Friday, 28 November 2014

Places to Find Renee Dillon Art

There are a lot of different social media platforms these days. Which is good, because it means that there is more likely to be something that has the features to suit your needs. But it's also bad, because it means that reaching your audiences in the different places they want to see your work can be tedious and repetitive. When every new post needs to be shared on several different websites, it can get pretty time consuming. It can also be easy to forget a site when you have some new content to upload there.

Because of this, I decided to make a list of the social media outlets I've tried and the pros and cons of each as far as artists are concerned. Or at least, as far as I'm concerned.

Renee Dillon Art on Blogger
Of course, there's this blog. Almost forgot to put this one on the list. Blogger is pretty intuitive and easy to use. Anything I haven't figured out how to do on my own can be googled and someone will have explained it. There aren't any limits on the number of characters you can use or any nonsense like that, so you're pretty free to talk about whatever you like. 

It took me a while to get into Instagram, as you need to have the app on a phone or tablet. It has pretty limited function if you're using a computer. This can be annoying if I just want to upload a picture to a couple of different places (like Facebook or this blog). Otherwise, I'm rather enjoying Instagram. There are some other great artists on there, and I've found quite a few people whose artwork I'm interested in.
Images have to be square, which keeps your gallery looking tidy, but it can be frustrating if you're trying to avoid cropping something out of an image. Also, I'm not a big fan of hashtags, but I don't think my images are searchable if I don't add a few relevant hashtags that people might be looking for. I seem to be getting over my aversion to hashtags the more I use them, but I still prefer tags. The thing I dislike most about tags, apart from the fact that they make the post untidy, is that you have to be very specific. #Colourful, #Portraits and #Colourfulportraits yield different results depending on how they were tagged, and you can't search for more than one tag at a time.

Having a public page on Facebook is pretty simple. There is a category for artists, and I can switch between posting as my personal account or Renee Dillon Art pretty easily. You don't have to log in and out of accounts to do this, which I like. The biggest problem I have with Facebook is that I share my posts to my personal page so more people see them, and people who like the shared post don't appear on the original page. This means it looks like no one is liking or commenting on my images, even if they are. I'm not sure how to encourage people to go to the original page to like or comment if they see my images on a shared post.

Pinterest is definitely one of my favourite social media outlets, even if it isn't particularly social. I like to make collections of different kinds of images, and it can be useful to determine what you like about certain collections of things. I have examined my art and clothing boards to determine what common features I like about the things I pin, which can be useful information for buying or creating things of my own. In my art board, for example, the common features of the art I pin are things like bright colours, bold outlines and busy patterns. I also like animals and people's faces to be the subject matter, though sometimes I like landscapes and abstracts too. 

Renee Dillon Art on Society6
This one is a website where you can have your artwork printed, either as framed prints, or on various products such as clothing, throw pillows, quilt covers, mugs and greeting cards. Having my own quilt cover is very exciting to me, as my day job involves selling bed linen, and I'm definitely going to design something and have it printed up one day. Apparently you have to pay $1 to have your identity verified to sell on Society6, which I haven't got around to just yet.
EDIT: I have now paid the $1 and have two designs, Samantha and Jasper, uploaded. More will be coming soon. I'm particularly interested in getting my colourful patterned dog art up there and printing myself some nice cushions.

Renee Dillon Art on Fine Art America
This one is another website that offers prints of your artwork, focusing more on different types of wall art than Society6. The metal prints look pretty interesting, and I'd like to print one up to see how they look. You can also sell your originals through Fine Art America.

Renee Dillon Art on Saatchi Art (Formerly Saatchi Online)
This is a website that I quite like to browse. It has more of a fine art focus than most of the websites I've listed here, but anyone is still free to join and submit their artwork. Unlike Society6, you can sell originals as well as prints on this website, with a commission going to Saatchi Gallery if it's sold through them.

