Why I quit posting my daily paintings on social media

I began my 30-minute daily painting challenge in November of last year.

I realized I’d been putting my art making on a back burner and thought daily challenge would reinvigorate my practice.

(You can read more about my challenge in this blog post and this one.)

My new challenge did help me tremendously to develop  a habit to sit and paint every day. Once it became a habit, I’d feel uneasy if I hadn’t painted by mid-afternoon.

But, I was also getting really stressed out.

It wasn’t the act of painting that was stressful – for the most part, I looked forward to my painting time, and it was calming and relaxing – but, I began to pressure myself to create something my followers would “like” on social media.

I knew intellectually the daily creative practice was ultimately for me but would feel bad when I got fewer “likes.”

Rather than creating something I felt like creating, I began painting something I thought my followers would respond to better.

Rather than being playful and curious, I was carefully crafting works that were attractive and well put together.

And to do so in 30 minutes became so exhausting! It’s like creating a concept, writing your first draft, editing, and publishing an article all in 30 minutes. I was making so many micro-decisions while I painted, and that was not enjoyable at all.

Plus posting my artwork every day became a chore – not only did I spend 30+ minutes for prepping, painting, and clean up, but it took extra 30 minutes to take a decent photo, edit the image, write the captions and hashtags for Instagram, and schedule the post every day.

It was taking the time and energy away (not to mention my social media real estate) from the work I should’ve been focusing on, which is making products and promoting them to generate more income for my business.

So I decided to quit posting my paintings on social media after day 183.

This is the last painting I posted officially.

I still sit down to make something every day. But rather than focusing on finishing a presentable piece in 30 minutes, I might just make a quick 10-15 minute painting or take longer if I feel like it. Or I’d collage. Or draw with pen and markers.

It just depends on what I feel like making that day, and since I don’t have the pressure to share and get more “likes”, I’m more relaxed and free.

The practice was actually enjoyable again!

These are some of the art I made after I quit posting.

(I still do share the peek of it on my Instagram Stories every day. But since the images go away after 24 hours, and you don’t have the “like” counts, it’s a lot less pressure.)

I realized it was more important for me to exercise my creative muscle every day than to create something that looks good every day.

I did lose some followers as a result, and I hate backing out of my word – but, I allowed myself to quit  because it was no longer helping me to achieve my goal.

So far, not posting my work hasn’t stopped me from making art every day (I’m on day 213 as of the time of writing this article), and I call that a success!

Who knows, maybe I’ll change my mind again in the future, and that’s OK, too.

When you set a goal, it’s important that you pay attention to the little voice inside of you and course correct when something doesn’t feel good to you any more.

There is absolutely no need for you to keep doing something that doesn’t bring you joy or bring you closer to your goal! Your work will suffer in a long run, and you’ll eventually get burned out.

And, burnout, my friend, is the worst enemy of an artist.

We all suffer from the “like” addiction, and recognizing how it hinders you from expressing your authentic creative voice is the first step in overcoming that addiction. 

Now, go do your thing 🙂 The world needs you to keep creating the things only you can!

xo

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

 

 

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Why I quit posting my daily paintings on social media

  1. I think these daily creativity challenges can backfire. As much as I enjoy seeing lovely art on social media, I don’t want to see someone’s work every single day. I would imagine I’d feel the same way even if it were Van Gogh. From the standpoint of the viewer and beneficiary of all this beautiful work, I feel inundated sometimes to the point of irritation. I question this encouragement to constantly post. I suspect this is a fad and it will pass (assuming one is not a business person / entrepreneur or in need of aggressively building a platform.) What’s more, if you read Jaron Lanier as I have just done, he writes that in the future, in a more just scenario, he hopes that people will be paid for all that they contribute online, especially to such siren servers as Instagram and Pinterest. JL works for one of the largest siren servers and is a genius, so reading his book about a more humane information economy was quite a relief, even if it won’t happen in my time.

    1. Hi Valorie! yup I got it (it just needed to be approved by me before it posted) and really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. I have a love/hate relationship with social media… I enjoy connecting with other artists and reaching customers but the pressure to “perform” is sometimes overwhelming. Thank you for your book recommendation! I’ll put it on my queue. xo

  2. LIKE!

    From: Rosemarys Blog Reply-To: Honeyberry Diary Date: Sunday, June 25, 2017 at 7:02 AM To: sandy haight Subject: [New post] Why I quit posting my daily paintings on social media

    WordPress.com Yuko posted: “I began my 30-minute daily painting challenge in November of last year. I realized I’d been putting my art making on a back burner and thought daily challenge would reinvigorate my practice. (You can read more about my challenge in this blog post an”

  3. Hi Yuko,
    I am always amazed by your work ethic. Also I am in awe of how well you understand your limits. There’s nothing worse than selling out on creativity just to produce. Whoa nelly – you stopped that from happening just in the nick of time. And…when you paused to breathe in…your creative spark reunited. Yeah!!!

    I have just started my website and blog on WordPress @ Pam Holladay.com. May I ask you a technical question. How do I add the comment box to the end of my blog posts? Is it built in to Studiopress/Wordpress?

    1. Hi Pam,

      thank you for your thoughtful comment! I’m slowly learning to listen to my gut more. it always knows what’s best…and sometimes it’s scary but when I do it, I know it’s the right thing!

      re: comment box – I use WordPress.com which is a hosted web service, so it’s already built in. If you’re using WordPress.org and hosting/buildling it yourself, I’m not sure how to go about doing it?? sorry I couldn’t help more!

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