Taking a Break from Social Media as an Artist and Small Business Owner

Taking a Break from Social Media as an Artist and Small Business Owner

I needed to take a break from social media - so for now, I have deleted all of the social apps from my phone, and decided that it's better for my brain to just focus on things differently. In a way that resonates and is more in alignment with my life. 

I also don't want to disappear completely! I figured I'll try to be better at sending more regular newsletters, and why not add a blog post here and there - or maybe I can commit to something consistent. 


To start, lets go with what led me here - social media, why I'm pulling back, what has caused me to lose my interest?


As an artist, the job description is essentially being vulnerable and wearing your heart on your sleeve. It is a constant process of putting yourself out there, hoping for validation, trying not to care.

Most artists that I know, including myself, waffle back and forth with this tension - a need to share your art, but also a visceral panic around sharing or expressing yourself vulnerably and artistically. 

I often get stuck in a negative loop with social media - 

Here are my thoughts on why...

1. I have been on social with my business since 2015 - it's now 2024. I have over 6,000 followers, which capped out about 2 years ago - haven't hardly had any growth since. Post regularly, post stories regularly. I have had moments where I focused on it more for business. I had moments where it was effective! And then BAM instagram changes it's algorithm and all of that previous build, lost. 

It started to feel like being in a bad relationship. Build me up, tear me down, back to scraping at the bottom. Playing a losing game, but for what? Here's the kicker - I have been in business officially since 2016 thats 8 years. My business is successful, doing well, mostly thriving. I have grown steadily every year -  through the pandemic, through having two children, through my life falling a part (not relevant), through moving it across the country, through inflation, economic uncertainty - you get my point. NONE of the growth has come from social media. 

NONE of the growth - in any way - has come from social, for 8 years.

For the last year, it really had me thinking - what's the point? Where is the benefit? I can definitely express plenty of ways it has negatively effected me, but where are the positives?

I really can't find many. 

2. The platforms are saturated with 'artists' competing for likes and attention.

Okay, bear with me on this one - I'm not trying to be insulting, but it gets old doesn't it? I'm not a "look at me, look at me" type of artist. It's excruciating sometimes to be forced to constantly have to put yourself out there to this void - screaming into empty halls. It can be maddening. There's so much room for my mind to turn on itself and start creating narratives of self judgment etc. That I then have to work my way out of.

Keep sharing, keep sharing, keep sharing - for your 30 seconds of viral attention. 

In my humble opinion, it waters down the arts. I'm the kind of person where as soon as some one tries to sell me something I am OUT. Literally, I shut down almost instantly. I will find what I'm looking for when I want it and know exactly what I want. 

Now, this platform has basically become a sales platform for artists. Pushing and pushing and pushing. That's just not genuine or authentic for me - it's not me. It works for some, GREAT. But, I'm over it. 

4. Social is a world filled with 30 second attention spans - rarely are people on social media and anchored into one post or reel for more than barely 7 seconds. 

People usually are on social media mindlessly scrolling. We all do it. It's not a place where your brain is typically super alert and attentive it's a lot of "scroll, scroll, pause, scroll, scroll, pause, move on, distract" 

How much of anything is landing? I so often see my small business/artist friends sharing things like a screenshot of their reach being minuscule compared to the amount of followers they have.

For example, I said I have over 6,000 followers - the last post I shared was a well done painting I did of someones dog - it reached around 110 people the last time I checked, but I deleted the apps a few days ago so I dont know or care at this point. 

I got to a point where I just couldn't be bothered caring. It's one thing to use it as some form of a newsletter for the few people who do follow your brand or pay attention - that part makes sense, but as I build my business elsewhere - through events, wholesale, my website, etc - plus raising my kids and dealing with my day to day life - what's the point?

5. I feel so much better without it.

It's easy to get sucked into it - I'm not even saying I wont go back to it at some point in some way - but every time I get off social for a while, I feel better. Nearly instantly. 

It's like a build up process, I have a moment of clarity, where I just am tired of all of the emotional tribulation that comes with the whole social media world. It negatively effects me. That part is definitely true. At some point I finally decide, I'm over it - but the habit is too strong to just ignore the apps because it's an addiction - probably realistically for everyone at some level. SO then I resort to abstinence and delete the apps from my phone.

Usually by day three of no social -  it's out of my system. I carry on with my life. Without this weird constant nagging thought about social media and who's doing what, what should I post, who's paying attention, why can't I crack this code, should I share this thing, should I not share this thing? WHO CARES. Nobody, realistically. Or if they do it's for 30 seconds, so why waste all of this time and energy?

When instead... I can work effectively -  create, paint, play music, hang out with my kids, expand my business in healthy ways.

Yes. So welcome to my social media detox.

My goal, if i can find enough self control - is just to post once a week from my computer, not my phone - so I can keep it alive for the sake of the business and that is it.

Those are my thoughts, that nobody has asked for.


March 19, 2024 — Alexa Varano
Creating During COVID 19

Creating During COVID 19

As an artist, I have a lot of practice being an introverted type person, spending a lot of (way too much) time either alone or in my own head whether around people or not. I feel like those of us on this life path have had some practice for this quarantine time in life.

I wanted to share with you some of the newest pieces of art that have emerged during the first few weeks of this pandemic. Most of these were created via a wacom tablet, which is a digital drawing pad. Basically I draw on it just like I would with paper. All of the art is created using photoshop or illustrator, but done by hand, with an appropriate tablet pen built for this system. It is an amazing process. Especially if you have a small child running around! Ryan, my daughter, is just 14 months old. This process of creation allows me the freedom to unleash creatively without a lot of the excess layers of paint, mess, disaster, etc, while she's awake and I try to get some work done!

As I share them with you, I'll write a little bit about the back story as well.


Snow Leopard and Black Panther

Snow Leopard. Digital Painting - available as prints. -Alexa Varano Art

A couple of months ago, my brother asked me to do both a black panther and a snow leopard. I got around to the black panther (pictured below) right when he asked, the snow leopard didn't happen until just recently as I needed some time to free up. These are two of his spirit animals, so they are special to him. I love projects like this, where I get to capture the essence of a living being. Especially one that speaks to you profoundly.

Black Panther Alexa Varano Art



Fox. Digital Painting. Available as prints - Alexa Varano Art

This painting was done for Sharon, my fiance's stepmom. She and his Dad live up in Evergreen, Colorado, where they get to enjoy an amazing amount of wildlife. This fox has been acquainted with them for over 5 years. Sharon is a saint with animals. She watched this baby girl transform from a mangled limping fox to a healthy vibrant one over time. The fox visits almost every day, she keeps her safe distance, but definitely knows there is trust. I was honored to paint this for her.



Alligator painting by Alexa Varano

Alligator. Digital Painting. Available as Prints. Alexa Varano Art


As I am always asking for requests. My best friend gave me a request to paint an alligator so that was next on my list during this time. I had so much fun with the fine detail painting this creature. The geometrical pattern of the scales is something that I find to be very interesting and captivating, as I am a huge nerd for numbers, geometry, and particular sacred geometry (patterns). Sarah has always been one to suggest offering love to the animals who don't get as many love credits. So this was fitting. Give more love to the alligator <3


This has been the beginning. A few animal paintings, all available on the website as prints for sale. If you have requests, please don't hesitate to ask!


I hope everyone is staying healthy and sane. As much as possible. Thank you for all of the love and support during this time.