Tag: artist using social media

A new adventure, or just another way to walk down the same old road?

Artist BZTAT's Tsu Social network page


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So there is a new social network in town. It is called Tsu. I know, I am skeptical too.

When social networks were a new frontier, many were skeptical then, as well. Eventually, we all jumped on board, though, and now we don’t know how we ever lived without it. We have become entrenched in certain networks and are skeptical about changing to new ones. When new social networks hit the scene, they are met with a lot of yawns.

First there was Myspace. I jumped on board with that, connecting with others in my local art community as we worked to build an Arts District in Canton, OH. I also connected with artists and galleries and museums around the world, but I won’t say that I had much reach back then. Myspace soon became the gutter of social media, however, and I moved on.

Next, I joined Twitter, following the guidance of a blogpost on Empty Easel that shared how some artists were connecting with patrons there. My cat joined Twitter as well, and truth be told, he built my business as a Pet Portrait Artist through his shenanigans there.

My nephew, who was attending Syracuse University at the time, sent me an invitation to Facebook, which at the time was primarily for college students, but it was starting to branch out. It took awhile, but my Twitter following eventually drifted to Facebook, and that has become my biggest area of connection with fans and customers.

I continue to tweet, although my cat has all but hung up his tweeting paws (We are talking about that. Need to get my Brand Manager a bit more active). I have joined Google+, Pinterest and Instagram, and I maintain a presence on LinkedIn. (If you are on any of these platforms, you can find active content from me there.)

I joined Ello when it was the latest greatest, but it became an echo chamber, so I have all but abandoned it.

And now, a friend sends me an invite to join Tsu, the newest social network to hit the scene. Why should I try this one? Is it a new adventure, or is it just another way to walk down what has become the same old road?

Tsu is very similar to Facebook. Except for having the color green, it looks the same and has most of the same features. What is different about it? The difference is in the business model.

Facebook treats its users as a product for driving revenue for the company. They use your data and your content as a means for gaining revenue from advertising and selling data. They purposefully manipulate the visibility of your content according to their own financial gains, not for the purpose of user satisfaction. We all know we are being used for somewhat disingenuous purposes, but we accept that because we enjoy what the service provides.

Tsu claims that we do not have to accept that trade-off in order to enjoy the benefit of the service. In fact, they seek to reward users that draw in revenue instead of using them. Users that draw in other users that draw in revenue can benefit financially from the use of the service.

It sounds like a laudable goal. And reports suggest that Tsu has been very responsive to confronting users that try to game the system. Bots and spammers are dealt with immediately and inappropriate content is eliminated.

I am not sure how deep I am going to get into Tsu, but I do see an opportunity for attracting new interest in my artwork, so i am giving it a go. If you would like to try, simply click on the button below for an invite (It is invitation only). In the effort for full disclosure, I may benefit from any revenue that you bring in, as you will benefit from bringing in other users yourself.

If it all sounds “Ho, hum” to you, that is fine. If it does take off, and you want to reconsider, feel free to come back to this post to get the invite. Hope to see you wherever you like to connect with others.


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Follow me wherever you connect!

BZTAT on Facebook     BZTAT on Twitter     BZTAT on Instagram     BZTAT on Pinterest

BZTAT on Google+     BZTAT on LinkedIn


Life is an Adventure!



Artists, Authenticity and Art Marketing

Paradoxes, Purposes and Ponderances - Artist Musings by BZTAT

A friend posted a status update on Facebook recently that expressed frustration about the way some artists and public art projects are marketed. Her annoyance stemmed from the “hype” over a public art project that made her feel “marketed to”.

I wondered about the specifics of the project that had sparked her ire, so I asked her about it. She never gave me the specifics, but she did share this unsolicited compliment:

“I appreciate the way you personally try to connect with your audience and community, BZTAT — because of your blog and your social media pages I do feel like you “practice what you preach.”

I wasn’t seeking a compliment about my own social media activities. I was simply curious about what had annoyed her so much. I was gratified, however, to hear that my own social media presence was having the intended impact upon those who follow me.

Authenticity is very important to me in the process of sharing and promoting my art business. The notion of marketing is only palatable to me if it is done within the context of real life experience and true creative inspiration.

I try to engage honestly with those who enjoy my art instead of “marketing to” them. “Personally connecting with my audience and community” makes my work more desirable to people I think, so the hard sell is not necessary.

Authenticity has its consequences though.

I am sure that I have missed out on sales of artwork because I declined to pitch it in more aggressive ways. I also know that being accessible and approachable defies the myth some people have about artists being remote and mysterious, thus leading them to believe I am not a “serious” artist.

The consequences of being inauthentic would be worse, however. I am not good at being fake.

I guess I am lucky that personal and authentic connection with my audience works for me. It’s the only way that I know how to be, and I thrive on the enrichment I receive in the process.

Thanks for following along, and thanks for bringing me that enrichment.

Why are artists afraid of marketing themselves?

art marketing for artists

I talk to a lot of artists on a regular basis. Some online and some in person. With only a few exceptions, they almost always put up their guard when I start talking to them about marketing their art and themselves.

I simply don’t get it.

I realize that it doesn’t come naturally to some. I also understand that learning the technologies for art marketing can be intimidating. But artists are supposed to be intrepid souls who will go where others will not dare, right?


My experience has shown that artists tend to shed their intrepid adventurer skins when you start talking social media, blogging, websites, etc. to them. Why is that?

I suspect that there are a lot of reasons. Whatever the reason, it is to the artist’s detriment. Artists who succeed in their own lifetimes tend to be the ones who develop a knack for marketing. They sync their creative souls with their desire to share their work with others, and they find ways to get there work “out there”. When their work is “out there” and seen by a wider audience, it sells.

I am not anywhere close to where I want to be in selling my work, but I am SELLING. I sell more work than most artists that I know. I am not living in luxury, but I am living from the proceeds of my art. I am building a foundation upon which greater things can develop.

I want to help others learn what I have learned, and what I continue to learn about marketing. It is a creative and energizing endeavor, and it does not have to take away from one’s artwork production.

So I ask you, if you are an artist, are you afraid of marketing? What scares you the most? What hold you back?