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.

Unnatural Mutation – Illustrations by Caitlin Hackett

Vulpes Masquerade by Caitlin Hackett

Vulpes Masquerade by Caitlin Hackett

Caitlin Hackett is a traditional artist in my home borough of Brooklyn NY with a truly interesting style. Almost all of her illustrations start off with drawing all the lines with a ball-point pen on a large piece of paper. The size of which ranges anywhere between 4in by 6in to a baffling 4 1/2ft by 5ft. After Caitlin lays out each individual line, she goes back in with colored pencil and watercolor to add shading and depth. This technique that she has clearly mastered is a pain-staking process but yields amazing results. The final piece marries crisp, flowing line-work with subtle bleeds of color. Her technique alone is a work of art, but the roots of her inspiration behind the artwork creates a whole other level of interest.
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The Art of Paper Cutting

Paper cutting is certainly not a new medium, but Sarah Dennis’ paper cutting artwork has taken me be surprise. Her work has such beautifully delicate execution. Finished off by presenting each piece mounted in a shadow box, which I feel is perfect for this medium.

Polar Bear by Sarah Dennis

“Polar Bear” by Sarah Dennis

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Inspirational Artist Feature – Megan Lara

Leah by MeganLara

Leah by MeganLara

Megan has a lovely “stained glass” quality to the coloring of her artwork. These illustrations are part of her personal “Art Nouveau” series.

She has an absolute love for all things pop culture. From Doctor Who to Dexter, Megan loves it all. Her beautiful fan inspired artwork can be found in all the far corners of geek-dom: ThinkGeek, Threadless, J!nx, Fangamer, Mighty Fine, and Teefury just to name a few. So its extremely fitting that she’s currently working on creating covers for Dark Horse/Joss Whedon’s new “Willow” comic series from the Buffyverse. Megan, if you are reading this, I can honestly say I’m jealous. I’d love to be creating illustrations for Joss Whedon.
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Icon Artist Alex Kadasarva

Alex Kadasarva’s amazingly textured icon designs have a flair all their own. The interesting color choices, lighting, and compositions make each project very unique, bringing icon design to a whole new inspiring level. Each piece is highly detailed yet works incredibly well at a small scale. Most were created for use on websites, and they shine as the hero on the page, making the entire content compelling to behold.

Icons by Alex Kadasarva

Icons by Alex Kadasarva – Dreamcloset collection

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Inspirational Artist Feature – Andy Goldsworthy

leaves - sculpture by Andy Goldsworthy

leaves – sculpture by Andy Goldsworthy

Andy Goldsworthy creates sculptural artwork from the surrounding area’s environmental elements, commonly using rocks, sticks, and leaves, with the soul purpose of dissipating within a few weeks, days, or even just a few hours. Applying such a light touch to nature really leaves a lasting effect with the viewer. Even if the artwork has already worn away naturally. The way the natural light and shadow plays off his artwork in the course of a day is very thoughtful. Each piece is beautifully executed, but my favorite is the “Leaves” artwork above. Even though it seems very simple, it is actually very complex and time consuming. This specific piece was not edited with paint or anything of the sort. Instead, he sought out every leaf with a specific color tone and pattern. Then placed them artistically to create a natural gradient of color. After finishing every piece, the artist takes a photo to preserve the moment then moves on. The video at the bottom of this post shows some of his works in progress and also shows how his finished pieces degrade over time. Which is, quite simply, beautiful to watch.
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Inspirational Artist Feature – Jackie Wu

Jackie Wu utilizes HDR camera lighting effects and panoramic views to create stunning landscape photography. HDR, or high dynamic range imaging, is a photo process that “compensates for loss of detail by taking multiple pictures at different exposure levels and intelligently stitching them together to produce a picture that is representative in both dark and bright areas” – wikipedia. I have been following Jackie Wu’s extensive portfolio for quite awhile, but my favorite has to be his “Good Morning London” piece below. The amount of color and detail captured in the photo is just astonishing.

Good Morning London photo by Jackie Wu

Good Morning London photo by Jackie Wu

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Watercolor Fairy Tale Illustrations by Tatyana Kartasheva

Tatyana Kartasheva’s brilliantly shaded watercolor and pencil artwork is impressive, especially since these gorgeous pieces were created for her graduation project titled “Sweet Store of Madam Agnesa”. Each page was lovingly mapped out and amazingly executed. Such professional work at such an early point in her career is commendable. I’d be eagerly awaiting to see the full potential of this inspiring artist.

Watercolor Fairy Tale Illustration 5 by Tatyana Kartasheva

Watercolor Fairy Tale Illustration 5 by Tatyana Kartasheva

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Inspirational Artist Feature – Cliff Briggie

Cliff Briggie’s technique focuses on photographing the movement in liquids. The consistency of the subject-matter also gives the appearance of dissipating smoke or a gentle satin fabric. Concentrating the colors in different areas creates a subtle transparency that plays with the light source. The mixing colors and swirling compositions make these pieces absolutely mesmerizing.

Photo from "Infusions" series by Cliff Briggie

Photo from “Infusions” series by Cliff Briggie

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Inspirational Arist Feature – Tatiana Kazakova

These whimsical illustrations by artist Tatiana Kazakova interestingly combine different plants, animals, and environments. It gives me the impression that I’m entering a dream land, which would rival Alice’s experience down the rabbit hole. Some of the pieces, like “Kit”, have a abstract collage quality to them. Others, like “Space Stone”, feel more cohesive. All the the works, to be certain, are conceptually vibrant and elude to a deeper meaning. I would be very interested to hear the seed of thought behind each of the works from the artist herself.

UFO by Tatiana Kazakova

UFO by Tatiana Kazakova

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