Social Media Pros and Cons for Artists

Visual artists are passionate about creating art, but more often than not, they struggle with promoting and selling their art. While they excel in their craft, artists may struggle with the entrepreneurial aspects of running an art business or navigating the complexities of the art market due to lack of time, skills or resources.  Having a website with or without an e-commerce shop or selling art on different art marketing platforms, such as Artfinder or SaatchiArt, is imperative for today’s artists, but these might not always bring the desired results. What is lacking is the direct interaction and personal connection with their fans and potential art collectors.

Is social media a valuable tool to help artists overcome these challenges?

While social media offers great means to keep in touch with friends and family, it also has great art marketing potentials that artists often overlook. 

However, promoting and selling art on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms is a double-edged sword with several pros and cons to consider. Here below are four of them that really stand out for me, but are by no means the only ones. 


Global Reach 

Social media allows artists to expose their art to world-wide audience, and gain followers, loyal fans and potential art collectors from diverse backgrounds and cultures.  The world is their canvas, so to speak!

Direct Engagement 

Followers of artists on social media often cherish the opportunity for direct engagement with the creators they admire.  Being able to like, comment, share and message the artist directly is a huge opportunity for fans and artists alike to forge meaningful connections. These, in turn may often lead to increased sales and commissions. In addition to that, by monitoring audience engagement, artists can track what kind of content resonates more with their fan base and tune their marketing efforts accordingly.  

Creative Storytelling 

Social media allows artists to showcase finished artworks, but also to share images and videos of works in progress, personal stories, and the inspiration behind an artwork and its creative process. This insight gives followers a deeper understanding and appreciation for an artwork, but also humanizes the artist and creates a sense of closeness and accessibility that fosters a deeper artist-fan connection.

Sales Channels

Some social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest offer built-in tools for integrating a shop and the ability to sell artworks and prints directly to their fans without the need to leave the platform, in some cases.  Alternatively, posted content can have links with redirects to external websites or shops. In addition, fans can directly message the artist if they are interested in a purchase.  


Digital Piracy

Artwork images and videos can be easily shared and copied on social media, without proper attribution or compensation to the artist. Social media accounts can be hacked or duplicated with someone else impersonating the artist. Con artists posing as NFT (non fungible token) dealers can scam artists into giving up their rights to their work in unsavoury deals. Unfortunately, all these might entice some artists to avoid a social media presence entirely.

Time Management

Managing a social media presence and continuously creating and posting new creative content alongside a creative art practice is demanding and requires careful time management and prioritization.  A balance needs to be constantly maintained, and that could prove difficult for some artists also tackling a full time job, a family life, and other responsibilities.  

Comparison Trap

On social media, artists get exposed daily to other artists’ works, achievements, and creative posts, which, in some cases can undermine their confidence in their own artistic or marketing abilities. 

Feedback Overload

Feedback from social media followers can be overwhelming, especially if artists receive a lot of negative criticism, offensive comments or just spam. In order to maintain a loyal follower base, learning how to filter and respond constructively to feedback without offending anyone is imperative.


In conclusion, it is very important for artists, and anyone in general, to approach and use social media mindfully, considering both its benefits and limitations. With the significant number of social media platforms on the internet, artists need to carefully choose the few that can offer maximum return on their time and monetary investment.  The rewards will not come over night, in most cases. It might take some time and considerable effort before tangible benefits are seen, so patience and perseverance are needed to keep going.  Promoting and selling art on social media is a lot of work for sure, but one, that I truly believe, is worth pursuing.  

Being a visual artist myself, I have personally experienced the pros and cons mentioned above, and more.  Learning to navigate in today’s digital marketing field is not easy, I can attest to that, and sometimes it feels like a full-time job. But  for me, the benefits outweigh the limitations. By juggling a social presence along with my artistic practice allows me to gain new fans and art collectors and, most of all, create meaningful connections with people from all over the world.

And, answering my own question from above, YES, I believe that social media, if used strategically and mindfully, IS indeed a valuable tool for artists in today’s digital landscape.

What do YOU think? Please leave a comment below, I would love see your take on the subject.


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