I've been feeling stretched, disorganized, and scattered the more places I register on lately. So, I've sat down (Or rather, paced.) and figured out the best way to utilize my time no matter where I'm spending it, while also maintaining an online presence for networking myself. This may also be interesting to you guys as well, since I know all of you visit loads of websites yourselves on a regular basis.
I mean, yes, every single one of these sites gives you the tools to do literally everything you could imagine all right there, even if they work differently and are geared toward different audiences. And if you're able to stick to one social website for everything online, good for you! That means you have more sanity, and I hope you were especially thankful for that last Thanksgiving.
However, for the rest of us with friends all over the place, it really helps to manage what all we're doing and where. The below is how I'm going to handle it, and you might find some parts that you can adapt for yourself. Or maybe not, haha! I like keeping everything organized when I can.
Social Media-------------------------Blog Site
Twitter ------------------------- Tumblr
(deviantART, Pixiv, FurAffinity, Weasyl, etc.)
Art-centric websites are essentially your "home" as an artist. It is your springboard to other social sites, posting finished, polished works to a worldwide audience, networking yourself, (dA groups and forums, for instance.) talking to other artists, sharing techniques, reading tutorials, being inspired by artists greater than yourself, and the list goes on.
(Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.)
A lot of times, you might want to share random photos, things you cooked, the stray cat you're caring for, a cool rock you found, random thoughts, pictures taken on a road trip, a shout out to the kind waitress that served you, and talk to people about Halloween decorations- the list goes on. Essentially, a lot of non-art things would be too spammy to share on art-centered websites.
Odds are, you're already on one site or another because of family and friends. Social Media is honestly a great place to meet more people that aren't
artists, and it's more convenient for them to keep up with artists they like, if they don't already use a deviantART account for that.
In other words, it's a great way to reach more people than you could on just art sites, and you get to kick off your socks and chat about a wide variety of topics with your followers or friends. You make yourself more approachable as well.
If you're on Facebook, make an art page if you don't like cluttering up your personal timeline. Pinterest is very
organized with its board system, so you can keep artwork on boards away from things that you pin. Tumblr also allows you to make a secondary blog if you like keeping art separate from reblogs. It has never been easier to network yourself and build an audience online.
(Tumblr, WordPress, Weebly, etc.)
Every active, dedicated artist should have one of these, as long as you're not inclined to keep your techniques private. (An online portfolio would be more organized for you than a blog, if so.) A blog specifically for tracking your artistic journey. Rough (though presentable) sketches, speed paintings, reference sheets, experimental paintings/sketches, works in progress, your own tutorials, detailed journal updates, and finished works when you have them. All have a fitting place here.
Quite a few people are interested in seeing things behind the scenes, especially on Tumblr. Every artist approaches art differently, and see their world differently as well. It's a great way to learn from artists when you can see how their finished works look from the initial sketch to its final coloring; even better if they sometimes elaborate on their processes a little as they go. It couldn't hurt to see if an art blog is worth the time investment, and you have many choices on where to start your own.
Last, but likely most importantly, web forums have never stopped being useful resources. As great as social media and art sites are, (usually) you are limited to feedback from the people that follow you; it's almost like a virtual little island for yourself. With web forums, you are open to feedback from anyone that registered and regularly checks the boards. (And of course, love writing replies.) It's you against the world, or a small corner of it anyway.
If you enjoy going all wall-of-text, forums are especially great for that; social media loves to indirectly throttle that in some ways. It never hurts to be a regular visitor of a web forum or two that are dedicated to topics that interest you. Even deviantART has forums (Which some of us out in the wilds of deviantART forget exists!) you can check out without needing to make another account, and it's very active too.
And much like the other sites, they're good sites to relax and discuss other topics too. I myself have made as many friends from forums as I have from right here on deviantART. Talking to people with similar interests is an amazing feeling, and you never really feel alone in your journey. Forums are as great a place to make friends as anywhere else.
As for me? My favorite social site is Twitter, deviantART has always been my home since I started here, and I recently revived my Tumblr blog to post lots of things. Spriter's Resource and Sonic Retro are my favorite forums to visit as well. I've really grown as a person since joining both of those places. (Seriously, they helped pop the black and white cultural bubble I used to be stuck in. Eww
I do have a Facebook too, but I rarely check it. Maybe I'm overly sensitive, emotionally. Still, I feel like an outsider there all the time, and I'm far from an attention whore. It's one of those things everyone on planet Earth is kinda forced to have for one reason or another. I've got my one reason too.
My journal posts are too long, aren't they? If you managed to get to the bottom of this thing without getting bored and moving on to other things in your watchlist, thanks for reading! Wouldn't mind hearing your thoughts on how to organize time on social media too. Hope you guys have a Merry Christmas, or a Happy Holiday.