If you’re curious about how other artists and makers handle social media, the social study series highlights some of the best to get an inside look at how they do it.
First up is illustrator Jessica Roux. She’s an incredible artist who also happens to have a knack for social media know-how.
Can you talk about how you first started building your social media presence? Right now you’re on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook and update all of them regularly. Did you start out with all three or just begin with one and go from there?
I started all three around the same time, during my senior year in college, because it was something a professor recommended in class. My Instagram initially was just personal pictures, but I started posting my work on there more frequently after I graduated from college and was starting to get my first few editorial illustration jobs. It grew pretty quickly from there, and soon I was posting almost daily with work-related posts. My Facebook page has always been for just illustration work, and my Twitter is still a pretty good mix of life stuff and work stuff.
Do you have a set plan of attack when it comes to social media or do you just wing it?
A little bit of both! I try to post every other day (although sometimes I miss a few days here and there). I tend to post a mix of new projects, in-progress work, products I’ve made, and older illustrations. Sometimes my dog makes an appearance too. I’ve always enjoyed photography, so I love taking shots of my work on my table or out in the wild. I think that helps mix it up, so it’s not all digital files of finished work.
How much time and work do you spend on social media each week? Are there any tools you use that you find especially helpful?
I probably spend way too much time on Instagram and Twitter. I don’t check Facebook very often unless I’m posting something. I spend maybe an hour or two a week taking and editing photos for social media. I keep all my photos in folders on my phone for potential posts, sorted by platform, and that way I’ll have something to share quickly when I’m really busy with client work. I edit everything in Photoshop, and I typically take all my photos on my iPhone.
My shop is (finally) back up and running after a much needed break! I’ve listed a ton more prints and cards than ever before, plus these bandanas (and in a new color!) Check it out at https://t.co/3WpZ6KESRQ pic.twitter.com/sA2mHIBXu6— Jessica Roux (@jessicasroux) January 9, 2019
What, if anything, do you try to keep in mind when posting to social? Can you give us a list of two or three things?
For my illustration work, I try to post the work I’m proud of - the type of work I want to get hired to do more of. That way potential clients can find me and see what my strengths are.
Another tip is to focus on making work you like first and foremost. I don’t really get upset if a piece I’m proud of doesn’t get a ton of likes - it’s really so far out of my control now with the various algorithms that less than 10% of my followers see what I post anyway, so it’s not worth sweating it. Instead, I focus on making my work better and drawing what I love. It’s always nice if something does really well, since, after all, this is my job (and it can lead to sales and more opportunities) - but I try to gauge my work before I share it in the first place. I’m not going to like an illustration more if it does well, and I’m not going to like an illustration any less if it doesn’t.