I’m an illustrator, but I spend a huge amount of time on social media. In fact sometimes, I think I spend more time online, than I do illustrating. It’s important for me to keep in touch with what’s going on in the children’s publishing business. I like to keep up with my illustrator friends and heroes. I also like to keep my name out there so self-publishing authors and traditional publishers know what I am doing and that I am available to take on projects.
LinkedIn has been the best social media choice for me. I have gotten two jobs illustrating children’s books from my contacts on that site in the last year. I also receive about 10 inquiries a month from authors asking me to read their manuscripts and asking about my pricing. I like LinkedIn because it is more professional than other social media sites. I like to answer questions and help first time children’s book authors to navigate the experience of bringing their book to market.
I also have a personal FaceBook account and a fan page for my Illustration. Facebook just doesn’t seem as professional to me, maybe I don’t use it correctly. I don’t many followers on my Illustrator page and my personal page are mostly friends. Twitter is another avenue I like. I use it to keep up with what’s happening in the publishing business. I can get very up to date information very quickly. Also, people in the children’s book publishing business seem to use it a lot. I do find it very impersonal, since everyone can read everything you post. I often get replies from people I don’t know. I also don’t understand –retweeting, when something mundane can be retweeted and these tweets retweeted for ever and ever amen.
Another favorite is Behance.com, this is where I have a portfolio of my work. I like Behance a lot, it’s perfect for illustrators. Everytime I post a new images I get a lot of feedback from all over the world. I have never gotten a job directly from Behance, but authors who have contacted me have looked at my Behance page. Pinterest is another site that is perfect for an illustrator. What could be better than trading pictures of your work, when pictures are what you do? I post new work there when I remember. Then there is Google+ which I use sometimes and can’t really figure out yet.
Of course What kind of illustrator would I be without a website to show my work. Every illustrator has to have a website. I am lucky, that I am web savvy and can build and upkeep my own webpage. And last of all my WordPress blog which you are reading right now. Can you see where all my times goes?
And … then there are the emails to keep up with.