Wednesday, June 25, 2014

How to sell your soul to social media


Every artist studio has to have at least one doll head. Part of my huge studio clear out.

There's something brewing and its coming from a deep place of knowing. It's a gut thing ringing with hollow emptiness. It could be the tattered shreds of my soul.

I want to know how many info graphics I have to read before I get enlightenment. It used to be chop wood and carry water, but I reckon there's an e-course for that now.

Sleepy Lamb the studio assistant has a new successful job in Perth.

I'm guilty of reading them - the catchy graphic messages advising optimum times to post on Facebook/google+ and twitter. I'm guilty of diluting my creativity to watery gruel by watching others instead of own progress.  I'm guilty of clicking to discover how to monetise my blog - written by the guy who is monetising ME when I bite the bait and open my digital wallet.

 And monetising isn't even a word.


Growly Bear who came form Berlin - is now on his way to a new career as a Studio assistant in Perth

The digital age has made running a small business a level playing field, or a pit of quicksand.
It seems like everyone has a schtick and they're really busy schticking it to you.

Sure, I love it when someone buys from my shop, but I don't want to be made to feel like a loser because my profile pic isn't in a cute circle at the top of my page, and I hate you Google Plus for making circle profiles the only way in.

Actually, I don't want an attention grabbing blog title. I don't want to be the one beating my chest in a sea of sameness to wrest that last erg of energy from your over saturated mind.


In the last two weeks I cleared out my studio - you may have seen the Facebook updates. A few loyal studio assistants are now furthering their careers in places far away. These are their profile pics, and their new bosses are over the moon excited.

I was ruthless - 4 square metres of old me went out on eBay or out the door to my immense relief. Truth is, I felt like a fake. My studio had  become a show pony for the person I wanted to be, or was trying to be. Now it's a wonderful patch of honest earth for tiny seeds to germinate.




The tide is changing - how long can we yell digitally, "Look at me, Look at me Look at me?"

Soon, we will tire of accepting external for signs of our worth - in likes, in re tweets or even on the bathroom scales. These things we can never control. Instead we will surrender to the soft whispers in our heart that have never stopped.

We will return to the projects that lie closest to our joy, that have languished because it may not be what the market wants. Long lost bits of our soul will return and we will find our worth in following our real dreams instead of the ones on the infographic.






The tide will change.

We will realise there is a finite number of people we can realistically and authentically connect to. Robin Dunbar reckons it's 150. We may know what you had for breakfast this morning, but does that really help to know you better?




We will rest comfortably inside our own non circular profile pics, barking with our own voices, knowing that our true self is the best advertising there is.
That and good old fashioned hard work and an unwavering gaze into the mirror of truth.



I will see you there.


40 comments:

  1. gosh . i could get no where near to 150 ... there must be a sliding scale for this surely, depending on how much you talk , or type , or go out , or let in .

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  2. You are so right, folk look at my blog but do not comment, but my blog is not for them it is for me to take a step back and view my endeavours from a distance. Thanks for saying what I am thinking. X

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  3. Oh My I just have to say .... is that your studio in that pic ?? My heart skipped a beat, well a few beats actually. That looks pretty much like heaven to me :-) Sorry if I sound really materialistic but Oh that space ... what a dream. If theres a thing called "studio space envy" then I definately have it !!!

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    1. noooooo!
      It's a messy pile of crap - that was the before pic!
      Don't waste time being envious - go make something!

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  4. I love the profile pics of your studio assistants and am happy that they like their new jobs, but I am sure they miss you. Your studio looks so fresh and full of promise and ready for you to create in.

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  6. Your studio looks wonderfully clean. Loved the photos of the exiles.
    At first I think when we blog we want LOTS AND LOTS of readers and then realize that a few attentive ones are the best audience.
    ditto Facebook which I don't love though some of my husband's family do
    ditto Instagram (where I'm biffwix) and only follow a small number of people and wish I could wean as some dear souls post 10 dire pics of the same thing daily....and I love them and can't dump them....

    and so we go on!

    Buster says hi to Bruce

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  7. This is so right on, and something I have been thinking about for a long time. I can't tell you how many newsletters I have signed up for because I "drank the Koolaid". I have eliminated 95% of them over the last few weeks.
    Love your honesty!

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  8. I think my previous comment came out a bit arse over tits.
    I also think that...... creating according to someone else's definition is akin to emotional suicide. Creating according to your OWN definition equates to emotional balance.

    Fits more what you're saying??? Maybe.......

    Creating is not all about earning money. That's what jobs are for. But it's nice when someone DOES buy something off your etsy shop!!!

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  9. I arrived where you are last year in the middle of a dark cold isolating winter. It gave me great perspective. I am slowly unplugging but there are, like Elizabeth said, a few cherished people with whom I will continue to stalk...you being one! You inspire me , I love you, but not in a weird way so don't be nervous...Your studio clean up inspired as well, I went to studio and "cleaned up" . Took a photo, and then made the usual mess that is creativity. Thank you! Love the little studio helpers that have gone to other jobs. I have a few in my studio, They do something for me , they keep the child in me present, they are calm.. I hope that you are ot missing your little helpers too much. I would. ( makes a pathetic, sad face) because I am a big baby. Thanks for this fabulous post- High five!.

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  10. Good for you, keeping true to your soul. That will be where best work is created. I had become too depressed when my work wasn't selling. As if that is a good reason for making it in the first place: to sell. So I quit creating for awhile and then began again, and stopped trying to sell. Now I'm happier and creating better, more true to my soul work. I give it away or often time hang it outside where it is allowed to disintegrate. Better than letting it reside in a box in the studio, unseen. My very cluttered messy studio, I admit. I don't comment often on your blog, but I always read it. Thanks for your honesty.

