Tech, Now + Beyond

Sharing my art online changed everything for me

Finding fulfillment as an artist doesn't always have to mean sacrificing a paycheck.

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Art is constantly changing. In the same way that it evolves, so do the platforms we use to project it into the world.

One of the most amazing things about being alive right now is the ability to share anything you want, or anything you create, by simply choosing where to post it.

While these technologies grew over recent years, job opportunities grew as well. People went from not being able to make a living to finding opportunities in small-scale digital media. From video editors to make-up artists to dancers, a newly rapid influx of content demanded these types of artists. And now because of this, these types of artists are finding fulfillment while still bringing in a paycheck.

One of the most amazing things about being alive right now is the ability to share anything you want, or anything you create, by simply choosing where to post it. Click To Tweet

I’ll be honest, for me personally, the dream of success through art felt foolish and unattainable when I was young. It was hard enough trying to be a budding artist. But braving auditions and competitions with anxiety piling on top of it all was even harder. I remember making firm goals in my youth but shying away from opportunities out of fear. My writing, my music, and everything else that I created was for myself, and no one else. Sharing was just too hard when you had to see the reactions on people’s faces.

I found small communities online as I got older. Unexpected places like Tumblr gave me a safe outlet from which to jumpstart my artistic motivation. I found myself in a constant state of creation. I would give writing advice to my peers and answer questions about my music. I was able to make small connections and help others find their own tiny victories. After a while, I started finding those tiny victories of my own.

Art is constantly changing. In the same way that it evolves, so do the platforms we use to project it into the world. Click To Tweet

It felt like something finally clicked, after all of those years of not knowing how to share what I make. That environment of constant feedback framed a perspective for me that still affects how I create.

Because we exchange content differently now than we did even ten years ago, mixing concepts, genres, and types of art forms to find what speaks true to you is more common than ever. And without the constraints of geography and travel, simply using the right tags can help connect artists to their target audience, no matter how far away they might be.

I feel like the industry I was meant to work in didn’t exactly exist when I was growing up. Click To Tweet

Even the simple, and often painful, act of networking is more accessible. Between LinkedIn, remote positions, and connections with creators who already have a digital presence, it isn’t so hard to track down opportunities. This especially makes finding these opportunities easier for disabled or chronically ill artists, like myself.

I feel like the industry I was meant to work in didn’t exactly exist when I was growing up. I look around now and see more chances to create and inspire rather than more challenges. By simply being alive right now, I’ve gotten to share art and build relationships with other artists in ways I would never have imagined. I’m able to supplement my income and build on my dreams.

Am I currently able to support myself completely by creating art? No. But I get the feeling that someday very soon, I will.

Shannon Aplin

Shannon Aplin

Shannon Aplin is an activist and an artist with a love for travel and pop culture. She holds a B.A. in Biological Anthropology and loves nothing more than listening to her abuela tell old stories. When she isn’t writing, you can find her composing music, daydreaming, and fighting the stigma against mental illness.

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