Op-Ed | Notifications On
Notifications On for Aisha Bachman
Creators are ahead of the curve when it comes to viral trends and impactful cultural moments — they foster meaningful connections that resonate with audiences across the globe. Notifications On showcases the best and brightest creators on Twitter. For this edition, we’re talking to artist Aisha Bachman, in celebration of #PortfolioDay.
I was 15 when I made an account, and the purpose of me going on Twitter is still the same as now: I wanted to interact with more artists. I was aware that you can interact with all kinds of people on Twitter easily, compared to other platforms, and also share other people's artwork easily. I love communicating with people who have similar passions to me, and with Twitter I felt like I had a freedom of voice, so I started posting my art just to get my work out there.
A lot of artists don't like when their posts are taken, screenshotted, and put on other platforms without proper credit, but with Retweeting, that person is automatically credited — you're linking to their profile. It's so much easier and much more respectful, because on Twitter it directly takes you to who made it, and [Retweets] benefit all artists.
About a year ago, there was this #WipeItDown trend, where you would wipe down a mirror and you could transition, like, maybe you were wearing pajamas and then you transition and you look really nice. I did one where I transitioned from me in real life to me as an animation winking. It got a lot of attention, and I started having interactions with a bunch of artists that I look up to, that I've been following for years. Little interactions I have with them on Twitter just really make my day.
CJ Reynaldo, a deaf Filipino artist, is one of my favorite art accounts on Twitter. He surrounds his artwork with Filipino culture and makes little mini comics, and also just uses amazing colors. He makes art around Filipino mythology and goddesses, and it's really interesting to learn about my culture through art, because I live in a predominantly white family. [CJ] communicates a lot of things that I’ve never known about my culture. I also like Tessa Dabney. She's a comic artist and I love the way that she uses colors, her artwork is very fluid.
I don't really see too much drama in the art community, because it's all about supporting everyone and making sure that everyone's art is being showcased, especially through things like #PortfolioDay and hashtags like #drawingwhileblack. It's really simple to help promote your art mutuals to people who follow you, to spread their existence throughout Twitter. I think everyone’s helpful and kind, everyone's sharing what program to use and the brushes they use.
A #PortfolioDay is a great day to promote other artists and for people to get a chance to be hired. Some people look at other people's portfolios and they give tips as well. Sometimes I'll see artists, really popular ones, being like, “Hey, drop your portfolios in the Tweets and I can review them to help you guys out.” It's a great way to showcase what you're able to do and what you're able to offer.
As a woman of color, obviously my experiences in the world are going to be different from a lot of people’s. It's a bit draining sometimes because as minorities, it's our job to bring representation to art and anything that we create. Sometimes I want to not have to think of myself as a minority, but at the same time, it's also a great opportunity to tell my story and the story of my culture and my experiences. So I try my best to find that balance of [asking] am I doing this for me as well, is this for my culture, or is this for approval?
Right now I’m focusing on school, and writing a webcomic that I hope to start illustrating during the summer. [My advice] would be when presenting yourself online, make sure you're being as genuine as possible — be nice and make things because you want to, not to [impress people or] get famous because that doesn't work, unless you want to completely embarrass yourself. Also, make sure that you take a step back and take a mental health break, because burning out creates a distance between you and something that you started purely because you love it.
Hear more from the best and brightest creators on Twitter in the Notifications On collection.