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The typical artist may be a bit averse to the concept of a social network in fear of it ripping away from the creative heartbeat and a clear mental space to develop pure craft; however, social media is the single most effective tool to promote a product. A modest website being discovered is near impossible without a hook into the social stream. As the Internet is our main source for information social networks are comprised of “trusted” acquaintances, artists must be their own promoter. And, there’s no reason to be ashamed of self-advertising, because everybody does it.

Aside from the major social networks including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Google+, there are other options more catered to creative types:

Behance

Behance is a portfolio network, tailor-made for artists to showcase their work. It’s sort of the Linked-In for creators. Owned by Adobe Systems, the outfit that makes Photoshop,the platform is created with visual creation in mind, so graphic artists should feel right at home. It’s also closely affiliated with the Art Center College of Design, the Rhode Island School of Design, and School of Visual Arts.

LikeMind

LikeMind is a unique concept in social media. It’s coffee shop chat around the world. No, really, that’s it! People in all kinds of creative industries flock to this site, where they group together by interests, and then arrange times when they’ll meet at cafes or coffee shops nearby. How about the three or four of you in your town who are into slam poetry meet up for java? Use this site to arrange it.

Deviant Art

Deviant Art has been around for over a decade and a half now, so it shouldn’t be news. It’s the original portfolio social network, geared to every kind of visual media artist. Photographers, graphic artists, painters, sculptors, scrapbookers, cartoonists, you name it. The “deviant” in the title comes from the site originally catering to computer design artists sharing wallpapers, app “skins,” interface designs, and so on, so software developers and designers are especially at home here.

Dribble

Dribble is sort of a showcase and portfolio site, but it has a different purpose. It’s for showcasing works in progress. This includes concept art, design ideas, beginning sketches, and so on for various projects. The idea is that you can post for opinions on how a piece is going, and perhaps collaborate with suggestions from the hivemind. But it’s also a site that limits the size of content, for easy browsing, so that talent scouts and others with a business interest can browse through the site and sort it easily—just the thing if you need to attract some Kickstarter attention to your downtown sculpture garden project.

Tumblr

Tumblr is a micro-blogging platform that’s been around for about a decade now. It has a lot in common with sites like Blogger or LiveJournal, but it’s more visual oriented as opposed to being writing-oriented. Any kind of visual media artist will feel right at home, as well as design artists of all stripes with a photo or two of their work handy. Since it’s a blogging platform, you can also toss in a few words about your project or how you’re up at 2 AM on a crazy hot creative streak.