Getting noticed

I recently got a question about “how to get your art noticed and get more followers”. Now, I can’t claim to be an expert on this. But for what it’s worth, here are my thoughts on the matter.

The reality, of course, is that there are some really great artists out there, as well as a much larger number of fairly good ones, and you’re competing for attention with all of them. Which is not to say that it’s impossible to get noticed. But it’s a lot harder than just posting a few pictures online. There are a few obvious techniques for increasing visibility that a lot of people seem to use to some advantage: place your work on as many social media sites as possible (I’m still working in this); make art that is very topical or has a lot of pop culture references to increase your chances of viral sharing (a quick glance through my archives will show you that I’m not so good at this one); network with other artists who can help promote your work (and vice versa); tag your posts with labels that have a broad audience (e.g., on Tumblr the #drawing and #illustration tags have a large viewership). But at the end of the day none of those things will help if your pictures don’t interest people, or capture their attention, or make them smile or laugh or cry, or touch them in some way.

So, really, the best advice I can give you is not to worry too much about “getting noticed”. Sure, by all means, use some or all of the techniques I mentioned above (as well as any others you can think of). It can’t hurt. But don’t focus on that part. What you should worry about and focus on is this: Make art. Lots of it. Stuff you enjoy making. Stuff that you care about. Post it online. Don’t worry if it’s not great. Just make it as good as you can right now. And know that if you make good art, and you do that a lot, there’s a good chance that you’ll begin to asymptotically approach great art. Or at least much better art than you were producing before, which is all that most of us can hope for. And then somewhere along the line someone will see something you posted (and the more you post, the greater the odds of this) that interests them, or captures their attention, or makes them smile or laugh or cry, or touches them in some way. And then you’ll be noticed. And you’ll know that it was because something you created touched someone else’s life in a meaningful way. And that will pretty much make your day. And give you motivation to get back to your drawing board and make more art.

Speaking of which…