Friend of the friendless

posted by bomazu • 3 years ago

What do you do if you have no friends, or very few?
It’s recommended I share my shirt designs with people I know to get more votes, but I don’t have any friends I’m in contact with these days :/

I would love to build up a network of artist friends who like my work, and I theirs. Any ideas how I can do this?

11 Replies

thestray thestray Artist from United States

Tumblr, Deviantart, etc. Focus less on your friends and the people you know, and start getting your work out there for everyone to see. If it’s good or resonates it will catch on. It won’t be overnight, but you’ll eventually find your audience.

Inked Inked Human from California, United States

Use other forms of social media as well. For example, Zerobriant has a Facebook fan page where he posts new artwork and other stuff at to let fans of his work know what’s out and available and where to get it. You can use Twitter in a similar fashion as well, but thestray pointed out two very good places to start as well. Deviantart is a large community and a great place to get involved to find fans you never knew you had. He is correct, it won’t happen overnight most likely so just keep with it.

bomazu bomazu Artist from United Kingdom

Thanks for the feedback. I probably need to get way more involved with all the social media sites perhaps?
I create my personal site/portfolio over a decade ago before Facebook and such. Back then, that was all you needed to gather a small following of fans!
I tried joining Devianart but despite nearly 400 people watching me, the last few pieces of artwork I posted never got any replies and only a handful of views.

Either my work these days isn’t gelling with people or maybe I need to be REALLY active in a social media community or forum or something?? Just having a Devianart account or my own domain / personal site without much maintenance and updating isn’t cutting it.

Are you guys really active on the web to gain fans and friends or does your artwork just rock so much that you don’t need to be?

thestray thestray Artist from United States

If your web presence is limited to 2 places where you don’t interact with people and don’t update regularly, then yeah it’s gonna be slow going.

When trying to build a loyal following, no matter what you’re offering people, consistency is key. I try to post at least one thing a day, whether it’s just a sketch, WIP, or finished piece. The more people are seeing your work the more people will think about you. Even if you post something really great people will forget about you if you aren’t showing them something new frequently enough.

Interacting with people and showing a bit of your personality helps a lot too. People are more likely to support people they like or relate to. So don’t be afraid to talk about yourself, your life, your point of view, your interests, etc.

Fanart. Any shows, movies, comics, or etc that you like? Pay tribute to it with art. Fanart can be such a great gateway for people to get into your work. For instance, I like Adventure Time, I did some Adventure Time art, posted it on Tumblr (which has a useful tagging system). So a lot of the fans that browse the Adventure Time saw my work, they follow me, they reblog the piece on their blogs, other people reblog them, more and more people see it and follow my blog and browse my other works there. Tumblr is pretty great, it’s built to proliferate the work of artists. It’s definitely my number 1 tool, far better than Facebook or Twitter or whathave you, in terms of reaching a lot of people really quickly.

Overall, just get involved in the art community, online and otherwise.

hatboy hatboy Artist from Philippines

Constantly involving yourself in any artist community tends to get you internet artist friends actually. So either be active in tee forums or start a blog or get a DevArt account. Personally, I mostly use Tumblr, but interacting with people there can be a bit difficult. But it’s a great blogging site. And the only reason I don’t use DevArt is because the website is just so ugly. That green… ughhh… but the comments section looks mighty convenient.

Also, I feel you man, in a sense. Very few of my friends actually care enough to vote or score my entries. Like out of 30, only 3 people give their time haha. Most of my scores actually come from the community. Although, occasionally websites like these can be a bit like a popularity contest, but often the nobodies like me get breaks. Haha!

bomazu bomazu Artist from United Kingdom

Thanks again for the advice guys.

“Even if you post something really great people will forget about you if you aren’t showing them something new frequently enough.” – That is a very good point!

I’m coming to the profound conclusion that to be successful in art is to be in everybody’s face every single day!
It might be safe to say:
If you’re a good artist and you promote yourself daily you’re gonna have good results.
If you’re an amazing artist and you promote your self you’re gonna get amazing results.
And even if you’re pretty crappy, but promote yourself daily. you’re gonna get some results!

