4 Steps to Building Your Art Community During the Pandemic

The coronavirus is impacting every one of us in so many ways. Exhibits are postponed or canceled. Art Fairs are canceled. Galleries are closed. Our own Open Studio Tour has been postponed. And we are trapped in our homes.

What does all this mean for you and your art? Can you use this time to give your art career a boost? At SCA we are artists helping artists, so in the first of our new Coffee with SCA series we are offering four ways to build your much-needed virtual art community. Virtual is becoming the “new normal.”

1. Take a moment to think about who you are as an artist. Write it down, make a list. What is your art about? Who are you hoping to attract? Who do you currently attract? Why? What message are you hoping your work sends? Writing it all down will help you focus your work and your message.

2. Take a look at your website. When was the last time you updated your website? Being stuck at home gives you the perfect opportunity to freshen it up. Don’t just upload new art. Take a look at what you wrote, in step one, about who you are as an artist. Does your website express that? Even little changes like selecting the best color scheme can be important to your overall image.

3. Take a look at your overall brand. Consistency is the secret, and your social media, website and art all need to send the same message. Do they work together well? Would someone who doesn’t know you see that they all represent the same artist? Does their combined message reflect the artist you described in step one? Match the brand you’ve created with your art and your website. Use the same name, same profile picture, similar bio, and same aesthetic across all your media. Do you have links to your website on your social media? Do you make it easy for people visiting your website to follow you on Instagram and Facebook?

4. Use your social media a real means of connection. It is even more essential now, during this strange era of the pandemic, to engage genuinely with your audience. Follow other artists—especially your friends from SCA! Leave thoughtful comments on each other’s posts. Experts advise artists of the wisdom of interacting with and promoting other artists on their feeds. Interact with them and leave thoughtful comments, beyond “nice work.” At SCA we have the unique opportunity to do that without much effort! You can start by posting your work right on the SCA Instagram and Facebook pages. Follow the other SCA artists whose posts appear on these pages. Be as interested in their lives as you want them to be in yours. For real audience engagement, be honest about where you are in your practice, how you’re making your work, where you are struggling. Giving your audience a true look into your studio and your life as an artist is the best way to connect with others online. Don’t just post when you have a great sale, an award, or an upcoming show. Show in-process work, studio shots with you dog or cat nearby. That makes you real. Then, when your audience sees the success shots and finished works, they will feel connected and cheer for you.

And remember to check in with your friends at South Coast Artists. It is a time for mutual aid. If you need resources or ideas, please reach out too!