Blog it to flog it.
After my last two blogs there was a flutter of activity on Twitter and then I got an offer.
My blog about part time artists on a-n struck a chord with a lot of artists. It got a lot of attention, mainly on Twitter. I have started to feel connected to other artists through the blog and through all the surrounding retweets and responses.
I have not met very many of the people I am communicating with through this peculiar modern medium but with the ones I have met I found the common ground established by the blog and it’s digital wash very useful as a basis for starting or rather continuing conversations. I think I am talking about networking, something I have never considered my strong point.
I may have mentioned that I started this blog as part of a strategy. I currently feel that I have had quite a random relationship with career planning, my careers to date have tumbled rather than flowed. However, when I left Redlees studios in west London just over 2 years ago I did have an underlying aim which was to push myself out of that comfort zone and out into the (art) world. I was advised that writing a blog would be one way to start putting my name onto a sort of shared public agenda.
What is interesting is that something has started to happen. I am getting more and more small signs that my writing is being read, that my name is getting around in a modest way that would be hard to do through personal encounters. The fact is that writing blogs and firing off tweets is a lot easier than getting your work shown. The amount of organisation, time, money and administration involved in getting works into exhibitions is phenomenal compared to the ease of getting published as a blogger and then telling the world all about it through social media.
The tools are here
The tools are at your fingertips if you are connected through the web. The main obstacle is believing you have something to say. I have been surprised at the richness of the material I have discovered by making this minor commitment to keep writing posts. To date I have managed about one every month on average. It is time consuming, I would have expected to prefer to be making but writing has it’s attractions – exercising a different part of my mind, building compositions and arguments with words is a challenge and it is creative in a very different way to making or drawing.
Meanwhile in real life
The offer I mentioned above is that I have been invited to contribute some work to a themed show. The connection is predominantly through this blog. I am sure this would not have happened if I had not put my head above the parapet in this way. I will be publishing details and tweeting all about the show when it comes to fruition but for now this feels like a Great Leap Forward, a plan that is showing tiny signs that it is starting to work. I am telling you this not just to show off (that may come later) but to encourage anyone that is considering blogging. Blogs can make things happen, if not in an entirely predictable way, certainly more has happened for me than was happening before I started to blog.
I do not underestimate the barriers to starting writing, after all I have waited decades before I started but here’s some points to consider.
– Blogging can build your confidence by connecting you with other artists.
– Writing is a great exercise in organising your thoughts.
– The organisation involved in writing helps you when you are talking about your work.
– Blogging raises your profile in a way that is complimentary to showing your work.
– Writing is creative in itself and like any creative act, it makes other things happen.