I used to get a lot of attention to my work when posting it on Behance, Dribbble and Twitter… but it seems now that all of those are dead (unless my work has got a lot worse over the last 10 years lol)
I feel like Instagram is all that’s left, but I dont exactly get a tonne of engagement on there either. I’ve recently started posting more on LinkedIn, which I get quite a lot of engagement and I like how it’s quite local people who see it… but Im not sure its really the ideal place for posting work.
I tried Reddit but literally everything I post on there gets deleted instantly… and I don’t wanna be posting loads of comments on posts that I dont care about just to boost my karma
What do other people think? or is social media / online portfolios just on their way out?
In addition to the novelty wearing off, all those spaces are flooded with so much stuff that it’s difficult to stand out. I think a certain amount of fatigue has set in as designers have come to realize that likes, friend requests, upvotes, follows, shares, and whatever else, from other designers don’t translate into paying work.
It’s always nice when other people say nice things about what we’ve done, but that’s all it is — nice. I belong to a Facebook group where people share sketches they’ve drawn. There’s some pretty good work shared there, along with lots of less-than-great work. The comments on everything are always the same, though. “Love it”, “Wonderful”, “Love the shading”, “So much detail”, “Thumbs up!”, etc. There are no conversations, no critical analysis, no paid work comes from it, and the comments are all the same. There’s really not much point to it.
I do not know what your artstyle is or what you intend to sell, so do take my advice on that with a grain of salt. Also, I am very online, I follow a lot of what happens on social media and their platforms. If there is anything that I mentioned that you don’t understand, feel free to ask! Very long post, TL;DR at the bottom.
I’ve actually been seeing artists post some of their work on LinkedIn lately and when you think about it, if you want to be seen as someone who is trying to be employed, it does make sense.
LinkedIn is a platform for people who are mainly looking for employment. Showing your work on LinkedIn is a way to advertise your work and your process from a strictly business standpoint. That being said, because this is a business platform, the aesthetics the platform seems to like to tend towards business/corporate aligned art (think Corporate Memphis or cartoony styles). I would not use it to try and build an audience, though. This is strictly business work. Like, if you have a shop or an exhibition opening coming up, you can post that but I would not post your products unless it’s part of the shop opening post.
One way to build an audience is to participate in fandom or with other content creators. Tumblr is more of less built for that, though there is a whole culture that you have to get used to. Also, because there is no algorithm, everything you see there is based on what you want to see. So you follow people, and then their content will be on your page. And if people follow you, your content is on their feed, etc. It lends itself easily to fandom focused posting, but original art posting is possible. Tumblr is known to have people post products that they have made on their blog, but you do have to censor some words, so your doesn’t get shadowbanned. That being said, Tumblr has high engagement, but you do have to engage with the people there, and you have to make an active effort to do so, and people can suss out inauthentic people really quickly. Do beware of their questionable reading comprehension, though. lol
You can participate in challenges with other people or hashtags. Recently I started watching Elliot Ulm or Elliotisacoolguy on YouTube, and he has a series called Design Chef, where he makes up a challenge to be done in 60 minutes. He invites other people to participate as well with a hashtag and other people design with him and post their work online under the hashtag.
It’s not so much as social media portfolios are going away, rather that the platforms have moved towards video format and viewer retention. This can be traced back all the to when YouTube changed their monetization schemes. The rise of TikTok also meant a focus on video content. Nowadays, if you want to show attention to your work, you basically have to become a content creator/influencer. It’s doable but it’s a lot of work. If you decide to stay on twitter or instagram, you are going to have to change your strategies.
If you have the energy to hop on another platform, there is BlueSky, which is basically pre-X Twitter but more Japanese. The BlueSky manners is basically if you don’t like what you see, don’t say anything and just keep scrolling. It’s a great place to just post your art and maybe a progress video of said art, and then leave it be. There is also TikTok, where you can post your art there too but it’s more content creation based, but you can crosspost that to instagram very easily.
