Put Yourself on the Grid – Why Online Exposure is a Good Thing

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Stop what you are doing. Now, look up, down, left and right, what do you see? Odds are most of you would have come across some form of visual communication.

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What exactly is visual communication?

Visual communication is expressing ideas and experiences with a combination of imagery and textual content to communicate a message to a viewer.

For example the famous The Treachery of Images by Magritte

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The image shows a pipe with the words “Ceci n’est pas une pipe,” below it. Which is French for, “This is not a pipe.” The painting is not a pipe, but an image of a pipe. This example of Surrealism suggests a paradox of that objects correspond to words and images. In other words this is a masterpiece of visual communication. It is taking imagery and words and formatting them in a way to communicate a message to a viewer.

But in a fast paced, digital year of 2015 how does anyone or more specifically artists get noticed?

Visual communication has made a great shift to digital works. Online presence is a growing must have for exposure. It’s hard enough gaining recognition as an artist but without an online footprint you practically don’t exist.

Picture this; you are in class or work. Your phone beeps. What is it? It is a phone call or text or email. Someone is trying to communicate with you. 2015 and every quick, efficient way to get in touch with you is at the fingertips of millions of people and you have that same ability. Every day we get calendar reminders, emails, and texts. We can track what we eat and who is at our favorite places and so on. Welcome to the age of the quantified self. In today’s world, technology has made everything responsive and at a push of a button.

It is December 17, I am in class when my phone lights up. I see an email notification, from Behance saying I received a message. It shows a snippet, “Hi Lauren – You have a great portfolio. I’d like to touch base regarding Spring 2015 internships at NBC Universal within our creative departments.” (note my excitement- SNL gifs)

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I instantly go to the Behance app on my phone and open the message. Completely intrigued at the offer, I think to good to be true, I open the Google chrome app and search the name of the person who sent the message. Between the phone applications and easy access to information on the internet, it was easy to find multiple platforms that legitimized who he was.

I sent an email back off my phone to request more information. Within the hour I was already touching base with one of the creative directors at NBC. The same day we had set up an interview time to which I would have never had the chance if it weren’t for my online media presence and techne (visited in previous posts).

About 4 days later I had the interview. I didn’t walk in with a giant portfolio book but an iPad. I unlocked the screen, pushed a button and there was everything he needed to see. That very same night my phone lit up again. I had been offered the job.

Needless to say, digital media is incredibly important. In my line of work, if you aren’t online, you don’t exist.

My Online exposure:
Behance
Instagram
LinkedIn
WordPress blog (what you’re reading)
Twitter
Website (Launching in a week)

What is most important is digital media and how to utilize that in today’s world to capture the attention of those you need to in order to advance in this world.

However, regardless of major or profession it is clear digital media is a very relevant factor. In fact, some heavily print and hand done art forms have been able to utilize online media to gain a community of followers and to get a conversation going.

In my previous post about hyperreality I somewhat touched on Invader who uses online media to map where his art is or Banksy who actually gained most of his following from online presence. I also touched on the incorporation of media with a hand done medium to create a spectacular piece of work like BLU had.

Here are a few examples of how Graffiti artists have used media or gained exposure from new media:

More Street Art Throwdown found on Oxygen

Useful Articles and Creative Platforms:

LinkedIn – If you don’t have one already, get one. LinkedIn is basically in simple terms, an online resume. But this is one platform that makes you digitally available to anyone. You can be searched and messaged for an opportunity you may not have gotten otherwise. Yes you can send in printed resumes but a lot of employers are now asking for LinkedIn profiles. This isn’t to say print media is going extinct but to say digital media is relevant and almost a must have.

Behance – online creative portfolios ranging from Graphic Design, Photography, Street Art and more.

Graffiter –Fun application to paint the streets yourself.

The Rise of Visual Social Media Article

Digital Self Article

Designspiration – for Inspiration

Street Art Inspiration

Global Street Art – follow street art around the world.

Digital media has given me a variety of opportunities and expanded my network. Whether its inspirational websites or online media presence I always tell people to get connected and establish roots. You never know what sort of opportunities await unless you put yourself on the grid.

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