Renee Dillon Art on Etsy
I do like Etsy. There are a lot of beautiful things on there. But I feel like a lot of the people on Etsy are either there to sell or there to look at beautiful things. It definitely seems hard to stand out from the crowd enough for someone to actually buy what you have for sale. That said, I have sold art a couple of times on Etsy, and I haven't really given it much of a chance, so it can happen. Maybe when I have a bigger portfolio of art for sale I'll give it another shot, if only for an extra place to do some advertising. After all, every place you post your work is a chance to expand your audience.

Daily Paintworks
This is another site I like to browse. There is a pretty high volume of quality work, and I almost always find an artist whose work I want to look into on the front page. Unlike most online galleries and social media, the posts on the front page are the newest, rather than the most popular, so people that don't get much exposure elsewhere or don't have a lot of followers already can have some time in the limelight. I'm a fan of that. However, to display and sell your art on Daily Paintworks, there is a monthly fee of $12.95. This membership comes with a lot of features like a website, auctions, competitions, etc, so I think it will be worth it, but I'd like to get some of my free options on other sites going and build up a larger body of work first.

This one baffles me. Twitter seems to be hugely popular, but it's really my least favourite form of social media. The strict limit on characters makes no sense to me. Unless you're a celebrity or already have a strong following from elsewhere, it just seems like yelling into a void.

I'll update this list as I find more places to display my art. I know there are others, some being more appropriate or useful than others, but every little bit of exposure helps. It's nice to finally have the list together and have a good idea of what I need to do to get my artwork out there and available to the people that want to see it. You never realise what a huge task marketing your work really is until you have to do it.

To add to the list:
Color Throwdown
Pals Paper Arts

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Back Home - Coloured Pencil Sulfur Crested Cockatoo Art by Renee Dillon

Looks like the month of November has been creeping away from my. Or sprinting. Whichever. I've had a bit of a break from artmaking and art blogging again, as I spent a month on an overseas trip. I travelled to England, Scotland, Venice and Greece before coming back to Australia. I intended to pick up where I left off with the blog when I got back, but you'd be surprised how much there is to do when you come back after a whole month away. And, apart from that, being sick and jetlagged and not wanting to do any of it.

Now that I've recovered and gotten myself back into something of a routine, I'm ready to dust off the old blog again. This particular blog has been going for almost a year now. I haven't quite kept up with the four blog posts a month that I intended at the beginning, but there is still time to catch up. I think I need to write another twenty blog posts before the end of December to meet that goal, which is still very achievable. 

I'd also like to start doing Youtube videos, detailing how I make my art. It's the sort of thing I'd like to watch other people do more, but I've been finding it hard to find videos of people just splashing around with paint. Art journalling Youtube channels seem to be the closest to the things I've been looking for, particularly videos by artists like The Frugal Crafter, Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and The Artistic Pagan. Hoping to find some other Youtube artists to add to my list of inspiration. I haven't tried putting together a how to or technique video yet, but that's something I'd like to have a go at too.

Despite the fact that I haven't been blogging in the two weeks since I've been back, I have made a little bit of art. I've also started to clean up my art space to make it easier to film. Little things like having a clear space will make it so much easier to just switch on a camera and start making art when I feel like it, rather than being daunted by the thought of setting everything up and putting it off.

"Rainbow Sulfur Crested Cockatoo", Coloured Pencil, Crayon and Ink

This is something I drew not long after leaving home. It's a sulfur crested cockatoo with a colourful rainbow crest. I tried to make sure I bought all the art supplies I could possibly need with me, but at the end of the day I didn't use much. Could have got by with a mechanical pencil, eraser, black pen and about ten coloured pencils. Instead I had a big pencil case of pencils, brush tip markers, twistable crayons and other nonsense I just didn't need. You really notice that you have things you don't need when you're lugging them through airports and around the streets with you. I'll try to travel light in future. You can do a lot of things with very minimal supplies if you put your mind to it. There's no point saying "I might need those other things later" if you aren't going to sit down and find the time to make yourself use them.

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