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Art and social medias, a bad mix 2023-10-07

Bonjour, voici une petite réflexion en anglais pour laisser fuir mon esprit dans la réflexion.
L'anglais a été choisi car, il est certes inférieur en termes de possibilité d'utilisations comparé
au français mais cette simplicité sert à me sortir les idées de la tête sans avoir à soigner la
forme, dû au manque de style inné à la langue.

Typo warning incoming, i've re-read this article but since english isn't my first language, i have probably missed some.

Popping out and mediocrity

When you see something in a gallery, it generally doesn't pop out, right ?

I feel like something on a screen is generally more "well-done", more well-cooked in reality. It's like a small recipe, you have to have some traits that get you to be liked by the majority of the folks on social media. You shouldn't do needlessly complex pieces that don't attract the eye if you want people to like what you do. It's really a choice that you have to do, get compliments but do something that is too approachable and most of the time, to be honest, mediocre. Or making something harder to like but get a public of more experienced enjoyers, it feels like a duality to me. I do something average in terms of attractiveness, something that wouldn't be noticed by people passing by, but at least i don't make some attention-hungry, honestly mediocre pieces.
The problem with that approach is that it makes you well, unattractive to others, you don't get thousands or hundreds of even dozens of likes every time you post something. The people that follow you will disappear from the activity of your account very rapidly, making you feel like you've lost the "social media hamster wheel game". It's a bit weird, but you're losing the popularity game on the short term. You don't get that instant gratification of maintaining your popularity you have somewhat built of the time you've been on social medias. But that's not the big problem there, it's mainly that you don't know how much exposure you get when posting something. If you use social medias to post art, it's mainly to get to talk to others about your art or get known right ? Again, if you use social media to somewhat get your art seen, not getting any eyes on you maybe be a bit of a problem, since the culture of most dominating and even alternative social medias is to just keep quiet when you see something good or bad. You quietly drop a like and that's it. That's just a social media problem though, you just have to avoid it, but that's not as easy to do, most artists under 70 i've seen or met all have some kind Instagram or Twitter to get their stuff to the public, and keep their website on the side for business opportunities.

Bad stuff for a novice audience

Social medias really bring out some artists to light, and good for that. But most of the art on social media, no, most of the art made on a computer is not worth being liked that much. It's the same stuff as hundreds if not thousands of other artists, more or less known, getting those same likes because people are used to that stuff. Social medias in its most horrible days is just a hamster wheel, that the spectator keeps spinning to find new hamsters, you don't want to get perturbed on social medias, you're not here to recieve any ground-breaking art. You're just here to recieve well-made but mediocre things. I'm of course talking about semi-popular artists, those who get amount of recognition beyond any comprehension usually are able to make something less mediocre. I'll take Dulk for exemple, it's not mediocre, but he's not really in the range of popularity that i'm reaching for in this part of the article. Comparing those with hundreds of thousands of followers to those who only have two thousands is really comparing two worlds unrelated to each other. And Dulk still has that "pop" quality that others have except he has the deepness that real life pieces would have too. But most of the art on social media, is made to be consumed mindlessly, without any requirement, it's just horrible. If you could create something amazing, why would you create something mediocre just because you're not motivated ? It's like most drawings are just really pain-stakingly made sketches, no emotions, just flashy colors or a nice shading that make people like it. As basic as it comes, but you don't want to be the next discovery of your country, you don't want to believe in yourself that you can make something amazing one day, you just want to be a graphic designer or a corporate artist, who goes from commissions to commissions.

What it really comes down to.

By posting your art to the public, you get judged to the same standard as people who have really tried to make something special. Maybe posting your low-ambition art to social media gets you some gratification on the short term, but on the long run, if you do something good later, you'll get judged for those bad things you've made public before. And it's not like you have to post every five days or something, you can post every month or even less and still get that gratification, just spend more time making your art instead of spending time sharing it.

Corporate and militant art

Now you may say that making militant art is enough of a reason to share it, i won't argue against it, i'll just argue about the fact that it's worth considering it as art by itself. There's plenty of artful militant pieces, the most famous would probably be "Guernica" by Picasso, but it's not like he made it just to propagate a message, he also infused a little bit of his heart into the surface, not only in the abysses of meanings. It's like a movie, apart from really experimental films, you need to be careful with what you show, how you show it, how the sound works, etc. You can't just have a message and put some kind of shell around it, or it'll feel very weird to some.

What ends up making a good impression is useless

If you are in search of fame or riches, you may either want to be as noticeable and divisive as possible by having a very out-there style (fame) or as bland as possible (riches). If you end up being in the middle like myself and many other people, you probably won't cut it. Corporate art probably won't cut it for the artists most of the time either, it's not bland enough, while this doesn't always applies, you won't become as rich as Kinkade if you're not as bland as him, you won't become as infamous as Duchamp if you're not as divisive as him (strictly speaking in terms of art, talking about being a nazi may make you infamous but that's not often related to the way you make art). We can see this in music too, the Residents never were and never will be as big as the Beatles, who were a lot more bland and less experimental. Maybe it's a bit less the case with the Internet but songs that get #1 are still normative, Tyler the Creator isn't breaking any boundaries by making what he does and getting number one on the charts, same with any other "experimental" artist, more experimental artists will get semi-famous or remain obscure to the masses (This isn't an attack against Tyler the Creator, i like some of his stuff, just that there's nothing groundbreaking there). There's a few exceptions of course, i could cite Yello who had a very unique style when they achieved success in the 80's.

Do what makes you happy

At the end of the day, whether you view the art you make as special or just as a hobby like any other, it depends on you. I've shared my thoughts, feel free to contact me on mail (located on the homepage) if you want to discuss something that doesn't feel well explained or something that completely destroys my point of view, i'm open.