The thought of selling Art on eBay scared the tar out of me, but one day I made up my mind and jumped. I have managed pretty well, perhaps a little rocky in the beginning (learning curve and all), but I did catch on and have become competent at maneuvering my way through its maze. Somewhere in that first year, one of my cyber customers mentioned Facebook. Oh NO! That is where I drew the line. Not doing it no way, no how. Too much personal stuff out there for the world to see and who in their right mind wants to hear about an Ohio Farm Gal folksy-ish painter. Jeez, I had very little confidence in myself as an Artist, and I still cringe using that word to describe myself. I was, at that point, finding it hard to believe people were interested in my work at all.
Like life in general, things are bound to change. One day our nephew came over to visit and the topic of Facebook came up in conversation. He offered to help me set up a ‘Page’. He explained to his old aunt (me) that it didn’t have to be personal, it could just be about the ‘Art’. A new world opened up for me that day, filled with like minded people. People doing all the things I love; eBay groups, ACEO groups, Small Format Art, Acrylic painters groups, Art Contests and Challenges. I was a kid in a candy store. I friended the people I knew from eBay and my social networking web was cast.
One of the first Facebook Groups I joined was the Nibblefest Art Contest. I had been part of their original group on eBay before they moved the Group to Facebook. Nibblefest is a monthly themed contest where all the Art starts with an opening bid on $0.99. It starts on the 20th of each month and ends on the 27th. You win the contest by having the most different Bidders on your art. Each person that bids on an item is only counted once no matter how many times they raise their bid.
Then came the madness of the 29Faces Challenge! Twenty nine faces in twenty eight days. So much art. So many blogs to read. Sometimes you feel there is not enough time in the day to keep up. Your spirits sag because you fall a little behind, or a lot. No worries. The people doing the challenge are supportive and funny and friendly. We are all in the same boat. It begins to feel like family, and when it ends, we don’t want it to.
In April of 2013 a new challenge was suggested for the 29Faces Group. Teams were formed for the Exquisite Corpse Challenge. Exquisite Corpse was originally started by the surreal artists of the early 1900’s. A piece of paper is folded and each section is completed by a different artist. No one sees what the others have added until the entire corpse is finished. We were broken into groups of three or four, US only or International. Rules were set, and more than a few of us moaned when it was announced “no nudity” because it is a family friendly group. We didn’t mind the no nudity, but we liked the thought of anything goes if the mood struck. Canadian Artist Lizzy Love began the No Holds Barred (NHB) Group where Artists could create without restriction. The group is private and has fourteen international members. We have never met, but our art literally connects us.
No Holds Barred Members
Social Media is a game changer for the Self Representing Artist. No longer do we have to work alone in our studios. It gives us a network of peers that check on us daily. They are interested in our work. They answer our questions. They encourage when we falter. We laugh together. We are true friends in a virtual world, united by our passion for Art.