“It was a huge eye opener for me to partner with Twitter officially,” Paint says. “It showed the level that the account was getting to and the potential outreach it had. It opened up a barrier I didn’t even know was there and more partnerships and collaborations came from that.”
What was particularly important to him was to create content that felt authentic to his work and his audience, even within the partnerships. Twitter also hosted nba_paint (and, of course, nflpaint) in the Tweetsuite during the Super Bowl, which led to a real-time partnership during the big game. The official NFL account even changed their header to feature art from the account.
“A typical client and content creator dynamic can be pretty one dimensional, just a person hired to create one or two posts,” Paint says, “That can make it seem like there's not an active conversation going on. It’s important to make sure conversations feel natural.”
Allegrotti echoes his sentiment about finding the right fit for partnerships and then seeing the results in the communities’ reaction.
“One thing in particular that stuck out to me about that activation was how positively it was received,” she says. “We do a lot on @TwitterSports and the reaction is never an overwhelming “Wow! We love this!,“ but it was with the @nba_paint collab. We took a beloved figure from a community and loaned our Twitter powers to him in a fun and unique way that we’ve since seen replicated all over the timeline.”
So what kind of partnerships are a pipe dream for Mr. Paint?
“My biggest dream ever is to partner with the NBA. I would love to do something directly with them,” Paint says. “A jersey design is a super huge shoot-for-the-stars goal, or designing a sneaker would be really sick, working with a big sports brand.”
Even with big names like that in his sights, the artist still wins out when it comes to his future.
“I don’t take myself too seriously. I have the most fun when I’m coming up with ideas and they’re pretty on the nose and I can whip something up pretty quickly,” Paint says. “I’m most proud of work that people who actually know me in real life reach out and respond to. Like when my mom thinks something is funny, that’s when I feel like I got a gold star.”
It’s not just his mom, though — Paint’s baseline for success is hearing from the people who enjoy his work. He loves getting comments and messages from fans who share their work with their own friends and family. And those authentic interactions take place because he is having fun creating the content he’s posting.
“My biggest piece of advice for creating content and putting it out there is going to sound super corny and cheesy but just be true to yourself,” Paint says. “You don't want to create content that you just think people are going to like, but that you personally aren't super attached to. It could be fun to do that for a couple of weeks or a couple of months, but soon you'll be caught in this cycle of producing content that you don't like to produce, and that is just going to feel like a job.”