My Social Media Rules

social media rulesYou can search Google and come up with literally millions of websites that tell you all about being a success on social media sites. It can be overwhelming and it is.

So I decided to make my own social media rules. This is how I interact on the one social media site that I seem to do okay on, Facebook. And by okay I mean people actually talk to me.

Here are my social media rules.

  1. If you post or share an image without saying something about it, I assume that you think the image is worth a 1000 words and my comment isn’t necessary.
  2. The most I will do in this case is “like” but only if I truly do like it.
  3. I may share an image you posted but rules #1 and #2 apply.
  4. If you do happen to say something about an image you posted and if I want to share the image I will make a point of commenting on your post because otherwise it feels like I’m stealing.
  5. I have started random acts of sharing from my feed on my business page. It’s hard since most artists don’t post the title, size and medium of their work. It’s always just one of the aforementioned so when I find an artist that includes all that and a link to their website I get very excited.
  6. Speaking of links. I will share a poster image of your exhibition if you give a link to the venue.
  7. I started finding links and pasting them in the comment area of posts that lack them, but stopped thinking perhaps I was overstepping my bounds plus I could be there all day. And I am not the link police though given time would be. LINKS! Give us LINKS!!
  8. Nobody likes to be ignored. Your minimum required action is to like all comments on your post. The exception to this is rude people who you should actually un-friend if they’re rude.
  9. Speaking of un-friending. Should you decide that you no longer want what I share and un-friend me, that’s okay. I’ll be a bit sad but I won’t whine about.
  10. Unless expressly asked for do not critique art in public on any social media platform.
  11. Please don’t correct my grammar and spelling and I won’t correct yours. It takes all the fun and poignancy out connecting.
  12. If I continually share your stuff and you never share mine, I’ll keep sharing your stuff.

Those are my social media rules. Of course yours maybe different. Do you have social media rules that you use? If so please share them in the comments, I’m dying to know if I’m the only one.

Free Art for Sale – Donating Art to Charity

I come across various articles on why artists should not donate their art to charities. The reasons vary from…

– it brings down the value of art in general
– a lot of artists already live at the poverty line and it is unfair
– donating your art doesn’t get you the exposure you think it will
– etc, etc, etc

Personally I believe that if the only reason you are donating art to charity is for the exposure then you are doing it for the wrong reason.

Personally I believe that if you are donating art to charity it should be for a cause you actually believe in.

Generally, working artists don’t have a lot of extra cash hanging around so donating an artwork is one way for them to help charities they believe in.

Personally I believe that charities think that artists are an easy group to exploit for a means to their end. Is this not like robbing Peter to support Paul? AND What artist doesn’t want exposure for their work?

Personally I believe that exposure has nothing what so ever to do with it. Donate because you believe and truly want to help. Is it not a bit self serving to donate art to charity solely for exposure?

Don’t be fooled that you’ll get discovered this way because when you’re not you’ll feel worse or that your work isn’t good enough. Don’t prostitute yourself! No, wait, even the prostitute gets paid.

This is only my opinion, yours may be different. Feel free to express it in the comments below.

Tweet: If the only reason for donating art to charity is for exposure then it’s the wrong reason http://ctt.ec/9U5b3+

How My Dad Influenced My Art Practice.

My father has had a great influence on my life like most parents. He taught me a work ethic that lead to self employment at an early age, I was 26. But more than that he influenced how I look at the world and interpret that with my unique visual language. This is how my dad influenced my art practice.

Alan David Henigman was born in Saskatoon in 1928. He settled in Calgary in the 1950’s and bought a lot in the community of Millican Ogden in the south east. The land already had the foundation of a house and that’s it.

Not being wealthy man and no house plans he did his own design build. The story goes that he would purchase building materials pay cheque to pay cheque. He would problem solve as he went along.

Being an appliance repair man for General Electric, he also moonlighted by reconditioning old washers, dryers, fridges, and the like.  His work shop was in the basement and attached garage and he was always picking up broken appliances to fix and resell. Word spread because his repairs lasted. What he couldn’t fix he recycled, used for parts or as my list below mentions, repurposed.

