If you haven’t read blog post 1, ‘The Pick’, click here and catch up on what my DA is all about! 🙂
My pitch is done, the ideating module is over and now I’m back for module 2; prototyping.
After receiving feedback from my project pitch I was made aware that I had in fact already began my prototyping phase without knowing the term. After beginning the module I discovered prototyping to be “a key element of the media making process”. Essentially to prototype means to create a product of the idea we generated, and experiment with this idea to see what works for our digital artefact and what doesn’t.
My feedback suggested that I explore all possibilities and vectors that had opened up for me. With this feedback and as I entered the prototyping phase I finished up the current “theme” I had running through my account and decided to do something different. As an artist I believe it’s hard to stick to a ‘routine/pattern’ of what I will be posting (Eg. Photo, video, photo), which was something I discovered with my first nine posts. After coming across this challenge, I decided it was best that I start my next set of posts by uploading anything I was working on or had completed. To maintain my page’s ‘aesthetic’ I am still using the same filter across all posts and continuing to post a bar of colour after every nine posts. I believe posting a variety of projects/artworks will make it more personal as I am uploading exactly what I want to at the time I choose, which will therefore attract a true audience who resonates with what I do. I have also started including myself within my posts/stories as a way of putting a face behind the account as I personally prefer art accounts where I am seeing the artist behind the drawings.
I have begun sharing new exciting projects of art that isn’t just on paper, but on products too such as designing hats and phone cases. Being in the prototyping stage has allowed me to venture out and experiment, taking my page in the direction I had hoped for. I have had a really positive response from my followers in my latest posts and I’ve been able to showcase my projects to targeted audiences.
I have also been in contact with a local surf company, asking about collaboration and I did receive an excited response which may also lead me into working with other businesses and clients. On top of this, I have been in contact with Vans and they have sent my message through to their marketing team which may open up another new and exciting vector.
This module also discussed “how the internet can be leveraged in speeding up the feedback loops of iteration”. In order to gain a better understanding of what my followers would like to see with my account, I have put up polls on my story featuring questions such as: “Do you prefer my drawings on: paper or clothing/other mediums”, and “What should I draw on next? Shirt or Shoes?” From these polls I can find out what it is that my audience likes seeing and incorporate more of that into my posts.
I am still continuing with hash-tagging all my posts as I have found it to be very effective in reaching out to a wide audience, including artists, tattoo artists, surfboard designers, fashion designers and wellness/yoga pages. I also continuously delete and re-upload the hashtags to refresh them as it brings more engagement to both new and older posts and brings attention to my account.
My engagement with followers since starting the account is continuing to grow. With my impressions (which is the number of times posts have been seen) I have been reaching numbers of up to 724 Impressions just on a singular post alone. For engagement alone (which is the total number of times my posts have been liked, commented on and saved, I have reached 451 for my highest post. These numbers are showing me that I am getting my followers engaged and reaching out to a large number of accounts.
My following has also increased since the last module, growing from 75 followers to over 200 and I have started implementing story highlights in order to keep my followers engaged during the times I am not posting.
I did try and start up a page on Tumblr, sharing some of my work, however, it led me to the Breaking phase, where I experienced ‘FEFO’ first hand as I didn’t have the same response I got from Instagram initially as well as just not doing a good job at upkeeping the site as I didn’t know my way around it.
I am also looking into opening an Etsy page where I can start selling some of my work and creating a business out of my art. This page has not yet taken off, but I have begun looking into what will go into the account and how I could effectively sell some of my pieces.
The prototyping stage has allowed me to gain stronger insights into my followers and what they look to get out of my Instagram. Raymond’s (1998) article, ‘The Cathedral and the Bazaar’ highlights that “too often software developers spend their days grinding away for pay at programs they neither need nor love’ which deeply resonates with me as a I went through the prototyping stage. Creating and sharing my art is not a chore as part of my assessment, but rather a hobby I am passionate for which therefore has made this whole process so much easier as I enter the final stage; making.