An open-hearted talk about my own experience and anxiety as an artist active on social media. Should WE quit Instagram as artists?? In this video, I'm opening up about how Instagram is exploiting creators, about mental health and social media, about the stress involved in content creation, the fact that Instagram is causing depression, that brands on Instagram are exploiting creators, about art censorship and other thoughts. Is YouTube more suited for artists? Is it the end of Instagram for artists? ALL of this while doing this Alternative Makeup Tutorial inspired by this whole situation. Let me know your thoughts & experiences in the comments below!
Question of the day: should I quit Instagram as an artist? or not? that's the question I ask myself a lot lately and mainly because of stress.
So basically, since Instagram's algorithm has changed, I've been feeling overwhelmed by stress and I know I'm not the only one, like a lot of artists and creators on Instagram have been feeling this way and the main reason is that Instagram is not what it used to be.
It's a business and for artists to be able to share their art on there, artists have to become marketers and business people which we are not necessarily meant to be but before I get into that let's talk about why I feel so stressed and why I first joined Instagram.
The main reason at first was to connect with other people with the same interest and who like the same type of fashion. At the time I was living in a very small countryside town and I was the only rainbow girl. Rainbow curly hair and like Harajuku style in the street. Platform shoes.
So I didn't really have a lot of people to relate to and Instagram was like the next step after Tumblr and then I discovered Instagram and it was like a mine of inspiration and the best way to share your style and inspire each other. You know what I mean? And like, I made lots of friends on Instagram. At least for me as a creative person, that's why I was on the platform. And that's what I enjoyed the most.
This freedom of expression. Just this constant inspiration coming. That was great. But then, it started becoming more of a business, obviously, especially after Facebook got into it. Brands started noticing,started taking over Instagram as a business. Influencers started appearingeverywhere and basically people started getting money on this platform and that's when you, as an artist, start feeling like: "oh, you need to step up your game and create more content, and like constantly share".
It wasn't just a place to hang out virtually with your friends or people of the same interests it became more of a showbiz platform. I don't know if I'm using the right terms here but...
So basically right now I'm doing the makeup that you will see on the thumbnail of this video and also on my Instagram page so I'm just showing you the makeup process and afterward you're gonna see how I photo-edited all the crazy stuff involved...in the eyes and stuff.
So I'm not gonna tell you the names of all these products because I don't really like doing that and if you're interested you can just check out the product box down below this transcript, okay?
Let's go back to the subject of Instagram: if I should quit Instagram as an artist? If you should quit Instagram as an artist?
So as soon as Instagram started to become a place where you can make money and where brands were interested in sponsoring people. All of these things. That's when a lot of artists like myself became pressured to making their work seenbecause also with all the algorithm changes you ended up not having all of the people who already followed you, friends and all, be able to see your art or your creations and that was like very frustrating especially when you'd been on the platform for years.
It took you that long to have that many people interested in what you were doing. To then, all of a sudden, not being able to share with just these people was extremely frustrating. So that's when you as an artist really start wanting to find out how to change the situation... and if you go into this rabbit hole you start seeing tons and tons of information online telling you what to do, what not to do and a lot of it revolves around how to grow on Instagram. How to please brands. How to please Instagram itself. How to please the algorithm and very fast start focusing only on like this algorithm this platform more than your own art and the reason why you even came in the first place. Or more than the people who enjoy watching your art.
So it just became a bit crazy and it still is. I think it's like at its epitome right now.
When you see so many people coming up with like content all time. Super fast, super fast, super fast. You think that you have to produce content super fast, super fast, super fast.
So part of the things that you learn to do is like paying attention to your hashtags, the time at which you share your content, how often you share your content, which orders you put your hashtags in. If you put them in the first comment. If you put them under in the description. And then there are comments and like if you can answer to all the comments at once or if it's too fast and the algorithm is going to block you because, yes, there are also like algorithm punishments like shadow bans and stuff like this.
This is really really complex and crazy and it's constantly changing. And imagine what it can do on someone's brain when they're like, they've put so much work and time and years of work and time into an algorithm it's like you can't stop because otherwise, all this time that you spent on the platform was for nothing. So you know I mean? It's like you're basically being bullied by Instagram... that's how I feel at this point and that's why I'm wondering like is it even worth being on this platform anymore?
So another problem on the platform and many other platforms is censorship.
So a lot of artists like myself who are open to nudity in their artwork, express themselves sometimes. It's part of their expression to have a bit of skin. It doesn't have, I mean it's not sexual in any way. I don't even know how to say that...so I'm not going to get into the censorship subject but it's been a problem for me and many other artists.
So this is a duo-chrome eyeshadow. I really like this. It's really hard to show you the results on camera because it doesn't catch the light the same way, but I can try... Can you see that? I love it.
So with censorship, the biggest problem is that Instagram would literally take down your artwork. So I've had a few of my artwork taken down even though the art itself wasn't against the Terms of Service of Instagram.
So if you don't know, you're not allowed to show female nipples on Instagram or of course genitalia. Those were not even involved ever in my artwork at least. I used to play a lot with nipple censorship in my artworks. I'll try to show you some here.
A few of them: this one, in particular, got viral at the time. People started, how do you call that again? People started reporting the image. The artwork got put down by Instagram. With absolutely no real reason because it was not against any of their terms of service.
Of course, I re-shared it because I hate this type of unfair treatment but it's just a way to show you how little Instagram cares about their artists and second how a lot of people are still brainwashed about nudity and sexuality.
Anyway, I really don't wanna get into these subjects. So that was another big problem on Instagram. And then, Facebook comes into the picture...
