If you’ve wondered about starting an art blog, and backed away from the idea frantically waving the bold lettered banner “I have nothing to say” or “I hate to write” – consider this: I used to hate writing, until I started to write about ART. And I used to think I had nothing to say, but my friends reminded me that – in person – I talk all-the-time. (Hand rubbing chin, thinking… Hmmm, Oh yeahhh… I’m talky!) I had only focused on the knocking-knees and chattering-teeth fear associated with the obligation of writing regularly, and the intimidation of posting my work online in front of a global audience.
Here is a great article from the folks at Patreon about blogging as a creative person:
In my resistance to write & share art, I failed to consider
- the potential to find art collectors who liked my work
- the tickle-reminder from my waiting-for-a-new-post blog might lure me into the studio more often
- the possibility that I might inspire another artist
- or meet artists from other parts of the world
- or discover new online venues to show my work
- or that art supply manufacturers might send me new products to test
- or that I’d get pretty comfortable speaking about my art at shows because I had practiced writing about my work regularly.
All of that happened because of this blog.
Pondering your own feelings & process on this might be worth a little time. When I started this blog in 2005, I wrote the title of the art, the size and medium, and added a link to buy it. That’s it. Nothing too adventurous because I was so nervous to publicize my paintings. To spur me on, I found online communities with weekly assignments, like Illustration Friday and Danny Gregory’s Every Day Matters Sketch group. It took awhile to find my groove. But that’s expected with anything new, right?
The simple, doable task of regular posting – just a painting & a line or two – emboldened me to write a little more as the months went by. “Baby steps” progress works.
- Blogging is the Toastmasters to writing and speaking about your work more comfortably and professionally.
If you want to sell your art, eventually, you will have to speak about it at exhibits and write about it for submissions and show catalogues, etc. And relying on broadcasts to social media alone is brief, since the average lifespan of a post on twitter is about 18 minutes, and Facebook is 5 hours, but blog posts will stick around for 2 years. Plus, you can start with the blog post, and propagate that to social media with tools to help automate the process.
After practicing writing about art on this blog for a decade, I now gush words, and spew them onto these posts like a fire-hydrant of verbiage. Just look at this post, fer cryin’ out loud! I’m a chorus-line of tumbling art-thoughts, like clothes waving at you from a laundry line in the wind. I go on and on and on.. 🙂 But, it’s because I want you to step over that threshold, and begin. If I can do it, you can too!
Posting regularly incites a form of chrysalis; you can start like I did – by listing the title and the dimension of your work, and then a few months later, you might venture into blogging by saying:
- why you chose a particular color in the art
- you could add commentary from your furry studio assistant
- perhaps share images snapped from your favorite art book this month
- what inspired you from those pages?
- feature art & a blog from another artist you admire.
Ease into it, like you’re stepping into the pool slowly on a squinty summer day. Pretty soon, you’ll be swimming – and eventually you’ll write a little more about YOU. That’s what everyone is interested in, after all. Imagine if every painting hanging in a museum was a portal to watch the artist who made it. What if we could see back in time, and get to know them in their studios?
- The human element of art-making is the most compelling part of the process; we want to know Who made that?
Trust me; you just have to start, and with regular, simple posts, you’ll get more and more comfortable sharing what you make with your own two hands. If you already have a blog that’s neglected, bring it back to life. Other artists will visit and leave comments and complimentary remarks, and you’ll make online friends. That’s how I met YOU, after all, right?
Here’s a great little #inspiration & online #connection story for you about a grumpy, 75 year old non-technical grandfather who hadn’t even used email, begrudgingly agreeing to post one Instagram drawing a day for his far-away grandchildren.
Have a creative, courageous, idea-filled week, and I’ll see you in the next post!
P.S. If you’re not already subscribed to this blog, you can do that here.
It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues. When a mind is raised, and animated by scenes that engage the heart, then those qualities which would otherwise lay dormant, wake into life and form the character of the hero and the statesman.