Artists: Tell Me about Your Blog

If you’re an artist with a blog, I want to hear from you.
I’m researching artist blogs and any feedback you can give me would be most
appreciated. Just click on Comments below this posting to let me know you’re
out there.

I’d love to know:

  • What software/provider do you use?
  • What is the goal or raison d’etre of your blog?
  • How often do you post?
  • How much time do you spend blogging per day or week?
  • What do you wish you had known before your started? Or, what
    advice do you have to give other artists?

Thanks for all who can help!

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25 comments to Artists: Tell Me about Your Blog

  • Alyson- Ron is the artist and his blog http://www.ronandersonstudio.blogspot.com is a diary of sorts with information about what he is currently painting and general Visual-Arts related comments. As his wife and Business Partner, I have my own blog of his artwork at http://www.originaloilpaintings.typepad.com My focus is on our experiences in Marketing and Exhibiting his oil paintings. My thought in setting up the blogs was to give our art patrons a more intimate and conversational view of what we were up to and provide them with an informal venue to post comments if they so desired. Since we are both new to blogging we still need to do more with getting our blogs added to blog directories and maybe look for reciprocal links with other art bloggers. I would like to post at least once a week, but it does require a good amount of time to post with interesting content on a consistent basis. We will see over the next few months how it all works out!

  • Hi Alyson, I really just started blogging, so I can’t help much but I use my blog to show new paintings, loading a new one every day. I have signed up on several blog directories, use the blog in my signature line for email, put the link on my web page and my E-Painting every week and so forth. I only spend about 5 minutes a day blogging, long enough to load paintings. My purpose is exposure and possible sales. Since I don’t do my own web page, this is an easy way to put new work out without having to know html. Love, Linda

  • Alyson- I am new to blogging. I resisted it for quite sometime, seeing it as just more busy work that would keep me away from creating my art. However, I did have it on my list of “things to consider.” And if there is one thing I have learned from you, it’s that an artist needs to keep up with the latest “trends” that may nourish her business. Blogging seems to be all the rage right now, so I figured I’d better jump on the bandwagon. My final motivation to blog came after attending a workshop this July (Sas Colby’s “Studio In the Sky,” in Taos, NM),and learning how many other artists have begun blogging. My blogging “goal” is to produce a journal that is a mixture of personal experiences and art-related information. I am certainly no expert when it comes to advising other artists about their business, but I try to impart some type of advice or narrative that they may find helpful or amusing. Many mixed media artists I know whose art is similar in scope to mine blog about what they do each and every day. Personally, I don’t always find their entries stimulating, so I attempt to make my entries at least entertaining, if not always informative. Artists I know who have a blog “following” in mixed media circles have advised me that I should make my entries fairly personal… that people WANT to know not just about my ART, but about ME. So I strive to convey the amusement of my every day life and to find a way to connect my life to little art “lessons,” as it were. Sometimes I am successful and sometimes not. If I were to blog only once a week, I would probably stick solely to “art” discussion. But I blog most everyday – partially for the benefit of artist friends and partially for anyone who may happen to discover my blog and want to return and read more. I always try to post a photo in each entry to grab attention. I have connected my blog to my website, and vice versa. I tried out several blog formats, but settled on “typepad” because I prefer its versatility. I enlisted the help of my web desingers, so that the appearance of my blog would compliment my website. I also visit the blogs of successful artists I admire and scrutinize their blogging styles and content. I recently added typelists of books I am currently reading and music that I like. I don’t know why anyone out there would CARE about these things, but artists I’d like to emulate seem to have success with these little trends, so they must be doing SOMETHING right! I’d love your advice if you have time to visit my blog. I don’t know how one measures the “success” of a new blog – but I HAVE noticed while checking my statistics that I have “return” readers, so maybe people are beginning to discover my blog and are liking it. I want my blog to evolve into something other artists will find entertaining and informative. I intend to use it to show my “experiments” with new techniques and creative ideas, and to share my observations about art in my life. In essence, blogging is something I felt I needed to do to keep abreast of popular trends artists follow. I am determined to get my name out there. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I’ll be interested to see what you learn from your survey. Many thanks- Deb

  • Alyson, I have an emerging blog called Touching Art, hosted at Typepad. It is my blend of art and spirituality. The intention is that it would connect my art and coaching/healing practice, serving as a business website. I am still learning how to use all the features, and create my look. Meanwhile, I post every week to 10 days, with plans to be more frequent. Maybe I need to set my blog as my home page. I spend about 2 hours at the blog every week, creating a post, uploading art, adding or changing something, learning how the blog ware works.

