It's easy to pretend that you don't care about something trivial like Instagram likes, but your heart flutters like a love-sick tween every time you see your phone light up. However, that excitement can quickly turn to disappointment and concern when you aren't getting the response you expected - especially from a photograph or a illustration you were particularly proud of. Artist and illustrator Frenemy gives us some social media therapy and tips on how to stay stoked in a world dominated by digital feedback.
I recently had an artist tell me he wanted to quit pursuing art because the "likes" he was getting on Instagram had plummeted. He is a super talented guy and it made me sad that he would let social media dictate his drive to create. In the digital age, social media self-doubt is something a lot of artists suffer from, but trust me - you are worth a lot more than the likes on your Instagram.
Don't Take It Personally
I have been posting my work on social media platforms for a long time now. We're lucky to live in an age where we have tools at our fingertips that allow us to so easily share our work and connect with a worldwide audience. That being said, social media is a fickle beast. Depending on what time of day you are posting, your post might not get any traction, but then again, it might get a ton. Maybe on random days it just happens that people aren't using a certain platform as much so your post won't get seen. Or, sometimes you make something you really love and the general public just isn't that into. That's just the way it goes; it's good to remember that this says very little about who are are as an artist.
Create For You
Not too long ago I suddenly lost a couple hundred followers, then over time, I gained them back. When I had a small following similar things would happen, just at a smaller rate. At the end of the day - I choose not to let these things get to me. I keep creating and keep sharing because I love to make stuff. If people like it - cool, if not, It'll still keep making it. I make art for me first and foremost, and if social media stopped existing tomorrow, I would still create. People liking my work online will never have an effect on whether I produce art or not. Try to stay strong and never doubt yourself because of outside social influences.
The Golden Rule
I make it a point to "like" and comment on other artists whose works I enjoy. If you want people to support you and your work I think it's only fair you make an effort to do the same for others. Not to sound too much like a hippie, but I truly believe if you put positivity out into the world good things will come back to you. By supporting your peers on social media (and in real life!) they will hopefully support you back. Plus it always feels good to lift other people up. Supporting other artists helps to build a community and you suddenly find yourself with little online friendships with other artists admire around the world. Social media really is amazing in that way.
Don't let social media dictate your self worth - just do you. Keep being awesome, keep creating.