6 reasons to post your art online (even if you’re nervous)

shy owlI know, you’re shy! It’s ok, so am I.

Posting your art online can feel very exposing, much like a gallery show. Posting it to social media or other sites can feel scary; and a lot of the time the fear of negative response keeps people from presenting their work online. You don’t have to be afraid, though. Yes, you may get negative responses to your work. You may get criticisms, or even personal jabs at you. But there are benefits to posting online  that definitely outweigh the emotional turmoil these things can cause.

 1.You will get criticism!

I know, I know. It’s difficult to show your work, and even harder to show it where other artists abound. But getting a piece torn to shreds will help you improve! Take the advice that makes sense to you, take the criticism as a helpful gesture, and use what you can. Disregard the rest. If someone sees a flaw in your work it is just  that- a flaw in your work, not a flaw in you.  You can change, your can improve, and you will. Criticism is a necessity!

2. You will find other artists!

When you post your work online, it’s likely that other artists will see it. If you think there’s nobody out there that understands you, you’re about to find out just the opposite. There are people working in your medium, people reaching for the same stylistic quirks, people who have spent their time staring hard at the same subject matter. And the majority of these people will be glad to see your work and give you direction or just discuss things.

3. You’ll get learning resources!

If you’re a beginner, the internet is full of ideas and advice, crammed full of technical and compositional knowledge. There are teachers everywhere online, and resources too. I personally adore conceptart.org; while the critique can be intense, it’s also a source of much information- there are forum threads about perspective, color theory, life drawing, and more. Even if you’re not a beginner, these resources are invaluable.

will bodnar, cicada tattoo, anji marth, high priestess tattoo, at tattoo convention4. Opportunity knocks!

There are online groups on every social network dedicated to galleries seeking artists, magazines and online journals looking for art submissions, and chances to share your work with people who would never have seen it otherwise. Being a part of a community online presents opportunities you’d not have found in meatspace.

5. The world needs more art!

It may seem like the internet is overflowing with artists. And it sort of is- there are so many creative people online. In the internet, content is king, and your art is that content. If you’re not too sure of yourself, post some works to your social networks, where people you know can see it. Or open a tumblr account, or sign up on deviantart. If you feel more confident, you could get your own domain name to post to. But either way, there is someone out there who will be touched by, and interested in, your art.

6. Someone might want to buy your art!

I’ll say it right now, it is hard to make this happen; unless your art is amazing to begin with, it’s unlikely to happen at all. Use the internet to get better, to improve, and as you go, someone may be moved to buy it. I’ll be posting again later this week with reviews of a range of sites to sell with, but the simplest method is sometimes the best. Simply let people know that your art is for sale, wherever you’ve posted it, and that they can ask you if they’re interested. Many more art pieces are bought this way, than any other. Just one person making something and another person asking to buy it.

If you’re trying to sell your art actively, you will be open to much more criticism and feedback, too. If you plan to sell, be prepared for people to treat you like a professional- and that includes being able to handle criticism gracefully. If you’re not prepared for this, consider baby steps- posting your work, gathering critique, and improving until you feel you can handle more serious critics, before you begin to sell.

Also, check this out, for a little more encouragement.

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