How Twitter helps empower local artists in the next normal

Even before the pandemic, Twitter has already been serving as a go-to place for local artists who aim to share works and connect with their followers. The social media site has been facilitating encouragement of fellow artists to hone their craft. Now, it also helps enthusiasts to look for art to achieve a sense of normalcy, levity, and inspiration amid these challenging times.

During the National Arts Month in February, Twitter gathered some local artists to share how the website has turned out to be their virtual home. Here’s what some of them have to share.

 

Paolo Pangilinan

@PaoPangs. Actor

Connecting with fans, inspiring people

‘Gaya sa Pelikula’ lead actor Paolo Pangilinan found in Twitter the effective platform to get in touch with fans, friends, and family. Pangilinan’s popularity rose at a time when fan meetings could never be organized the traditional way. He had to bring conversations closer to home though.

“I love using Twitter to connect with people who are avid fans of the show, our shared advocacies, and the undertakings I have been doing before and after the show,” Pangilinan said. “Twitter has helped me reach out to friends, family, and supporters more easily due to the ease of communication Twitter brings and how it allows for each message to become amplified.”

Messages from fans via Twitter were the main inspiration for the actor. His role in the hit BL series has helped make marginalized communities take the spotlight. He hopes to continue giving and being an inspiration to his followers.

 

Louis Espinosa

@artbyouie. Artist and painter

Strength in the art community

For Louis Espinosa, art is more than therapeutic; it is also an expression of emotions and a method to spread awareness about issues. Thus, he turns to the platform to dive into various messages and forms of art and even learn from other artists. Twitter and an art community in it have helped him connect with fellow artists in the new normal. He said the platform helped him cope with the lockdown.

“The art community on Twitter has been helping me heal and regain my fuel for passion especially during the 5-month long burnout I went through last year,” Espinosa shared. “Not only with the community but my art moots helped me get up on my feet and to start my engines as well.”

 

Drew Borja

@HHFlashbacks. Artist

Fresh inspiration and connections

Hunghang Flashback’s Drew Borja believes in making the best out of the crisis through appreciating the power of his online connections. If before the pandemic, enthusiasts and artists used to gather at art conventions to celebrate art, these days, Twitter serves as among the few platforms where interactions between artists and people happen.

“In Twitter, comments and feedback aren’t easily flooded or drowned with everything else. I guess, that is why it’s more comfortable to build connections there,” Borja said. “It gives the sense of familiarity. [My plan is] to release new titles or do more collabs with people. I want to nurture the relationships I have with both my readers and my co-artists.”

 

Mina V. Esguerra

@minavesguerra. Author

Building a community and love for writing

Mina Esguerra has always wanted to be an inspiration to other writers. She uses Twitter to encourage more writers to continue their craft. Through Twitter, she reaches out and shows actual support for her community.

In January 2013, Esguerra started the writing community #RomanceClass on Twitter by offering a free writing class. Since then, there have been about 30 authors within the same community that are actively promoting their books online even prior to the lockdown.

“My community started a web series project in the middle of 2020, and 12 of us wrote epilogues for our books but set in quarantine, we series style, as an outlet for our fears and frustrations. We tweeted about the project, hashtag #HelloEverAfter, and received enough contributions from friends on Twitter to produce all the episodes,” she shared.