So, it’s 2021. The world is in flames. Millions are dead. What are we all up to?
I’ll go first. I’m working on a book cover for a cool novel.
The novel, called Blue Feathers, Bright Flames, is one of three projects I’m really excited about at the moment. The second is illustrations for my own book, and the third is a bunch of leggings ideas I want to make for Whimsies Leggings. So that will all be a lot of fun, I expect. Truthfully though, I’m even more excited about watching my children flop around, so that’s what I’m doing most of the time. But this is an art blog so
I’ve also adjusted my expectations…a LOT.
For one, my novel needs a lot more work! It’s been stuck in Development Hell since April 2020, as the pandemic wreaked havoc on different plans I had for it involving collaborators. That has all had to be scrapped. No one is coming. But, I’m ready. Let’s do this, Me.
I’ve also recently realized that clients change over time just like I do. This was the year that I learned that a client who has needed my help in the past won’t necessarily need it going forward. I had to grieve for an old business relationship or two, but ultimately it just meant I had more time to help other people.
And I finally figured out how to do social media.
Let’s use Twitter as an example since so many people despise it (including many incarnations of Me).
First, I post any art I want, when I feel like it. Even if it’s “art-dumping” or “old” or “spammy” or “self-centered” or…whatever. I finally realized that I genuinely don’t care if I annoy anyone. Especially since I found out some people are annoyed by replying to them or quote tweeting them. I.e…using…the…native…website functions…
… … … … …
You know what? It’s too much. I relinquish any hope I ever had of knowing the Twitter rules. There. I said it.
Then, I scroll down and just look at pictures. I don’t get embroiled in any arguments. I don’t get edified by any deep thoughts. I don’t get informed about any atrocities, injustices, or touching stories of bravery. I just look at stuff and scroll right on past it if it doesn’t catch my fancy (no matter how good or important it is).
Yep, I totally scroll past lots of genuinely wonderful and valid things and don’t even give them a chance. I use the Like button if I think something is “cool” but I have no interest on sharing it to my Timeline for myself to keep (no matter how good or important it is).
That may all sound obvious, but I used to fear “Liking” things.
I was scared to even let people know I had seen their art, because I’ve been accused twice of appropriating an artistic idea from someone else. But here’s what I finally realized: in the first case, I had never even seen the source art. In the second case, my art predated his art by two years. So…yeah, screw that? I might as well just save the art pieces I really like.
I was also terrified to Like anything that had “a political or social leaning,” since it could turn off potential clients or the Secret Police might come and drag me away. Or maybe a Twitter Mob would decide I was Problematic!! ANATHEMA. But let’s be real, anything can be misconstrued by anyone. I’m just as likely (or MORE likely) to be labelled as Problematic for saying something I wouldn’t even know was a problem. As for the Secret Police: my husband argues with people on the internet all day, so I’m already doomed.
And FINALLY, IF AND ONLY IF I want to keep a post for myself forever, do I Retweet it to my Timeline. Not to impress you. Not to curate my brand. Just…for…me.
I also figured out how NOT to do social media.
Here’s what I DON’T do anymore: I don’t make sure I’m caught up on everyone’s posts. I don’t make sure to “show up everyday.” I don’t painstakingly tag my stuff. I don’t go on at a peak hour. I don’t make sure I promoted other people 80% of the time. I don’t ask other people to weigh in. I don’t participate in Artshares. …I just treat Twitter like my own personal scrapbook of cool art and tips, and IF I feel like narcissistically crying into the void I just DO. As often or as little as I want. As cringey and uncool as I want.
So…in short, I found a way to make social media actually…fun?
Hence, I feel like basically the most amazing and successful human in the entire world.
I don’t know where I’m going with that, but anyway what the hell are all of you random people doing? I occasionally see some people down there liking my posts. Who are you and what have you done with 2021? Or 2020 for that matter? Did you cook or something? Did you figure out you identify as a sea otter? Did you lose something or build something? Were you angry or happy or smug?