The Artist and Their Public Persona

I had an interesting conversation with some people on social media the other day. The gist of it was about being an artist and acting “professionally” on social media by just sticking to art and never letting people know anything about your political or religious views. Sort of the old idea about never bringing up sex, religion or politics in public updated for the age of social media.
The thought goes that to maximize market share you must appear sympathetic to all of your clients no matter what their views or what they say to you over the course of a conversation. The more clients know about you the greater the chance they will find fault with you point of view and cost you potential sales.
I guess that could be true, if that is your only goal in life, it makes sense. Personally I find having a point of view shows my ability to think about things and hold opinions that are important to me and shape me as an artist. The willingness to share those opinions shows I am not afraid of having a conversation about them even with people who hold opposing viewpoints.
I understand the need to keep something of you private but I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about pretending to be something you are not, creating a fictitious personality only for the sake of making money. Artists who feel the need to act that way in public says something about their personality too just nothing positive in my opinion. That kind of behavior also makes the assumption that your clients are too stupid and narrow minded to buy your work unless you pretend to be something you are not. And what does that say about your art if you think you have to pretend to sell it?

3 thoughts on “The Artist and Their Public Persona

  1. In this social media day and age, I think expressing yourself online is part of the whole package. The most interesting people to follow on social media are those who express themselves more and have a sense of humor or something worthwhile to say. While you shouldn't go out of your way to offend, sharing a debatable opinion attracts attention, and possibly the type of person you will find yourself in line with.

  2. A highly respected scientist in the UK, Tim Hunt was sacked by UCL, the university he worked at because he made a mildly sexist joke about women in the lab. It led to a twitter storm and UCL were to windy to weather it. Tim Hunt is known not to be sexist but the university were more interested in appearing good in the eyes of twitter than knowing the truth.
    Dangerous times!

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