Why You Should Start an Art Blog

If you’ve wondered about starting an art blog, and backed away from the idea, 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. Writing about something you love grows your courage.

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 chatty!)

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. I never considered the benefits I’d cultivate in myself as a writer, speaker and observer of my own artist journey.

Here is a great article from the folks at Patreon about blogging as a creative person:

List of Positives

In my resistance to write and share art, I failed to consider:

  1. the potential to find art collectors online who like my work
  2. the tickle-reminder from my waiting-for-a-new-post blog might lure me into the studio to make art more often
  3. the possibility that I might inspire another artist
  4. or meet artists from other parts of the world
  5. the discovery – via comments and invitations – of new online venues to show my work
  6. art supply manufacturers would send me new products to test
  7. managing my own presence on my own blog would embolden me to plant new offshoots, like an Etsy Shop
  8. I’d get pretty comfortable speaking about my art face to face, because I practiced writing about my work regularly.

 All of that happened because of this blog.

crowds-at-art-shows
Talking to patrons at the San Diego Artwalk

Baby Steps Will Lead You Forward

Pondering your own feelings and 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 more because I was so nervous to publicize my paintings.  To spur me on, I found online communities with weekly assignments, like Illustration Friday (retired) and Danny Gregory’s Every Day Matters Sketch group.  

It took awhile to find my groove. But that’s expected with anything new, right?

little-watercolor-of-frida
A typical blog post from me in 2006 – not a lot of writing.

Longevity on the Internet

The simple, doable task of regular posting – just a painting and 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 art more comfortably, confidently and professionally.

If you want to sell your art, eventually, you will have to speak about it at exhibits. You’ll also have to write about it for submissions and show catalogues, etc.

Relying on broadcasts to social media alone is brief, since the average lifespan of a post on twitter is 18 minutes. A Facebook lasts 5 hours. A blog post will remain viable for 2 years. Plus, you can start with the blog post, and propagate that post across all social media. That’s an invitation to come visit your blog, and maybe even subscribe!

A social-media-only presence is risky. You don’t own, pay for, or control the real estate you’re building a presence on. It could disappear overnight.

newnotablebookshelf
If you love books and reading, I’ll bet you can write well too.

All Learning Takes Practice

After practicing writing about art on this blog for over a decade, I now gush words, and spew them onto these posts like a fire-hydrant of verbiage.

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.. 🙂 I am – in most posts – talking to myself. Because we all need words of encouragement, I’m just sharing them with you too.

I type all these words because I want you to step over that threshold, and begin. If I can do it, you can too!

jacklovesetchings

What to Write About?

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:

  1. why you chose a particular color in the art
  2. you could add commentary from your furry studio assistant
  3. perhaps share images snapped from your favorite art book this month
  4. what inspired you from those pages?
  5. feature art and a blog from another artist you admire
  6. take some photos of your process, and relay a bit of your process

A Tiny Step Each Day

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 each artist you admire in history, in their own studios? It’s not just the art we’re enthralled by. We want to know about the artist who made it.

The human element of art-making is the most compelling part of the process; we want to know How did they do it? Who are they? What are they like? What do we have in common?

1976belindaatthebeach
Drawing in the sand & dreaming about being an artist at sixteen…

Documentation of Your Growth

After a year of just two or three posts a month, you’ll learn so much about yourself by reading backwards in time.

You’ll see the growth of your work, your emergence as an artist standing tall in a public arena, and you may even discover that you enjoy writing about art. 

Schedule 15 minutes, twice a month – that’s just once every two weeks. Post a piece of your art on your own blog (doesn’t that sound exciting!?), and write a little sentence about it as though you’re talking to your best and most trusted friend or family member.

“Speaking” as you write to *one* person can reduce the anxiety of talking to an internet-wide crowd. And after all, you are speaking to one person, because we read these blogs on a phone, or a tablet or a computer, all by our onesies.