  • Alyson, my blog is http://sonjisays.blogspot.com. I started it as an sort of documentation of my re-emergence as an artist. I felt very inspired by artists from out of state who all connected with one another through a blog ring. It’s been great fun and very helpful, plus I love to write and talk about myself like I’m a superstar…maybe I should be a performer. Hmmm. Anyway, when I say that I’m going to do something on my blog, I feel as though I have to keep my word. It keeps me working even when I don’t want to. I use Blogspot because it’s easy and free. I upload pictures with Hello/Picassa. I spend about two hours a week writing on my blog. It’s actually the pictures that take up a lot of time, but they are the main way to relay my visual info. Reading other blogs, now that is time consuming, but fun. I wish that I’d known how addicting blogging is before I started. I wish I had known how to edit my pictures in the beginning and do some basic computer things like linking. I learned how eventually. Most of all, I wish that I had started blogging a lot sooner. I have customers that I would have never had if I hadn’t started blogging. In a few short months, I have connected with people coast to coast and internationally. It’s wonderful. Sonoji

  • Oops. Spelled my own name wrong. How unprofessional. That’s also an advantage of blogging…one (meaning me) is able to be a bit foolish and it’s O.K. Sonji

  • Hi, First of all I love your advice and newsletter, there is always so much valuable and fresh information that you offer. I have two blogs. One for my plein air landscape work, Plein Air http://pleinairlandscapes.blogspot.com and one for my pastel portrait work Chalk Dust http://granthamstudio.blogspot.com . I love blogging and do think it is going to do nothing but grow, especially for artists. there is a wonderful community of artists who blog and I have made some wonderful new friends as well through my blog exposure. I have just begun actually listing works for sale. Blogs are great because they are so fresh and personal. I use mine for new works, news about my career, poetry and highlighting other artists work who is either relevant or note worthy. Thank You again for all you do. Please don’t hesitate to drop me a line. Rebecca

  • Hi Alyson- I use blogger. It was having problems a few months ago, but they seem to have worked things out so it works fine. I do the blog just to keep my name out there and for friends/fans etc to keep tabs on me. I used to try to post lots of work, but realized I was doing work just to post on the blog and I eventually quit, now I don’t post much new work on the blog or moreso I work at MY pace. I post new work as I get it done and don’t worry about it. I post an average of 3-5 times per week. I probably spend an hour – 2 hours per week blogging. I’ve seen some artists start blogging because they think it will bring oodles of traffic to their site and in turn sell lots of their art off their site. I doubt that will happen. You have to have a killer blog with lots of posts and great content to get decent traffic and that won’t get you sales. People that read blogs in general are not really your art buying market. Some might turn into it but I think it’s rare. Also, like websites, there are TONS of blogs so it’s hard to be seen. Also, you have to decide how personal/political etc you want it to be. I realized potential customers might be reading my rants that might not agree with me and decided to tone it down a few months ago. I’ve been doing my current blog for a year and a half.

  • My blog is hahawater.blogspot.com and I’m in the same blog ring as Sonji. I use Blogger (Blogspot) and Picasa Hello to upload photos (even though Blogger’s upload images works fine now.) I blog almost everyday, average time being about 5-15 minutes. Blogging has helped me to become more organized with my work and as it created an audience looking forward to the finished piece, I actually have to finish, LOL. It is also nice to get back feedback and commentary. I have also started to keep a mini-gallery on it that links to posts/pictures from the blog. I think it’s a great tool for artists as it gives insights into your process and inspiration.

