I originally posted this article in 2008 aimed specifically at the legal profession however my passion for art and creative industries has taken my path nicely down a bit of another road and I thought why not share some of this info with new emerging artists.s
You might even have a twitter account and follow celebrities I know I did 7 years ago.
Let me tell you why I started using twitter.
One evening as I was sat around the kitchen table chatting with family the conversation turned to ‘twitter’- a few hours later I headed home and logged on for the very first time and guess what? I was hooked.
It was very infectious and I headed straight home to have a look.
I set up my first twitter account @legaleaglehynes and I followed Nasa and the space station and a bunch of celebrities and used it primarily to pass the time whilst I was researching my dissertation.
I was in 4th year of my LL.B Law Degree Honours year at the University of Glasgow.
My dissertation was on the topic of Double Jeopardy and I was researching other jurisdictions such as Canada and Finland and looking at the roots of historical reform dating back to 2500BC.
Suddenly in a flash I thought ‘Hey other people might be on this twitter thing who can offer me help in other jurisdictions’. As an emerging artist you might see where I am going with this….stay with me.
Typing like mad I entered a search – Law and wow up popped lawyers. Great I thought and clicked follow. Every day I would search legal history ,double jeopardy,legal research, solicitors,law reform into searches and more and more appeared. Try it yourself type in Art,artist,painters,photography,poetry,writers
Then I realised that the ‘law’ people I followed would actually follow me back. The same goes with your profession .
I started to follow law schools, law students and hey presto legal research bounced off the page.
Ok so I now had followers and I had a bunch of people who I was following and from there I gathered legal research for my dissertation. Now in 2009 there were not many law firms actually using twitter so the links were not as frequent as now.
I kept the @legaleaglehynes account until April 2010 when I decided to start a brand new account focussing on building on my initial twitter skills I had learned.
@legaleaglemhm was born. I now have over 5000 followers one one account alone and another 10 twitter accounts for various interests such as @mypassion4paint which is my artist twitter account.( Go on follow me and I will follow you back)
Here are some tips for you if you are an Arts student or an emerging artist and want to start using twitter for your professional life TODAY.
1. Set up an account either in your own name or in the name of something relevant to your work. @mypassion4paint was my artist choice but your name would be good if its still available. I do wonder what Picasso would have made of twitter.
2. Do a search for ‘Arts, art collectors,art competitions,call for artists,writers or what ever your interest is in “
3. Follow other artists – you would like to either a) engage with /speak to /ask a question or if you are interested in what they might be talking about.
4. Dont just listen – when you see a tweet , respond to it, add your opinion its valid.
5. If you like a tweet or think that your followers might be interested Retweet it.
6 Set up your own list – Top tweeters, Upandcomingartists, myinfluences,
7. Remember a good Bio will have a link to your blog you do have one don’t you ? (set up a blog – wordpress is good but there are many) Don’t worry I will be posting an artist article on how to set up an art blog and website next so why not subscribe to this blog for updates.
8. Keep it real – if you intend to use the internet remember that everything is kept permanently on record.It can be a double-edged sword.
9.Have a look at people on twitter you like engaging with and look at who they follow – follow them too.
10. Its easy and if you get stuck – just post a tweet saying Help how do you …….. someone will be there and will reply.
Join Linked in too and then you can validate your twitter profile. Many people on twitter are un checkable , you can verify them if they have a Linkedin account and the groups on Linkedin mean you can have more fuller discussions
If you need any further advise or help then you can drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me at @legaleaglemhm or @mypassion4paint Happy tweeting folks.
Here is a list of things artists are using twitter for :
Communicating new skills for art students
Discussing art history and trends
Finding an art school
Recruiting new artists for shows
Asking questions of established artists
Discussing methods and process
Accessing lists of exhibitions
Communicating with news clients for commissions
Letting off steam
Recruiting a new artis for a collective
Connecting with colleagues
Promoting charitable events
Collaboration across mediums, artists and writers
Voicing one’s own opinion
Accessing global news
Accessing on-line journals
Creating a ‘future’ of Art
Finding a printer
Finding a framer
discussing techniques of practice
getting tips for exhibiting
exchanging links for blawgs
learning how to use ‘twitter’
learning how to use Linkedin and facebook
As you move through your career from being an Arts student to joining the world of a successful artist you will find that the connections you make are really important. Don’t leave it till you graduate , do it now.
WARNING : TWITTER IS ADDICTIVE
Michelle Hynes LL.B (Hons)DipLP Lawyer, artist,writer,poet
You can check out my art here http://michelle-hynes.artistwebsites.com