I'm hosting my second workshop on Blogging for Visual Artists, and when I mention it to people, I keep getting the question, "Why would a visual artist need a blog?" And, to be candid, I'm not sure why a visual artist would need a blog. I believe everyone's needs are different, and not everyone "needs" a blog. The question begs more questions:
- "Do you have something important to share?"
- "Do you enjoy writing down your thoughts?"
- "How do you think about your own creative process?"
I realize that a blog is not for everyone, visual artists included. However, I have found that there are some great visual art/ist blogs that use all the best practices, and include strong visual imagery, as well as their words. A quick list includes:
Each has different reasons for blogging, and some of these may have stopped updating along the way. Reasons for blogging are as varied and many as artists. I can't say why someone needs a blog, or why they don't. I can only share my own experiences, and am happy to do so.
My past blogs have been word based and image based. The first blog I really dedicated myself to was a personal musings blog, opinion based and meandering. I've since given up writing on that blog, but it exists in perpetuity (as all things do on the internet.) Another blog I am proud of is the documentation of a project that I am involved in, The Yoko Ono Wish Tree Project by The Betsy - South Beach. I was responsible for the execution of this annual art project, from start to finish - and involved the "harvesting" of wish tags from a living tree. This project has a special place in my heart, and I've collected images of the wishes over the years. If you're interested, you can browse the wishes HERE.
As I prepare for the next workshop, I'm excited to hear everyone's ideas and experiences. I find that my own blogging has focused more on my creative process as it relates to my digital arts, my approach to creating content that I find interesting, and my exploration of the blog for communicating ideas. I haven't used it to reflect on my own body of work, Family Myths, as I thought I would.
I envisioned a blog rich with the stories of creating the work, maybe with videos of the progression of each piece - documenting every moment of the transformation of the work, as does a new mother with her first child. Instead, I've been writing my musings and processes in a sketchbook, a collection of drawing, thoughts, and ideas that have formed and informed each piece. Once I have the body of work completed (if I ever really get to the end of making this work), I will have the sketchbook to look back on as a documentation of my process.
I also have social media posts across Facebook and Instagram that I've shared along the way, eager to share my work in the shallow pool that social media provides. A quick scan of my own Instagram profile shows an artist's life, with images of daily grind, the making of work and everything else that informs the creative process. In retrospect, I should have been building the process on this blog instead. SEO and web traffic aside, the blog becomes a singular space for my collected thoughts, images, and ideas. If I get really good at the cataloging of my posts, I'll be able to collect the entries by category, too - further filtering out the noise of the internet and even my own unrelated thoughts.
A focused look at my own creative process, to learn from and to grow through.
Maybe that's why a visual artist needs a blog.