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Is blogging for me?
Online editor of Artsts talking Andrew Bryant addresses some typical concerns about starting a blog
I don’t have time to keep a blog, I’d rather be in the studio making work
A blog can form part of your studio practice by providing the structure for reflexive thought. We all know how difficult it is to ‘think’ about our own work and writing is one of the ways to make thinking more productive, by following a train of thought ‘with pen in hand’. With the added awareness of an audience, no matter how big or small, we have someone in mind to address our thoughts to. Artists have always kept daybooks and journals to reflect on what they are doing, why not write your blog entries in the studio as a way of focusing yourself for a days work?
I am worried that my ideas will be so public that others might use them
The art world is made of ideas and artists are constantly taking and developing one another’s concepts, techniques and styles. Art is a conversation, an exchange, where we can all be inspired by and learn from each other. Any artist with integrity knows that to simply take another’s ideas and reproduce them verbatim is not what art is about. It is the highest form of flattery when another artist likes your work so much that they learn something from it about their own development. What is most likely to happen is that you will find other like-minded artists wanting to have a conversation with you and to share and compare ideas via the blog platform.
Like many visually oriented and creative people, I am not a very confident writer
The wonderful thing about the blog, as opposed to other forms of writing, is that it is not important how well you write. A blog is an informal space where you can be yourself, in fact this is one aspect of what makes blogs attractive to readers, the feeling that you are in an intimate exchange with the writer. Because of the inherent linear structure of a blog, you can be very loose, which means you can blend poetic forms with images and video. Some blogs are entirely made up of images and/or video entries, negating any need for the written word at all. Above all, blogs are an inclusive, democratic community with a shared desire for communication in any form.
I want to wait until I have a finished project because I am unsure of what I am doing
As a space to unfold ideas blogs thrive on the unknown. Readers will follow your thinking as it develops and you can take us with you on your journey towards uncovering your ideas, motivations and processes. The beauty of the blog is in this risk – you just don’t know where it will lead you. As a space for an ongoing dialogue with yourself the blog is a useful way to attract attention to your work. You can bring it to the attention of prospective commissioners, gallery owners and project coordinators and you don’t need to have completed projects to do this.
I’m not sure if my work is interesting or good enough
Everyone’s work is interesting if you are interested by it, and in a blog you can express that interest and enthusiasm, and not just in your own work but in the work of others. Many good bloggers speak as much about other artists as they do about themselves, striking up a dialogue between works and ideas. Blogging is also about being interested in other blogs and creating dialogues between your blog and other’s blogs. If you are excited by art, and want to have a conversation about it, it will show in your blog. As long as you are proactive about making relationships you will have people interested in what you have to say.
There are many blog hosting sites, how do I chose which one is right for me?
Blogspot, Wordpress and many other sites provide a space to house your blog. It’s a good idea to look at as many options as possible, taking time to find out what works and what doesn’t work. Many bloggers have more than one blog to maximise their coverage. The benefit of having a blog on Artists talking is that you are already at the centre of a well respected and well known platform for artistic discussion and debate: everyone is familiar with a-n. Plus, whereas most blog platforms cover hundreds, if not thousands of topics, and contain probably millions of blogs, Artists talking is a relatively small community of dedicated art blogs, so you are within easy access to other like-minded people who want to share their ideas and discus their work and the work of others.
I don’t have a subscription to a-n, can I still create a blog?
Yes, you don’t need to be a subscriber to a-n to keep an Artists talking blog. In fact setting up a blog is very straightforward. Just register to create a user account (if you're already a subscriber just login), go to 'Start a blog' under 'Have your say' on the left hand side of the homepage and get blogging! Posting blog FAQs »
If you have any other questions or suggestions about blogging, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Online editor of Artists talking
First published: a-n.co.uk January 2011
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