Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Why You Should Have an Art Blog - Part 2

Bearded Iris,
6 in x 6 in, acrylic ink and brush
copyright Rose Welty

This is the second post in a series on the benefits of an art blog to it's author. See part 1 here.

What a blog can do for you
  • Make you more regular in your art practice -you don't have to post masterpieces, you really don't, and you don't have to do it everyday either, but the more frequent a schedule, the faster you'll get better.
  • Help you meet other artists - particularly if you are home-bound for one reason or another. I have three young sons, where I go, they go - we don't get to many museums or fancy art functions :D. But, I now know many artists, all over the world. We read each others blogs, comment, email, etc. I even hoodwinked a few into being part of a private art blog where we critique, encourage and laugh. (See the Fine Art Friends story here.)
  • Help you learn - you are going to learn about art, writing, interacting, the art business, the art world, and even the online techie bits. You won't learn it all in a day. But, if you take it one step at a time, you will suddenly look back and see that you have learned alot. There are several people that start a blog, and then just keep taking steps...research something they're interested in so they can post about it, figure out how to jazz up the template for their blog a bit, start putting a few prints up for sale (because it's free to do so), etc. As you read blogs you find posts about the exact question you have or someone who has just done what you were thinking of doing. In general bloggers are helpful people, why not benefit?
  • Help you realize goals - whether you feel obligated and therefore knuckle down or whether you meet some great encouragers along the way, you'll suddenly look back and think "wow, I really did it." It feels good to say you will finish X by next week, do it, and then show the world that you did. And again, people will cheer you on. There is nothing like getting a comment that someone likes your X, or really sees improvement since T or can't wait to see Y because your work is amazing, etc.
  • Bring you customers - I have only done a few commissions, but all of them have been the result of someone seeing my work on my blog and then asking if I could do something for them. Granted, it is not a whole business plan, I don't live off my artwork or anything like that, but a few extra bucks now and then are nice. As a result of that, I can now begin to think about dipping my toe in some selling arenas. Two years ago if you had said that I was going to be thinking of selling my art, I would have laughed at you in disbelief.
I'm sure there is more to be said on this topic, anyone else is free to chime in on the comments!


vivien said...

You list really good reasons Rose and I absolutely agree - I've learned lots of computer stuff I didn't know, lots of opportunities came up, friendships, I'm part of a couple of small online groups like too

The exchange of information on materials and ways of using them, ideas, critique - it's all so useful and fun too :>)

Ann said...

You've hit the nail on the head with these posts about artists' blogs and why they are so valuable. I could cite every one of your reasons as my own as well. Thanks for such great posts.

Teresa Mallen said...

Hi Rose,

This is my first time visiting your blog. I am enjoying reading your posts! I really like the subtle value changes in the bearded iris. Very nice.

I am new to this blogging adventure. I agree that it makes a person regular in their art practice.

I started my blog because I wanted a better means of communicating, especially to people just starting out on their journey with coloured pencils. I would write emails with advice, tips, etc. to the people on my mailing list (mainly former students and others interested in learning). The blog format provides me an easier means of communicating with people. When I was starting out on my own art journey, I would have loved to have been able to look over someone's shoulder while they worked and I would have loved to hear about how a work progresses. My goal is for my blog, newsletters and website to be a source of information and encouragement.

I am also enjoying 'meeting' the other artists that blog. I am amazed at how much wonderful content artists provide on their blogs.

P.S. I really like your 'Paintbrushes' piece done in coloured pencil. I especially like the composition of the paintbrushes.

Susan Carlin said...

Rose! Came by to thank you for your kind comments and now I'm so excited to have read your last two posts. I'm giving a workshop next month here in San Antonio on how to start and use a blog- specifically for artists! Might I pass on your well-written thoughts? I'd credit you with them, absolutely. Either way, thank you for your compliments!

Rose Welty said...

It's always nice to hear when others agree with you! Thanks everyone for the comments - the information exchange/discussion now available is incredible.

Thanks everyone for stopping by and interacting.

Susan - you are welcome to use the posts, thanks for the compliment of using them! :D

Stacy said...

Rose, I agree with all you said here. I really enjoy connecting with other artists through blogs. There is so much to learn and most artists are very generous with sharing what they know.

I also enjoyed your Fine Art Friends story. I remember Maggie's suggestion to get a critique group together. Now reading about your bravery, I might actually be motivated to do it. :D

Katherine Tyrrell said...

I'm enjoying the blog posts in this series but I'm also enjoying the art!