Samira Abbassy is an artist and art administrator in New York. She has used Facebook to make new connections with people and solidify weaker connections. She said that relationships can be fostered through Facebook, and that she has found many opportunities through it. As a general rule, she posts pictures of new art on Facebook when she makes it. Sometimes friends or curators comment. As a result, she was approached by one curator that put her in a university show in Connecticut. Samira feels that it is easier to find people on Facebook and that it allows artists to be exhibited all the time, which opens up many possibilities. www.samiraabbassy.com
Lisa Pressman points out that Facebook makes it possible to network with artists and curators all over the world. She is the mother of two children and uses email and Facebook to connect with shows and find other sales opportunities. For her, it is all about long-term relationships; she might end up emailing or messaging the same people for years. Sometimes she meets them at parties or online and then asks them directly about working together. Thanks in part to this technique, she is represented by five galleries. Her method is elegant and simple: keep showing people what you do, and ask them if they want to work with you.
Of course, this strategy applies for gaining exposure in print and online as well. Lisa once saw a photographer looking for artists’ studios to photograph, so she contacted him and invited him to photograph hers. The photo was a featured image in a Huffington Post article. She stressed that her success can be attributed to her pursuing people through social media—a channel that is often less crowded than email inboxes. www.lisapressman.net
Aaron Fein is forty years old and a father of two children. At first he resisted Facebook, but he eventually managed to connect with friends and others who helped him finish a long-term 9/11 memorial project that he was working on. In February 2010, his wife helped him write about his project and post it on Facebook. He found that this allowed him to interact with people and discuss the project as well as his process. An online community formed, which became part of the project. He was not very comfortable self-promoting and asking for money—he still isn’t—but he was able to raise money and awareness gradually through Facebook, little by little, by asking for sponsorships, asking people to help with parts of the project, etc. Also through Facebook, Aaron met someone who was driving through forty-eight contiguous states and volunteering, doing “service” in different places. After he sent him a Facebook message and explained his art project, the volunteer agreed to come by to help. Aaron said that experience alone strongly affected him and his children, and could not have happened before Facebook existed. www.aaronfein.com
To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here. To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.