Can You Make It As an Artist in 2018 Without Constantly Plugging Yourself on Instagram?
“Phillips is quite ambivalent about the platform. ‘I think about deleting it daily,’ he says. Exposure, the mythic goal of social media, isn’t always a good thing for an artist, according to Phillips. ‘I think that making artwork and not showing it to the world is liberating. Then there’s the instant gratification of posting a painting and getting likes, but this to some extent spoils the work; it’s been seen too much.’ Phillips is also worried about getting ripped off by other artists as well as corporate creatives at big fashion brands, something he’s seen happen on more than one occasion.
...Crespo was initially keen on Instagram. He says he saw it not only as an ‘extension of [his] presence as an artist in the art world,’ but also as an extension of his art practice itself. ‘Reward systems in social media were influencing my decisions while art making. I would think about what people would think based off of likes and comments,’ because its reception came so fast, and came loaded with so many social and biochemical cues.’ You begin making art not for yourself, but for the dopamine rush that comes as each double-tap lights up your phone.
...It [instagram] reprograms us to seek out content to be recorded all the time, turning our minds into their own kinds of cameras, knowing that we could always be posting, hoping for the most likes. It also demands a certain immediacy, not only reframing how we see, but how we allow ourselves to process what we’re taking in, possibly turning the artist into a half-baked influencer chasing abridged ideas and images. ‘It requires carrying the possibility of using it along as part of one’s way of seeing all the time.’
...Social media has exacerbated the push towards and refined the means of self-presentation into an art itself, such that being an artist can often seem to consist of making an artist-self on social media, rather than in making art. “