Painting Tips

Social Media as an Artist

December 13, 2017

Like a lot of things, social media is a coin. It has two sides, everyone has one & it’s you’re choice how you use it. Social media has many wonderful benefits. It draws people together and makes us feel a part of something bigger. Many start building a business using social platforms, and even just down to sharing our special moments with family. But like a coin, there’s another side, a dark shadow that can lurk out and grab you when you’re completely unaware.

Let me just start with a disclaimer here: yes, I do use social media everyday (who doesn’t). Yes, the only reason I can do what I love everyday, is because of social media. Yes, it has helped me find my path, given me inspiration and positivity in the darkest of days. I will never regret using it the way I have, and I am truly thankful to everybody that follows me and supports me on my profiles.

Lately I’ve realised though, the negative effects. The obsession with ‘checking’ my post, usually to make sure there are no negative or abusive comments. In general, 95% of my comments are beautiful, inspiring, appreciative comments that fill my heart with gratitude and acceptance. Sadly though, the other 5% take up a lot more room in my brain than the good. It can be exhausting, sitting waiting for negativity. It’s like sitting in front of a judging panel of thousands of people, everyday, all day. The pressure really can have an impact on your mentality & happiness.

Has it got silly?

I’ve noticed the popularity of these concentration apps. The aim is to stay away from your phone, and stay focused on your task, and by doing so you can grow a tree or fruit. This is so typical of our human nature. We spend so much money on expensive phones, and time on building our social media profiles. Now we download apps to stop us using them. Is it just me who finds this confusing and backwards? As humans, we tend to get used to what were once luxuries. And instead of a balanced use, we become addicted to the point where it damages our health. Junk food, computer games and of course social media are to name a few.

I have come to the conclusion, that whilst social media can be the tool to get our art noticed and start building a career. It can also damage us to the point we don’t make art anymore. Constantly feeling defeated by everybody else’s success and talent, sucks out the joy and creativity that makes us artists.



In 2018 for a period of time, I am going social media free! It feels like a relief almost just saying that. I will still be writing on my blog, so if you miss me, you can meet me here. But I am going to take some time out to focus on myself, my artwork, my mental health.

If you come away from Instagram feeling bad about yourself, or your own life, then join me on a detox! I think we’ll feel much happier and get a more balanced view of life. I will be back, hopefully with a fresh mind and perspective, ready to connect with you lovely lot again 🙂

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this topic, and your own experiences with social media?

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  • Reply Ashley December 13, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    I could not agree more. I have no doubt about the fact that social media especially Youtube and Instagram helped me improve my art skills. It gives me inspiration and when I can, I follow art tutorials on Youtube. I think it is an incredible ressource for those who can’t afford art classes (sure it is not the same but at least there is someone to show you new techniques you might not have been able to learn as a self-taught artist). However, as you mentioned, it becomes easier to compare yourself with others. That can really have a negative effect on our creativity. Finally, it is so easy to stay on these plateforms for an hour and that is time we could use practicing our art skills, doing something with our loved ones or taking the time to do a healthy and yummy recipe.

    • Reply Katie Jobling December 14, 2017 at 11:04 am

      Hi Ashley, Thank you so much for your comment. I completely agree, YouTube has also taught me a lot of things, especially art related. It’s amazing how quickly time passes, it’s like we get sucked into the world of Instagram, and like you said we could be doing other things. Thanks again.

  • Reply Diana December 13, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    Hi Katie, I understand exactly what you mean. Though not an artist just a hobby painter , I’ve stopped “sharing” my work, I was spending so much time checking my “likes” , comments and comparing ,my painting practically ceased. I’m really trying to limit my browsing !

    • Reply Katie Jobling December 14, 2017 at 11:05 am

      Yes completely! Let’s do it for our own creative health 🙂

  • Reply Suzie December 13, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    Hi Katie, I’m a fair bit older than you and often miss the days of good old flickr and blogging, before things got crazy! I have a strange relationship with social media and after a long break last year from them I decided to only go back to instagram, deleting everything else. It has been really liberating! Of course I don’t get much attention on instagram as I post sporadically but in the end I decided that a small following was better than becoming obsessed or feeling like a slave to it all. Good luck with your detox, I hope it gives you clarity too. Wishing you a lovely Christmas!

    • Reply Katie Jobling December 14, 2017 at 11:06 am

      Thanks Suzie for your comment, I completely agree and it’s really interesting hearing your own experience with it all. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Keren December 13, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    I totally feel this way too. I share a photo of my work almost every day on Instagram (since 2015) and I check back for likes and followers count and try to figure out what people like and why. I find myself watching a stream of Instagram stories that really don’t interest me. Thinking too much about being popular and liked, growing my audience, and in the process lots of scrolling and time spent in my feed. Same for YouTube, my watch later keeps growing even as I watch. Why am I doing this? Well, I do have an income from Skillshare and the instagram following helps. And maybe if I have more followers I’ll make more off my artwork? But it’s too much. Unbalanced and addictive for sure. It’s hard to quit something that is ultimately rewarding. But it’s definitely possible to put boundaries and reset once every while.

