I’m a pretty firm believer that personal growth occurs when we break down habits that are no longer serving us and form new ones. To be honest with you, I’m learning that breaking down old habits sometimes appears online as “less productivity”. Using social media to build a personal brand (and let’s be real, if you’ve got any interest in making money off of your art then you have a personal brand) is an inexact science.
Online, art can easily become a commodity; easily exchanged or forgotten for the “next best thing”. Product becomes heavily favoured over process, and we are fed the idea that in order to be “worthy” we must be constantly productive. As I have stepped away to focus on a personal project, I am now beginning to learn just how much value there is in cycles of work; in taking one’s time to develop skills and ideas so that quality of work can improve as well as mental and creative well-being.
Contrary to what I used to believe, reducing my social media presence has not reduced my following. If anything, my following has grown slightly. I believe that people fundamentally want to follow accounts that they can connect with, and that connection does not necessarily equal post frequency. If I am capable of producing quality art, or expressing a moment of vulnerability in my captions, then I want to be displaying that online to the best of my ability. Right now, my best ability means less frequent but more meaningful posts while I develop my skills and work on personal projects, and that is absolutely acceptable.
My fellow creatives: your social media productivity does not equal your worth. Take your time. Create art that has impact. Create art that has meaning. Develop your skills. Make real-world connections. Dream big. Be a kind human being. Take care of yourselves. Your people will find you, I promise.