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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

How Twitter Can Help An Art Business

This video wouldn't have happened without Twitter. Plain and simple.

I've been participating on Twitter for some time now. It's been hit and miss as far as usefulness in the moment. But when it hits, it hits. And the hits are much more fulfilling than a straightforward sale. This post is about some examples of those hits I've had with my Vinyl Art.

For me, my art is largely about the connections I get to make. That's what Twitter is about. Yes, there is the noise in the room there, but if you get good at tuning your twitterstream, you can make some great connections.

I've had several. Some that have ended up with transactions financial, others with transactions social. I've developed a relationship with one of my favorite musicians, Bob Green (@thegrassyknoll), whose music I'd discovered years ago during my lazy college days spent listening to random used CDs. Brilliant stuff. I've communicated friendly-like with Prince Campbell III (@chartreuseb), whose blog blew me away, and he even entered my last Vinyl Art contest. Also, brilliant stuff. I respect these creative people enormously. To have produced the content they have and put it out there, and then to interact with people on a very real level is wonderful.

Then there are those connections that have resulted in both a friendship and a sale. First to mind is the one with Ryan Barton (@RyanBarton). He's the fellow who made this video for me. I won't tell you all the particulars about his generosity, but basically he bought 3 pieces from me after I'd jumped in on Twitter seeing he had bought a print from Hugh MacLeod (@gapingvoid) and was thinking about buying my art next. That's the beauty of Twitter, the evesdropping on relevant conversations that persist as tweets but occur as real-time exchanges.

It is the strange hybrid structure of communication, both asynchronous and synchronous, that allows for more connections and more development and expansion of those connections. It happened with Brian Clark (@Copyblogger) as well. He and I conversed first about @chartreuseb and his blog and the crazy comments they'd gone back a forth with long ago. Then he took a liking to my art, eventually buying 4 pieces, sharing my work with his followers and even writing a blog post suggesting how I could improve my business. It is that building of relationships and the ripples which spread uniquely on Twitter that have added a marvelous dimension to my art business.

I was able to give back to a hero of mine too. After finding David Lynch on Twitter, I was then made aware of his foundation (@DLFTV). They enjoyed my work enough to have me paint Mr. Lynch and then have him autograph the piece for a future auction benefitting the foundation. I then painted Mike Love of the Beach Boys for the same purpose, Love signing the piece at one of the foundation's charity concert.

This connection to reality with Twitter relates to local action as well. I will be having a solo show locally at Bookmans (@bookmans) this winter. This is because of Twitter, as Scott Henderson (@espressojunky) found me there and offered me the idea of a show, and then bought a piece for himself. Further, I was able to learn about Nate Anderson and Ear Candy Charity (@earcandycharity) on Twitter. Nate and I have struck up a relationship and $50 from every piece sold or commissioned at the Bookmans show will go to the charity and their efforts to provide musical instruments to kids music programs.

So I get to give back in a very real way to people not even involved with Twitter due to relationships formed on Twitter. I'd say that's a hit.


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