What If You're Not A Social Media Wizard?
Part 6: Show Me A Picture
So far we've kept the conversation to text, about good places to write. But what about those of you with artwork or photographs to show off? Let's take a look at the best options for you!
As before, I’m scoring each platform by whether they:⭐️ encourage individual commissions
⭐️ are reputable enough to encourage corporate commissions
⭐️ are free to post on
⭐️ are attractively presented
⭐️ make a good place to get feedback
💩 present no hurdles to overcome prior to posting
💩 present high potential for a toxic community (somewhat subjective; humour me)
Let's see how they get on!
Amazon4/5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Let's start with a platform where you can self-publish! Amazon is an online self-publisher and platform for selling books. Who said books had to be all text? A book filled with individual artworks, comics, or visual guides to your RPG could do very well! The barrier to this service is that you need to pay for your book to be made, but if you're willing and able to invest in it, then why not? Consider what you could do if you left a few art-filled books with friends, family, and small businesses with reception areas!
Artfight3/5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Artfight’s a fun way to get inspiration for what to draw, plus some art in return. It works like this: you sign up, you pick a partner (or they pick you), and you each give the other a subject to draw. It’s a great way to fill up your portfolio and get some freebies while you’re at it!
Artstation4/5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
A far more serious web site than Artfight, and will be better suited to you if you’re looking for corporate commissions over individual customer ones. The overall standard of work here is excellent so note that this site is best for high-quality artworks.
3/5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
2/2 💩 💩
This site is heavily designed in favour of artwork over other forms of content, although at the current time it’s hard to say what its culture will end up being like. Likely it will become a large site filled with everything from quick-and-fun artworks drawn by casual artists to the highest quality works.
//Several issues with Buzzly's leadership led to a mass-exodus in March 2022. The site may continue but at the time of writing its future is uncertain. They have also implimented an invite-only system which, given the possible views of the remaining members, may reflect poorly on newer members.//
Inkblot certainly hoss images, but I have yet to finish registering there. The site only opens up to new members occasionally so I will sign up when it's next open, which is supposed to be on the 8th of April.
Dealer's Den2/5 ⭐️ ⭐️
A furry-specific buying and selling platform. It's not the prettiest place but you can sell bespoke commissions and pre-made works.
DeviantArt3/5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
The web site Buzzly is based on in terms of style and overall scope. It has an enormous user base, but in recent years has become a victim of its own success. Efforts are being made to improve its usability, however it has some deep-rooted problems including inaccurate tagging of much of the work displayed there, a potentially flawed search system, and it has become the home of a lot of fetish art, often poorly drawn. It does however continue to be a relatively good place to get feedback.
I’d say it’s worth having an account there and posting a few pieces in order to take advantage of the site's web authority, but not taking the time to maintain it on an ongoing basis.
Discord3/5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
It’s entirely possible to upload your art to Discord to show people on a 1:1 basis. If you’re looking for comments on your art, this can often be a great way to get quick, detailed feedback!
There are also many, many servers out there where you can show off your art. As ever with Discord, bear in mind that some servers act more like cohesive, welcoming communities than others, so posting to the art channel may or may not get you any response.
Etsy4/5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Do you make art that people fawn over? Draw something and offer it for sale on Etsy! And yes, it is possible to sell digital art here, just as you can sell hand-made items.
Just... Facebook. It has reach, and people like pictures.
Furaffinity4/5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
If you specialise (or are prepared to partly specialise) in drawing furries then Furaffinity’s a great place to upload your work. The community is supportive and active, and this site is busy enough to make uploading here worth your while.
Furry Network3/5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
A furry specialist site, and one made for networking!
Friends, Family, and Past Clients2/5 ⭐️ ⭐️
Most individual clients, friends or family members won’t be able to offer a huge amount of exposure, but they’ll likely be happy to showcase your work. If this gives you one more entry on a page of Google search results, then why not go for it?
This site is made for artwork and photography! Popular posts can keep coming up on peoples’ feeds for a few weeks, but it takes a lot of time and effort to get the clicks, likes, and commets that will convince Instagram that you deserve that kind of repeat exposure. I recommend playing with Instagram for a while to get used to it and see what you can do to maximise the number of posts you can make from each artwork.
Also, read up on ‘shadow-banning’ before investing much time in Instagram.
Ko-fi5/5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
A great place to upload your work and get paid for it!
Lulu3/5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Another self-publishing option like Amazon. If you'd rather not support Amazon, why not work with Lulu instead?
Mailchimp4/5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
You can show your artwork in newsletters, so perhaps you’d like to try this route? Just be aware of a few things: Mailchimp is very hot on their legal compliance, which means your newsletters will need to include an address so that people know where you physically are. If you run a business then you can use your business address, but if you work from home, that may be a problem (and personally, I don’t recommend using your home address).
Mailchimp can also be confusing to use, so while I suggest you do try it, I think it’s best to use it for one of your earlier projects so you can get the hang of it.
