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Numbers vs. Creativity: Rediscovering Creativity Beyond Social Media

Posted about how productive you are yet? Caught up on all the tea? Reached more than 10,000 followers by now? - No? Huh! Could there be something more important than numbers? Is a time-out what could fuel your success and creativity? Let’s talk about the pressure of social media and how to survive it as an artist.

Digital Collage of a woman sitting reading a book, mushrooms, deers and font that reads 'disconnect' on top of a pink digital distorted background
Digital Collage - Copyright Ina Moana

Is this the real deal?

If you’re anything like me, social media is a big part of my daily routine. It allows me to stay connected with my network of friends and other creatives while I showcase my work. There are quite a few downsides to this though. Social media can be a great source of inspiration, but it can also be overwhelming as an artist. Oftentimes, it makes me compare myself to other artists, question my art or stress about numbers. There’s just so much information, and it feels like you’re trying to understand and keep up with everything at once.

As we spend majority of our day communicating, it can be hard to be creative. One post here, another story there, some emails, a few LinkedIn requests and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. When you take into account all the tools and technologies we use and how in-built they are into our daily lives, our creativity and imagination take a back seat and we become inefficient at pursuing it.

Especially during the pandemic when opportunities are limited, it’s easy to think you're missing out just by looking at others. Irony is, by being immersed into numbers and mapping out your feed, you actually ARE missing out. Your emotional energy is chasing the wrong things, and you’re neither living your life nor moving forward with your business.

To quote U2, we all have “A Question in our Hearts: Is It Too Much to Ask?” In short, the answer is “Yes”. Putting all your energy into this one thing is a trap.

Digital Collage of the gap of a shelf used like a tv screen to picture a retro photo of people at the pool, on top of the shelf is a book that reads daydreaming
Digital Artwork - Copyright Ina Moana

Seriously though, spending time off of social media is crucial, period. It’s very crucial to focus on actions that actually have the biggest effect on you and your business. “Instagram is not real life” also applies to the fact that most clients and gigs wait for you off of socials, in THEIR inbox. I know people who have 800 followers but shot major campaigns for Nike and others with 2,000 followers who worked with the most known faces in the modelling industry. And it feelsstupid to write this out but yes, some even have no social media at all and are successful in their field. "Duh" you might say but me writing and you reading this, I think we can both use the reminder.

So, if being present on social media has been more of a burden than an advantage for you, it might be time to clock out.That might sound scary at first but let’s look at this for a second. I unintentionally took a 3 month break from socials and let me tell you, I surprised myself. During those months I was able to fully distance myself from any influences andview my art and my business from a distance. That way I was able to pinpoint who I really wanted to work with and what I could offer, that makes me stand out. My creative motivation was through the roof and I finally hat time to definemy services and ideal client - which meant that from then onwards everything I put my energy into was something that would actually both benefit and fulfil me.

Imagine freeing yourself from all these influences that currently distract you and might even make you feel self-conscious about your art. You'd finally have the time to try new techniques, find your niche, define your dream client, update your professional portfolio aka website or to get one to start with. No matter what you end up doing with this time, I'm sure you'll surprise yourself, too! Because from then onwards it will be clear as the sky who you should focus on and where you can find them. You will know who you are, where you belong and how to use social media authentically and to your advantage.

And if you are starting to feel like wanting to hop back onto socials, ask yourself some questions beforehand:

  • If instagram is banned tomorrow what do you have left?

  • Who are your business contacts and where do you communicate with them?

  • Who knows about you, your website, and your service?

  • Where and how do people find you?

  • Are you currently making any money directly through social media?

  • Are you pitching yourself to potential clients at all and on which platform?

  • Are socials really going to be the only thing you’re going to focus on?

  • Which of the interactions you have are healthy and valuable ones?

  • How are you going to use social media to your advantage?

Digital Art - Copyright Ina Moana

At the end of the day, your best shot at social media will be your own combination of measuring success and building credibility, sharing content and building your network. Just know that sometimes, to achieve a healthy balance you needto step back completely for a bit and there's no shame in it. Actually, as mentioned, you’ll likely come up with new ideas, pin down things you want to focus on or refine your personal style without being influenced by what others are doing or how many likes your post got. Sounds quite good doesn't it? I hope you're able to allow yourself to take a little break :)

So, take this blog post in whichever way applies to you. It could be your reminder not to care too much about numbers, to put productivity in a new perspective or maybe it’s even the sign you needed to make you take a break.

If you feel like you still want to hear more about all of this, have a look at these videos I really enjoyed as well:

Follow for more updates: @ina_moana


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