Alone in the studio, social on the web
The time I spend alone in my studio gives me the space to process my thoughts, to generate ideas and concentrate on my work. I do enjoy discussing projects and exchanging views with like minded people, but when it comes to actually doing creative work I need to be by myself. I don't mind studio solitude. In fact I wouldn't have it any other way.
"Without great solitude, no serious work is possible"
Having said that, doesn't mean that I am against people interactions. On the contrary, I find that meaningful discussions on creative and other subjects can be inspiring, with a likelihood to generate new ideas or to create a lead for a new learning path. I consider selective interactions on social media to be of similar value. Moreover the web is full of gem ideas waiting to be discovered.
Being primarily a visual type of person I give my preference to Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Through these platforms I have met a vibrant community of creatives coming from all sorts of disciplines, producing some amazing work. These are people that our paths would have never crossed if it wasn't for social media interaction. Yet, I got familiar with their work and they with mine, we exchange comments, ask questions and give answers to each other. I find this to be a fruitful and stimulating social interaction.
I believe Facebook is an easy way to stay connected with people with similar interests as it is very widely used. I keep a Facebook Page dedicated to my small Crafts business. There, I try to post regularly photos of my past or present work and short videos about my processes. I follow other interesting pages with creative content "as my Page" (not with my personal profile), and I also like to join selective FB groups where people engage in activities that relate to my interests.
Instagram being so visual and direct, makes it the ideal showcase platform for handmade crafts like mine. My Instagram account much like this website, is mostly about my work. I do like however, to share every now and then photos of my studio and other inspiring subjects. I also like to follow other creatives and watch their work evolve in their regular posts. I love the likes and comments I get from people near and far and I sometimes join in the fun of an instagram challenge. Following specific hashtags on subjects that interest me is another useful feature of this platform.
As a creative, I could't but just be a big Pinterest fun as well. In my Pinterest account I keep several general interest boards which compliment my work. I have boards about art, artists, design, typography, colours and more. The most important one for my business is the board "Handmade by me". On this board I pin photos of all kinds of items that I have made in the past as well as new stuff that are available in my e-shops now. I add items regularly with links to either one of my shops, my website or my instagram account. Pinterest is an incredible source of information and inspiration. However, one needs to search and look with a critical and evaluative eye, to distinguish the good stuff from the not so good stuff, while adhering to one's own values and aesthetics.
Creative social tools
To sum up all of the above, my work flow rhythm involves both studio alone-time and selective creative-socialising on the web. I use the internet and the social media as another tool where I go to when I need inspiration, to educate myself, to showcase my work and to admire the art and crafts that are being created all around the world by so many talented people.