So I use this spray on my brush to catch the pigment better. Just if you're interested.
So Facebook came in the picture and ads started popping up. So you can now pay for an ad and basically, this feature is a way to market your Instagram posts and I think like, this was a key moment were Instagram lost it completely. This advertising just became what Instagram is now. It's just: you either need to have a marketing team behind you to market yourself. Or a lot of contacts or a big budget to market yourself through their ads and this is not viable for a non-established artist.
That's the point where I started feeling like the only way to grow on Instagram now as an artist is to team up with brands, start working with brands because okay I see that brands are interested in people who know how to do good content to show their products. They are gonna pay you, promote your page by showing your pictures, your videos and stuff and so that's a way to grow and it is a cool way to grow but it's also a great way to kill your page your artistic spirit and like exploiting yourself basically... because brands don't care. Like, most brands don't care about the creator. They only care about making money, customers, not all of them of course, but enough that it's impossible to see which ones are going to actually be serious with you and not like take advantage of you.
So that really became a big problem for me. It's like killing your mental, you know. I feel like over the years Instagram has slowly sucked my blood, my artistic spirit and now I'm at a point where I'm like ready to flush it out of my system I'm just going to quickly finish this makeup because I find it impossible to like speak to you and at the same time finish this makeup. I can't do those two things at once. Respect to all the YouTube beauty gurus out there who manage to do that all the time. That's why I do all of the non-speaking cosplay tutorials.
So if you're watching this video right now, I don't know if you are a creator or not. If you were thinking to but I'm guessing you are so you must know what I'm talking about when I say that when you're at this level of stress from Instagram it's mainly because you're trying to juggle with everything all at once. Content creation, art, all of this stuff especially when you're like really active online takes a lot of time, a lot of work, a lot of involvement. Always thinking about like: what's the next content, when do I have to share next like, what am I gonna share next like I'm filming and then right after I'm filming I have to start editing and then like it's never stopping.
You have to plan out, edit, film, do. You have to create the art, photos, the videos. Find music. You're the marketer, you have to be active on the social platform and each social platform has different SEO, different marketing techniques and all of this can become very very overwhelming and just too much.
Just like, as I'm speaking... I don't know if you can hear it, it's giving me anxiety.
So that's pretty much the look that I made last time for the shoot that I'm gonna be working on next. So you're gonna see me do my bizarre edits inspired by this situation and Instagram.
So the next point I wanted to talk about is basically like the result of all the stress arisen from what this whole Instagram machine has created. The monster it's created. What position it puts me in now. And so many other people. It's
basically making me lose myself.
I mean it's good and it's bad it allowed me to collab with so many people. Have opportunities with brands that I didn't have before but the same time. It's like people don't respect artists enough, and a platform like Instagram who doesn't respect artists as much as they should, because artists are basically feeding their platform.Without creators, Instagram would be nothing.
All the people that like share quality content on this platform 24/7, without them Instagram is nothing. Yet it's not paying us and people, in general, don't appreciate or don't comprehend the amount of work there is behind each artworkand people are not going to think about that, you know. They're not going to think that we're like full-time working on this platform. Yet we're not getting paid to do so because of the competition that there is. We need to give more than we should really. It's really hard to work in this situation. That causes a lot of depression.
So yeah that's where the social media depression comes into the lives of a lot of artists like me. I don't know if I'm making any sense in this video. And you can probably tell that I'm an anxious being. So this is like an exercise to speak in front of my camera to you. But I thought it was important, and it's making me feel better anyway. So, if you enjoy it that's great. Let me know in the comments by the way. It's always nice to have feedback from you if you're watching this. Then it makes more sense to make these types of videos or anything new that I put out there.
And a lot of people don't even realize that just a like or comment makes a big difference for the mental health of the creator. Just a little reminder here. Yeah the conclusion of this video like.
It's more of a question still, should I, should we as artists, like give up on Instagram? Is having a social media break really going to help long term? I don't know.
At this point, I'm literally feeling like I don't want to invest myself as much as I have these past few years in Instagram. And mainly because Instagram is not gonna pay me.Instagram does not give a s*** about me. I don't know if I can say this type of thing on Youtube. And I don't have as much freedom on Instagram because of censorship, because of brands.Brands have a lot of rules. It's just like a pain in the... you know, to just keep up with all of this nonsense.
When you're a freestyle creative person like that, it's like it's just too much. Basically killing your art, your artistic vibe. At the moment I'm really trying to refocus on my art. I think I'm not gonna completely quit Instagram but I'm going to share more like myself.
I think YouTube is a great platform. A lot of time and effort that you put into creating a piece of content doesn't just disappear instantaneously. The lifespan of content on YouTube is indefinite compared to Instagram and that makes a huge difference for artists. Like, it takes maybe 50 % of the pressure off, which is already a lot because I know that even though for example this video is not going to perform like instantaneously. I know that it's like, over time going to grow and so it makes it more worth it.
Also, you get to reach out to people who actually care about what you're doing because they're literally like searching for what you're doing, interacting with you in that way.
It's not like on Instagram where things are suggested to you. It's a completely different algorithm, and just the fact that Youtube cares about its creators. It's more of a partnership they actually pay you if you show and prove yourself, prove to them that you have great content. You know what I mean? So yeah.
Let me know what you think. I don't know if this video is boring or I don't make
any sense but I'd love to know what you think about this situation. If you've been in this situation, if you are right now.
And if you've got any tips or anything like that just say it in the comments down below. Aah.. I hope I'm going to share this video. I'm feeling so anxious about this. Huh.. Yeah.. I guess I'll see you in the next video. Bye!