Being online, whether blogging, or facebook, etsy or pinterest, has opened up a whole new world to me. I have made new friends, I have been able to promote my shops, I have found support, encouragement and advice, and have found some artists that I really admire, not only as artists, but as plain old wonderful folks.
One of the places I have found some very close friends is facebook, through groups. There is one particular group, that is kinda small, which I love, because I feel like I really know those gals. Its all beady ladies, one way or the other, and it’s a private group, so its always a party. It shall remain nameless too, because I am selfish that way. (wink wink)
Here are some beady friends I got to meet in person- friends I first met online
Anyhow, I have learned a lot since I began my online journey. I'd like to share a few of them.
1. What I do is no secret. So why not share what I know.
I have learned almost everything I know because someone took the time to share a tip, or technique with me. Who am I to not pay it forward? I am forever thankful to everyone who has ever helped me to get to where I am today. Whether it be splitting early bead orders with me, teaching me to solder or tips and tricks in business, I am soooo very thankful. You all know who you are! (gosh- each and everyone of you has probably helped me in some way or another)
2. Put yourself out there. The good will outweigh the bad.
Yes, I know putting your work online (like on etsy, flickr or facebook) puts you at risk for copying. It may very well happen. You can deal with it if it does. People may try to make what you do, but may only do it once or twice while they try to find who they are as a designer or master a technique. Yet there are those dreaded people who try to imitate what you make and undersell you, but they are NOT the majority. Overall, the good that comes from sharing your work and pictures online outweighs the bad. So don’t hold back out of FEAR. Be confident in who you are as an artist, and do your thing.
3. Do not compare yourself to others.
Oh my word. This is one I struggle with. Whether I am seeing a design I wish I had thought of first, or know of someone selling more then me, my first instinct is to compare and wonder what I am doing wrong. DO NOT DO THIS. I have learned to just say no to comparing. Concentrate on my work, my goals, my direction, or I will be pulled all over the place, doing this and that and the other thing trying to keep up.
4. Take care of your friends. Be encouraging. If there’s something of theirs you love, share it with the world.
This has been one of the most amazing things I have learned. There is such a great community out there willing to give a shout out to other artists, a link, a facebook post, its just amazing. So, be nice to your friends, the artists you admire, give them some “press” and share the love. Encourage them, celebrate with them. The relationships I have made with my like minded beady friends are like none anywhere else. I value them, and hope I take care of them as much as they take care of me.
These are just a few of the things I have learned along the way. I am sooo very thankful for the amazing people who are always there for me, behind the scenes.
What have you learned from your online adventures?