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  11. I don't know what an infogram is, I'm not on instagram, I've abandoned Flickr because it's become so complicated, I dumped monetizing my blog years ago because it didn't work, it just cluttered my little blog. I'm tired of seeing the same old same old. And millions of people jumping on the same wagon. And at times I've had to fight not to get sucked in, in the sense of wondering if I "should" be joining in all the online frenzy or get "left behind". I'm only online when I'm at home on my computer (no cellphone, no ipad etc.). My latest thing is to delete all non-relevant cookies on my computer regularly (take that! you little buggers who glom onto me just because I clicked on a link), it gives me a decluttering thrill!!!
    So as you can imagine, this post of your pretty much expressed my thoughts. You are my hero!

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  12. It is gratifying to make money doing what we love. The test comes when we decide we would rather do IT for no money than to keep chasing dollars. My blog is approaching a 5th anniversary. I write it because I worked as a writer much of my life and the opportunity to write whatever calls to me, to fold it up and leave it under a rock in case someone else wants to read it, seems such a good fit. I'm a volunteer. I do not create product though have put my toe into the waters of Spoonflower and Society 6 recently, just for my own enjoyment. I love having a 6-foot roll of shiny gift wrap from one of my images. I can't say there is an entirely conscious effort in the world of social media to try and fit all of us into the same size and shape biscuit tin but I suspect it. Very little in real life is one-size-fits-all. There are words and phrases that give me the heebie-jeebies, such as multi-tasking, life coach, branding (WTF?). I am approaching 70 years of age and in the last few weeks began to learn a musical instrument for the first time, the ukulele. Sitting, strumming, practicing chords to songs I enjoy, toughening my finger tips and singing is a source of such peace and pleasure. If we pay attention, we learn that we each hear a different drummer. Because it is true, I find nothing trite in Joseph Campbell's advice to "follow your bliss." We are meant to bring our gifts to the world, to share them. Anything that brings us is a bonus. P.S. I've never seen you as anything but authentic - there is no money that I know of in guerrilla knitting. I imagine it pays as well as essay writing, doodling and finding pictures of beautiful things on Pinterest. Oh well. xoxo

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    1. I aways love your little shiny gems of wisdom, and the deep reflective posts on your blog..
      Dxx

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  13. Your *honest earth* is looking pretty darn good, grrl.

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  14. That's why we read your blog, tis a veritable jewel in a sea of plastic fakery.
    Thanks for yet another thought provoking and utterly honest post x

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  15. another honest-to-god post. That's why we come back for me. I have a handful of followers. Shouldn't imagine anyone else really cares! x

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  16. You seem to have a knack for seeing through the crap & speaking honestly. It's hard to listen to the soft whisperings of the heart when we are constantly encouraged to shout "look at me". A bit of stillness, of stepping off the merry-go-round is needed from time to time.

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  18. well said Denise! but y'know I do love this 21stC of instant communication, the ability to print our own cards, books & music especially here in the Land of Oz when we were so isolated from the mainstream by the tyranny of distance not that long ago.
    The work that needs to fall out of our hands will always find a a way...j as Neil Gaiman said to the graduating class of 2010 - Make Good Art!
    http://vimeo.com/42372767
    & missing the Artisans Markets at Carriageworks though!

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    1. please excuse the typos I get a little too enthusiastic sometimes!

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    2. oh yes, me too -
      The poor old Artisan markets - they struggled while the market was changing - did you notice the demographic was also changing? So many more shuffling somnambulists, i t was breaking my tender heart.
      Standing behind my market stall always felt like I had to wear more clothes - I felt naked.

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  19. Excellent post...and me, too. I've been working on minimizing my footprint in the world, especially online. I don't want to play to anybody anymore, except myself. And lately that means spending 80% of my time reading. Works for me. That's good enough. xo
    p.s. love your sweet studio!

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  20. Here here! I could go on about this for ages, but I think you have put it very eloquently. So I'll just leave a supporting comment instead!

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  21. "return to the projects that lie closest to our joy" -- amen to that!

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  22. Thanks for opening your heart to us all Denise -- We need each other, but we're not getting what we need online. Online time keeps us from creating, from feeling, from living our lives. We've shifted our attention from the real kernel -- the life, the art -- to the bright lights. Behind you 100%!

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  23. Ahh ... Spoken from the heart and that place of true quiet profound excitement. -JHH

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  24. Your well-written words echo that little voice that has been whispering inside my little pea-brain, Denise. Thanks for giving voice to my little voice, so to speak. I feel less alone, now...

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    1. From my little pea brain to yours….


      and one of my favourite things I like to remind myself of is:


      You are never alone and always loved…


      Dxxx

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  25. You say what we think Denise, not many of those about. I don't do face book, twitter, instagram etc. god knows how people find the time, a blogs bad enough. Am guilty of living vicariously sometimes by reading blogs of hectic activity, but aren't we drawn to opposites? Like the neatness of you room, sadly for me even that is like a jumble to mine which resembles more an operating theatre than a creative workspace, no wonder I can't remember the last time I actually created something new. Do wonder if there's so much amazing stuff online that it's overloaded some of us (me) and we can't start anything. That's why your posts are so good by telling us to get off, sadly I'm still here.x

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  26. Yup! I have a doll head which belonged to my deceased 'Tiny Tears' baby doll. The body had deteriorated so badly, I decided to rip the head off and display the head on a wire 'skirt'.
    My studio is half-way neat, and the other 'good stuff' is in about 14 boxes which I have been slowly sorting through, donating and feeling refreshed about getting rid of things I will never use. It is a long process to go through things. But I've been pretty much cut and dried about what I toss, not even looking back or regretting I have tossed things. It makes one feel so good!

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