The world of fine art has changed considerably over the last decade or so, and figures to change even more in the coming years. This is in large part attributable to the advent and spectacular growth of social media such as Instagram and Pinterest, which feature visually-oriented posts that can be enjoyed by all online visitors. Here are a few observations about what has been happening, and how it has altered the art world.
Social Media and Fine Art
Years ago, fine art was relegated to the milieu of museums and libraries, where it was accessible only to those intentionally seeking it out for their personal enjoyment. With such a narrow platform for its display, fine art was really something pursued mostly by the cultured minority in society, and was not publicized to any real extent. Today, the business of fine art generates $15 billion annually around the globe, says Gerry Moran of MarketingThink.com, and that staggering number is due largely to the massive difference in the way art is presented to large numbers of people everywhere. Artists, dealers, and galleries are all joining in on the revolution brought about by the social media. They are bringing art out of the museums, galleries, and libraries and into highly accessible online venues where they can be seen and appreciated by far greater numbers.
Artists and Social Media
Today, artists recognize that the art world has changed, and that while an artist may work alone, the fruits of his or her labor can now easily be shared rapidly and with a great many people through social media. Artistic apps available now can inspire an artist to work with new techniques, photos uploaded to social websites can be monitored for popularity and commentary, and personal branding and marketing can be accomplished through sites like Instagram and Pinterest.
Built right into the structure of any of these sites is the potential for tremendous networking among many people. The days of toiling in seclusion and keeping artwork private have been obliterated by the enormous potential of social media to reach the masses quickly and effectively. Since artists rely on selling some of their work to make a living, art can be considered in some sense to be a business, and like all businesses today, reaching a huge number of paying customers is paramount.
Galleries and Social Media
Gallery employees are faced with much the same realization that individual artists are: that it is essential to have a website and to make use of the social media to market the gallery to the masses. Blogging can reveal the artistic process to art fans everywhere, and make them feel as though they are part of the creative process. Promotion of the gallery can be managed through Twitter and Facebook, for instance posting news about upcoming events and art shows, or even cross-referencing blog content. One of the best social sites for the visually oriented is Pinterest, which provides a great way to get gallery pieces seen, while still protecting them with a branded watermark, according to Mashable. Best of all, these strategies for marketing, branding, and promotion cost nothing for galleries. Setting up an account is all that’s necessary, and everything after that requires only the motivation and the effort to reach out to fans of fine art.