How teen artists can thrive in the new digital economy

July 30, 2021

Art portfolios are an important part of the spikeview platform. It’s where creatives organize projects, experiences, recommendations, and more all in one online hub. 

Our platform also helps emerging artists develop a network to connect with mentors, and eventually get work seen and sold. We want to help emerging artists own their own narrative and maximize their potential. 

Painters, photographers, graphic designers, and digital artists often wonder if it’s even possible for an artist to earn a living from their creative work.

The pandemic has been devastating for the arts economy. A major factor is that artists have learned over the years to make their money from physical things that couldn’t be digitized (prints, wall hangings, etc.). The new digital economy opens new doors for prosperity in creative fields – if – artists are willing to adapt to online opportunities. 

On July 30, spikeview celebrated ArtWorld Friendship Day to help young artists make new friends. We want to help them connect to other teenage artists, professionals, instructors, collectors, and curators.

Bill Deresiewicz joined us for an hour to talk about how teen artists can thrive in the new digital economy. 

Bill is an award-winning essayist and critic, and a frequent speaker at high schools and colleges. His work has appeared in a ton of impressive publications, including The New York Times, The Atlantic, Harper’s, and The American Scholar. He taught English at Yale and Columbia before becoming a full-time writer in 2008. 

Bill’s new book is The Death of the Artist: How Creators Are Struggling to Survive in the Age of Billionaires and Big Tech. Don’t be fooled by the title. Here are two big endorsements for the book: Best-selling author Julie Lythcott-Haims said it’s “a love letter to art itself and a rallying cry for those who produce art to stay alive.” Emmy-winner Rosanne Cash called it “the most refreshing wake-up call for young artists.”

Here are three big takeaways from Bill’s practical and motivational talk:

  1. The internet is amazing. Teen artists who are just getting started can connect directly with customers. No more waiting to be discovered. 
  2. Diversify your experience. As Bill says, “stack up a bunch of small checks from different sources.” This is much easier to do when you can demonstrate yourself as a well-rounded person. Document your interests and experiences that are both related and unrelated to art.
  3. Learn to pitch yourself. It takes practice, but that’s why you should be on spikeview. Figure out your personal narrative and practice your messaging with community groups.

But wait, there’s more!

If you haven’t created a spikeview portfolio yet, be sure to do that so you can unlock access to an exclusive Q&A period following the talk. That’s where we get into specific ways you can level-up your art portfolio. 

Bill gets into details about these topics and more:

  • Self-publishing is easier and more powerful than you think.
  • Seek out mentors and build your portfolio as you’re learning.
  • Learning soft skills will make you a better artist and bring more opportunities. 
  • Practice communicating to others about yourself and your work.

In other words, young artists need to get on spikeview and own their narrative