Been quite year! Happy new year everyone and hope you all had happy holidays! 😀
This is where I analyze the year that has gone by, give my thoughts and let people with their ideas and then I plan for the next year with the hope of being one step closer to becoming a full-time artist. I hope to do this every year improve myself and properly think about how I do things but also to give followers and supporters insight to how I do things and let people steal good ideas and maybe give some back.
I started this back in late 2018 inspired by kliksphillip’s analysis and to be frank, much of what I planned didn’t go through AT ALL. A big part would be moving and having my whole life change, but it’s more than that.
- Summuary of 2018
- Achievements & fails of 2019
- Reflections about the year
- Decentralized social media advocacy and Green Youth
- Art productivity analysis
- Social media analysis
- Social media strategy for 2020
- Goals for 2020
- Closing statements
A short summuary or TLDR of 2018 for those that don’t care to read it
In 2018 I made 160 digital artworks, deleted all my old social media accounts and joined the fediverse, gained 837 followers on Mastodon, Participated in the first Unreal bjornament where I made it to the third round, later I hosted Sinix Design’s Thunderdome together with Princess Teacan.
But let’s see; how has 2019 been treating me and did I fulfill any of my goals for 2019?
- Found a way to start streaming and have been streaming a bit
- Gotten into a project related to free culture (The album cover for a whale’s lantern!)
- Gotten well over 2000 followers on Mastodon (almost 3000 actually, currently reciding at 2,9 K followers)
- Got featured in the Krita artist feature in a interview posted on Krita’s website
- More properly set up my own website instead of using the wordpress hosting service
- Set up my own Mastodon instance for Norwegian people called Snabelen.no to advocate for the use of decentralized & federalized social media in Norway
Fails of 2019:
- Haven’t fulfilled the patreon goals by a mile
- Didn’t post a video every month, actually I only posted 1
- Did not make more than 230 digital artoworks this year, although that’s partly because I’ve ventured more into traditional art this year where I have made over 330 sketches and drawings.
- Not sure how much I’ve made this year from commissions to be frank, been slowly moving towards getting a full-time job and then do art on the side.
- Didn’t do inktober this year, but did ink almost everyday of that month anyway 😉
- Didn’t do international portraitday this year either as I forgot it. lol
- Didn’t do 4 projects, and not 6 portfolio projects
- But I did do the second season of Björn Hurri’s «Unreal Bjornament» although I did not manage to get past round 3 this year either.
Reflection about the year
This year, by that I mean 2019 went a totally different direction than I thought with moving and how life ended up being. It has made me prioritizing differently and given me a whole different way of approaching this thing.
A lot of the fails of the year began with not having any internet for several month meaning posting content like videos was impossible and therefore less interested into make that kind of stuff, and when I finally got internet it was hard to pick up where I left off.
But in terms of the overall thing my Mastodon account has grown a whole lot, I’ve made a proper super cool album cover for a music project, I’ve been featured on Krita’s website. This year I’ve managed to do a lot of cool things that I didn’t think would happen, and that also goes for personal life things.
But things haven’t been perfect in my personal life as well and it’s been a very busy year. This year was election year which meant a lot of traveling and for a while after summer also meant intense traveling where I debate other people at high schools around in the county I live in. I have friends that have gotten sick which was terrible and someone in the family just got cancer, luckily it seems to sort itself out.
But all in all quite a weird year and can’t wait to jump into the next one!
Decentralized social media advocacy and Green youth
On a lighter note I’ve picked up advocating for decentralized social media which has had a great turn out! I’ve been in the giant city of Bergen and had a presentation for the people of Green youth there, and I’ve had two presentations in my home county for Green youth.
I’ve also created my own Mastodon instanced called «snabelen.no» which is a Norwegian instance intended to drive adoption of decentralized social media in Norway and pick up where the old Norwegian instance «snabeltann.no» left off when it died. So far it has about 90 members with some really cool names like Bjørn Stærk a privacy advocate and the Norwegian writer and politician; Eivind Trædal that has adopted Mastodon after I got someone I know to use Mastodon. There has also been popping up two new Norwegian instances, «oslo.town» a instance for people int he capitol and «bokgruven.no» which is a Norwegian instance about books and writing.
A few months ago I also got elected as central board-member of the Green Youth of Norway which is super exciting but also will eat out a lot of my free-time. It will be an amazing opportunity to learn from and with the best that Green Youth has to offer and at the same time being in the marketing group letting me utilize my art and video making skills. I’ve also become the privacy «boss» working on privacy challenges in the organization.
Art productivity analysis
In terms of productivity I feel it has had a full turn over. In 2018 my work output had drastically gone downwards a while after the unreal bjornament, a sort of burn out. Which I had been dealing with for half a year after that, and in the first part I was far ahead of 2017.
Now this year I must admit there has been very little digital artwork but it’s hard to say how many because of the moving, lost files and the like so I don’t find it very meaningful to put a proper number on it. But it is less than in 2018, now what I’ve noticed is that I make far fever pieces but each of them are of a much higher quality and it isn’t before lately that the process has sped up a bit.
I was sure I had counted traditional drawings for 2018 but can’t see that I’ve written it down. It’s kind of hard to count anyway as a lot gets lost, trashed or is hard to know if to be counted at all. But overall I have come to love drawing with marker which has made me use that sometimes instead of working digital but also has come handy as I’ve been traveling a bit this year.
I’m thinking of being even more productive in 2020!
Social media analysis
Quite a development this year, particularly on Mastodon. I’ll show you here what I’ve managed to collect of information and then later I’ll make some goals and a strategy from what I’ve learned from the year that went by.
