There has always been a tension between my studio practice and the showing of the work afterwards. I have a distaste for the networking and social necessities required to consistently show in galleries. Part of it is my natural introversion, 15 minutes of socializing exhausts me more than a 4 hour hike, and part of it is a strong resentment for anything that takes time away from my creative time. But, I firmly believe that part of making art is sharing that art. That is a big reason why I started posting my work to Facebook, this website, and just recently Instagram and Tumblr. In the process I’ve inadvertently stumbled into a conversation about branding online.
As an artist that means branding myself and what that boils down to for me is curating your presence much as you would curate a show. You decide on who you are online, or what aspects of yourself you want to become your online persona. Then you maintain consistency in your posts. In fact, the most important thing about building your brand online is consistency. You have to post regularly, interact with your online friends consistently, try and keep the work and status updates at a consistently high level, etc. In other words, it is suspiciously like the networking and work you need to do in order to get into gallery shows consistently. The difference is you can do it from your studio (or bathroom) and never have to have any actual contact with people, but you have to spend more time on a daily basis maintaining your presence. In the end, it is just as exhausting and sucks as much time away from the actual creating as making and keeping connections in the gallery world.
In the end, I’m not sure how many more people are seeing my work online compared to showing my work live once or twice a year. And I remain unconvinced that this is the best way to show my work in the first place. However, with my current high level of output I can say without a doubt that more of my work gets seen than would be possible relying solely on in person gallery shows.