  • The goal for my blog is two-fold. First, I wanted to record my experiences so the collector, or potential collector could connect with me as an artist. If they know more about me, they will be more apt to purchase one of my paintings. Second, I wanted it closely tied to my web site, so the reader could easily view my work, and other aspects about my art, etc. To this end, I decided not to use any canned blog software, but rather, roll my own right in my own website and domain name. This takes a little longer, but I think it is worth it, at least for me. I have sold a number of paintings via my website just because of my blog. You can see it at – http://www.donaldneff.com/weblog/weblogcurr.html

  • Hi Alyson, I have an artist’s life blog at Typepad. Previously I kept an online journal at LiveJournal, which was a bit more personal than the current blog. I switched because I wanted to post more pictures, and Typepad has good support for that. A big part of this blog is for me, rather than for an audience (though I suspect that’s what makes it interesting for some of my readers). Because I work full time at a non-art career, I wanted a place to capture and honor where art is in my life. A place to make a record of the creative things that I do every day to be more aware of the balance between my art and my other work. I want art to be at the center of my life, whether I’m making a living from it or not, and this is a way for me to keep focused on that. I do post images of my paintings and write about what I’m painting, but I also post photographs I’ve been taking and pages from my journals. Sometimes the posts are more deep and thoughtful, and sometimes they are just a short list of the artistic things that I’m appreciating that day. I don’t post on a regular schedule, but I try to add something once or twice a week. Regular posts keep an audience, but I don’t have the time to commit to daily posting. I spend maybe 2-3 hours a week on the blog, between adjusting images for the web and actually writing and posting. The artist’s blogs that I most enjoy reading are the ones that are personal. They show the ups and downs of life, and aren’t all about the business. I want to connect with the artist as a person, with joys and failings and struggles and sucess, just like I have in my own life. But I’m also quite aware that the web is a very public place, so there’s a fine balance between honesty and too much personal information. I don’t post anything I would be embarrased to have my grandparents read, or have one my coworkers discover. Between this blog and my previous LiveJournal journal, I’ve been “blogging” for almost 3 years. There’s been a huge explosion of blogs in the last year!

  • This is GREAT! I love seeing so many of these and hearing about your experiences. As I continue gathering this information, I hope you’ll contact me if you think of anything else. Also . . . What are YOUR favorite artist blogs?

  • In addition to my website I also blog, using the free blogger software on blogspot. It is easy to use, and I’ve learned a lot from reading the help files on the site, and from fellow bloggers. My main reason for the blog is to journal about the reasons for the artwork I make. To place it in the immediate context. Looking at where I go, what visually inspires me, and reading about what I’m thinking,mulling or discussing is interesting to me to go back and read. I think it is somewhat interesting to friends, family, fellow artists. Also, I’m in a couple blog rings, groups of artists doing similar work who share information back and forth and create yet another kind of online community. I like your artbiz emails quite a bit, they always give me something to think about and try, so thanks for putting them out there!

  • I must join in since so many other artists from The Artful Quilters Webring have commented. You asked about favorite blogs… in less than 6 months over 90 fiber artists have joined our ring and most of my favorites are included, especially Sonji who commented above. My blog is a journal. Thoughts about all kinds of things. Those are also the type of blogs I most enjoy. But, I have been wrestling with the idea of whether — or not — a blog can truly be a successful marketing tool. Should I sell stuff on my blog? Is that distracting from the journal aspect? Should I set up a separate blog for selling, as many artists in our ring have done? Should I discuss sensentive issues on my blog like pricing, quality of materials or my own dissatisfaction with a particular project? If I do, does that mean that the potential buyers who might be reading, would second guess their purchases? If I post a bunch of new ideas… will someone copy me? If I spend too much time looking at super fantastic work produced by others will I be tempted to copy them? What about all this swapping business which tends to be popular in blog rings? Do I really want to swap my art with others? Does that cheapen my own work. My goodness, I’m taking myself much too seriously now. I need to lighten up and just go blog about it.

  • Hi Alyson, I’ve just recently found your site and it has been a wonderful resource for my art business. I’ve just recently began blogging within the last four months on live journal. MY blog link is: http://www.livejournal.com/users/angelartist/ I have several reasons I blog, but the main reason is to form “relationship” with my collectors. My clients become more than buyers and they like to know what is going on in my personal life. My blog is an excellent way to allow them to know me as a person and a friend. My blog is also used as a marketing tool within the blogging community as I try to be semi-active in posting in other communities. It’s a great way to network with other people and make connections. I am very personal in my blog, but yet also try to be sure and add in all the pertinent information about my career, as well as my latest paintings with sales info. As my client base grows, I plan on offering work for sale directly from my blog. I am in the planning stages with that right now but it is still a long term project as I need to find the way to increase my blog viewership. I am trying to learn more about the vast opportunities the internet has for us artists, but it has been a bit slower learning curve for me. I try to update my blog at least 3 times a week, with content or images of created work. If I lack art, I’ll throw in a blog quizz or poll–just something to try to keep them coming back for more.

