Why your art should live online

Union Gallery

The Internet is a necessary platform for young artists

Photo: 

As a theatre artist, a question I always ask myself is “how can I share my art with as many people as possible?” The answer is simple; get online.

To a large extent, I’m preaching to the choir. As young, internet-savvy millennials, we’ve already carved personal spaces for ourselves online.  But it wasn’t until I bought the vishmayaa.com domain name that I realized how much the Internet has revolutionized how artists share work. Quickly, it became clear this was maybe the best decision I could make for myself as a young artist. 

First of all, posting my portfolio online lets me reach people not only all over the country, but potentially the world. Just by virtue of having a website, my work is accessible to literally billions of people. 

On top of this, having my portfolio online is also much more financially viable. Yes, I could print, bind and ship my portfolio to every theatre company in the country, but that would cost me hundreds of dollars. Instead, I paid under $100 to register my domain name and built my website. Bigger audiences, less money spent and the added bonus of being more environmentally responsible, having the unlimited space to update my portfolio has made online worth it. 

It also helped me build a personal brand which, as artists, we all have to do anyway. I’m easy to find online because of my unique name, but also because I have the same username on every online platform I use. All of this helps me project my personal brand onto the world; it’s a narrative I can shape anyway I want. 

It’s easy to pinpoint your personal brand as an artist when your work is online because you can literally point to examples whenever you reach for your phone. Your brand can also extend past your art and point to what you’re like as an artist. 

In theatre especially, that’s important. If your personal brand is professional, positive and fun to work with — and you can reflect that online — you can make yourself that much more appealing to potential employers. 

Beyond the job-hunting benefits of being online as an artist, there are also social benefits. Your art becomes more accessible and contributes to a global network of fans and creators. 

Art consumed online is still incredibly important. We often place a value judgement on online paintings versus a painting in a museum, but why do we? 

Art is art, an audience is an audience and whatever way you do it, you’re putting art into the world and that can never be a bad thing. 

But beautiful sentiments aside, we all still have to pay rent — and going online can help you do that. Katie Rodgers, the painter behind the @paperfashion Instagram account, built an online audience for years, eventually got sponsorship deals and commissions. Now she’s being commissioned by companies Cartier, Disney and Swarovski. 

A large part of her success lies in the fact that her stunning work was online and went viral several times, catching the eyes of a lot of people willing to fairly compensate her for her work. 

To my fellow artists everywhere; we all have beautiful, artistic souls. We all want to put beautiful things into the world, but we also have to eat. Putting your work online can let you do both. 

 

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