BCM114, Media Blog

Breaking Down my DA – Contextual Essay

My Digital Artefact is Artworks that are posted on Instagram (@amelysart) and Twitter (@AmelysArt). Prior to starting this subject, I already had the Instagram account for three years as a recreational use of my time. My aim is to produce drawings that help people to feel inspired. Building a community of like-minded artists is also an important part of the process.  I aim for one drawing a week at the least. My inspiration to start this Digital Artefact came from other artists on Instagram, and thinking “I want to be like them”. Based on the likes from my audience, I decided to start drawing mostly animals.

My audience Starterpack. Very quiet but lovely to talk to when they comment

When I started I was drawing whatever I wanted, but now I have more of focus on animals, and feel happier for it. Towards the end I was nearly posting one artwork a day for a week, due to Inktober and the Zines that I completed for Chae Magazine and PineZine.

At first, I thought that I should use likes to judge how well my DA is doing, but on the internet, that’s a flawed system. However, when I give gifts to other artists, or people comment “This is great!”, I realised that building friends online is more important. Likes can only give you so much satisfaction, and human interaction is more rewarding than a faceless tap. I realised this after I gave an art gift to @Xintoii on Instagram, and she responded by liking and responding. I was happy that I had made another person’s day with my artwork. The audience response was positive, and I got a bit more likes because she shared it on her story.

Another important learning moment was about monetization. This first came up in the second week of term, where @TheUnicornDispatch and me got into a discussion about monetization and the baseline followers you could have before you could sell items. I argued that you needed 5,000 or more followers (on Instagram) while UnicornDispatch argued even a couple hundred can be enough to sell items. Even so, for artists in particular, it’s hard to sell merchandise and monetization has scared me, and thinking that I’m ‘not good enough’ as an artist because I don’t have enough followers to monetize my work, which isn’t true.

Getting eyes on your work can include luck from the ‘algorithm’. There hasn’t really been a solution to this, and I’ve seen artists wait until they have a large following before opening commissions, which is the safest path. I’ve noticed that artists grow on platforms when their art is on a professional level, or they tap into a meme subculture to base their works off. An example is @nakanodrawing on Twitter. She creates a drawing variation of a meme and turns it into animals or other humorous topics.

Out of all the weekly readings, I found MVP (Minimum Viable Product) to be the most useful, as not every drawing has to be completely polished for people to enjoy it, and people enjoy sketches too. From these issues, I learned that I enjoy giving drawings to other people and am happy when they respond to my gift. I also learned that sometimes there is nothing you can do about monetization, and I have to try to gain more followers before attempting to monetize and cover costs.

BCM114, Media Blog

Digital Artefact – Making

My DA has been going smoothly and I have been posting regularly. One change that I made was to change my Instagram account to a business/creator account. Although I probably should have been doing this from the beginning, I completely forgot about this feature and I installed it on the 14 of October, just after my Prototyping was due. Since then, it has been interesting to view metrics and what kind of people watch me, with definitive answers and stats.

The most interesting metrics are posted below-

This stat shows me the top locations and age range that I am followed in. It’s no surprise that Sydney and Wollongong are at the top of the list, but it was interesting to see San Diego and Singapore there. Sydney is still the most popular by far, so I think interacting with my peers at Uni and friends have done the bulk of the work.

As for age range, I’m not surprised that my most popular demographic is 18-24 yr. olds. Most young artists and followers are that age too, plus I also fit into that demographic as well. I do find it surprising that the 13-17 yr. old demographic is not higher. After that, the age ranges seem unsurprising to me, and its good to see it in a concrete form, rather than guessing about it.

This graph shows my growth over a week, which is only 3 followers, but better than nothing! It’s cool to see the growth and when people joined.

Apparently lots of people saw my account on Friday, which was when the second issue of the PineZine went live, and the creator tagged me in stories and as a result I got a bit of traffic from that. I also hope to get more traffic on the 24th due to the recently released “Artist Interview” with Chae Magazine, where my name was also posted in the story. It’s cool to see how far my reach and impresson is, but to me it just seems like a blur of numbers, so I don’t put too much stock into those.

For ease of access I also added some highlights so that people could view my artwork faster, as well as a place for all of my Inktober drawings to go.

