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We are not alone 👽
There’s no point in complaining about it anymore. And even if you do, nobody will see it.
All the freelance artists have been saying this for years, myself included: “Don’t rely on only one social platform”. It’s a very good piece of advice and I stand by it. But even if you followed it, I’m sure you can’t help but feel disappointed (at the very least!) by Instagram.
This Substack is all about sharing experiences with two of those platforms and how this can relate to you. You are not alone
The Menu for This Week
🌳 Instagram No More
🌳 Productivity for Artists
🌳 My (short) Discord Experience
Instagram No More
There’s no even point in complaining about it anymore.
I’ve been building and working on my account @asiaorlando_ for about 5 years now. That means that for the last 5 years some part of my mind was busy every day thinking about what to post. Selecting the hashtags, writing the captions, and editing the illustrations. Creating personal project pieces in times when my client work couldn’t be shown publicly. And after those 5 years of my continuous Instagram presence, the time put into it, the stress it caused at times, and seeing how Instagram itself destroys carelessly everything we’ve been working for, makes me feel repulsed.
We always say it’s not about numbers. That the number of likes doesn’t matter, and the number of followers doesn’t mean anything. And again, it’s true. Having said that, when your work doesn’t reach anyone, your own followers included (who by the way, chose to follow your account out of their own free will to stay up to date with your work), there’s no possible way to reach new audiences, nor even remind your followers of your mere existence. If it was ONLY about being stuck and having 0 growth… But it’s not a secret anymore that artists (and everyone else ) have been losing followers, independently of their activity.
I don’t even want to imagine how hard and frustrating it must be for people only starting to share their work on that platform. And the worst part of the whole situation, is that there really isn’t any alternative to it. Cause the truth is we all started on Instagram and it used to be a pretty cool platform.
What bothers me personally the most is that I lost the space to communicate with you quickly and effectively. There’s still no other visual platform like Instagram out there, so here we all are, carrying on using it. Posting & sharing stuff there has become disappointing for me because behind each post and story there’s a lot of passion and time, but at the end of the day, the only ones who see those are my grandma Ada and my neighbor.
That being said, I’m still showing up on Instagram (just with less frequency) cause how can you abandon years and years of hard work put into it? I appreciate now more than ever, all of you who stick around on my account and I’m investing the ‘extra’ time into creating more and more Youtube content for you.
We all know that one of the reasons behind Instagram’s self-destruction is TikTok. A platform that divided people into those who love it and those who hate it. I finally gave up and got on Tiktok….
Q: Do I dance there?
A: No. But I do put music on while I show some bits and pieces behind the scenes of my illustration and my illustration business.
Q: Do I feel Tiktok is the best platform for illustrators to gain clients, customers and Beyoncé-level fame?
A: No. I strongly doubt clients and businesses commissioning illustrators are dancing among us on Tiktok. But while I’m waiting for Instagram replacement to appear, I see no harm in joining.
Q: Is Tiktok my favorite social media platform now?
A: No. My favorite internet spaces since The Self-Destruction of Instagram are my YouTube channel, where I share the most wholesome content for free. It’s also the place where I publicly and openly answer your questions and talk about illustration and art career. This newsletter you’re reading right now is also a great space for me to share stuff with you and you should also check out my recently opened Behance account. Feel free to follow and subscribe if you haven’t yet!
Q: Would I love for you to follow me on Tiktok?
A: Definitely yes! If you have an account say hi at @asia.orlando
5 Simple habits on how you can be more productive while working as a freelance artist or creative.
While working from home for some is the dream come true, for others it causes many issues when it comes to organization, workflow, and productivity. I still remember how it was for me when I started out as a freelance illustrator and had to adjust to building a new routine that was so different from my everyday commute to the office.
Also, being home alone while everyone else was out there chatting with colleagues at an office took some getting used to. That’s what my last video is all about!
Too often, when talking to fellow illustrators, I hear how hard it is for them to get stuff done. The laundry seems to be calling your name, watering your plants sounds like the best possible plan and why not take advantage of working from home and watch one more episode before getting down to work.
After years of being my own boss and having my own independent illustration business, I still see artists struggling with their routines. So I gathered some very simple habits that I think can help you become more productive when you’re your own boss handling an artistic endeavor. I promise those are easy and straightforward things that will cost you nothing and have a big return.
My Discord Experience
Do you remember how I was inviting you to join my newly opened Discord? Now I'm closing it. Read on to see why!
Some months ago I opened my very own Discord server. As it was a completely new thing to me, first I started off by inviting a limited number of people, while still learning how everything works there. I was repeatedly sharing a limited number of invites over here in my newsletter and through my Instagram, until I felt comfortable to make it a completely open space for everyone to join in at any point.
To give you some background, my whole idea behind Discord was born after I closed my Patreon account. I created both of those spaces to be able to have more direct contact with you, space to talk to you, where we can exchange things. The way in which Discord operates seemed perfect for it! If you're not familiar with the server, it's basically a big chatroom. It's exactly what I wanted, a very dynamic and natural space to communicate with you! I divided my Discord into small chat rooms, open to everyone, where the main language was English and later on I added a small separate Spanish chat room.
I loved the Discord experience and community while it lasted, although the effect wasn't exactly what I imagined it to be. I wanted to create an open chat space for professional, aspiring and hobby illustrators to exchange our experiences, advice, opinions with each other, so that we could talk about things like pricing, dealing with project management, client experiences, and so on. I also was strongly aiming for exchanging tastes and hobbies with you! Things that we like, books that we read, movies and series that we enjoy. I loved seeing all your beautiful pets in the designated chatroom for our furry buddies, this channel was really active and filled in with photos of your beautiful companions! I also enjoyed seeing many of you present yourself in the intro channel, it was lovely to get to know you a little bit better!:)
So in short, I was hoping for the Discord community to be the place where you can come to consult your illustration doubts, share your hobbies, show what you're into! And although many of you did, sadly there wasn't much response. From the questionnaire I ran on my Instagram stories, it resulted that most of you prefer to be silent participants, observing and reading the conversation, rather than actively participating in it. Having this dynamics wasn't helping to maintain conversations and let them flow naturally and I learned that without my very active participation and starting new topics the chats would quickly end, which sometimes gave me an impression (maybe a mistaken one?) that once again we ran into the comments format, which ends with my reply.
I truly appreciate all of you who were actively participating and starting the conversations on my Discord, people like you really built the community there and engaged with others, sharing, exchanging, asking and offering help, advice or recommendations, whether it came to art business, or our hobbies. I wish there were more of you so I could keep the Discord open:)
As you know, I'm active on Youtube, and as always I'm hoping to make my comment sections the place where we can connect! Please always remember and feel free to share whatever is on your mind, your experiences and what you're up to there, you know I always reply:)
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Where you can follow my work?
And .. this Free Art Newsletter
Thank you so much to all of you who joined my Discord community, I really appreciate you being there, and a massive huge THANKS to all of you who actively were creating the space with your participation, that's what it's all about!:)