Edmonton artist starts Twitter #ArtAdventCalendar
Hashtag thread has been viewed more than 600,000 times, creator says
There are advent calendars for kids, for grown-ups, for charities — and now, for artists.
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Creator Jay Bigam came up with the idea last week when he signed on to Twitter and noticed how many different kinds of advent calendars people were tweeting about this year.
He decided to try creating a new kind of digital advent calendar, and tweeted out a picture of one of his own paintings using the hashtag #ArtAdventCalendar.
"Unexpected" 30x20 oil on canvas 2015 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/artAdventCalendar?src=hash">#artAdventCalendar</a> Day 1 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/art?src=hash">#art</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/yegarts?src=hash">#yegarts</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/artists?src=hash">#artists</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/yeg?src=hash">#yeg</a> <a href="https://t.co/vM4WGFU8xl">pic.twitter.com/vM4WGFU8xl</a>—@JayIsPainting
By the end of the day, Bigam had heard from six other artists who wanted to join in. Now, the total is up to 18, including 15 artists from Edmonton, one from the southeast USA and one from Toronto.
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ArtAdventCalendar?src=hash">#ArtAdventCalendar</a> My first piece for the month. Great idea <a href="https://twitter.com/JayIsPainting">@JayIsPainting</a> <a href="https://t.co/SJbNtQTsx7">pic.twitter.com/SJbNtQTsx7</a>—@cindyrev
And more are always welcome, he said.
Each day, each participating artist tweets out a picture of a new piece or painting. At the same time, each also re-tweets the work of their fellow artists.
Happy first day of Advent! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ArtAdventCalendar?src=hash">#ArtAdventCalendar</a> Cold Mountain Top (watercolpour on Yupo) <a href="https://t.co/oz1PcSd5cH">pic.twitter.com/oz1PcSd5cH</a>—@KarenBArtist
Day 5 of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/artAdventCalendar?src=hash">#artAdventCalendar</a> "Whyte Ave, Black Dog, Winter Scene" <a href="https://t.co/S0nIdoftLF">pic.twitter.com/S0nIdoftLF</a>—@Lorrainefyoung
Day 6 of the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/artadventcalendar?src=hash">#artadventcalendar</a> :) This piece was gifted to Princess Astrid of Belgium by AB Provincial Gov <a href="https://t.co/fNAvARWg29">pic.twitter.com/fNAvARWg29</a>—@KarenBArtist
Many artists struggle with finding an audience for their work, Bigam said, and social media often plays a large role in building interest.
By building this online advent art community, he hopes to offer some of the participating artists a larger platform — and it seems to be working. So far, the hashtag thread has been viewed more than 600,000 times, according to his analysis software.
Bigam said he's already been introduced to several new artists he had never before heard of, even right in his own home town.
You can follow the daily art advent calendar on Twitter here.