As we approach week 5 of Making Art in the Internet age I have come to report what progress has been made and overall observations. Last post I mentioned that I had noticed a steady increase in followers on Instagram, despite what I originally thought was excessive posting. Per usual, the world works in (seemingly) vindictive ways and after that blog I have seen somewhat of a plateau in followers. It’s not all bad however! I have noticed that despite the leveling out of followers gained, there has been an increase in the average number of likes on each individual post. I think this brings up an interesting dilemma in regards to success on the internet. Even if you have a large following, how active are they in supporting your work or liking your content? It is in my opinion that it would be better to have a group of followers that actively like, comment and share your material as opposed to a larger group that does not. The question then becomes how do you obtain the kind of followers that are engaged?
I may not know the answer to how to identify or even seek out these active followers, but when I do gain them, I try my best to keep them. When I notice a follower (unrelated to me) regularly likes my content or comments on it, I always try to pay it forward. It’s hard to match someone like-for-like or comment-for-comment, but what I will do for example: if a follower often comments on my work, I will try to immerse myself in a conversation with them or at least thank them for commenting. I think that this strengthens my bond with this follower and encourages them to keep commenting/liking on my page. More importantly it shows your followers that you appreciate their support. I haven’t been involved with Instagram long enough to say with certainty if this approach is working, but I definitely don’t think it hurts! You never know where an internet connection will take you and hopefully not in a Criminal Minds direction. What I mean is that there have been people that I have met online who have since become good friends. You never know if one of your followers could become a friend, a client, a mentor, or what have you. With that in mind, I think it is beneficial to mingle with your followers if given the opportunity.
It is also worth mentioning that the class requirement has been changed. The daily posts have been brought down from twice a day to once a day. I have enjoyed this change just because I always felt a struggle to make that second post. This struggle would often cause me to time my posts close together and the back-to-back posting would subsequently hurt the overall success of both posts. I have found that I am not only happier with the nature of my posts but it also seems to be more well received by my following too. This change has only been in place for a week but I am interested to see what other side effects come as a result. Until next time!
It was too cliché to end it on that note, so I will conclude with something Scott Hess does not know about the internet: Stan Prokopenko is an artist that is popular on YouTube for his instructional art videos. Most artists are familiar with him but one thing they may not know is that his brand Proko offers an app that is a great tool for anyone wanting to better understand anatomy. The app is called Skelly and it provides an anatomically correct model that can be adjusted into any position. I find that when it comes to studying anatomy, it is really hard to find references for poses that are not the standard back, front and side view. Skelly allows you to pose the model into the exact position you need and in a way that is reliable. You can not only rotate the skeleton itself but also isolate a specific bone, for example the humerus. Skelly also features a simplified version of the skeleton called “Robo Skelly” where complex anatomical forms are broken down into simple planes. This is also very beneficial for breaking down intricate bones into recognizable forms that are easier to comprehend. The app also provides a movable camera, adjustable light source and the option to choose a light or dark background. Anatomy is already an overwhelming subject to grasp and for that Skelly is a great resource. It is available for purchase on iTunes for 6.99$ and no, I'm not a Proko representative.
Here are some visuals from the Skelly App: the logo, the posed skeleton, and simplified skeleton.