Alright, now for even more stats to wrap up the “Making” portion of my DA-

I have posted a total of 28 drawings on Instagram since 29th of July, when the semester ‘officially’ started. Including the recently archived 7 posts of Inktober (That are now in my highlight) and others, the total adds up to 35 total posts over the entire semester. That also doesn’t include the ‘Meme of the Week’ Drawings that I did for #bcm114 on Twitter, which was 7 drawings in total as well as the two comics I created.


It was a fun experience over the course of BCM114 to make content for both Instagram and Twitter. This subject helped me to analyse my social media accounts more, and focus on why I’m doing things, and not just randomly try to please everyone that likes art. You need to find a niche, and keep growing in that niche, if possible. My tutor, Peter Goderie, specifically, asked some very good questions that basically amount to ‘why are you doing this, why did you start in the first place, what keeps you going?’ All seem like simple questions on the surface, but are a lot deeper and tangled than they seem. Once in assignment feedback he asked why I feel the way I do about monetization and do I feel that I would like to make money by making art, but I feel like I’m not a “professional” artist? Which were some good questions that resonated with me.

They’re all questions that need to be explored now, or in the future, and are part of roadblocks on my journey to being more confident with my artwork on a digital platform. Here are some of my favourite artworks I’ve created over this semester!


After the Prototyping stage, I realized that I was putting a bit too much on my plate in terms of content, and there are some aspects that I didn’t enjoy about my DA. The weekly meme post was one of them, and although it was cool at the start, it was just a way to fill my tweets, and copying a meme isn’t exactly creative so I dropped it. I also stopped trying to ‘please’ the Uni crowd, as it’s clear that they are not my intended audience (They tend to like mental health, relaxation, makeup, healthy food /coffee etc. more than artworks), but I still appreciate every person that liked and commented on them, so I just cross-posted from Instagram.

The Making stage was short, but I enjoyed creating each and every one of my artworks, as it sits there as a reminder of what I have accomplished.

BCM114, Media Blog

DA Prototyping Blog for Online Presence

Prototyping has been a long journey, and through it I have interacted with many people on Instagram (@amelysart) and twitter (@AmelysArt) , as well as drawn many artworks, for myself and for other people.

On Instagram I have drawn for-

Chae Magazine– I participated in their magazine with three illustrations that reflect the natural environment and also an article about me.

Pine Zine– I participated in the First Issue of the Zine, which was ‘Self’ and I draw a face illustration for that. I also participated in the Second Issue, which was ‘Earth’.

Xintoii– A artist on Instagram that also has cats that she shows in her story. I drew one of her cats as a gift. She responded by liking and interacting with my post.

Xintoii’s response

_llecholl_ – I drew a fox for Echo as part of a Draw This in Your Style, that she liked!

For Echo’s DTIYS

On Twitter I have drawn for-

The Uni Crowd- Surprisingly hard to please, I drew a meme a week for around 6-7 weeks as part of my online presence, but I also drew two comics. They haven’t gained a lot of interaction or discussion.

My Twitter Art Account- Please follow my art twitter, I beg you (@AmelysArt) I only get one like per drawing. Haven’t done much besides posting what I have already posted on Instagram, and have been mostly focused on Instagram anyway.

Notable Things- On Instagram I am more regular and have more interactions with people in general so I tend to get a lot more likes there than on twitter. Twitter isn’t very good with hashtags or ways to interact with others via stories, so I prefer Instagram.

I am also doing Inktober, which is an event where artists draw an ink drawing for every day of October. I am doing small ink drawings every day and hash tagging them. It is fun to do, and I might even see an uptick in interaction due to posting every day.

A drawing for Inktober

On monetization, I haven’t gained enough traction or support to be able to monetize or sell my work. I also think I don’t fall into a specific category that people like – Such as drawing anime/ semi-realism/ cartoon work. I don’t have a ‘brand’ so to speak, and people don’t follow me because of that, is my theory. But right now, I would like to experiment and see what I like, because experimenting thoroughly would be more beneficial to me now, rather than being stuck in one ‘style’ for a few years and then deciding that I don’t like it.

