I've been wrestling with a problem.
I believe that one of the most important things an artist can do is promote their work consistently. I think a minimum of one post a week is necessary to maintain an audience that will be receptive to your art.
But, there is one huge problem with this idea. Namely, some art takes years to produce.
How do you promote your art without the completed work of art?
Now for some people, this won't be a problem. Social media is filled with people who's entire brand is their personality. But my personality is tired of that trend, and I don't want to contribute to it.
I think that this is one of the main reasons artists hate branding. They are supposed to take time away from the actual artmaking in order to create a spokesperson personality to talk about it.
I think that this is the wrong approach. I think your audience cares more about what you create than your explanation of why you created it. But if you don't have something new for them constantly, it is easy for them to forget about your art.
So what is the solution?
Here are two ideas that I believe will work.
The Mrs Field's Cookie Approach: Create some small art solely for the sake of letting people see it. If you are a filmmaker, shoot a 30 second scene. If you do giant landscapes, post a sketch. If you are a writer, write a poem. Send out something every week to build a consistent habit, get in the groove of working, and building your audience.
The Behind The Scenes Approach: This one is scary. Let people in on the process. If you are writing a movie, workshop a scene and post it. Read a short chapter from your novel. Show them the sketches for the mural you are going to make.
Neither of these techniques is perfect.
With #1 you are taking time away from your main art to create more bite sized pieces for people who may or may not appreciate it,and you may get labelled as a person who only works in short form.
With #2 you risk trolls talking shit about your work in progress, you are sharing your brilliant idea publicly with people who could rip it off. (And I get this worry, I recently had to sign a Non Disclosure agreement when auditioning for a film that they wouldn't even tell me the name of), and you risk letting a bunch of other people's opinions dictate how you make your work.
But I have to say, the pain of working on a large project for years and then releasing it to silence because no one knew about it is worse.
Try these out. Mix and Match. Let me know in the comments if they work for you. If they don't, you can always stop. Just make sure that you keep working on your big project while you are promoting it this way. Don't lose sight of the goal.