Social Media/ Instagram and Dance Artists Interview by Matilda Bjärum

What you are about to dig into is a rough interview/questionnaire that a great friend of mine, Jentel Schiettekatte, asked me to complete for her own research. I guess the questions that were asked are quite generic in a sense. However, I found it was an interesting experience to respond to these questions as they brought awareness to a topic I had not previously thought about in such depth. I urge you all to write down your answers, don’t just think through answers in your head. I am sharing my answers as both a reflection and as a temporary standpoint. I would love to have a longer and more in-depth discussion about the topic with whomever sometime. Enjoy.

What and why are you using Instagram in the first place?

I am using Instagram because I like the simple combination of media and pictures. I find that it is a very aesthetic social media site, which suits my preferences. For me this is the best way of sharing my creativity as well as being inspired by others.

Do you think about having a good and clean online image? Why or is it important as a dancer?

I believe that in this time it is super important to have a clean profile and online image as an artist and dancer. Since many of us end up being our ‘own boss’, the contacts and networks that we have and gain are crucial to be able to maintain this work. Social media is a place where as an individual it is easy to make ‘advertisements’ for yourself and your work without having to have massive funds or management.

Are you or why are you using two difference Instagram accounts? (A personal and a business)

Before I started my professional education I actually just had one Instagram account. However this was a private account so my network stayed closed to only the ones I accepted in. When I started at NSCD I decided to make a public account, solely to display me as dancer, as an artist and to be able to have a professional page to refer to in business situations. The dancer and artist that I refer myself to is of course some of what I am as a being, but not everything. For once in my life I thought that it would be nice to actually separate what is just work and what is me and the rest of my life. Therefore I can now post pictures of my friends and more intimate moments on my private account. I don’t have to worry about any judgements of these moments in reference to me as a dancer and artist from the person outside viewing my page.

What kind of online image of you as a dancer do you want the outside world to perceive?

 I have actually started to think more about this lately. Previously my professional Instagram page was just a great way to keep people around me and in the profession updated on what I was doing. It is a great way to keep my followers connected and excited about up and coming projects and creations that I do, as well as them hopefully being creatively inspired. Sharing unfinished and finished work is how I believe we can learn and move forward creatively. However, I haven’t still really fully figured out the image that I want the world to perceive me as – this is still in the works.

What kind of images/videos do you share and what is your intention behind them? 

Generally I only share stuff that I feel gave me something exciting in the moment of creation. Stuff that I am proud of. I share videos if I think I have found a new way of moving or a new part of myself. I would never share the same thing over and over again. I try to find new places, new locations, and new tasks to inspire my creative flame. These usually just come in a spur of the moment thing, so I never plan these uploads. With pictures I usually share a shoot or a picture sometimes unrelated to the event (using material I already have), just to have something as a frame picture; to be able to write about my experiences and update people on what I am doing.

 How do you connect with your followers?

I don’t really know if I have a plan or a thought behind this. I believe that the people who follow me right now are people I have met in one situation or another or that I have a connection to somehow. Therefore I guess I just make myself visible on the platform by liking and commenting on my friends and peer artists feeds. I would never go about it in a fake way or not be genuine in my likes and comments just to connect more with my followers or gain more interest on my page. This is a very firm view of mine. 

Do you ever think about what kind of visual image you want to show in a picture and then discuss it with a photographer or you go with the photographer vision when collaborating?

Well that depends. I mainly work with only one photographer and sometimes my part time photographer dad. With both of them I can be open and direct. We always discuss visions and ideas, and the visions are as much mine as the photographer. My working relationship with my photographer is great. We have a signed contract because we thought that was important. Ultimately neither of us can make money off each other in the process ever. However all projects that involve me I am allowed to share as I want and I have the ultimate ownership of them. For us the gain and the purpose of these photo sessions is just to explore and create, for him to test out his creative visions and for me to do the same. We do recognise that these photos are great to use in promotional purposes both for his photography and for my art.

 

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