Twitter For Artists, 10 Tips To More Successful Tweets

The Original Twitter - Painting by Nicole Cleary

The Original Twitter – Painting by Nicole Cleary

I’m not a social media maven, but I listen to what others are doing on twitter and pay attention to their reactions. In a 3 month period, I went from 250 followers, to over 2,300 followers. Specifically, I delved into how artists and illustrators are viewed and followed on twitter.

These are guidelines I’ve developed over the past few months that I’ve been actively using twitter. This list is certainly not meant to apply to everyone, but has worked for me.

1. Be yourself. Discover what your voice on twitter is, and use that voice 100% of the time in your tweets. Be careful not to appear too negative. Being creative 24/7 can be frustrating, but constantly looking frustrated on your twitter feed appears unprofessional and juvenile.

2. Do follow people you are genuinely interested in. Don’t be afraid to follow too many people. The more you follow, the more likely people are to find you. As an artist, I chose to follow specific museums, magazine and book publishers, art and design blogs, as well as other great artists.

3. Listen to the audience your tweets would apply to, and take note of what others on twitter commonly do, specifically those you look up to in your field. Since I wanted to use twitter primary as an illustrator, I made sure to look at popular twitter accounts by illustrators. Try to find what about his or her feed makes it popular, and see how that might apply to you.

4. Tweet often. I aim to tweet about 3 times in a day about 1 to 3 hours apart. This keeps the twitter feed looking fresh without posting so much that you become annoying to your followers. Be careful not to just post a tweet for the sake of posting. Always talk about, link to, and feature interesting and engaging content. Your tweet is like a headline. If it’s not interesting enough, it will be ignored. When perusing twitter, I looked for tweets with amazing images or art projects which mentioned the artist. If I found the work truly inspiring, I would tweet the link or image with a sentence on what it was about and what my opinion of the work was. As a courtesy, I would also mention the original artist in my tweet. Promoting other great artists is a good practice. Any artist greatly appreciates when you help promote his or her work. It may also spark a great conversation with the artist.

5. Make sure to self-promote as well as interact with other people. This is a social media website that spurs communication, not a one-way radio broadcast. Self-promotion may be your end goal, but shamelessly promoting too often can turn people off. Try linking to an informative blog post you wrote. As an artist, I try to explain my art process whenever possible. It will help other artists and can help establish you as a knowledgeable person on the subject. For example, create a “How-to” video showing how you got to your finished artwork.

6. Mention people in tweets you would like to talk to about something specific. Randomly adding people to a tweet will look like spam. Engage with everyone that mentions you, whether it was a good comment, a bad comment or a question. Selectively engage with people who favorite your tweets. Clearly they liked what you said, they may be open to having a conversation with you. As a general guideline, try to think more about having meaningful conversations and less about making a sale. It will help you look more personable and human.

7. Mention topics in a tweet. Topics are also commonly referred to as hash-tags, and look like this, #art. Make sure the topics you choose are relevant to what you are talking about. Randomly tacking on every buzz topic you’ve heard will also look like spam. Try to limit it to 3 topics at the most. As an illustrator, I used topics like #illustration, #painting, and #art. These may seem very obvious, but once I started using topics appropriately in my tweets, it made a huge difference.

8. Avoid grammatical errors whenever possible and try to tweet using complete sentences. It will help make your twitter feed look more professional.

9. Make lists of twitter accounts you find yourself constantly going back to. For example, I made a list of my favorite twitter feeds by illustrators, and titled it Inspiring Illustrators.

10. Aim to get real twitter followers, not mindless, inactive robots. Be conscious that many twitter accounts you see are fake. They are either represented by companies to gain a bigger follower base or are hackers attempting to gain personal information and/or access to your twitter account. This becomes more apparent when you look at an account that’s followed by thousands or millions of people. Many of those followers aren’t attached to an account with a real person. For example, a twitter account with many followers but no tweets, may be a robot. A twitter account that only retweets from other accounts and has no original content, may also be a robot.

On a softer note, try not to obsesses about people who unfollow you. People can choose who to follow and who to not follow based on what someone has in their twitter feed. It is just honesty. Please don’t hate them for it.

I hope this list helps you be more successful on twitter. Good luck!
If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, please use the comment field below.

