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Art Bound Podcast, Ep. 6: Art in the Digital Age

How can you leverage the power of social media and other digital platforms to take your art career to the next level?

In this episode of Artists Network’s Art Bound podcast, host and K Contemporary  gallery owner Doug Kacena sits down with Dina Brodsky and Annie Phillips, two artists who have mastered the landscape of social media and other digital platforms to grow their art businesses. Here, Brodsky and Phillips discuss how certain digital practices can positively impact an artist’s career — without sacrificing one’s authenticity or studio time.

About the Artists

Dina Brodsky is a contemporary realist miniaturist, painter, and curator. She was educated at University of Massachusetts Amherst and the New York Academy of Art, where she received her MFA. She lives and works in Boston, MA. She has taught privately, and in several institutions including the Castle Hill Center for the Arts, the Long Island Academy of Fine Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Brodsky is a self-proclaimed “social media witch” and leads Instagram For Artists, a workshop providing artists on how to use Instagram for marketing their art business. See more of her work at dinabrodsky.com and on her Instagram page, @dinabrodsky

Annie Phillips is a multimedia artist and art director. Both through her art and art direction, she likes the challenge of solving complex puzzles. A self taught 3D designer and animator, she’s passionate about leveraging technology to create objects and experiences that would have otherwise not been possible. You can find her company IRL Art’s most recent platform that explores technology, scalability, accessibility, and artist sustainability at irlart.com and on Instagram at @irlart__.

Episode Highlights

In this conversation between artists, Brodsky and Phillips share how they use social media and other digital spaces to make a living as an artist, the impact the digital age has had on the art world, the landscape of the blockchain art community, their favorite resources, and so much more. (Also, learn why Brodsky, who teaches artists how to use Instagram to build their art businesses, says, paradoxically, to “stay off Instagram.”)

A Shift of Power

Dina Brodsky: What happens to emerging artists is that they get completely trampled. There’s a power dynamic between galleries and artists where the galleries have most of the power. One of the things that I like about social media is that it’s been the only thing in the past 100 years that has shifted the power dynamic back to the artist.

The Feedback Loop

Annie Phillips: I struggle with [digital algorithms] because I know how much it influences me. I get this deep anxiety sometimes when I find myself chasing that social media feedback loop constantly: “Am I following the right trends? Am I creating work that is creating a new aesthetic, a new idea?” I catch myself a lot and try to understand how to break out of it. At some point I threw up my hands and said, “I can’t help it” — this is what people want, this is what my clients want. It’s tough, but I try to put my own spin on it and create things that are still interesting to me; it’s this weird paradox.

A Useful Tool

Dina Brodsky: I hate social media, which is ironic for someone who runs “Instagram for Artists” workshops. I’m also incredibly grateful to social media for allowing me to make a living. Instagram, specifically for artists, is the most useful business tool ever. Social media has been something that allows me to spend as much time as possible in my studio instead of networking, going to gallery openings, and trying to meet directors.

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