If you’re an artist, you’re a small business. You’re the CEO, the accountant, the product developer, and the director of marketing (just to name a few titles). I’m pretty good at marketing. Before I became an artist, I was in public relations for a number of years and worked as a communications consultant, but that was long before social media arrived on the scene. Back then, if you wanted to distribute information, you wrote a press release, put it in a stamped envelope, and actually mailed it. These days, I’m trying to tackle Twitter.
As an artist and writer living in rural New Hampshire (population of my town: 1,800), I should jump at any opportunity to make connections and be part of a larger conversation. But since opening my Twitter account in August, I’ve only tweeted four times — although I did figure out hash tags this week (with a friend’s help). I haven’t fully committed to Twitter because I’m not sure what to tweet. The fearful side of me thinks there is a “right” way to tweet, which I haven’t learned, and I don’t want to sound stupid or bother people. There’s a good chance I’m overthinking this.
Rachel Perry Welty is an amazing artist whose work I love and she knows exactly what to tweet. In fact, she uses Twitter as her artistic medium. To Rachel, Twitter is a performance space, where she attempts to capture the daily life of an artist in exactly 140 characters. Her work in any medium — which includes twisty ties, fruit stickers, and Facebook — is exquisitely crafted and very compelling. We were both mature students at The School of The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and started our art careers later than most, so we cheer each other on from afar. Rachel’s Karaoke Wrong Number helped inspire me to write I Will Be Good and her latest Twitter project may get me tweeting with abandon. Follow Rachel on Twitter @rpwelty and follow me, any minute now, @TriciaRoseBurt.