  • Alyson- I thought I’d add a benefit of blogging that I had not taken into consideration until recently. I have already had two new sales that resulted from my blog being linked to my website. This happened because of KEY WORDS I have used in my blog entries that might otherwise NOT be connected to my site. Recently I was discovered by someone who googled, “Old West Names.” I had just written a post about my vintage poster collection and my fascination with names used by old west icons. So – that search led a new buyer to my work! Isn’t it GREAT!? That’s a GREAT advantage to blogging! Deb

  • Deb, I think you hit the nail on the head. Blogging is terrific for the search engines. Keep at it!

  • Hi Alyson! I want to thank you for your wonderful blog – it’s just full of great information and I read it regularly! I’m a bit late in the game on this, but I hope I can still provide you with some good information that you’re looking for. I’ve had a blog on Livejournal – http://www.livejournal.com/users/chunkygoat – for about a year and a half now, and I just started one on my own site – http://blog.artbycas.com – using WordPress. I use both blogs to show works in progress, announce updates to my website, press releases, exhibitions, ebay auctions, and to give my collectors a bit of an inside view into my art and an easy way to converse with me, etc. I use my Livejournal to network with other artists and to post to the art sales communities to advertise my ebay auctions. I’ve noticed that when I do, about 1/2 the hits on my auctions are from livejournal! Most of my ‘friends’ on Livejournal tend to be fellow artists, although I have gained a couple of collectors through the site. I really like the sense of community – it’s really easy for people to ‘friend’ you, and I think most Livejournal users give their friends page at least a quick glance through almost daily – so anyone who’s ‘friended’ me up gets to see me pretty regularly, since I post almost daily! I use my WordPress blog to post my ebay auctions and new art also, but I have it split into different parts of interest to fellow artists, art collectors, and the general public. It’s still in the beginning stages, but I’m trying to build in more content and I’m working on customizing it. I aim to keep this blog professional and helpful, but at times give it a personal touch that goes hand in hand with the experience of art. Thanks so some of your recent info postings, I’m finding more information on how to promote my blog, so I’m hoping my readership increases soon! I spend entirely too much time blogging and checking out my friends’ blogs – sometimes it takes up most of my morning! I’ve found that I look at my Livejournal friends’ page, but sometimes forget to check out blogs that aren’t on Livejournal – the subscription function that sends me an email when there’s a new post on a blog I’ve subscribed to has been very handy – especially the one to your blog – and keeps me coming back for more! And as far as advice, well, I’m still learning as I go, but I hope some of the information that I find along the way and blog about will help fellow artists! Take Care, and Thanks so much again! Cas

  • Hi Alyson, I was interested to read everyone’s reponses to your questions. I started blogging in Feb. 2005, because I had been to a few blogs that inspired me. At first I was thinking it was a way for me to get back into practice at articulating myself through writing (I was an English major and did a lot of creative writing). But as my blog developed, I realized it was an on-line journal that I could also organize my thoughts, inspirations, photos, drawings in a digital medium which is much easier for me to deal with than in a physical way. I use Blogger to write and post, but post to my own domain name http://www.pamdora.com, because on my own server I can read detailed stats on how many visitors, where they come from, what posts they visit, and where they linked from. I draw in CorelDraw, edit my photos in PhotoShop and upload them with Dreamweaver (which is what I use to edit my website.) This sounds a little convoluted and more complicated than most people probably do, but I feel even though this is a personal journal, it is open to the public and needs to be presented in a clean and professional manner. I post about three times a week (a little less over the holidays) and spend about 6 – 10 hours (maybe more) editing, writing, posting. My theme is that of Art Adventures – because I want to inspire people to see that art can be fun, exciting, and entertaining. To do this I try to have a mix of art, personal experiences, humor, and travel in my blog. Sometimes reading the stats helps me see what people are interested in and respond to. My main goal in blogging is not to sell art, because that is not my main goal in my career right now. I’m only two years into developing a cohesive body of work, and my main goal is to develop my work, my resume of exhibitions, and my identity as an artist. I want to enter the art world at a high level and would rather wait to sell my work later rather than earlier.