If there is one thing that I know as someone who has been online as artist and a consumer is that in a time when everything is all about the algorithm that changes its mind all the time or getting engagement, posting art because you want to show your art and because you love it and not caring about that engagement is the way to go for your own sake in the long-term. I know this sounds cheesy, but especially now, you have to love your art first, with critique and such second. You have to be able to throw up a piece because you are proud of it and not expect jack.
If you are looking for that conversation and critique in your FB group, what you can do is ask for something specific you want critiqued. Something simple like “I am not sure about these colours/pose thumbnails, what are your thoughts?” (and you annotate the poses so others can reference) can generate some comments. If your FB group is not giving you critiques, then you have to find an FB group that does, as in specifically find a group where the name is “Art Critique” or something or other and their description is like “We give critiques here” and the posts get critiques.
TL;DR @user19860331 : People are posting work, it’s just different now and each platform has its own language. LinkedIn is good for business. Tumblr is good for fandom and a bit of advertising. Instagram is still around but focuses more on video. TikTok is the big self-advertising platform right now, but you have to post content. If you have the energy, start making content relating to your art, like Work in Progress videos, products being sold etc. It shows you are a human being and that you are making the stuff. Showing your face is best, but not necessary. But most importantly, be chill and engage with the people you want to be with.
If all you are looking for is engagement, that is all well and good.
If you are looking for work, about the last place I’m going to look for an artist is Tumblr. DeviantArt is pretty low on the list too. We used to work with a couple agencies that had very well established artists in their stables, but those too have vanished as a resource as artists don’t feel they should have to pay commission to someone who ‘does nothing’ except represent them.
Graphic Design is different from those art things related to fandom (I actually belong to a couple fandoms and a couple art discords.) Graphic design is a business. YOU don’t have to like the art you do in Graphic Design. Your Clients’ clients have to love it.
Art/Illustration in the post Twitterverse and Graphic Design have two different approaches to the business model.
So it really depends on what your focus is when you post your “art”.
Are you looking for a refrigerator? Or are you looking to improve your bottom line.
They could be doing illustrations (dnd character commissions, OCs, card art, to name one of many applications) or jewellery and handcrafted work, where tumblr, etsy, and tiktok are totally viable options of outreach, but requires you to create content for your work.
They could be doing graphic design, and they are trying to sell prints (posters, postcards, stickers, t-shirts, phone-cases, mugs, etc) and in this case fandom is totally viable, and a good way to build an audience. Just like how artists draw and participate in fandom to build an audience.
It’s not that I don’t appreciate the Futur or Satori Graphics, I just think that surely there has to be more to graphic design than just talking about what the next trends are for XXXX year and guides about the grid system, layout, colour choices.
Well, again, that depends. It depends on what kind of art you are looking for, it depends on what type of client you are and what kind of business-owner you are (are you super corporate or are you more open and casual). You could very easily look for people who have commissions open through the commissions tag, or if they have shops. I agree with you on DeviantArt, but that could also be changing considering the changes they are making on their platform.
I am curious, have the agencies actually “done nothing”? Because I have heard a variety of stories.
We might not know what they are selling, but LinkedIn and Reddit have rules against advertising. And doing things for likes isn’t really doing business.
But reading back through this, it sounds more like the OP is looking for viewers rather than buyers - and other artists to talk to about art.
I hang out on Discord where there are some tangential art communities (usually one of many channels on these particular servers are geared toward ‘Show your Art.’ But these are fandom related, in a way. Some artists within those channels have their own Twitch accounts, where, with permission of the Discord server owner (Read the Server Rules!) these artists will post when they are going to be active on their Twitch and you can go over and text-chat while they create art. It can still be kind of platitudinous, but you wouldn’t go watch if you didn’t like the artist’s art. You can also follow them and Twitch will email when they are live online. Eh, it’s a thing. I don’t do live art. I’m too slow at it, but it can be fun to hang around on a rainy afternoon or evening. I’m still learning digital art and have picked up quite a bit just from watching.
The best places to post your design work depend on your goals and the type of work you create. Consider platforms like Behance, Dribble, or Instagram for showcasing your design portfolio and connecting with other designers. Lastly, don’t underestimate the power of your own website or blog, which can serve as a central hub to display your work and provide more context about your design process and expertise.