Research 1 – social networks

Research 1 – online social networks

Online social networks for artists

For posting your portfolio:

  • Behance.
  • Dribbble.
  • Coroflot.
  • Crevado

For general posting and social networking:

AOI

LinkedIn

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Youtube

TikTok

Tumblr

CGSociety

Pinterest

What did I find and how does this inform my understanding of illustration?

For the portfolio sites, I found that Behance and Dribbble were the best of the four listed, as they were well detailed, busy and active.  They had a clear section for Illustration, a workshop section and a the images were very clearly laid out.  It was similar to Instagram and Facebook in that there were ‘likes’ that appeared beside the images and you could follow illustrators.  The story feed at the top appeared to be quite busy and there were stories active all the time.

The other two portfolio sites appeared less active and more industry design led for Coroflot.  There is an application process for this portfolio site, possibly to ensure that you’re posting correctly and that your images match what they’re promoting. 

The Crevado site wasn’t as energetic as the others and wasn’t as appealing so I don’t think I’d post on it.

For social networking I use Instagram and Facebook.  These are sites that I’m already on and using and am familiar with how to post.  I created an OCA Illustration page in my Year 1 and it helped group the various students on Facebook so that we could discuss and chat about our work.  I found it super helpful but handed the administration of it over a couple of years ago as the admin side of it was busy and I couldn’t do it alone.

Since then I have gladly contributed to posting and find the same students still using it.  We don’t use it for promoting ourselves and trying to gain work, which is something that the portfolio sites are definitely great for.

Youtube is good but only for sharing sketchbooks and various short videos.  I have used it in the past but it was a lot of work to upload videos on a regular basis.  If you are aiming at creating workshops in the future then this is a great site to promote yourself on with short tutorials.  It isn’t a great site for promoting your work and socialising on.

Twitter is just awful so I avoid that as much as possible.  TikTok is great for creating followers and a community for your art but again it can take a lot of effort to create content.  CGSociety isn’t something that I’ve investigated much but it has always come highly recommended.  Pinterest is great for sourcing images that inspire, but I haven’t engaged with putting my own work on it. 

Overall, I found that it takes a lot of effort to maintain these accounts regardless of where you choose to post your work.  Some of the sites are clearly more geared towards the visual arts and there are jobs posted on the sites and supportive workshops which are great.

However, convenience is above all, the most important aspect of this and Instagram and Facebook have that link option where your feed can appear on both.  I don’t use it to avoid spamming people I know, but it is a useful tool for saving time.

Adapting to suit the changing algorithms and change to video also seems to be a requirement.  So although I enjoyed the ease of posting an image on Instagram, now you have to shake it about and do a video in order for your post to be viewed more.

What it really tells me is that social networking is more of a distraction from the work, but without it, it seems difficult to network or promote and therefore gain work.  So you have to make friends with it all.

As for the illustration, it informs me that there are a wide variety of styles out there and that there is room for everyone – that is the ideal thought but mostly I am looking at work and gobsmacked by the quality of art that is out there.

There are a wide variety of 2D and 3D styles too.  The graphics style feels very isometric in design while the 2D formats are highly textured and with exaggerated characters.

There are very few ‘normal’ portrayals of people, rather characterised versions with plenty of energy.

Ref:

https://dribbble.com/learn#upcoming-workshops-anchor

https://crevado.com/examples

https://www.themuse.com/advice/best-free-design-portfolio-sites

[accessed 16.08.21]