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Gail and Gretchen, 

I personally think devoting time and energy to a FB business page is a waste of your professional time. Katie McKissick, who writes with Kalliopi and I on Symbiartic outlined the problem with Facebook's giant bait-and-switch here:
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/symbiartic/2014/04/10/facebook-frustration/

FB let businesses, large and small, build huge followings and then decided to limit who could see their posts. You have to pay big numbers to appear in anyone's feeds, and the targeting is flawed. A company like Samsung will spend a ton of $ when they have a new phone coming out, and that seems to be the type of client FB wants to attract. 

Twitter on the other hand, is essential social media, in my opinion. As Mieke pointed out, following is asymmetrical. I can follow @BarackObama, and he doesn't have to follow me. Likewise, if someone follows you that you don't have any interest in, there's no pressure to follow them back. You can also organize lists where people only appear on the list and not in your main feed: I keep one for Toronto politics that I check in with a couple of times a day to see if anything major is happening. As Mieke says, you can tailor who you are following so your Twitter stream isn't interrupted by topics you don't care about. 

Importantly, I don't think you should try to keep up with every single thing people you follow say on Twitter. Sip from the firehose. 

You can have valuable conversations on Twitter. Here's a collection of tweets in response to a flawed (sexist) Science Magazine cover:
http://www.glendonmellow.com/blog/2014/7/19/who-holds-the-gaze-a-storify

One of the issues I often see with illustrators in a number of fields, is that they tend to mainly follow other illustrators. For us, we are lucky because there are a ton of scientists and researchers in many fields who are active on Twitter. It's both a potential client base and like-minded community.

Always happy to provide recommendations of people worth following - email me if interested! [log in to unmask]

--
Glendon Mellow
Art in Awe of Science 
http://www.glendonmellow.com

Find me on
on the Scientific American Blog Network

On 14 April 2015 at 13:32, Mieke Roth <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
".. I wouldN'T have met.." of course

Mieke Roth
Science illustrator
+31 (0) 6 37 28 08 99

Op 14 apr. 2015 om 19:29 heeft Mieke Roth <[log in to unmask]> het volgende geschreven:

Hi Gail,

As some of you know I am a twitter veteran ;-) I use twitter most of the time for business and news. I've met wonderful people via twitter I would have met otherwise and it is, if you build your twitter time line carefully, an enormous source of information. In my twitter time line you can recognize specific groups of people. My main groups are:

- researchers in areas I have an interest in. Mostly paleontologists, anatomists, biology, education and such
- science artists
- science writers
- 3d modelers 
- 3d print people and sculptors
- feminists (of all genders)
Remarkably enough those groups often have a great overlap ;-). For me that is.

Everybody's timeline is different. I hear a lot of people complaining about the harsh culture on twitter but part of that is by choosing, willingly or unwillingly. Remarkably the trolls in my timeline are non-existend for example. 
I regularly ask questions about stuff I am working on, I get my news from it and I engage in conversations with people from all over the world. 
One of the biggest advantages of twitter, I think, is that you can start following people without them having to do the same. If I, for example, want to know more about making materials in Blender or ZBrush, I start looking for artists that are specialized in that specific area and I start following them. 

And regarding the workshop of Kapi: you have missed a wonderful event last month: the #SciArt tweetstorm: people from all over the world showed of their #SciArt work and that of others for a whole week. In the US and in Canada #SciArt was trending that week, what means that really a lot of people where talking about it. If you want to know more about that, please read the posts of the Symbiartic blog on the Scientific American website.

Mieke


Mieke Roth
Science illustrator
+31 (0) 6 37 28 08 99

Op 14 apr. 2015 om 17:08 heeft Gail Guth <[log in to unmask]> het volgende geschreven:

I took Kapi's excellent workshop, that's when I joined. But I have been so busy I haven't been able to explore it more, I still don't "get" Twitter (Old School Dinosaur talking here) so I am taking the lazy way out and asking now!  ;-)

I don't have my business FaceBook page running yet. It's there, but has nothing on it. It's been that way for at least a year, maybe more. Sigh.

thanks, Emily, interesting info. I would be interested in anyone else's experiences.

Gail




 

On 4/14/15 10:50 AM, Emily S. Damstra wrote:
Hi Gail,
I joined Twitter during the recent SciArt tweet storm (see here, for anyone not familiar:) http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/symbiartic/2015/03/13/aftermath-sciart-tweet-storm/
I am by no means a Twitter expert!

I started posting some of my illustrations and tagging them with relevant hashtags like #sciart #fossils #echinoderms #MolluscMonday #TrilobiteTuesday etc.. Then various people see my work via one of those hashtags or because they're already following me or because they are following someone who retweets my original tweet.
So far I have been able to license a few illustrations to one person who found my work that way, and I am connected to several potential clients.

I am under the impression that one does have to be at least somewhat active on Twitter to maximize its potential.

Glendon or Kalliopi might have other suggestions.

---
Emily S. Damstra
natural science illustration
Guelph, Ontario
(519) 616-3654
[log in to unmask]
www.emilydamstra.com
Twitter: @EmilyDamstra

On Tue, Apr 14, 2015 at 10:28 AM, Gail Guth <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Hi, Emily,

How are you using Twitter? I have joined but haven't had time to explore it and frankly just don't know what to do with it.

Is anyone else using Twitter to advantage?

Gail




On 4/14/15 9:36 AM, Emily S. Damstra wrote:
Hi Laura,
Below is my answer to your question "How did you find work, when you started your career?"

My first several projects (at least!) were for people I knew or for people who were referred to me by someone I knew.

These days my website does bring me some work, but I think the majority of projects I work on can be traced back to someone I know. I have acquired some excellent clients thanks to volunteering at a local nature reserve and to being active in SONSI (sonsi.ca).

My advice to anyone who is looking for illustration work:

1) Be active in your community – though not for the express purpose of getting work. Volunteer, join clubs, be social, engage. Not only is it good for the soul, but someday one of those relationships will probably lead to work - and it might be in the most unexpected way.

2) While working on a project, don't fear asking for help from scientists or other content experts. The worst that can happen is that they won't reply; the best that can happen is that someone enthusiastic about the subject your illustrating is really helpful and now knows you exist and might hire you in the future. If they do help you, be sure to thank them with a card or print featuring your work.

3) Have a website and put as much good quality work up there as you can. Sometimes people will end up at your website after searching for an illustration of something specific. Do keep in mind that potential clients who find you via your website are likely to hire you to do the same type of work that they see in your portfolio.

4) Others might say to be active on social media. Personally I have not maximized the potential of social media, but I can say that (for me) Twitter is definitely showing potential (I just joined last month).
---
Emily S. Damstra
natural science illustration
Guelph, Ontario
(519) 616-3654
[log in to unmask]
www.emilydamstra.com
Twitter: @EmilyDamstra

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--
Gail Guth
Guth Illustration & Design
139 Lathrop Avenue
Battle Creek, MI  49014-5076
269-963-1311
[log in to unmask]
www.guthillustration.com


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--
Gail Guth
Guth Illustration & Design
139 Lathrop Avenue
Battle Creek, MI  49014-5076
269-963-1311
[log in to unmask]
www.guthillustration.com


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