MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Twitter has long established its presence in the Philippines, so much so that you can find different communities within the platform. We know that fandoms and entertainment fans flock to Twitter, but there is one group that has also been growing and thriving – the local art community.
Hello everyone! I'm Elly, I'm an illustrator and a multimedia artist who loves to draw quirky pieces that are inspired from my own/others' experiences, and my country's culture.
— Elly 🐘 (@ellyphantart) March 3, 2020
magical filipino street foods!
— aki 🦌 PLS REPLY INSTEAD OF QRT! 💕 (@ohdeeraki) March 8, 2020
Just like any art form, the local artists use Twitter as a platform to express their ideas and connect with their audience. Three local artists from various fields shared their personal experiences on how the platform became their hub for creativity and connections. Here are some ways on how they use Twitter:
A platform to promote your art
Building an online portfolio has become one of the most vital steps to modern artists today. Twitter not only provides these artists a platform to showcase their artwork, but it also exposes them to a variety of art.
“It’s an online gallery, a social platform, and an inspiration hub.” Illustrator, Eunice Cruzabra (@eunpyon) said, claiming that Twitter has helped her immensely in different aspects of being an artist. “My art is deeply intertwined with pop culture, and Twitter is a boiling point filled with a variety of art, food, fashion and points of view. Scrolling through my feed has given me inspiration in more ways than I can count.“
Meanwhile, writer and spoken word artist, Alfonso Manalastas (@not_alfonso), stressed that Twitter helps amplify his reach and even educate other people, “I dabble with both spoken word and page poetry, and the thing about these two art forms is that one is fairly new and unfamiliar to many people, while the other often seems inaccessible to younger audiences. Twitter helps me connect with other artists who share the same passions and helps me showcase my work to those who aren’t very familiar with the form!”
The power of the Hashtag
Hashtags enable people to create engagement- this is no different when used by artists. But more than the engagement and organization hashtags bring, it also represents movement online.
On the other hand, scriptwriter and poet, Jerry Gracio (@JerryGracio) explains how useful hashtags are as he monitors his Teleseryes. “I love seeing real-time reactions from viewers. The teleseryes of today, they have different Hashtags daily. So, as one of the creators of #ASoldiersHeart, it’s so nice watching them react with every scene on the screen simultaneously.”
Hi #ArtistsofSEA ! I’m Eunpyon, a Filipino artist based in Makati who loves to draw tired gals who love to dream 💕
— ★彡 𝙀𝙪𝙣𝙥𝙮𝙤𝙣 彡★ (@eunpyon) January 17, 2019
— James Banaag (@dearscarjames) February 26, 2020
Collaborations from DMs to Real Life
Besides being an outlet for creative ideas, Twitter is also the perfect place to meet and connect with fellow artists.
Alfonso (@not_alfonso) enthusiastically shared how a Twitter friendship resulted in some sort of collaboration. “I’ve become good friends with visual artist Rom (@rombutans) over the years and if I remember correctly, I first met him on twitter. A year or so ago, he created a visual interpretation for one of my poems and that, to me, was an important marker of what it’s like to be an artist who belongs to a community.”
For Eunice (@eunpyon), Twitter became a way for her to meet some of her favorite artists. “Most of my connections in the art world started from a simple dm”.
Connecting with audience
From Hashtags and Threads to Retweets and DMs, Twitter has become a platform for both local artists and art enthusiasts to connect with each other and make a unique space for everyone to share their musings.
One of the things Jerry (@JerryGracio) likes most about Twitter is that he gets to connect with his readers. “Of course, they are able to DM me and ask me things about my work. In fact, I’ve met lots of fans through Twitter. They make it a point to share quotes from my book.” He goes on to marvel about how his followers grew rapidly as soon as he became active on the platform. “I was surprised because from 900 followers, it’s now up to 8 thousand!”
Jerry (@JerryGracio) continues, “They (the fans) keep themselves updated on what’s happening with the publications. Like, with my books. It’s so heartwarming that some of my readers even Tweet me questions on when we’re gonna be printing copies since it sold out.”
Thank you po sir @JerryGracio for the follow. Also, received ko na po yung books from Shopee.
Okay brain, we need to align the stars para makatapos naman tayo ng isang libro. pic.twitter.com/XWmkJ8JxuU
— huami (@shaboom18) October 6, 2019
But it isn’t just a one-way street. As a scriptwriter, Jerry (@JerryGracio) shared that it really matters what the audience has to say. “The people on Twitter are not passive at all. Sometimes, we do take their reactions into account since we want to give back. After all, we learn from them as much as they learn from us.”
Art is an expression, and what better way to express yourself is by sharing it to a community that is built on encouragement and the love for art. Unleash your talents and know #WhatsHappening on the local art scene by going on Twitter.