I’m certainly not amazing, but I’m pretty good and people have paid a lot of money for my work in the past, however I promote myself perhaps once every few months- probably not the best way (fan art is a much better idea than just doing my own original stuff all the time) or via the best platforms.

It’s time to get with the program and implement some real lifestyle changes whereby self-promo and art-promo becomes part of my daily routine in the same way checking emails, or even brushing my teeth! That seems to be THE way forward in today’s digital world _

thestray thestray Artist from United States

Yeah man, and it can actually be really fun, I really enjoy interacting with people on tumblr and other places. People will write me really kind notes complimenting my work.

Whenever I can I like to get people participate too, I’ll ask them what they’d like to see me draw, or I’ll draw pictures of random followers. On my blog I did a series of “daily critters” were I drew a different anthropomorphic animal each day and I took requests, and interactive things like that can really stimulate people. For a time I did drawings/little comics based on people’s questions.

Anything I can do to connect with people instead of just being a guy showing them stuff really enriches the experience for both them and me. I enjoy my blog, and the people who follow me are awesome, and I’ve made a lot of friends through who are artists and non-artists alike. So don’t be afraid to dive in, it can be really fun.

Marianha Marianha Human from United States

There are many very good places to start it. Such as Facebok,Twitter,and so on. You can talk about yourself, your life, your point of view, your interests, etc.

bomazu bomazu Artist from United Kingdom

Cool stuff. I want to set up a tumblr account and a Wordpress Blog/s for bigger postes which feed to my newly set up Twitter account and Facebook. My Current site was custom built without a MySQL database, so doesn’t have an RSS feed (hope makes sense to some people!) I’m hoping once I set up a larger network or interactive web sites, I can then start to build a following.

If any artists would like to follow me on Twitter, I’m here and I’d like to follow you too :)

zerobriant zerobriant Artist from Cebu City, Philippines

hey Ben! saw your work, AWESOME DOODLES! :) i was surprised to see my name mentioned :) that is cool, thanks! if you like an advise from me i can tell you a few interesting ideas. :) (warning: i just had a bottle of tequila before writing anything here. )

I was on the same scenario a few years back. Now i learned a lot..but still trying to learn more. Before social networking like facebook and twitter exploded in the interwebs, I was already connecting to other artist in worth1000, deviantart, here in DBH and Teefury…you will definitely meet a lot of cool artist friends that will inspire you, surprise you, hate you, love you, and most likely compete with you… because it is a community of “artists”. This is a fact and we all have to deal with that, because nowadays t-shirt designing has been a very competitive line of work. Don’t get me wrong but you will learn a lot from the advises, tips and tutorials posted on the sites and the replies that you will get.

But if you really want to sell your work, built a store. Put up a page, post what you have created links to your submissions and interact with the people who are most likely to be interested with what you do. Spread the word, make your art talk. Then you will gather fans, who will talk about you, share your works, vote for your submitted designs and buy your stuffs. They are as important as your artist friends and perhaps even more important than anyone else. So it would be an awesome idea to communicate…make their suggestions and comments count, acknowledge what the have to say. You will get more friends and followers this way (that thing just rhymed) and soon enough you will be giving advises too :) good luck Ben and keep up the good work.

Also the words of thesray is Golden! :)

keywords #interact #communicate #response #interest#awesomeness :D

bomazu bomazu Artist from United Kingdom

Thanks for the RE and words of wisdom- I checked out your work zerobriant. Are you making a living out of this t shirt making stuff? You seem very active across different sites including this one. One thing I can take away from artists like yourself is that you’re really hitting those popular niches- the whole Dr Who thing seems real big at the moment so working on Fan Art designs like that works a treat.

I’m learning that I need to get commercial! If I expect to sell, then I need to cater my art much more to buyers rather than carry on doing my own thing in my own little bubble and wondering why it’s not working out! :D

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