How one Tyler student is using social media to share her artwork with the world
‘I think that if someone really has a passion for an art form they should put everything they have into it’
Alyssa Marie Brown, a Fine Arts major at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art, is using the power of social media to share her artwork as her own personal portfolio.
As of August 2017, Alyssa has accumulated over 1400 Instagram followers, and her page continues to grow each day.
Due to her success on the app, Alyssa has branched out to other platforms, including YouTube, where she uploads time lapse drawings and tutorials, and Etsy, where she sells prints of her work for as much as $95.
This summer, Alyssa is taking her art to Hershey Park, Pennsylvania, working as a portrait artist drawing tourists.
We recently had the pleasure to ask Alyssa about her work, how social media has given her a platform online and what she has to say to people who don’t take art seriously.
Can you tell us about yourself?
My name’s Alyssa Marie brown, I’m 20 years old, painting major from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
What made you choose Painting as your major?
My high school art teacher encouraged me to go to art school because I really didn’t know what I wanted to do and then I chose to be a painting major because drawing and painting is what I love to do most and I felt I wouldn’t be staying true to myself if I chose another major in Tyler.
What made you decide to sell your artwork on Etsy?
I recently put my work up on Etsy because I’ve just started making prints of my drawings and it’s pretty easy to set up so I’m just going to see what happens, I do think it’s much easier to sell work to people in person however.
How much time do you spend on each piece, and does that factor into the prices?
The amount of time I spend on pieces varies a lot and it does factor into the prices, as well as the sentimental value I have with the piece. So if I really like a piece and it took me a long time to make I’ll price it higher than something I don’t care for as much.
Could you tell us more about your job at Hershey Park? What are the best and worst parts about it?
This summer I’m working at Hershey Park as a portrait artist, it’s usually fun and it’s good practice. It doesn’t pay that well but the sales experience I’m getting I think will be helpful in the future. And it’s fun meeting all different types of people and talking to them while I do their portraits.
You share your work across different social platforms. How important do you think social media has gotten, especially for artists?
Social media for me is a convenient way to reach as many people as possible. I don’t think social media is as necessary for already established artists, but for young people like me who are just starting to make work they want to show off it’s a really good way to get noticed. Also galleries will sometimes want to advertise your social medias and website when they are showing your work so that people can get a preview of what they’re going to see.
What would you like to tell people who aren’t so supportive of students pursuing art as a major?
To the people that think an art degree is a waste of time, you need to realize that art is a huge part of our culture, and sure you could major in something that looks good on a resume and secures you a job and still paint as a hobby, but you would never be as focused or determined to succeed as an artist and as a result I think your work would not be as great as it could be. I think that if someone really has a passion for an art form they should put everything they have into it and as long as you work really hard to promote yourself you’ll be just fine.