Chelsea FaustA pixel artist living in the Midwest noticed that Twitter works better as a community-building tool than Instagram, which at first glance seems like a better place to share art. Twitter “rewards interaction,” she said. “I use Instagram to be basically a gallery, and unfortunately, because of the way social platforms work, most of the interactions there are superficial.”
Part of the reason behind Twitter’s success as an artist’s home is structural: Twitter allows users to post up to four images, each of which can illustrate a detail of a work or highlight a different stage of work in progress. Unlike Instagram, scrolls and short videos end up being a full-screen user experience that seamlessly integrates animations in the timeline and feed, including gifs and short clips, making it especially attractive to game developers and animators.This is the case Isaiah TothFull stack web developer, also working on indie games no more fathers, an adventure game full of lush landscapes and expansive environments. “I’ve tried Reddit and TikTok, but Reddit’s audience is pretty rough,” he said. “And TikTok took a long time to build and then wouldn’t allow me to upload … so I gave up for now.” On Twitter, Toth found a community of developers eager to share feedback and help each other, he said.
Twitter also makes it easier for artists to see patterns and identify what most sparks interest or engagement in their work. “Twitter users like color, they like well-known pieces, they like dynamic pieces,” Taraschuk said.
Toth also noticed a pattern in which his work resonated with audiences. “People love animals: I showed off some highland cattle At one point, it blew up,” he said. “Another great post type is usually grass, clouds or other environments. Shaders are worth sharing, but I think the main game mechanics that look smooth and fun also explode. “
Some chalk it up to escapism. “I think the more detail you have and also show your process the more perspective you get,” says Gregory Fromendo, Behaviour Interactive’s lead art director by day, and a surreal illustrator specializing in whimsical animals and architecture by spare time. “Whimsical images also tend to attract a larger audience,” he said. “People need to dream during these difficult times.”
However, this does not automatically translate into a quest for perfection. “Pictures in production often get more likes than finished products,” says Lewer. “It’s a meme among artists.”
With Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, there has been widespread concern about what the platform will look like and what content it will allow. Still, the artists surveyed said they intend to continue using Twitter also because they feel they know how to take advantage of community-building tools. “I would tell anyone to study specifically what they hate about Twitter and try to shape the platform to make them more welcoming: use block lists, mute words,” Faust said. “If that’s not possible, it’s best not to use Twitter at all, even if you feel like you need it.”