The Struggle of Art: Tips for Artists Keeping a Consistent Online Presence

In the past few months I have had a few people ask me about keeping a consistent online presence. I have some tips that have worked for me and maybe they will help you too.

1. 45 Minute 'Get It Done' Sessions

As simple as this one is, you would be amazed what you can get done if you actually take the time to do it. Set a timer for 45 minutes and don't stop what you are working on till you hear the alarm. Sometimes you get so into the project you just keep going after the 45 minutes. But sometimes you are just sick of doing it and that alarm is a blessing. Keep these sessions going day after day till you finish what you wanted to do.

2. Keep a Notebook by Your Bed for Extra Ideas

It doesn't have to be a notebook and it doesn't have to be by your bed, but make sure you start writing down all ideas you have. You would be amazed what you forget when you don't write it down. And when you are starving for ideas you might just find a hidden gem among those scribbled thoughts.

3. Only Take Advice from Those in the Arena

This is based off of one of my favorite quotes of all time:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” - Theodore Roosevelt

What I have found is there are plenty of people who will tell you how to have an online presence or how to make your art. It might be friends, family, or even worse... marketers who publish content about it 'in theory' and don't do it themselves. But the only people you should listen to are other artists who are doing it. If you have friends doing it ask them questions. Pay attention to how famous artists you admire post their work consistently. Only those who are in the arena are worth listening to.

4. Reevaluate How You Spend Your Time

Pretty sure everyone will hate me for this one but this concept helped me the most. The average American watches 4.5 hours of TV each and every day! That is a huge Huge HUGE waste of time! Cut that down to two hours a day or work on your content while you watch TV and you have found a gold mine of time to create. I am not saying you can't have time to unwind. What I am saying is we waste far more time than we think we do. Audit your time for one week and I bet you can find 5+ hours that you could be creating content without giving up that much. One of my favorite quotes illustrates this perfectly:

“7 to 2 in the morning is plenty of time to do damage.” - Gary Vaynerchuck

5. Document the Process

You don't have to show work completed. Work in progress is super interesting and great content.

6. Force Yourself to Post Even if It Kinda Sucks

Any muscle you want to strengthen needs to be exercised. So you have to force yourself to post sometimes. Even if you think the post sucks. This will make it easier to post something great later. You have to turn posting into a habit. Just like exercising when you 'don't really feel like it,' it is good for you and it will help you build a habit.

7. Forgive Yourself for Letting a Platform Go Dark

Don't beat yourself up for not posting for a long period of time. It will happen. And like exercising, you just need to put your shoes back on and get back out there.

8. Find Inspiration Elsewhere

If you are in a slump/artistic block go find inspiration somewhere else. Go play a sport, go take a class, go on a road trip, visit a museum, visit a gallery... and then write about it.

9. Uplift Others

Are other artists just killing it online? Well help them. Share their content and be sure to tag them in the posts. Exposing your fan base to a new artist is a courtesy that you will probably be thanked for. Also, write about other artists or ask them to guest post on your platform. Helping others will help you.

10. Use Prompts if You are All Out of Ideas

Find a list of prompts and use them to write posts. Just like exercising, the act of consistently creating will then become a habit. And just because I love you, here is 52 prompts for posting. If you do just one a week you will have a year of content. You're welcome.

1. Create a piece of fan art for your favorite movie
2. Share what project you just finished
3. Share work from your favorite artist
4. Talk about your favorite piece of art
5. Talk about the most influential person in your life
6. Share work in progress
7. Show art you made as a child and remake it as an adult
8. Make a tutorial about something easy that you are good at
9. Share a #ThrowBackThursday image of an old piece you have never posted online
10. Create a post about your favorite quote
11. Post about your favorite possession
12. Share a project that failed or a time you failed
13. Create a project combining two unrelated fandoms
14. Redo a project that you think could have been done better
15. Feature a fellow creative
16. Feature a business you love
17. Post a female related post for #WomanCrushWednesday
18. Post a male related post for #ManCrushMonday
19. Post about an event you attended
20. Share a funny experience
21. Post about your favorite charity
22. Create a project based on your favorite book
23. Write a reading list of your favorite books
24. Write a watching list of your favorite movies
25. Write a watching list of your favorite TV shows
26. Create a post based on the current time of year
27. Create work in honor of someone who inspires
28. Learn something new and post about the experience
29. Create a project with a friend
30. Create single idea three different ways and show the difference
31. Create a self-portrait
32. Post a top ten list of something you care about
33. Share a #FlashbackFriday of an old project you never posted online
34. Post about your dream project
35. Create a project inspired by your favorite song
36. Try an online artist challenge
37. Do a giveaway
38. Try doing an #ArtDrop and share what happened
39. Guest post for a friend on one of their platforms
40. Compare work you did years ago, with work you have done now, to show progress
41. Share an article you enjoyed and your thoughts about it
42. Share a good luck charm you own
43. Create a project as a gift for someone's birthday
44. Create a project about your hometown
45. Post about your favorite art movement
46. Share your favorite project you have ever done
47. Create a holiday themed post
48. Create a project as a surprise gift for someone
49. Write a post about your childhood dreams
50. Post your favorite project from the past year
51. Post your bucket list for the next year
52. Thank people for following you