How Social Media Is Transforming the Art World

One would be hard pushed to think of an area of life that has not, in the very least, been altered slightly by the rise of social media. What began as a tool for keeping in touch with our old classes and far-flung families has morphed (and re-morphed) itself repeatedly, to the point where nothing is entirely free from its influence.

The art world, however, subsisted throughout countless ages and movements before social media was ever even a twinkle in Mark Zuckerberg’s eye – and yet, there are plenty of ways in which this digital phenomenon has change, and created new avenues for, the art world. 

Read more about the ways in which social media has transformed the world of art and creativity, below. 

The Mediums are Changing

Before the internet, artistic mediums remained relatively clear-cut. Paint, graphite, marble, clay, pastel, ink – even, at a push, unwashed bed linens. We could experiment with new styles, such as street graffiti, and inject life back into old ones, such as calligraphy. 

On the internet, however, we all possess a limitless canvas that is open to more interpretation than real life can ever warrant. 

Consider game development. As a medium, this has only been in existence since, say, the late seventies. While the first video games made their way onto primitive screens as early as the 50s, this was more a case of advanced engineering and computer science than artistic expression. 

The artistry that is now being poured into the development of games as diverse as open-world fantasies and online slots each and every day is testament to the ways in which the internet has generated an entirely new playing field for creatives.

Similarly, the significance of graphic design has risen tremendously alongside the growth of the internet itself. In many ways, the boon offered to the movie industry by the at-home video player, or the revolution radio brought to the music industry are comparable to the myriad ways in which the internet transformed the art world.  

The Influence of Social Media 

One of the most notable changes brought on by social media is, in a broader sense, an individual’s ability to curate their own following, and to manage their own reputation. For models, for instance, this translates to finding fans and work without going through a traditional agency. For artists, however, this means garnering a fanbase or audience without ever needing to get your foot in the door of a single real-world art gallery.

Social media is, to the creator with enough self-drive, one giant art gallery, and somewhere within that platform is a suitable audience who will enjoy, treasure, and invest into that work. 

Furthermore, artists can develop a stronger relationship with those who appreciate them. It is no longer the work itself that is solely responsible for establishing a connection between artist and fan; through other mediums, such as video and podcast, artists can explain themselves, shed light on their creative processes, and even begin to pass on wisdom and insight to aspiring artists without ever stepping foot into a traditional classroom. 

With that, the seclusion of the artist is minimised – as is the sense that creators are removed from the ‘normal people’ of the world. We are able to exist on a level playing field, while also exhibiting our work and developing a following who, not twenty years ago, may never had found our word in the first place.

Geographical and social barriers are brought down, and the gatekeepers of the art world no longer hold the only keys there are to success. 

Lisa Bianconi
Author: Lisa Bianconi

Editor of