Many, if not most of us, have a Facebook page. Either a personal page, a business page, or both. And, many of us are members or hosts of Facebook groups as well. On one or more of these pages (if not all) we post photos of our work. And then, if you are like me, you wait for likes and comments. Anxiously. Impatiently. Okay, obsessively. Facebook may be a wonderful, magical way to connect with people, but it is also addictive and sometimes counterproductive. Not just because you can be sucked into a time void while scrolling away, suddenly realizing you've lost three hours in what felt like 15 minutes, but because it's easy to become dependent on the instant gratification of the microscopic thumbs-up icon. "How many likes has the photo of my new necklace design gotten?? Only seven? Seriously? What's wrong with it? I posted it almost EIGHT MINUTES AGO". And then the death- spiral of self-doubt begins. We are relieved and probably way too happy when a photo gets a ton of likes, totally bummed if a photo seems overlooked. Facebook is many things, but it ain't always your friend, nor is it a real reflection of anything but the whim of the moment.
All artists need feedback. True, real-time feedback. As painful as it may be at times, honest feedback helps us grow and evolve and become better artists. Is a thumbs-up really feedback? I think of it more like a virtual pat on the head. Don't get me wrong, I am delighted when a lot of people like my works, it feels great. I just don't base my entire artistic consciousness on whether or not something I create is a hit on Facebook.
For real feedback I turn to those artists, friends and clients that I have a relationship with, trust and admire. Yes, we connect online, many times through Facebook. What they have to say carries far more weight than just the thumb icon.
My point is that I think Facebook should be used as an entertaining tool. Don't take it too seriously and use it wisely. You can expand your client base, reach out to and connect with artists and yes, share photos of your work. Just understand that there is a lot of useless noise out there, and filter the meaningful dialogue as best you can.
Oh, and turn the damn thing off every once in a while...it's not going anywhere, but you can.
Speaking of going places, I want to wish all our artist friends attending BeadFest a fantastic weekend! I hope you all sell a ton...I'm so jealous. Please share pics of the show!
Finally, I close with my favorite tool at the moment. I love to make cuffs and bangles, and have, up until now, only had a round bracelet mandrel. Great for bangles, but not so good for cuffs if you want to create an oval profile, which I prefer for cuffs. I end up spending a lot of time bending and shaping by hand to get the nice, even oval shape I want. Well, enter the bracelet bender I got from Gotta Getta Deal on Etsy! Best $15.00 I ever spent. Secure the steel bender in a vise, then simply fit your metal into the slotted end and curve, remove, flip, and curve the other side! Perfect oval, easy-peasy!
Since getting it I've been making tons cuffs, most recently lightweight, stackable bangle cuffs I call "Quickies". To make them I use heavy-gauge copper, brass or nickel silver wire (10 and 12 gauge). Endless possibilities from there...texture, patina, embellish, you name it. I've posted some pics on my Facebook page...hurry over and like them!!!
The bracelet bender at work, and a few of the
Quickie stack bangle cuffs I have made