Day 17. Deeply in like

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With your facebook post–

I’ve fallen deeply in like 

Will the folks approve? 

I’m developing (or perhaps just realizing there is one) a complicated relationship with social media. On the one hand, it’s the most powerful tool I have to get my work out there. I’m not the brick-and-mortar type of artist. I like being in charge of my business and my connections with people. I like keeping the money I make. I can’t imagine this business the old-school gallery way. I don’t know that I could make it work. 

On the other hand, sometimes I find myself picking up my phone one too many times to see how many little blue thumbs or red hearts a painting got, and, if it’s not so many, I think, hmm what went wrong? Is the painting bad? Did I post at the wrong time? Has the algorithm changed again? It’s a rabbit hole. Likes and hearts and comments are an indicator, but not the only, and definitely not always the best one, of how well I’m doing, what is resonating with people.

And then there’s the other stuff too. Witty one-liners. Meme culture. Debates with a screen between us. Reducing complex ideas to an incomplete sentence and an out-of-context image. Waiting for someone to approve of us. Wondering if we will offend. Trying to offend. It’s all part of a tool that gives us so much opportunity. I love it and hate it. 

Just over halfway through this 31 days, and I’m leaning into the work itself, trying not to be too concerned with how well it is received on social media. It ain’t easy, I’ll tell ya that. 

If I’ve learned anything over the years it’s this: the work was never about one post or one painting, one thought, one idea, one caption. It was always about an effort, a devotion, a practice. A series of small, simple tasks coming together to create a body of work that moves and shifts and grows and even regresses. It was never about what other people thought or wanted and yet it was always about connecting with other people. 

I adore “likes”. To borrow from my haiku that began this post, I have fallen deeply in like with them. So if you’ve given them, thank you. I just hope I could do the work without them. 

Today’s painting is a little sunflower I was inspired to paint after I watched a time lapse video of another artist creating a floral painting on instagram. I really liked it. Go figure.

***Just a reminder that all the paintings this month will be available on my site the first week of February. If you want first access, make sure you’re on my mailing list.

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Picture of Denise Hopkins

Denise Hopkins

January 17, 2020

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