Have I told you how much I love Instagram Stories? It seems that this is the way I really connect with clients and other artists. Theres this raw feeling about it. People are more likely to share their humor, their day to day lives, their pets, significant others and behind the scenes at their jobs - which I think is SO cool to see! All of the folks I follow incredibly talented and DIFFERENT! Some of the artists I follow are primarily in commercial or in film. Maybe they do beauty work? Maybe they have a makeup line and travel the world! Some work retail and freelance part time. Some are moms and only do weddings on the weekends, while others (like myself) bounce from job to job working with clients at photoshoots, video, engagement sessions, boudoir….whatever I can do makeup for, I am there. There are weeks when I have no days off, have 2-4 shoots or clients a day. And then it all comes to a screeching halt, and a few days where I will be off.
Off days are when I need to really focus on my home, doing laundry, spending time with my beloved hubby and doing things that aren’t necessarily “work related’. We all need balance. As a freelancer - we are always “on”, but there are times where the phone just needs to go away so you don’t blow hours mindlessly scrolling. It’s kind of like, “I’m going to look up this instant pot recipe for dinner tonight” & some how you go down this mindless scroll time warp. You’re now insta-stalking someone who you think maybe busier than you (and you are NOT EVEN THE SAME ARTISTS). Guilt starts to set in about it being 2:00pm.
Oh, you haven’t brushed your teeth? Hey, btw your friend with 4 kids looks killer in her sweat pants, has a pinterest worthy bun, working at her beautiful makeup station while you’re still in your pajamas sipping on your third cup of coffee.
Recently I posted something in my stories about how we are all different artists. Because I think it is something we really need to remind our selves when we start going down the comparison spiral. Heres the thing - I never want to be like anyone else. I want to be like Kat St. John - a magical, crunchy, black unicorn with a sparkly onyx heart. I want to be fierce, pave my own path and do whatever the hell I want to do. Shoot, thats why I went Full Time Freelance! Because I was sick of being told what I needed to do, how I needed to look, act etc. So why would I sit there and compare myself to another artist? I know theyre not sitting around comparing themselves to me! What a waste of time and energy that you could be pouring into your passion.
Y’ALL Freelancers need to relish in the beauty that is self employment - don’t bog yourself down with doubts and self sabotaging behaviors. Comparison is the death of an artist. Nancy Regan said no, and you should too.
After I posted about us all being completely different and smashing the ideas of comparison, I thought I would get one or two responses. Not 10! Reading messages from followers thanking me for being so honest and opening up to me about their situations /how they were struggling. I heard everything from imposter syndrome, feeling like they were not doing enough, how they could be busier etc. We have ALL felt like this!
There are artists I know who keep a pulse on what other people are doing, that like to be “On trend”, and they call it “Market research”. To a certain extent…..OK, maybe it is market research. BUT make sure you know the difference between researching what is out there and using it to help your business vs. just looking at stuff that makes you feel like a big lazy turd.
When it all comes down to it - hone in on your craft. Become a Master of One (or maybe two things). Follow like minded professionals who do similar work. Most importantly, do what you feel is your calling. Do what feels GOOD. I gave up on being “popular”. Rarely will you see a post with colorful, beauty makeup with a tight crop. But you may see a mix of headshots, some behind the scenes and a bride or two. My mission and goal with my clients is for them to feel comfortable, a lot of times that means I miss a killer BTS shot, or feel like maaaaybe this boudoir client doesn’t want me plastering their face on my instagram (or their booty). Thats totally OK because I want folks to walk away with a memory that was enjoyable and that they felt like they could trust me.
At the end of the day, I am a working artist. Do I need a heavy insta feed? Nah. Do I need to be popular? Eh. My word of mouth clients are the best, and I have worked hard at cultivating good relationships with other artists, photographers and agencies. You do you, boo.