At the beginning of the semester, I wrote a blog post about the power of connecting with people through social media platforms such as Instagram, particularly artists. Social media provides artists with new, visually interesting ways to showcase their work. I talked mainly about my personal experiences with photography, and how using hashtags effectively allowed me to make new connections, and find other– much more talented– artists. I consider this post to be Part II.
Since moving to Philadelphia about a year ago, I started following local artists, and also using more Philly-specific hashtags. I spotted street art that I loved, and unsurprisingly, began posting photos to Instagram. One of the street artists (and his promoters) found my photos on social media, and would occasionally comment on them. Thus began our exchanges. I followed all of their social media accounts, and kept up with their current projects.
Below is an example of how the creator of #UncuttArt uses Instagram to promote his work. He is based out of New York City, and participates in Free Art Fridays, where he hides his pieces throughout the city for people to find and keep. Since I don’t live in NYC, I thought I was out of luck, and would never be able to own one of those pieces.
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Congrats on finding my #FAF gift. 🙏🏽. #repost By @johnnyjbutlerii via @RepostWhiz app: Just caught the 1st #freeartfriday #protectyoheart piece. I'm a fan of @uncuttart & #streetart but this is a new level of Freshness!!!! Pure marketing genius at its best. Nuff Up & maximum respect seeeen….
I am excited to say that last week, I purchased my very first piece of art, through Instagram (technically the deal was made via Instagram and my payment sent through PayPal)! I sent a message to the artist through Instagram Direct, the app’s private inbox feature, and he replied right away with prices. He even lowered the price of a one of a kind piece for me! If it wasn’t clear to me before, I certainly believe in the power of social media now.
In the first week of this class, I was thinking about how transformative platforms such as Instagram could be for the art world. I never would have imagined that by the end of the semester I would be using social media to buy art, and communicate with artists throughout Philadelphia, let alone another state! I can’t wait to see how artists continue to use this space to connect with one another and gain greater exposure for their work.
The artist featured in this post is in the process of planning a day full of events/surprises revolving around his Protect Yo Heart Series #423. #PYH Day is April 23, 2016.