Shop Talk

The Benefits of Sharing the Work of Other Artists

We all know the old adage sharing is caring, right? Well, it turns out it’s very true, especially where art is concerned.

Sharing the artwork of other artists is a great way to spread your own online presence while making friends and supporting fellow independent creators. You can use social media platforms to share works that you didn’t make yourself, but that you admire as a way to engage with other communities of creative folks. The post below outlines the ways in which sharing other artists’ work is beneficial and includes practical tips on how exactly to do this.

"Fresh" Scarf by thepapercrane

1. It’s a great way to network

If I had to choose one way to network, promoting the work of my fellow artists would be my first choice as you can reap the benefits of self-promotion without directly being a salesperson. It’s a great way to politely connect and give a nod to artists that you genuinely admire.

Networking by sharing also demonstrates that you actively care and are engaged with your artistic peers. It lets everyone know that you’re checking out the work of those around you and that you can appreciate it. When I think of the kinds of artists that I want to associate with, hang out with, or collaborate with, this is who comes to mind.

2. Sharing on social media builds community

You can use the power of social media to find other communities that make similar artwork or share interests with you. By helping to build support bases for existing artists, you can inadvertently increase the exposure of your own art. The cliches “one hand washes the other” and ” you scratch my back and I scratch yours” really apply here.

Make sure you’re sharing with like-minded supporters of your artwork. You can usually tell if another artist or illustrator will have these supporters by checking out their social media profiles. You can see that you have common subjects, themes, or mediums in your work, and can gain followers and customers that way. This practice opens up the possibility of collaborations, exhibitions, or future professional connections. The best platforms for this are Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Try it now: Search Redbubble and find an artist you dig. Then share something from her on Twitter or Facebook with a friendly message and a link to the work on RB. Also, make sure you always credit and tag the work you share as a matter of courtesy. Give credit where credit is due.

3. It Supports Your Fellow Freelancers

If you share another artist’s artwork that you really appreciate, you’re helping to support their creative practice. Retweet their Twitter updates or post their work on your Facebook page. We all know that artworks and inspiration aren’t generated in a vacuum, and reaching out to other artists and designers can foster real communities that help generate new friendships, sales, and work. In short, connecting can help you feel less alone while working on your own stuff, and that’s always a positive thing.

Also, how cool is it if you help make some dough for an artists you love?

One of the reasons I like this method is that it allows for spontaneity and flexibility while functioning as an exercise in simply enjoying artwork. If you like it, share it. Simple as that.

"Giraffe" Laptop Skin by lukerobson

Some tips:

  • Choose artwork to share that is in some way connected to the artwork you make. Whether it has similar subjects, techniques, or mediums, find common ground and highlight it.
  • Experiment with sharing artwork that you can tie into a social media post about some kind of special occasion (like holidays, seasons, a pop culture thingamajig, etc). Keep your post relevant and timely. Stay focused and in context with the world and goings-on around you.
  • Don’t be afraid to follow up with the artists your like. You can send a Bubblemail, a direct messages on Twitter, or an email. Once you’ve shared an artwork, you can reach out to let the artist know that you’re a fan and kick off a creative dialogue.
  • Try and share an artwork by another artist, illustrator, or designer at least once a week. Choose one specific day and stick to that schedule. Bringing structure to your social media/self-promotion plan can have a cumulative effect for growing supporters and fan bases of your own work.
  • Ensure you always credit the artists’ work that you share. Mention them on Twitter, tag them on Facebook, and/or call them out by name with a link to their Redbubble profile.
  • Be sincere. Be authentic. Be yourself. Always.

"Procrastination" iPhone Case by Kajoi

Do you have any tips on sharing work online? Have you tried networking this way? Let us know in the comments below.