7 Tips to Make Connections as an Artist

7 Tips to Make Connections as an Artist

If there’s one thing many artists struggle with when they join the NFT space, then it’s making their first connections. Many artists are introverts and not used to actively seeking out new connections. However, in the NFT sphere, a lot revolves around the relationships you manage to build, be it with other artists as well as collectors.

As a Twitter Spaces host, I often end up repeating the same tips. They just can’t be repeated enough. As we’re heading towards the end of 2021, I wanted to touch on the best tips I’ve heard, whilst also sharing some thoughts from successful artists and collectors.

1. Do your research and don’t rush it

Before you do anything: do your research. Learn the basics of NFTs, try to understand what they stand for and lurk around Twitter (and Discord, if you like) for a little while. This will help you to get familiar with the lingo that’s used in the space. Add words like “rugged”, “shill” and “mint” to your vocabulary.

The more you read, watch and listen, the more comfortable you’ll get in this space. This will help you to more easily chat with others thereafter, be it in a live conversation, in the comment section or DMs.

Take your time to get to know the space and existing projects. Then decide how you want to go ahead. Be a bit strategic about it. The really early days are over. Simply uploading your artwork may not be enough. Try to find your spot in the market. There’s no need to rush your own project. As Rahim Mahtab, artist and collector, puts it: “The Mona Lisa grew in value over time, whilst the aesthetics of the art remained the same. Build your narrative, share your story.”

2. Join Twitter Spaces

Once you know your way around Twitter a little bit, you should jump into Twitter Spaces. You can discover them by simply going to the Spaces tab in the Twitter app on your phone. If you like, you can even search for NFT related Spaces (just type NFT into the search bar).

You are welcome to explore Spaces right after you join Twitter, but you’ll probably feel more comfortable in a Space when you recognize some of the faces. Hence, I recommend first being a listener and getting to understand the logistics of it.

Then, once you feel ready, hit the ‘request’ button, that little microphone in the bottom left corner. This will give the host (and co-hosts) the opportunity to ‘bring you up on stage’, as they like to call it. Once brought up, they might either hand the mic over to you immediately or you can ‘raise your hand’ (tap the emoji option at the bottom of your screen, and pick the hand symbol). This will show the hosts you’ve got something that you’d like to say or share.

When you do get the chance to come up, then try to think about this tip from Tim Maxwell: “Take nothing too personal and the shorter and simpler, the sweeter.” Be straightforward when you explain your project and have an open mind when you receive feedback. Take notes and work on the tips you get.

I could give endless tips on how to behave in Spaces, but to sum it up: be yourself, don’t talk too much about your own project, show genuine interest in others, and don’t stay if you’re not enjoying the conversation.

As Steve Ryan says: “Stay honest with yourself. You are responsible for your decisions, not others.”

3. Retweet and comment on other people’s work

Real introverts will be glad to hear that retweeting and commenting on other people’s work also still works very well. We all like to get compliments - whether they’re written or spoken.

Retweeting someone is free, and a great way to support someone. I’d always recommend commenting on the original post; this helps to boost the algorithm for the artist and get their work seen by even more people. Besides that, it’s a great opportunity to leave a compliment.

4. Dive into Discords

NFT artists, especially 1/1, are mostly active on Twitter. But if there’s one other place you might want to look into, then it’s Discord.

There are many Discords focused on just artists. You can simply ask your new friends on Twitter where they hang out; that’s the best way of discovering the ones where you’ll feel comfortable.

5. Collaborate with others

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” It sounds cliché, but it’s true. When I recommend you to collaborate with others, I’m talking in the broad sense of the word. You can collaborate on an art piece, but also on promoting each other or on brainstorming together. There are many ways to work together.

The point I’m getting at here is that combining forces is, without a doubt, a smart choice. The biggest projects in the NFT space are all led by teams. An artist emphasizing this is RΞY (Pablo Esteban Sánchez Rijlaarsdam), who says: “The best advice I can give to artists entering the NFT space is that the more you give to the community, the more the community is going to give back to you. This is an incredible ecosystem where artists and collectors empower each other alike and it's the community that will make any good NFT Art project thrive. Believe and you will see.”

6. Guard your time

It’s easy to get lost in NFTs and spend hours, if not days tweeting, researching and chatting away. Not ideal if you’re also still handling a day-to-day job or running a business.

If you have time on your hands, then go for it. But as an artist, it’s highly recommended to also create blocks in your weekly schedule dedicated to creation.

Nikolina Petolas, a successful NFT artist, recommends: "Concentrate on your own art and style. It is your main asset and what brought you to the space. There are so many distractions and it's easy to get lost. Don't succumb to trends and what you think the market wants. You are here as an artist and it's important to have your own voice.”

Another tip comes from Tiago Aleixo, who says: “Being an artist means exploring our lives through the lens of artistic expression, but for that, we need a voice. The moment you focus on what your “why” is, is the moment your authentic self will be out and ready for the journey!”

7. Grow together

You may feel tempted to try and become best friends with big influencers, people who already have a following. However, you’ll often grow faster by connecting with those who are at a similar stage. Create your own network of peers, people you like to chat with. People who are genuinely interested in you. Support their growth, retweet their tweets, hang out with them in Spaces, and they’ll do the same. Over time you’ll see the results.

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