Discovering Social Media Through Art

Greeting Card Designer Blog invited Moshe Mikanovsky, artist, to be a special guest writer for "Social Media Month" and talk about his experiences of using social media.



Guest Writer Moshe Mikanovsky

I love art. I love the Internet and the possibilities it has. Until six months ago, these two were always separated for me. I made art, I framed it, hang it on the wall, I gave it as gifts to my close ones.


I went to art shows and art fairs. I admired art hanging in museum halls as well as on my friend’s walls. That was my right brain in working. The other side of my brain, the lefty, was used for Parnasah, or in plain English, to pay the bills.


I worked for 20 years as a software developer and it all changed six months ago, when I decided to try market my art and my brand name online.Here are few things I have learned since, hoping that sharing them here will help other emerging artists as well:



Social Media is about friendship

I have made many new friends from all over the world. I didn’t meet any of them yet in person. I spoke with few on Skype. With most, I have exchanged emails and tweets. I call them my friends because I keep in touch with them, and we help each other. I have written about few of them in my blog, and they about me, driving traffic to each other, and increasing our visibility online. We also encourage each other and support each other in success and failures.


I never dreamt before starting this journey that it will take me this route, but here I am, with my new virtual friends from the US, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Portugal, and everywhere in between.


Social Media is about opportunities

With the friends come the opportunities. I have seen it done by other people – individuals I connected with separately, who all of a sudden started making business with each other.


One example that comes in mind from my own experience – I have connected with a local artist in Toronto, Valerie Kent, who after seeing my social media efforts, connected me with her niece, who hired me to help her build her own website and blog. In this case my efforts didn’t materialized for the main goal I have of promoting my art, but to a new opportunity I didn’t have in mind, yet was much welcome.


Social Media is about ideas

New opportunities and new revenue drivers are just one type of ideas that come as time and investment in social media grows. But there were other great ideas that I came across, some I used successfully and some not yet. For example, Kate Harper’s idea and encouragement to create a list of sites for artists, triggered my most read post yet, a list that now include more than 120 websites, and directly increased 10 times my readership, as well as linkage to my blog, which as a result affected my SEO, as I demonstrated in “SEO for Artists Example”. Another idea was Jen Goode’s, who was first to introduce me to Zazzle, where I shortly after opened a shop and sold many products around the globe.


Social Media is about learning

Without learning we stay in place. Without learning our creativity will starve to death. And social media is about learning – from others, from our mistakes, from other people mistakes.


For example, in the beginning I didn’t like Twitter, I must admit. Why? Because I didn’t care for nagging people several times a day about what I am drinking or about a piece of art I am selling. It’s just not my nature. But I have seen other people doing it all the time. Of course I want people to notice me, but from that to harassing or spamming I saw a direct line that I didn’t care to draw. Alas, I took that as a learning experience, of what I am not going to do. I must admit that I don’t take Twitter as my main media channel, as no one else should. It is just one piece of the puzzle.











Social Media is about growing

Growing as an artist, as a person, as member of the community. Growing your business, your knowledge, your creative side. Just growing.

Conclusion

These goes beyond “what social media is” and how one utilizes it to help his or her business. I believe that the tools are there to make a change in people lives, not the other way around. I also believe that artists who are there to promote only themselves are doomed to live in their own lonely silos. After all, it is first “Social” and only then “Media”. Here here to everyone’s success – friendship, opportunities, ideas, learning and growth

Moshe Mikanovsky

Moshe is an emerging artist, who works with several media including watercolors, acrylic, printmaking and stained glass. His vibrant and colorful style is influenced by art, architecture, the Jewish tradition and the variety of materials he uses.


Moshe created his first Ketubah in 1995 for his wife. Since then he has created many more for family and friends. In 2007 Moshe started licensing his Katubah designs to KetubahKetubah. Moshe's work can be found in many private collections in the USA, Canada, Israel and South Africa. Moshe was born and raised in Israel. Following his job assignments in the High Tech industry in North America, he is currently living happily with his wife and 3 girls in Thornhill, Ontario.


Artist Statement

My art is influenced by my Jewish heritage, my love for architecture, art and color. Using the square, and in its multiply form, the grid, was always one of the strongest shapes influencing my art. I am always fascinated by ancient mosaics, made of thousands of tiny stone or glass squares to create detailed delicate images.

In short, I just love squares!

Art for me is a passion. Passion for creativity, passion for the process, passion to learn and advance, and passion for the people who are passionate like me about art.

Copyright © 2010 GCDesigner & M. Mikanovsky

4 comments :

Naomi Broudo said...

Moshe continues to be a great inspiration to me. Through his encouragement, I too have entered the world of social media. Moshe hits the nail on the head. Social media is about learning and ideas. I have made new friends and am encouraged every day through the information I learn from these new connections. Thanks Kate for featuring this article!

Colleen @ MuralMaker&More said...

Another wonderful article. I bookmarked the first 60 sites Moshe wrote about - and now he's added even more!
Both Moshe & Kate give us lesser known artists great hope, and inspiration!

Leyla Torres said...

I love the topic of this article and I share Moshe's enthusiasm for the Internet and social media. In the past few years my interest in origami (one of my hobbies) has allowed me to make connections with many "origami" people around the world.

Now that I decided to be more active in pursuing my illustration and art making, I have been visiting blogs such as this one and I am learning a lot. It is very exciting to be inspired by the work and the experiences of so many talented people.

I like the possibility of being part of a community with which the means of connection might be virtual, but the relationships that are established are meaningful and very REAL.

Kate Harper said...

Leyla, I love your origami story. I too believe these relationships are meaningful and real too.
-Kate

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