On the positive side of ‘things to consider’, Mailchimp holds the email addresses of every person registered to you so you don’t need to worry about your own data protection/GDPR compliance. Also, note that people can and do sometimes reply to newsletters, so you can use this as a source of feedback.
Medium5/5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Admittedly Medium is primarily an articles web site, and most of the visuals on the articles are photographs, not artwork. However, there’s nothing to stop you using artwork to support your writing. If you’re prepared to draw or photograph it, you can use it.
Patreon5/5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
This site is made for showing off art! You can choose to keep your art (or whatever else you make) behind a paywall, or you can set a future date for it to be released to the general public, meaning it can act as a back-catalogue for people to look through. Each of your publicly visible artworks will show up as a separate entry on a Google search, so consider uploading a variety.
Picarto3/5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Do you feel comfortable filming yourself drawing? If so, set up an account here and let people watch you draw in real-time. It’s possible to record these sessions, meaning you can upload them to Youtube later, which in itself can be a great help as making Youtube videos is rather time-consuming in itself.
A lot of artists dislike this site as it can be used to share artwork without crediting the original artist. Worse than this, anyone who saves it to one of their ‘boards’ (this is a digital ‘mood board’ of sorts) can change the details associated with the artwork, removing titles, credits, and other such details.
The site does however have a huge user-base so you may want to counter the above problem by including your signature on the artwork itself or uploading the art as part of a bigger screenshot that credits you. Viewers cannot edit the images they’re looking at without downloading them, editing them, and reuploading them, so if you want to be as sure as possible of protecting your intellectual property, sign your work. It’s up to you whether or not to take the risk.
While you can show off your art on Reddit, I generally find it an inefficient method of self-promotion. Most of the art-orientated subreddits don’t allow people to just upload their art and contribute nothing else. This makes sense, as these subreddits would otherwise become swamped by art, including low quality art. Usually the ‘fee’ for being allowed to upload art to a given subreddit is contributing in other ways – making 10 comments on other peoples’ posts per artwork, for example.
Sofurry3/5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Similar to Furaffinity. The furry community is enthusiastic and supportive, and they love their art, but people outside of the community may find a primarily furry portfolio off-putting, so consider creating a mixed portfolio of items to upload to places like this, and non-furry works to upload elsewhere.
Telegram3/5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Much like Discord, this is a chat program so you can show people art directly. So long as the person knows you and is expecting messages from you, you have a reasonable chance of getting a response. On the other hand, note that it’s considered bad form on chat programs to send your art to strangers – it’s a form of spamming.
Toyhou.se4/5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
This site is all (okay, mostly) about showcasing characters. That means there's a lot of portrait-style artwork here, usually in a relatively simple style. The forum is the heart of the web site. Draw yourself a few characters to post here and you should be more or less good to go!
Transfur2/5 ⭐️ ⭐️
Another furry specialist site. This one is about to go inactive, and it's purely for anthro works that focus on transformation.
Tumblr2/5 ⭐️ ⭐️
Another great place to upload your artwork, although the average age there is very young so it depends on what your endgame is: if you’re after paying customers, teenagers may not be your ideal target market. The sharing system here is also less than ideal as it can be hard to tell who drew some of the more shared pieces, so you may lose opportunities for clients here due to a lack of transparency by the host site.
Some people also report a toxic environment, but you may wish to judge that for yourself.
Twitch TV3/5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Much like Picarto.
A quick way to upload your work with nothing extra but a short comment and a few tags. You don't even really need to say anything, but a few hashtags will help people to find you. While Twitter has a reputation for being toxic, the art side of the community doesn't seem to get so much of this.
Weasyl2/5 ⭐️ ⭐️
Another specialist furry site like Furaffinity and Sofurry.
Wordpress5/5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Just like any blog platform, you can use Wordpress to showcase your art, perhaps with case studies of stories about the subject of the drawing. Wordpress articles tend to get high ranking on search engines, so a few articles here showcasing your artwork should work a treat! Now, what themes are there in your work that you can talk about?
Writing Cooperative5/5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Another articles web site. The advice here is the same as for Medium.com, and as before, the Writing Collective will check your work for quality before allowing you to use their site.
Your own web site3/5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
As ever, if it’s your web site you can show whatever you like on it, in whatever way you like, so long as it doesn’t conflict with your hosting company’s terms of service.
Youtube5/5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Another site that’s good to keep in mind if you’re comfortable with people watching you rdraw. Hook yourself up with OBS Studio to record your screen while you work, talk a little to narrate what you're doing if you wish, add some copyright-free music if you don't like to talk, and upload it to Youtube!
These videos are often called ‘speedpaints’. Look them up and decide whether you want to upload them as-is or whether you’d prefer to dress them up, perhaps with an intro like Dr. Crafty.
Read part 6: Tell Me A Story
Title image by Brett Sayles from Pexels and used with their kind permission.