At the end of April I will be conducting a workshop titled “So You Want to Start a Blog?” sponsored by the Dorchester Arts Collaborative. It will be a basic workshop for those who are new to blogging. I’m happy to help other artists any way that I can, because so many artists in the blogsphere have helped and inspired me by offering support, sharing their talent and revealing vulnerabilities that remind me that we all have so much in common.
In preparation for the workshop, I’m thinking back to when and why I started this blog. I can’t remember exactly why I started a blog. It could be that I discovered WordPress and wanted to try out a new tool. That’s pretty much how I am as an artist. I find some new toy that I’m not familiar with and I want to play.
My very first post was in March 2009. I laugh now when I look at it. It was not so much a post, but rather more of a headline: “Getting inspired.” I can remember that uncomfortable-what-am-I-doing feeling and not really knowing what to say–or to whom. I apparently got over that by just doing it My next entry was in October 2009, and I was off and running at that point.
I have artist Leah Piken Kolidas, the creator of the Creative Every Day Challenge blog, to thank for that. She challenges us to keep the creative process flowing as she poses themes each month for artists. We can choose to follow the theme as we make artwork, or not, and then check in for others to see, thus broadening the interactive experience that blogging provides.
The push to create something every day and post the results inspired me as an artist and as a blogger. Connecting with other artists in a virtual community is irresistible. So far, I have explored territory that I would not have explored on my own. I’ve met, corresponded and exchanged art with artists from across the world whom I’ve never met in person and likely never would have even known about without my blog.
Art is all about exchange. As an artist I offer those who view my artwork my imagination, observations, fears, hopes and dreams. In exchange, I seek their interpretation, analysis, wonderment and excitement. This exchange brings the creative cycle full circle. And with each new look at my artwork, the cycle is renewed.
Usually this exchange takes place undetected. However, blogging brings everything to light so that the full benefit of it is clearly realized for both sides.
As I create artwork each week, I post images and write about the inspirations behind the work, as well as the challenges that I faced in creating it. Blog readers comment and tell me what they think of the work, ask questions, and share information about their lives and what inspires them. Sometimes the comments even give me ideas about what I want to create next, or helps me figure out in which direction I should go on a current piece.
Since that first post in 2009, there were more than 7,000 views of this blog and looked at my artwork. That is amazing to me. I would never had been able to reach that many viewers with my work in any other way. 7,000 views?! I’m truly honored.
What about you? Why do you blog?