Why I feel like I haven’t gained any traction– The internet is big and there are many skilled artists around the world. People simply don’t think that my work is entertaining enough or ‘good enough’ (for them) to share or comment on. As Ross Hudgens from Content Marketing Institute says, “Don’t underestimate the first sentence in any blog post, Tweet, Facebook post, or ad. It will make or break effective curation.” So I have to be more aware with my caption as well as my art, and both are equally important to draw attention. I also don’t have many followers or friends on these platforms, and while I post consistently, my artwork varies on theme from post to post. Not many people share my artwork and I don’t think there is anything ‘unique’ about my drawings. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel, but it just doesn’t stand out, and I can’t put my finger on why or why not. Maybe I need to draw more fanart? Or aim for an even more niche audience?

I had the choice to do Speedpaints, but decided to not do them for two reasons-

  1.  After I record and export it, the video loses quality and can even get corrupted or just doesn’t work in some cases. I tried a free video editing software, but it took 18 hours alone just to process a 3 minute video, and it didn’t even come out the way I wanted it to. It’s just not reliable at the moment to do them.
  2. It forces me to do work faster (not necessarily a bad thing), and there is more pressure for me to do it well. I can’t relax when doing a Speedpaint, and there is no room to improvise or switch to another drawing if I feel like it. I feel like I have to ‘set time aside’ to do a Speedpaint.

Which posts did the best, which ones did the worst?

Out of my 3 years of posting content on my Art Instagram there have been some really… Interesting results as to what got popular and what didn’t!

Most Popular (Top 5) Can all be found on my Instagram

  1. With 422 likes it is… Swords?! Who knows how this worked out
  2. 101 Likes- A copy of @Tofuvi’s work
  3. 54 Likes- A very recent fanart of Okami
  4. 50 Likes- A dragon, Saphira from Eragon
  5. Equal fifth with 44 Likes- A fox and Thorn (dragon) from Eragon
Top 5

Least Popular

  1. 11 – Red Snake Girl
  2. 13- Blue haired girl
  3. 14- Purple haired girl
  4. 15- Persona Drawing
  5. 16- Zack (OC) Drawing
Worst 5

Morale of the story is… Don’t draw girls with fake hair colours, they destroy any capability to get likes. Just kidding. After an analysis of my most popular works, they like drawings with animals in them, and bright appealing colours, like the first two. I can’t see a noticeable difference in quality for my least liked works, but perhaps people just prefer my animal drawings over humans.

I’ve been trotting along with my DA pretty well, and have been happy with more posting on stories, and giving people more interactions and the like.

With my DA, I also don’t feel the need to ‘break’ my DA or start again. The only change I have been making recently is drawing more animals, which is what I want, and looking at what people like.



Digital Artefact Beta!

Prototyping is a tricky activity to do, and visualising how your content is going to affect your audience is no easy task. For my Instagram DA, I have been trying some different approaches than usual, such as posting lifestyle content on my stories about what I do in my everyday life, and I use it as a journal of sorts, so that people can connect more with me as a person, rather than me just posting artwork, and building up an image.

Promoting interaction with my audience
Casual interaction by posting stories to make me more approachable and genuine

Existing users on Instagram already post ‘journal-like’ stories, and do many things, like art trades (where one person draws the others original character and both post on their own accounts while tagging the other person) which is basically a way for artists to get more of a following from other circles. I have been doing this in a different format, by doing #DTIYS (which was explained in my previous blog post) as well as straight up drawing things for other people as gifts, and they usually share it on their own stories to show them to their audience as a form of gratitude, which I think has worked well.

Posted on the story of person I gifted drawing to

I also played around with drawing memes for the Twitter Uni crowd for fun, and even get some exposure for my DA there. So far, it has gained a bit of interaction, but not much, and at this point is only up there to serve as a mark for online interaction and consistency for an audience to see my work.

One of the most popular memes of the week

However, I joined two other DAs (A zine @PineZine and a magazine @ChaeMagazine) for my art for two reasons- I would have more content for my DA in general, as I post it there after my pieces are done, and I can potentially generate a new audience through these DA’s that I entered, however small.

Submission Thanks from Pine Zine
Thanks from Chae Magazine

As part of prototyping, I also had to accept that maybe my reach through Instagram wasn’t enough, even thought that is a site most artists use, and I posted a drawing to Reddit to hopefully raise some perception of who I am. There hasn’t been much attention drawn to it, but it was a good venture.

