A time when I am literally closing doors behind me…
Some years ago on this, about 10 year, journey as an online artist, I became really uncomfortable with my existence on social media, and deleted my first Facebook account. Later, I rejoined because there were so many local events that I was missing invitations to in my local artist community. Then, I made a public Instagram account for a while to interact with street photographers around the world as I explored that genre of photography. Last month, I once again fled both those spaces.
This week I finally found an artist blog post on the subject of social media and the artist, which I related to immediately. Although my main chosen medium is experimental moving images (now digital but maybe if time, money and space permit, will add analog), and I really still have no idea how this works satisfactorily in the realm of “job,” I entirely relate to the shallowness and pointlessness of using anything Facebook owned for art. For me, that is definitely not a match made in heaven.
The question of how an artist communicates with her audience remains very much a personal choice. Specifically, if the artist is self-employed, doing their own thing and independent of a larger group. Having worked for others all my life, in my artist role, I am staunchly against having other people make decisions for me, even if done subtly, and especially if done covertly with a selfish (i.e. self-profiting) profit motive. And while I know that my way of “marketing” is hardly business-like (after all, I don’t expect to make much, if any money in my chosen field of expression, so I keep my regular world job, so I am not “starving”), I prefer for my audience to both find me and interact with me without someone throwing their money-making in the way of it. My motives to make art are not primarily financial. My motives are spiritual, and I actually stick to my guns about that in the way that suits my personality (a personality which is not blindly conformist, as well as highly skeptical of hype). That is not to say that I’ll pimp myself out for free either, but that if I choose to collaborate, I will choose based not on financial gain and/or fame, but merit – and what counts for collaborative work that is worth it to me needs to meet a very high standard indeed. That standard is my own.
So I guess what I am saying is, I fund my own ship, and I decide where it sails, for how long, to where, if it ports, and when it departs for other horizons. And that is a kind of independence, having labored for others all my life, that I will never give up.