Some of my favourite examples of his repurposing are…

  • Using copper tubing, more than likely left over from the plumbing, for the kitchen cupboard pulls.
  • Salvaging and using old oven doors from his appliance repairs and construction a window for our back porch.
  • The ceiling in the living room was a wood vaulted ceiling made from salvaged wood doors.
  • The towel rack in the bathroom was a salvaged oven door pull.
  • The front stairs to our home was a design of his own and he constructed and pored the concrete himself.
  • Not having enough siding to complete the length of the front porch railing he cut a detail to finish the shortage.
our-house-me-dad
My Dad and me at the BBQ slash fire pit he designed and built in the 60’s well before it was fashionable to have an outdoor cookery.

My Dad is the very definition of “function before form”. The most important thing to him was that it work.  The ascetic of our home was my Mother’s territory. My Dad taught me to look at my surroundings and the objects in it with new eyes. It’s not just a piece of copper tubing, it’s a door pull. It not just a window for an oven door, it’s actually a window for anything.

So when you see objects used in my work now you know why.


Do you have an unsung person that influenced your art? Who was it and how did they influence you?

I gratefully acknowledge Ann Hart Marquis who interviewed me about my work and really got me thinking. As a result this blog post was born. Thank You Ann for making me think.

Why I Chose to Support Education for Girls

I am a reluctant feminist mainly because I don’t think there should be such a thing. I have always considered myself and everyone else as people first. Gender never really enters the equation, at least not for me. The word feminist to me means believing that all people to be people is not a natural state.

I am a product of the 50’s and grew up at the height of the women’s movement. Did I participate, no, not really.

What I did do is make my own way. I became self employed at the age of 26. I owned a design firm for nearly 20 years and employed up to 12 people. When my passion for art could no longer be ignored, I sold my firm to pursue my art full time.

When I realized that I needed a website, well, I learnt how to do that. Now I have a thriving online business where I help other artists create an online presence. My point…

I had choices

With the advent of the internet and coaches like ArtbizCoach.com, there is help for the artist entrepreneur who wants to develop marketing skills and take control of their careers.

Artists now have choices

Hassani_Shamsia_Banksy
Shamsia Hassani, ‘Dreaming Graffiti with Banksy’, 2012. Image courtesy the artist.
Shamsia Hassani, Afghanistan’s first female street artist, emerges as a spokesperson for women’s rights in Kabul.

Since I have the internet and a choice, I have an idea.

Here’s the idea

Since the fundamental component of all my series revolves around women’s issues I would like to see my work help those that need it the most.

story_malala_ys
Malala Yousafzai was shot when returning from school for going to school. She survived

I was lucky, I had a college education, I was able to chose. I can not for one minute imagine NOT HAVING A CHOICE!

But there are so many girls (and boys too), but mostly girls, that due to tradition or religion don’t get to chose. They are married off as soon as they hit puberty and are often left having to fend for themselves and their children because of war, strife or circumstance.

As much as I would prefer to live with my ideals; gender inequality exists. It exists in Canada, the USA, throughout the western world and as that fight continues there are still girls, children, in developing nations that may never have the same choices that we have.

I believe in choice.

Since I have a choice, I choose to:
SUPPORT EDUCATION FOR GIRLS.
The Girl Effect

To facilitate this I have created an online shop to sell work from the “Open Book” series. This series speaks specifically to the education for girls movement.

With your generous purchase of my art, I am able to donate to Education for Girls charities.

Why am I doing this?

Because I have a choice, so I choose to Support Education of Girls then maybe someday they too will have a choice.

Please contact me if you have any questions. 

View the work and Donate, Shop, Support

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#artist donates to #educationforgirls for every piece sold @ArtbizKimBruce Click to Tweet

I Like Computer Code, there I said it

As I get to know more artists I’m finding that not only do some have day jobs but another passion outside of their art.

I have found doctors, engineers, welders and technical drafts-people. What’s fascinating to me is that these disciplines are considered left brain while art on a whole is consider right. You know, math and science.

Personally I don’t think that creativity is limited to one brain hemisphere. Einstein was very creative.

I wonder if by keeping these other careers private we are trying to live up to the artistic mystic. When in fact they may add credibility to another wise known flaky artist. OR is it the other way around? Admitting the you are a doctor, lawyer or an accountant means you’re not a serious artist?

Well these are points to ponder and I imagine you have good arguments for both.

As for me, I freely admit that I LIKE COMPUTER CODE! As they say in the WordPress world “code is poetry”. My other passion is over at Artbiz.ca

SO DO YOU THINK IT A BAD CAREER MOVE AS AN ARTIST TO EMBRACE YOUR OTHER SIDE AND COME OUT OF THE PROVERBIAL CLOSET?

Thanks to Lori Zebier whose admission inspired this post.