Now I'm not going to lie. I'm a creative person at heart. I always have been. My qualifications in art based subjects totals seven across various media. I'm also a photographic enthusiast who secretly coverts a desire to be much more than an 'enthusiast'. Despite this I've never actively cultivated this desire - I'm a very busy professional graphic designer, a dad of three, husband, homemaker etc. Despite all of these things, I can always manage to find time to help other people in their endeavours but not my own. To the point even my wife often tells me I should pursue it. So do my friends and colleagues, but excuse follows reason, and I found myself never doing anything about it until all of a sudden I stumbled across this tidal wave of online publicity about this phenomenon taking place in the creative world we all live in. One subscription fee later, lured in by the community of like minded creative people, I uploaded 5-6 images and then I totally forgot about it...
...Until, I get an email telling me that one of my landscape photographs of England's green and pleasant land has been selected to be featured in a exhibition taking place in the New York City Art Gallery, and that they'd like to feature two more.
Imagine my surprise.
I was intrigued. So upon further investigation I found that in 2008, a group of artists in New York City set up ArtistsWanted, an online community dedicated to growing the exposure in the media and online the creative community received. Now called See.Me, it has grown to an incredible worldwide creative community of 632,406 artists, photographers, musicians, fashion designers, and creative enthusiasts one of whom I am proud to call myself... Since it's inception, See.Me has been responsible for hosting dozens of shows and exhibitions, getting much needed exposure by displaying the work of hundreds of thousands of artists, and distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cash grants and other awards.
In short See.Me is utterly incredible
I mentioned that I'm a graphic designer, based in Manchester and it's my humble opinion there is a drought of exposure surrounding my professional industry - sure there are industry awards, magazines and so on, but no-one outside reads or really cares that much. The more I dug, the more I began to realise that the See.Me community has the potential to reach so much further into the wider world, in-turn providing any member with an incredible opportunity to gain more exposure and maybe even more than that.
How it works is a little more complex, but very clever. The See.Me website allows members to upload art, music, photography and what not, to their profile page, then using social media, gain 'supports' from the public. This can be by either a donation (which you get to keep) or a social media 'shout out' via twitter and so on. The idea is to increase supports/donation via social media avenues and as these get higher your profile gets more exposure by the See.Me team.
Quite ingenius really, and as you do more your profile is raised and promoted by the See.Me team. I also think it could become quite addictive chasing that elusive support...
So back to the exhibition. Less than 6,000 artists have been selected from it's global membership so Its quite an exclusive club in that respect and it's worth shouting out about and being proud of - after all if you can't be proud of your own work then who will be? I for one will be going over to New York to see my work, and will strive in the meantime to get get more supports - it's not often something like this comes along and you should grab it with both hands and never let go.
See.Me is a website and mobile community of 600,000+ members created by a group of artists in New York City. The international community is built of artists, musicians, photographers and fashion enthusiasts who connect to a worldwide audience both online and in live events and exhibitions. www.see.me
Please share this and let's do something good for our fellow creatives out there.
Oh and if anyone has the time... https://paulgrogan.see.me/ please support me via a tweet!