But what a lot of people do is show a work developing over time from its early stages to the finish. When artists do that, we can follow stages of their paintings or even their big book projects over a time scale of days, weeks, or months.
Is it a good idea to post unfinished work online? I can think of a few pros and cons, and would love to hear your thoughts.
1. It's a good way to involve followers in a work that you're doing. It's the essence of Kickstarter campaigns.
2. It's exciting for viewers to watch the ups and downs of the work in real time as it develops.
3. It's valuable for students, fans, and collectors to learn about your process.
1. You lose the impact of the first impression, something you can never get back. Movie companies never share their storyboards; they only tease with impressive finished clips. Unless there's something incredibly compelling about your process, don't take us behind the curtain until after we've seen the finished thing.
2. A painting goes through some pretty awful stages (at least mine do) and some finishes aren't fit to be shared. No reason to lower my average and clog everyone's feed by dumping all my intermediate stages onto social media.
3. If you put a lot of standalone JPEGs of unfinished works on your blog or Pinterest, they'll come up on a search, and the person searching may assume it's a finish (or just a bad painting). This is less of a problem with media that are more opaque to search, such as Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.