We connected and I was happy to know more about the person behind the IG: with a Master at l’Ecole du Louvre and management classes, she is now working for Parker Harris, a leading art consultancy in the UK. On top of her busy schedule, she has managed to create her own platforms in 2017 and 2018. With History of Art Daily, she reaches 80,000 people across all platforms, and more than 1,1 million views every year on Instagram. Not bad right?
Beyond the numbers, it is inspiring to see that it is possible to share about art history in a fun way and to hear about her enthusiasm for communication in general. I am very happy to share about her path and her tips for art professionals.
How did you become an expert in social media in the arts?
I grew up in the golden age of blogs and the start of social media platforms, so I have always been interested in developing an online platform for my own writing and ideas. As a teenager in the 2000s, I even ventured into creating (highly cringe-worthy) fashion and personal blogs with friends. Thankfully, I realised that the world didn’t need to see every sartorial choice I made as a 16 year old and deleted the pages – but my passion for creating content hasn’t stopped since!
I started off by studying literature, philosophy, languages and art history for my Undergraduate. This allowed me to better grasp the nuances of communication. A few different studies have shown that 70% to 93% of communication is non-verbal. The way you convey a message (with your body language and tone of voice, for instance) is more important than the content of the message itself. Similarly, a big part of the way you communicate on social media is relayed through the image you choose to use and in between the lines you write. All in all, I think studying a range of social sciences helped me make these un-explicit aspects of communications… well, explicit. It still helps me today when I handle public relations for projects or help artists with their social media.
I then went on to Master’s Degree in art history from the Ecole du Louvre – which, as its name might indicate, is located right by the Louvre museum. Not a bad place to learn about art! I also took cultural management classes in business school, volunteered as Vice-President of an non-profit art consultancy, and interned in museums, commercial art galleries and publications.
Once I had my diploma in hand, and years of experience of social media as well as the art sector, I joined Parker Harris, which is a leading art consultancy here in the UK. We handle some of the biggest art prizes in the country, manage art projects, and mentor artists with their social media as well as all aspects of their career.
What led you to create your different accounts?
I created History of Art Daily to talk about art history with a simple, unpretentious, and (hopefully) funny tone. I think a lot of people are interested in art – but learning about its history and its codes can seem really intimidating, especially when you are just starting out. I share stories that allow people to discover new artworks in only a couple minutes. Today, History of Art Daily is followed by 80,000 people across all platforms, and reaches more than 1,1 million views every year on Instagram… so I think I am achieving what I set out to do, and making art history a little more accessible every day.
What do you like most about social media?
What I love about social media is it is truly democratic – anybody has a chance to take ownership of their own story, showcase their talent, and get their “big break”.
A few decades ago, the only way artists could showcase their work was through galleries or museums – today, they can use social media to communicate directly with their public and build communities of people who love their work. If they want to, they can become their own spokesperson and art dealer – exhibiting, marketing and selling their work online.
Andy Warhol once said “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes”. Of course, he was right. Things can go viral in a matter of seconds, giving creatives a sudden influx of attention and exposure. But it actually takes a lot of work to become an “overnight sensation”! Growing an online presence isn’t as easy as it seems – and it demands investment, time, consistency, as well as innovation.
You advise some artists and galleries about their social media platforms. Can you share your top tips for artists on Instagram?
Number one: be social.
It’s called social media for a reason! If you want people to know you… get to know them too. Like other people’s content, leave insightful comments and create conversations. Don’t be shy: send messages to people you genuinely want to connect with.
Number two: Use hashtags.
This has been absolutely key for my steady growth on social media. Hashtags allow other users to find your content – especially if your post is trending or is one of the top publications within that hashtag. You can use up to 30 on Instagram and you definitely should.
Number three: find your niche and post only your art!
If you are trying to extend your network further than your immediate circle of friends, keep in mind that people will follow you for one reason only: because they want to see more of your art. Not to read about what you are eating or who you are spending your weekend with. It’s pretty simple: if you want to promote your art, then post only your art.
Last but not least: Growing an audience on social media takes time – but it is really rewarding.
Have fun, don’t be afraid to try something new… and be yourself, everyone else is already taken.Marine Costello