupi Kaur and Lang Leav to build a massive fanbase of people who found their works accessible and inspiring.
To promote their works, up-and-coming young novelists are also known for spending time on Twitter to reach and engage new audiences and talk about their thought processes while writing their novels.
There are plenty of celebrities who were scouted off the internet, like Halle Bailey, who had a successful YouTube channel before she was cast as Ariel in the upcoming live-action remake of the Little Mermaid. Some of the most popular Tiktokers are professional actors and actresses using the platform to showcase what they can do. Some of them even provide short tutorials for acting, which many aspiring actor viewers find engaging and helpful. Since the pandemic, many actors and accent coaches have also provided webinars through video call platforms to help support themselves while waiting for the industry to open again.
Musicians, vocalists, and producers leverage platforms like SoundCloud and Bandcamp to gain an audience for their work. SoundCloud, in particular, allows artists to earn money based on the number of streams, so it’s a wonderful avenue for songwriters and producers to monetize their work while waiting for bigger labels to pick them up or without having to wait at all.
If you are an artist, there is no shortage of ways to get your work out in the world, thanks to the internet. Exhaust every resource available to you and believe that an audience is waiting to see more of what you can do.