  • Just remembered another point I’ve been struggling with. Originally I was posting under my own name. This draws search engines to your blog. But then I realized that search engines were also picking up on every little comment I posted on everyone else’s blog (which is something good to do to reward people who post on your blog and to attract new people who haven’t been there.) I didn’t like all these sometimes trivial comments showing up on a search for my artist’s name, so I changed my user name to my alter-ego PaMdora. Now those trivial comments don’t show up, but also the main posts on my blog don’t show up either. If you can think of a solution to this quandry, let me know!

  • Alyson – Neat blog you have! I’m an Architect who spends a lot of time in the fiber arts when I’m not being an architect. What I love about spinning, embroidery & weaving is the complete freedom & the CONTROL i feel to create as I desire (unfortunately architects don’t nearly have the same creative control in the real world that they have in school – well Boohoo!) and I love it. I’m very influenced by my mother’s thought process but my work is nothing like hers. I use ‘the blog spot’ for my blog & photoshop to edit my images taken by a digital camera. Sometimes I use MSoft Word to edit the code on my blog. I try to post about once in 2 weeks and visit blogs & forums for about 5 hours a week. I’m still a little unsure about who my audience is…but my blog’s my public diary & all are free to read it. Blogging was pretty simple (besides I have a lot of graphic skills from Architecture school). What I have to say to other artists is – “If you feel you have something to say about your art (or art in general) say it. Interpretations are what have kept all art alive! Yours is as good as someone else’s. If there’s a technique/process you’d like to share – do it. It’s very liberating.” My blog is http://yarnahoy.blogspot.com/ and I also administer/design my mother’s blog for her & that is http://creativeembroidery.blogspot.com/ Thanks for asking :)

  • Hi Alyson, I’ve read your advice on blogs for artists and I keep thinking I need one but…in checking out other artists’ blogs (I Googled a couple variations of “artist blog” plus I checked out some of the ones right here) I’ve noticed that the majority of them have no comments posted. It makes me wonder if anyone actually reads them? And if the blogs ARE being read, why don’t people post? My impression is that most of these artists are typing away, but nobody’s listening. Is there some knack to getting your blog read and encouraging comments, is it just luck, or is blogging simply better suited to more controversial subjects like politics where there are clearly defined opinions to blog upon. I saw some of the previous comments about search engines but I’m not clear on how having your blog listed on the search engines is better than having your website on there. Hmmm…I just feel like I’m missing something here. To put it simply, I guess I don’t understand why I need a blog if I already have a website. Most artists blogs seem to be websites but with a lot more commentary. Since maintaining a blog is going to take time, I guess I’d like to know how I can maximise its effectiveness before I jump onto the blog wagon. (BTW, this is my first blog post ever.:-)

  • I am currently blogging on Google’s Blogger. I am not very happy with Blogger’s limitations. As an artist I would love to have some customizable features available to me so I can feature my work/thoughts with more aggressiveness.

    I am also not selfish. It is not all about me! I feature other artists. I like art that matters and artists who are involved. I believe more artists should network with one another.

    I do a fair amount of research online for content. It is very time consuming to filter information on the internet but with practice I have developed tools to get to where I want rather quickly. I have created a theme (considering format limitations) for my blog and I am trying to remain consistent.

    Blogging can be a powerful marketing tool done the right way. I am still trying to find out what ‘the right way’ is!

    All the best

  • Hi Alyson,
    I have my personal website (I hope I will redesign it soon), besides that I had and still have idea of several more websites. I have a domain conteart.com and under that one my blog http://blog.conteart.com (I host it at hostMonster). I think every serious artist should have their own domain name, and learn some website development and marketing basics. With simple scripts or fantastico wordpress installation is piece of cake,… after that possibilities are simple fantastic. You can install some of free themes, find some that fits your needs, leave it as it is, or redesign it.

    All the Best