Trinity College has a striking effect on people’s creativity. It is not unusual to wander around campus and recognise faces from Spotify band accounts or the art profiles haunting the Suggested Section on Instagram. In this culturally active environment, promoting your art seems much more achievable considering online resources. Still, this process is easier said than done. How can we render it more fun and relaxing rather than nerve-wracking?
Firstly, reflect on the route of your own idols. While there exist cases where people became hit celebrities in the span of a viral TikTok, these are the exception rather than the rule. Most of today’s acclaimed artists have achieved critical acclaim e by constantly practising, developing and publicising their skills. In our current digital landscape, promoting your art on social media is especially important.
“There is not only struggle but inherent beauty within scaling a mountain few dare to try”
Even discounting this new level, pursuing art is challenging enough already. Still, while the tortuous path ahead might be daunting, there is no choice but to forge ahead. Often, you will not know which path is ideal. This dilemma illustrates the artist’s life. Namely, there is not only struggle but inherent beauty within scaling a mountain few dare to try. The concept of “right path” or “right choice” does not apply. In this case, the most fruitful solutions to your worries are empirical trial-and-error attempts. You just have to show up for yourself, put your work out there, and see how it goes.
If your publicity doesn’t seem to work or if the way you are sharing art makes you feel uncomfortable, then you can change strategy accordingly. If uploading three recipes per day is stressing you out, you can post a smaller amount but still manage to provide the necessary consistency for the beloved algorithm. If you want more time to dedicate to your flash fiction, you can carefully schedule time in the morning.. Being an independent artist definitely has its perks, so take advantage of them – at least while you are free from the bloody claws of massive corporations who exploit your art as a means for their own capitalistic gore. I will save this for another time.
However, you will not be able to experience these advantages if you do not even start on this journey. Another factor that can make this process easier is redefining the importance that recognition plays for you. If you are working on your art independently, then wishing to receive praise for it can immensely fuel your determination. There is a whole elucidation in Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Judgement that discusses how we long for agreement whenever we express an opinion; this could be easily applied to the case of promoting art, too.
“When external validation is the only reason behind your inventive activity on the Internet, it indicates that it is time to reconsider your choices”
When external validation is the only reason behind your inventive activity on the Internet, it probably indicates that it is time to reconsider your choices. This mindset is distinctly different from being ambitious and establishing goals for yourself. In fact, it is relentless in creating absurdly illusory expectations that you feel pressured to live up to, consuming your drive rather than reinforcing it. On extreme occasions, it may even provoke a devastating burnout, where you are constantly glued to your screen, waiting for people to tell you how good you are and before immediately nominating you for the Nobel Prize (by no means does this come from personal experience).
To avoid this unpleasant situation, you should try to switch your perspective and start considering social validation a secondary reward. Sharing your imaginative mind should be an empowering decision for yourself first, a pragmatic action to affirm that your art deserves to be disclosed to the world just because you see fit. Then the valuation others provide will weigh less in future decisions about your work.
The final piece of advice targets one of the most intimidating topics that any aspiring artist can face: rejection. While exposing your art intrinsically entails the probability of rejection, this awareness never truly prepares you for it. It always hurts to know that people do not consider your personal, intimate expressions worthy of being divulged.
“Somewhere in the crowd, there is certainly someone who is eager to feel represented by the kind of art that you uniquely produce”
However, practising the attitude outlined in the previous section might help to soften the blow just enough to keep you motivated for prospective projects. Even if a competent professional does not recognise the validity of your artistic visions, it does not mean that nobody will. People have the widest range of interests and enjoy the most diverse selection of knowledge and creativity. Somewhere in the crowd, there is certainly someone who is eager to feel represented by the kind of art that you uniquely produce. If this turns out not to be the case, well then, congratulations! You have been credited the ultimate compliment: you do not fit in in our society and can produce something completely innovative without worrying about satisfying anyone’s hopes. Isn’t this enticing and exciting? Isn’t this the most disinterested way to reveal the intricacies of our self?
Most artistic constraints are self-imposed. After all, personal success is self-defined. So gather your materials and start hiking along the path. The summit – the one you set for yourself – awaits.