General follower statistics 2018-2019
As I lost my website stats from some website hosting issues it is hard to make an estimate towards the the attention my website has gotten, but I’d like to guess that the traffic is pretty small and that most interactions come from social media. There are no way of keeping track of how many use the RSS feed either.
I’d like my website to be the central hub for all my things and have a lot of content to click through. This might make the website more of a thing to go back to for resources, or checking updates. Unsure if a email-list is something I should go into either.
There isn’t much statistics to uncover for my Mastodon.art account but there are some interesting discoveries I’ve made during the year.
- Posts have a hard time getting noticed between all the other content that gets posted in the tag, local timeline or people’s home timeline. It seems like boosting a toot several times is key to making sure that people sees that I have posted. This is something I gotta have a plan for.
- I have gotten a lot of followers from being a moderator at mastodon.art and being active in the community. It will be more difficult to gain an audience and followers without being a moderator but it also is nice being more independent.
- Followers usually come with toots that have questions or show interest in certain kinds of topics, particularly things like opensource, linux and libre software but unsure if it will continue to. But in contrast it seems like things like D&D get very little attention in the fediverse.
My channel on share.tube has only gotten 1 upload in 2019 and it was a timelapse from a stream. The timelapse did not gain a lot of attention while being promoted on mastodon and on the krita-forums. Probably mostly from not having consistent activity.
It has slowly gotten subscribers though, meaning people are discovering my content and are following me which is good.
Pixelfed seems like the perfect decentralized platform for my art, although it doesn’t have the same reach and reach as my mastodon account it does have gotten 120 followers and are getting constant interactions, while the mastodon has very inconstant interactions. It’s hard to say what to do with the pixelfed but the profile seems like a good way of giving a overview of my style and the kind of art that I do.
This streaming channel is probably the oldest social media account that I have kept around. Picarto is a streaming platform I’ve always like even though the community is filled with porn artists, furries and various delinquencies. It is very artist friendly and has stuff like letting people chatting without an account but dearest of all it let’s people do kind of whatever one wants which is not something that I really have use for but appreciate.
I have had a few streams on picarto, none with a big audience but it seems like people come by and it has made people become more engaged in my stuff and is a very nice way of making content that can made into something else elsewhere and communicating with people directly.
I’ve always liked the idea of having a website store, but now that gumroad seems to have features for letting you sell physical products I’ve been thinking of using it for the store instead making it easy with payment and letting me combine digital and physical products neatly and accessibly.
I’ve had it for a long while and during that time I’ve only had one product and that is my «Krita workspace», which has it’s own peertube video and has a total of 28 downloads.
I’d love to have more on there so that is something I’ll have to look into. Would appreciate any ideas about products I could sell or resources I could have there. Just gotta find a good way of incorporating the gumroad and the patreon into my website.
I had some income growth, double what I earn today.
As I understand this graph should probably be the opposite for most creators. This most likely has to do with the lack of attention I’ve given to patreon and how busy I became after the summer with the election going in full force.
And it seems there is no coincidence with the pledge growth in Juni and Juli. As there are no patreon posts during that period I wonder if it has something to do with anything on Mastodon as this is a period of high activity there.
Social media strategy for 2020
It’s hard coming up with how I want my presence to be in social media. But here are some key points.
- Make a project that people can be a fan of
- Small but very high quality projects that are shareable every once in a while
- Circular content, low effort content that can be used in several ways in several times
- Collaboration with other creators from other focus groups
- Not focus on commissions, maybe do like a set commission where people buy a sketch that gets made done
- Focus on making products like prints and the like that people can buy. Maybe try crowdfunding projects?
- Doing community related artwork (Aka. Fan-art, libre software related art and D&D/Fantasy art)
- Having consistant and strategic branding
I really need to work on my mission statement this year, which is «spearheading free and open art in a fun and interesting way. I feel like I’ve gotten a mission statement that has meaning and fits but I really need to work on the wording and what it says.
My general presence I think should be a lot of of feelings! It should be «woaw, cool» but also «this is weird», but even better is «this might make me wanna cry» or «this is way too cute».
I’d like to have a striking iconic presence that is a lot of fun and is very community friendly and something that people can participate in. I’d love for people to have stuff to follow up on in my art like a comic or something.
But like I said, this part is super difficult for me so I’d appreciate any help! 😀
Keep the blog up to date with few but important posts. Showing only my best work and showing projects and things to check out.
Regular and lower-effort posts like sketches, doing community stuff and boosting my own toots A LOT so people see it. But posts also have to be very boostable.
Short videos but very high quality content that is shareable.
Unregular and high quality posts that look good on the profile but that are very boostable. A couple of posts should be of personal things showing myself and how I am in my personal life.
Very long streams that are regular and build a audience that comes back again.
For now it is just to make more products there.
In general, just more content and pay more attention to it.
Goals for 2020
Keeping things more abstract for this year is the idea and having few but high quality projects that I use a LOT of time on.
- Doing 200 digital artworks
- Doing 400 traditional sketches and drawings
- 3 bigger art pieces
- 1 worldbuilding project
- Making some short comics
- 4 peertube videos
- Streaming on Sundays
- Getting the design and visuals of the website better!
- Mastodon: 3200 followers
- Peertube: 100 followers
- Pixelfed: 200 followers
- Stream: 50 followers
- Gumroad: 25 downloads
- Patreon: 20 Euro pr. Month
So this has been the analysis of 2019 for me and my art, and some goals by the end. Probably not that interesting for most people, hard to make things like this interesting although Kliksphillip manages to do that somehow.
It’s a very neat way of thinking things through, showing transparency but also a great opportunity to get help. I want to do art full-time one day and I’ll need all the help I can get. Hopefully if you found it interesting it inspires you to do a similar thing for yourself.
Hope you have a great year and good luck on your goals of the year!
With joy, art and love,