    • Reply Katie Jobling December 14, 2017 at 11:08 am

      I totally know what you mean! I also check to see what is ‘most-liked’ and yet I hate to think that it affects what I paint. I feel like a revolution coming on with boundaries, it’s just getting silly, and it seems so many of us feel the same way. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences 🙂

  • Reply Marc December 14, 2017 at 1:38 am

    Are use social media to promote a different kind of business than you do – I teach people to fly airplanes. Ultimately, social media becomes way too self focused and you find yourself on an obsessive path. You’d be surprised how disconnecting frees you. Your art speaks for itself- with or without obsessing over social media. We get too connected; too “like” focused and it’s unhealthy. Free up and let it go for a while. Your business won’t suffer and your mind will open up, allowing your creativity to flow. Trust me on that one. Good luck 🙂

    • Reply Katie Jobling December 14, 2017 at 11:09 am

      Thank you so much, your comment really does mean a lot. And it gives me confidence to go ahead with my ‘detox’ plan.

  • Reply Maraed Riley December 14, 2017 at 9:13 am

    I’m going to take a social media detox with you!! To focus on the enjoyment of my art and developing my own style without worrying whether people like it or not. Thanks for your post 🙂

    • Reply Katie Jobling December 14, 2017 at 11:10 am

      Yay! let’s do it! Thanks for your comment & support 🙂

  • Reply Julie Norton December 14, 2017 at 9:40 am

    Hi Katie
    I totally understand where you are coming from. I think a break from Social Media is what the whole world needs.
    It has got nasty in a lot of ways. People feel they have some kind of right to leave awful opinions or comments on people’s lives and choices. Things they would not dream of saying to you, in person. My husband and daughter are in the Police Force. They see the destructive, bullying ways it affects the School kids of today.
    I personally feel that Social Media is what is wrong with society. Yes, it has it’s good points. Keeping people connected and like your other commentator says you can watch wonderful art videos on you tube. That’s where I found your wonderful, fresh ideas. . But like you said it’s that 5% that’s really even bigger than the 95% of positivity. It eats into your brain.
    I came off Facebook( ha ha, I’m 52) two years ago, what a relief that was. Then Twitter over a year ago. It is so refreshing. I only started putting pics on Instagram a few months ago. I have 57 followers and I don’t care about numbers. I put nature and dog pics on. Because I love them. No other reason. As I’m not bothered. It’s amazing that I’ve developed chatty relations with people all over the world. But that’s it.
    Please take time to do things for Yourself…. you are an amazing, beautiful artist….. never apologise for your decisions or the stuff you do. It’s your life. Your amazing gift.
    You are an artist, not a blogger. That’s just there to help you get your art noticed.
    Happy Christmas Katie.. And good luck in all you do.
    Julie Norton xx

    • Reply Katie Jobling December 14, 2017 at 11:13 am

      Hi Julie, thanks so much for your comment. I completely agree, and it seems to be getting nastier. Negativity brews more negativity and reactions, so it’s an endless cycle. It’s really sad that kids are growing up in society this way and must be heartbreaking to see it’s negative impacts in person. I’m truly glad I just missed it growing up in the 90’s. Thank you so much for your kind, kind words. They make me so happy in my heart to read your thoughts and thank you so much for your support. All the best to you too! xx

  • Reply Jill December 14, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    I have only been on IG for 6 months & I never wanted to get going on Facebook or twitter. I’m pretty private. So far I’ve learned a lot on IG to help with my creativity & escaped negativity. I’ve exposed myself to so much positivity and encouragement and knowledge—especially supplies and techniques to explore. Experienced IG artists have saved me time and money. I am forever grateful for people like you who lift me up so I can have the confidence to let go and explore.

    I am sorry you’ve had some negativity shared by negative people but, being the positivity we breathe to help us in this world we can’t sacrifice the community of 95% for that 5%. Turn it off, heal yourself and come back stronger for it to the 95% who need your light.

    I was an elementary school teacher for decades. You always have that 5% no matter what profession. Delete them, block them, concentrate on your unique light and your 95% will stick by you, encourage you and learn from you. But you must recover in your own way.

    I hope I understood that you’re ontinuing your blog. I am brand new today and was looking forward to learning from you and growing in my art. You’re a LIGHT I need!

    • Reply Katie Jobling December 14, 2017 at 3:22 pm

      Wow thank you so much Jill for your inspiring and beautiful comment. It brought tears to my eyes because you make me feel so valued and that gives me so much encouragement. Yes I will carry on with my blog and YouTube because they are my work. But general social media, I’m deleting the apps for a few weeks I know if it’s there I will look. Thanks again!

      • Reply Jill December 14, 2017 at 4:00 pm

        Totally understand, Katie- it’s exactly why I never did Facebook or twitter. I took some static different times but my privacy & time was more important than their chiding. What do they say….”know your own True North”….

        ….take care and enjoy ccreating your beautiful, interesting art!

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