Top 15 Best Uses For The Sonic Screwdriver

All Doctor Who fans are aware of the Sonic Screwdriver’s ability to open locks, except deadlock seals, but what else has it been used for? Below are my top 15 best uses for the Sonic Screwdriver.

Key To The Universe - Sonic Screwdriver Painting by Nicole Cleary

Key To The Universe – Sonic Screwdriver Painting by Nicole Cleary

1. Bypassing and turning off security systems

2. Analyzing both life forms and mechanical objects

3. Disarming fusion bombs by reversing the polarity of the neutron-flow

4. Disabling a weakened Cyberman at a distance

5. Remote detonating mines
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Happy Easter + “Sprung” Illustration of a Spring Flower

When spring is in the air, flowers leap from of the ground as if the flower’s stem was a coiled spring. That’s the inspiration for the illustration I created below. The refreshing nature of spring and the beautiful environment it creates is mirrored by the vibrant colors and the playful movement of this piece.

"Sprung" - Painting of a spring flower by Nicole Cleary

Sprung by Nicole Cleary

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Space Travel – Galaxy Painting

Space Travel - Painting by Nicole Cleary

Space Travel – Painting by Nicole Cleary

Long distance space travel is an idea that needs to be more than an idea. This painting refers back to both seeing the cosmos through a lens in the safety of our home on earth and imagines forward to a time when we can reach out and experience the images with our own eyes.
Video of satellites that have gone deep into space. Images of what we imagine is further out there. Its inspiring, but yet its a tease. So close yet so far. How different would it feel if you were in a ship driving towards the outskirts of the universe. Or seeing these images for yourself by floating just outside the ship experiencing the vastness of space in an uncharted area. I created this work to live in to time periods. The one we live in now, and the one I hope to see in my life time … out the window of a long distance voyage.
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Where does all music end up?

A massive amount of music is created and brought into the world every day. Some songs become hits and are played over and over again, but most music we never hear. Thousands of musical masterpieces get lost in the din and disappear.

This was the concept behind the illustration I created below titled “Music Void”.

Music Void by Nicole Cleary

Music Void by Nicole Cleary

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Dark Side Of The Moon – Painting

Dark Side Of The Moon – Animated Painting by Nicole Cleary

This painting was inspired by the “Dark Side of the Moon” Album by Pink Floyd. It was later animated in photoshop. I created it to depict the dark side of the moon based on the real craters and mounds that make up the moon’s surface. The flowing line style exaggerates the detailed light and dark areas you would see if you were floating past the moon at a reasonably close distance. The musical style of Pink Floyd has a deep psychedelic nature as well as playful tones and sound effects. I wanted the style of the painting to reflect that. Below are some selected detail shots of the painting.
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All Art Begins With A Blank Canvas

Making the first mark on a blank canvas can be unnerving. It has the potential to be both a success and a failure. Whether it be a painting, a sculpture, a building, a lyric, a novel, or even a website, that first step in a project is a defining moment. The painting I’ve created below embodies that moment, just before the brush hits the canvas.

"Blank Canvas" painting by Nicole Cleary

“Blank Canvas” painting by Nicole Cleary

Be confident in that moment.
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What to include in a portfolio

Portfolio’s are fickle beasts. Deciding what to put in, what to pull out, and how to present it is difficult. It requires that an artist review his or her work objectively. Portfolio websites are no different. They require constant feedback and updates to keep them looking their best. Any one piece that is not up to the caliber of the other work included brings down the quality of the portfolio as a whole. A great portfolio intrigues the viewer, keeping him or her interested and wanting more.


Two of the most important things to keep in mind when formulating a portfolio:
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The Best Mobile Drawing App Is Called Paper

"Trumpet Flower" illustration by Nicole Cleary using the Paper app by FiftyThree

“Trumpet Flower” illustration by Nicole Cleary using the Paper app by FiftyThree

logoPaper by FiftyThree

The main idea for this app is simple. Get your ideas on paper. It’s the best tool to sort out the concept you have in your head and make it a visual reality. The key to its success is that it has a staggeringly simple UI/interface and an extremely accurate replication of the effects of a calligraphy pen, pencil, heavy marker, fine-tip marker, and watercolor brush on a real paper surface. The developers have even gone so far as to mimic how colors mix once applied to the page. For example, if you were to paint a spot with yellow, then paint over that same spot with blue, you would see green where those two spots overlapped. Impressed? I certainly was.
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