Cat I posted on Reddit

My reach with followers isn’t much, but every time someone comments on my post, I make sure to respond.  I also take the time to respond to other peoples stories and interact with them. My goal is to try and interact with the community and make my circle bigger so I can share artwork and just have a communal interest where we can talk with each other.

Interacting with someone who commented on my post
Chatting with another artist on Instagram about our favourite artists

I will note that the type of artwork you draw, whether it be realistic, anime, cartoonish; humans or animals, each have their own social circles, and people tend to follow artists with similar styles that they have or look up to. I don’t feel that I have a defined ‘style’ to attract followers of that subset. On the other hand, there is also the question of skill, and how people can box themselves into drawing only one thing and not being able to draw anything else very well, and then as a result they can’t diversify or improve their skill level. Its a personal dilemma that I have very little answers to and will keep searching for.


My Digital Artefact Ideation

From the beginning Ideating stages I had an idea of what to do for my Digital Artefact. Prior to this subject, I had an digital art account on Instagram for around 4 years, and even though I never amassed a big following, I have always managed to post regularly and have drawings posted once every week or so. Since it was already part of my posting routine, it is easy to get used to.

This subject gives me a chance to brush up on what makes Instagram tick, and what people want to see from my profile. This DA is about curating my art profile even further, and make it a platform where I and my art are seen as accessible for a certain group of people. My art as it stands now is not curated enough to appeal to a specific demographic.

My goals for this project are-

To establish regular communication between me and my followers, such as regularly posting, responding to comments, making Instagram stories posting on Twitter etc.. I also asked for their input on drawings that I created and what they ‘liked’ better.

Another goal of mine is to curate my feed, so I polled my followers on what they thought and what drawings they liked the best.

I also had a discussion about monetization with a tutor (@UnicornDispatch) on Twitter, and the questions it raised about followers and ability to monetize were interesting. I had only considered a narrow perspective of monetization, and that was that people only monetized their content when they had a lot of followers to back it up (Like a few thousand). However, a tutor proved me wrong, saying that they had sold things without the thousands of followers that I thought you needed to have, and commented that you might as well “get paid for doing homework” and even $2 dollars extra is better than nothing at all.


To be able to do that, I need to do things such as post drawings regularly, and stories too. This means that to be able to post, I have to take the time to draw a few days of the week. I also have to respond to comments and any DM’s that I get, and respond to it in a professional manner. I also put tags on the bottom of every post that I make to try to get more exposure. I have also interacted with the art community by doing a #DTIYS (Draw This In Your Style) which is a popular challenge for large artist accounts to do, who notice your work and can possibly ‘share’ it to their followers.


What I like about this DA is that Digital Art is what I like doing, and uses minimal resources + no cost. And I don’t have to vlog.


This DA can be hard if its the ‘post everyday’ type, since it is hard to put out artwork every day. Some people post sketches on their Instagram, but most people want to see finished works. So this project isn’t entirely #FIST friendly, and I have to spread out posts evenly since I can’t do every day.

I feel like I am successfully exploring ideas for my concept and getting engaged with my audience well enough to get a good start on the next modules, Prototyping and Making!


Digital Artefact for BCM114!

So for my DA, I have decided to do an Instagram and Twitter based Art Profile called @AmelysArt. I will engage with my followers and see if I can curate my artworks for a certain audience and ask them what type of drawings, they prefer from me. I will evaluate my followers’ feedback through Instagram Polls and Twitter and see if there is a noticeable difference in activity when I draw in a certain style or when I draw humans or animals. I will post daily Instagram Stories for engagement and also post weekly memes on Twitter to check engagement. The purpose of this to make my profile more appealing to people so that they would want to follow my account, as well as share it with other people. I have had this account for around 4 years and interacting with followers will help me decide what direction to go next!

Account belongs to @toeribble on Instagram
Account belongs to @finchwing on Instagram

The two images above are examples of Instagram accounts that digital artists follow, and how their content is geared towards a more specific audience, such as ‘anime style’ art, or ‘cartoony animals’, that have an appeal to a certain group of people, rather than trying to do everything at once.