If you haven’t made any new work lately, pull images from your archive.

ideas for topics to write about in an art blog
Seven Ideas for Art Blog Subjects to write about

Build it and They Will Come

Trust me; you just have to start. 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, right?

watercolor-set-up
In the studio, thinking about sharing work process online – circa 2004

Begin an Art Blog Today

So, if you decide to begin an art blog, remember to come back to this post, and leave us a link to your new blog in the comments so we can visit.

And be sure to engage the email subscription option on your blog, so your art gets distributed automatically to your followers via email with every new post, just like this blog does.

Have a creative, courageous, idea-filled week, and I’ll see you in the next post!

Belinda

P.S. Here are five tips to help build your art studio newsletter.

painting-reflections-in-watercolor
Amber Candle, Kitchen Counter 7×10 Watercolor (Sold)

Art Quote

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.

~John Adams

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22 thoughts on “Should you Start an Art Blog?”

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  4. Belinda – bravo for sticking with your blog for a decade! It’s that persistence that pays off. And I’m honored you linked to my blog post about how to extend the life of your content. Artists have a great outlet in Pinterest: a visual social network that has the longest content lifespan of 4 years. I’m off to check out your artwork!

    1. Hi Maria, Thanks for stopping by, and THANKS especially for your informative essays on social media marketing. Artists need all the help we can get on that stuff! Bravo!

  5. Belinda, thanks for posting this. A very good article on blogging which I should be doing. I loved the short video of the Grumpy Grandpa too!

  6. Hi Belinda!
    Great post and advice, I truly enjoy reading what you have to say and the art you create. I just wanted to add that I think people often miss understand the purpose of blogging, sure people have monetized their blog and made money, but really this venue is about building a creative community, where we can share, learn and inspire each other. Inside of that you will find a group of followers and patrons.
    I think you do a stellar job of sharing your expertise and promoting your work. A perfect example of how to do it right, so many sites have turn into a 500-word infomercial, that they have lost readers because of it or the lack of content.

    1. Hi Jim, Thanks so much for the nice compliment. I’m delighted to read that you’re enjoying the content here, and I hope I can maintain your interest over time. I agree that infomercial blogs aren’t so interesting, but I suspect some of that is just artists better-equipped with a paint brush than with paper and pen. Word-smithing doesn’t come easy to many, so when artists post their work, and let you know it’s for sale, some of them get props for at least putting it out there and trying. Being a self representing artist requires tooting your own horn, with grace, subtlety & panache, which isn’t easy. Perhaps with time, the infomercial folks will get better with practice. Lets hope so. 🙂

  7. Mary Ellen Gale

    Girl! How is it you know what I’ve wanted to do and just haven’t been able to get past that imaginary barrier? I’ll give it a try.

  8. Are you sure blogs/blogging are still popular? I personally love good art blogs with commentary, but there aren’t many around anymore. A lot of artists seem to just post on Instagram.

    1. Hi Sidney, I would say yes, blogs are absolutely still viable. I think like anything new (blogging, youtube, etc.), everyone jumps on the bandwagon at first because it’s free, and seems like easy exposure. It takes time and some conviction to post frequent, compelling content on a blog, and that has a natural “thinning” process to the crowd over time. Sticking-to-it is the challenge for most, so perhaps you don’t see as many (active) blogs, but the ones that are visible have posted consistently and have an established, dynamic relationship with their readers. Instagram is great, but if you want to add your voice to your images, and dialogue with and a relationship to your readers, blogging is a better bet, in my opinion.:)

  9. A most inspiring post! I love the “Grumpy Grandpa” video. I’ve gotten as far as “emailing” my sketches/paintings and comments to some family members (including grandkids) and a small group of my closest friends. I consider these my “practice” blogs. Meanwhile, I am forever grateful for all you public bloggers that enrich my life on a daily basis. Thank you for having taken the plunge in the vast internet ocean to bring us your delightful cache of the day!

    1. Hi Gayle,
      Thank you for reading these artist musings, and commenting/encouraging the rambling. And you’re one tiny step away from blogging your work and sharing it with a broader audience. Sending cheerleader shouts & pompom encouragement in your direction. 🙂

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