This morning, a phone conversation with my artist friend, Victoria Schultz, convinced me that I should start a blog. Perhaps then, my friends won't groan when they see yet another email (with attachment) from me with the subject line, 'today's work attached'. When I get excited about something I'm working on, I like to share it while I'm still in the honeymoon stage of the painting. Now, instead of boring my artist friends with daily emails and large attachments, I will post them here. I am now a blogger.
I'd forgotten that Vikki Schultz inspired me to start blogging. This just reaffirms my belief that as artists, we're all in this together. Collectively, most artists are part of a giant pool that we can can dip into for ideas, courage or inspiration. Blogging is an important part of sharing the knowledge....and the best thing about blogging? It's free.
The beauty of blogspot blogs (google) is that they are linked together. At the top of my blog, you'll see 'NEXT BLOG'. If you click on this, it will take you to another blog, randomly. Bloggers aren't all painters....there are gardeners who blog about their cucumbers, Christians who blog about Jesus and sailors who document their single-handed journey around the world. But there are many artist bloggers - and I could easily spend hours clicking on 'next blog' to find fascinating work of another artist I've never heard of. On Carol Marine's blog I clicked on 'next blog' and this found a blog titled, Thoughts on Painting and Art. I love the first painting of fields - what a great composition! Clicking on 'next blog' again took me to Jennifer Bellinger's blog then to a daily painting blog by Craig Stephens - and so on. You have to watch it as surfing blogs will eat up an entire day but it is a fun way of finding the work of other artists. As I said earlier, we are all part of a giant pool. You only need to dip into it for ideas or inspiration.
The inspiration for my 75 for $75 project came from other artist's blogs. Duane Keiser gets the credit for starting the 'painting a day' blog idea which spread like wildfire. Now there are artists like Carol Marine undeniably the Painting-a-Day Queen who not only makes a great living on her daily paintings, but also is in great demand as a workshop instructor. A little more than a year ago, my son sent me a link to Marc Hanson's blog and daily painting project which inspired me to do my 75 for $75 project.
I've been earning my living - self supporting (no partner/spouse contributing a paycheck) as an artist for about 25 years. There are times it has been difficult. In fact since the economy went into the ditch it has often been difficult, but I have survived, thanks, in part, to blogging. I taught a one day workshop in June titled, 'Earning Your Living as an Artist' where I pointed out that you must be computer savvy to survive as an artist. I spent some time talking about blogging. People asked, "how do you get the word out about your blog"? Just the act of blogging will begin to get the word out as blogs are linked - but self-advertising by handing out your business card which points to your blog will bring customers and other artists to your blog. When I give someone my business card I say, 'I blog almost daily - there's always new work being posted'. A couple from Sedona took the workshop and are already actively blogging. Check it out - they've got some great work!
My galleries also benefit by my blogging. When I ship work out to a gallery I often post the images here. As I only sell the little 5" x 7" oil studies on my blog, clients can contact one of my galleries (there's a list on the right side of this page) if they would like a larger painting.
p.s. Put a counter on your blog so you can see how many are finding it. It's a good way of measuring the success of your newsletter or other types of advertising.