Currently I am trying to keep up my art practice while managing my 9 to 5 office job at the same time, and to be honest, that’s quite a lot. One of the things I’ve decided to do to make my life easier is to try planning Instagram posts in advance.
What’s the point of that anyway?
My second biggest goal (apart from keeping up the drawing and sculpture) is to maintain a regular online presence with my pics. I’m trying to post to Instagram daily, and albeit slowly, it’s actually starting to work. However, the way I’m making it work is the following: I get up an hour and a half earlier to scan and edit my pics.
In the evening I’m usually too tired, and I want to get some drawing and a dogster walk in before bed. That’s why I’ve chosen the morning route. 90 minutes earlier means I have to get up at 5 a.m. though. Which is not bad per se, but my whole family keeps to a late kind of schedule, so when I feel like crashing by 9 p.m. I basically barely see them.
This week I have decided to scan and edit seven pics (for next week) on Sunday, that way I both have ready pictures to post and get to get up a bit later. Six forty is at least a bit later than five. Also, I think that maybe by doing all the pics in a row, I might get it all done a bit faster.
Shouldn’t Instagram be instant?
Here’s my key concern. I really prefer my Instagram to be instant – posting current work, work in progress. Stuff like that. Scheduling posts for a whole week in advance obviously goes right against this.
My favorite way of sharing my pics used to be taking a picture of my sketchbook right on my desk, surrounded by my mess of markers (or whatever other medium it happened to be) left over from the drawing process. I might have to confess, one of the reasons for this preference is because my desk is the most beautiful shade of lagoon blue, and, well, everything looks beautiful on it.
At the same time, I prefer taking my pics in natural light when working with color, and I usually only get to drawing rather late in the evening. Even with the white nights around, the lighting is not enough for the kind of pic that I like.
The light is great in the morning, before I head off to work, but staging my desk with a freshly drawn pic in the morning somehow feels phony. That’s why lately I’ve switched to scanning.
Before that I used to take pics of the picture itself with my phone camera, but I really hate the way white paper looks in a photo, so lately I’ve been replacing the white paper parts with a totally white #ffffff background. Since I’m doing that anyway and I can’t really take instant pics anyway, I guess I might as well try scheduling to preserve my sanity.
The plan is to draw throughout the week, and then scan pics on Sunday. Sunday – Scan Day. I’m usually so tired by Sunday, that I’m completely asocial, so I feel like mostly staying at home anyway. I guess I might as well scan – sitting in my beanbag, cuddled up alongside my dogster in my favorite blanket. And then, cuddled up in the same blanket, edit my pics in Photoshop, and schedule them for the week.
Later is specifically made for planning Instagram content using a simple drag-and-drop editor, though it also provides analytics and some other goodies. They have a free account option available that lets you schedule up to 30 pictures per month, and I’m hardly about to need more in the nearest future if stay in my office job.
Hootsuite is targeted at managing all your social media in one place (including a self-hosted WordPress!) which, to be honest, lately sounds really enticing, because lately I feel overwhelmed by even trying to keep up my Instagram and Facebook going at the same time. Hootsuite has a one-month free trial, but after that it’s 19 dollars per month. That allows you to do a lot, so it may be well worth the investment, but at the same time, it may be a bit overkill for me at the moment.
I’ll try to give both of these a go during the following week or two, and I’ll try to write a review on both when I’ve tried them.
I think I’ll start with Hootsuite for now, since I’ve already registered and my trial period is ticking. So I’ll work with that for two weeks and see if I like it. Then before my trial is out I also want to give Later a try, and see whether just Instagram management is enough for me, or I really need the whole multiple social media channel managing system.
We’ll see what happens
I think most of the mixed feeling I have about this whole scheduling thing come from the fact that I don’t feel comfortable treating my art in a planned, business-like fashion. Because of that using tools that are “too professional” makes me feel somewhat awkward and unspontaneous. As if planning to post the pictures makes their whole existence much less alive and real.
That obviously borders on nonsense, because the way I post my art does not affect the way I create it. Not that there’s anything wrong in planning the way you create your art either.
In any case, I think I will give it a go and try both of the apps that I’ve mentioned. It’s Sunday today, and I’ve already scanned five pics for next week. It should have been seven, but my scanner is being a major nuisance and getting stuck and hung up every ten-fifteen minutes, so even scanning five has turned out to be more of a heroic act then I anticipated.
What about you?
What do you guys think? What do you do when you post your work? Do you scan it and edit, or do you take pictures? Do you post right away, or do you take pictures?