Ticky Tacky doesn’t work on TikTok

people holding their phones
people holding their phones

I tried posting a series of short video clips of my work on one painting and here’s what happened.

But first, here’s the painting I’m referring to in this blog post. I did a small painting so that I could demonstrate painting the drawing directly onto the canvas rather than tracing, gridding, or using a projector. All that went well. Read the article to find out more. Also, this painting, “Dude on a Pier” is available on my website at www.kelliesnider.com as of this writing.

There was a folk musician in the early 20th century named Malvena Reynolds. She played politically pointed ditties. One of them was called Little Boxes, and had a line that went like this:

And the boys go into business
And marry and raise a family
In boxes made of ticky-tacky
And they all look just the same
There’s a pink one and a green one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they’re all made out of ticky-tacky
And they all look just the same

Of course, she was singing about the post-war era lifestyle of living in little pre-fab houses in the suburbs and doing everything just like everyone else, and being boring, boring, boring. So, I tried ticky-tacky on TikTok and found out that you can’t expect it to work in the 21st century. Reynolds lamented the mindlessness of it all in spite of how successful the lifestyle turned out to be for Boomers. I tried to tap into the mindlessness. Yeah, she was right.

I videotaped the entire process of painting this little 8 x 10 painting. It took maybe 3 hours to complete. It was an experiment and some potential lesson fodder.

First I sped the whole video up to 10X the normal speed. This involved selecting each of the sections I wanted to speed up and using a little app I use on my Android phone, called VivaVideo. Next, I chopped the overall videos into approximately nine one-minute chunks.

Social Media Experiment

Next came the experiment. I posted one of the little clips on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest each day for the next 5 days. I had planned to post them once a day for 9 days so that each clip would land on a different day, but I learned what I wanted to know in less time, so I didn’t keep going after 5 days.

On TikTok the difference was dramatic from day one to day two. I got about 600 views for the first post, and a couple hundred likes. But on day two, I only got a couple of views. I can’t read the minds of the TikTok bots, of course, and it’s obvious I don’t know anyone who works there and who will spill the beans about how to make TikTok work for me, but when I looked at my posts from the two separate days, I could see that despite having headers that said different things, the video looked similar. Not the same, mind you. I was progressing with the work in each one. So, I’m guessing that the reason they weren’t showing my posts to hardly anyone was that they looked a lot alike. (Let me know if you can think of a better reason for that to happen.) On the 5th day of the TikTok trial I just decided to call it quits and dumped the rest of the clips since I could see they weren’t going to get views anyway. I have wondered if doing a dump of stuff I knew wasn’t going to get much attention was self-sabotaging, but that’s what I did. As soon as I started posting different stuff, my views went back up.

On Instagram I got 47 likes on the first video, but only 1-10 on the remaining videos. To be honest, I’m not on there for wins anymore. I like to follow artists on there. That’s it.

On my Facebook Professional account I don’t have enough followers who are not also friends to get all the data I need, so that’s not helpful at all. I do, however, have a 49.7K post reach, 15.4K engagement, and 95.0K impressions on all posts from the last month, so that’s worth sticking it out.

And on Pinterest, on the first post I got 6 views, post 2 I got 5 views, and after that only 1-2. My stuff overall gets a lot of impressions on Pinterest, and Pinterest posts have more longevity than typical social media since it is used like a search engine, Pinterest is worth working with. Instagram is the least helpful of these 4 platforms.


This little experiment showed that posting a daily series of work on the same painting isn’t too helpful. There are lots of things that could have limited the views on this series, like, maybe people didn’t like this painting, or maybe Instagram is still mad that I used the wrong music a couple of weeks ago. I’ll never know. These social media platforms are not in it to help us succeed, they’re in it to help themselves succeed, which makes sense, really. It just makes it harder for us to succeed. We have to get creative and pay attention to our data to the extent they will make our data available to us.


This all feeds back into my view that social media is not worth expending excessive amounts of time on if you are pretty new to it. I was made new again in social media after Meta kicked me out of Facebook and Instagram last year, so I’m basically a brand new user from their point of view. Since they limit the data you can get when you’re new, they’re obviously not geared to helping new businesses grow and succeed. They cater to businesses that put money in their pockets, and, again. That makes sense. It’s just not helpful from our end of things.

Onward and Upward,