Sunday, December 18, 2011

7 Reasons You Should Be Blogging


I think a lot of artists want to sequester themselves in their studio, nook, or cave and create - it's natural since our work is often very personal. But! The audience we create for wants to know more about us than just browsing our online portfolios. "But Will, what if I don't have an audience?" Here are 7 reasons you should be blogging anyway:

1) Online Journal of Your Progress -So what if you think nobody is reading - do it for you. Being selfish with your blog is a good thing - you'll do more of what you want and ironically that will make your blog more valuable to like minded people.

2) For Your Mom -Your mom wants to know what you're up to and if you're regularly blogging you can get a quick follower by letting her know.

3) Accountability -Having assignments and deadlines are good for us. If you know that you owe your blog an update you'll be more likely to log out of Facebook and get on with working on you - which is a good thing right? Good drawing skills require exercise - get crackin!

4) Learning -If you treat it right you'll actually learn more than if you don't blog. Not all blog posts are the same but sometimes you might want to teach a process, idea, or technique. Inevitably you'll have to look stuff up so you don't sound like a moron (like me) - there, now you're learning.

5) Help Others -Probably the best reason to blog. We're all in this together. I'm a product of many artists and teachers along the way - some I've given credit to - some I've forgotten or don't realize the impact they've had on my career - some I've borrowed from...ok, stolen - but you get the point. We all get help - blogging is a way to repay.

6) Story -Like I mentioned in the beginning - people want to know about the artist behind the art. In fact I'll go as far as saying that most people purchase the artist just as much as the art it's self. I'm constantly surprised and disappointed when I run across an artist's website with great work but no blog. I want to know the human side behind the craftsman. I want to learn from them - know what they're into besides making art.

7) Selling Stuff -Money often gets a bad wrap. Sometimes we look down on those who aren't afraid to come right out and talk about making money or running a business - like we're above it. Let me make a case for money. Everyone wants it and everyone needs it. Without it we don't have a car, home, clothing or food - so money is life. So perhaps #7 should be 7) Making Life (that sounded wrong but you get the point) As artists we have to sell our work in some form be it originals, prints, books, apps, ebooks, cards, stamps, collectibles, animations, etc. Developing a good blog following is a great way to get the word out when you have a new _______ to offer.

I've mentioned why I blog before but I thought I would try to give a more complete list because I know how much it's helped me. When I first started I'll have to admit it seemed really weird. "I'm writing to myself...this is strange...nobody even knows I have a blog...nobody cares...people will laugh at me...I have body odor, etc"

It's never too late to start a blog but if you wait, you'll be that much further behind when you realize, "I should have started last year".

22 comments:

  1. I think it just increases your visibility too. The world is swamped with artists and illustrators, the good, the bad and the mediocre - all competing for work or sales. If you never put your head up and wave every now and then how are the art buyers and commissioners going to know you are there?

    The days of schlepping round all the illustration agents with a folio of work, knocking on doors are long gone, but if they are looking at several new illustrators and one has a lively blog with lots of feedback, I suppose that would suggest their work might have an audience already?

    I'm rambling (pretty much the theme of my blog!) but I'm with you, people want to know what you are about.

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  2. I loved loved your post!! I just started a blog www.diarysketches.blogspot.com
    it has a small audience- and sometimes i think is it worth it?. But i love blogging, drawing writing about my day -so why not. It feels good to hear you legitimize the art of blogging. (Also I'd love to get my name out:)

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  3. Amen Brother! When I started my blog a year and a half ago, I wondered if anyone would read it. I was pleasantly surprised a couple weeks back to top 100,000 page views. I am nowhere near the following you have, but I have fun with it. Knowing that you have people looking forward to your next post helps keep you accountable and motivated to post something worthwhile. I'll just go ahead and poach some of your followers now, since- hey- blogging is about helping others right? www.gregnewbold.blogspot.com. If you like it, there's room to follow me too, right Will?

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  4. I need to share this with an illustrator friend who I have been pushing for years to get a web presence. He doesn't have a website or anything!

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  5. And to add to #5 - people come out of the woodwork fairly often to tell me they've been lurking for a while, and really enjoy my blog, and learned this or that or used my tutorial on whatever for a school project or wanted to share something they did that used my technique, etc. etc. - which always floors me. So you never know. People are out there. And they care about what you have to say!

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  6. Fantastic! Love your reasons why?! And so true - started blogging 3 months ago and I am constantly amazed how much I have learnt and been inspired by seeing so many other artists blogs. I once felt alone and odd in my little artist world but now feel like I'm a part of something incredibly big (still odd but hey...)!
    PS. love your illo too by the way...

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  7. Very true. For me, it's just great knowing that anything that I create is somewhere visible...rather than in the back of a cupboard collecting dust!

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  8. So many good points - I think I should have probably made 8 or 9 on the list and exposure if definitely one of them..I was messaging an editor at Greenwillow a few months back and she said that she finds illustrators by "blog hopping". Sure she gets post cards and browses source books but a lot of her artists come from blogs.

    Russ - force feed him :)

    Paula P. So right - the followers widget is not really a good indicator of traffic. I'll bet it only accounts for 3-5% - A lot of people like to remain anonymous for a variety of reasons. I think the main point is - do it for you - have fun with it and if it gives you more than you were expecting it's a bonus.

    Karen and Paula D. it's almost a declaration as an artist don't you think? "Here I am world!"

    Thanks Laura and Greg! - we're all connected!

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  9. Excellent points! There was an article out today regarding how creative types are going to be managing their careers more themselves than with middlemen in the future. I think one way of doing that is getting your work seen and creating a following. It's nice to be able to encourage and be encouraged too. You are right we are all in this together and learning to navigate the changing waters. A blog is a good tool for that.

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  10. Wonderful post Will! All great points. All familiar feelings. The greatest thing about having a blog for me has been the relationships that you build with people that you might never have known otherwise. I've met the most wonderful people and have freinds all over the world. Blogging makes the world a little cozier.

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  11. Oh, wow, I forgot to say that I love the illustration :)

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  12. They are all so true and I love number two...

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  13. I recently found you blog and have spent the last week or two reading the entire thing from start to finish...I for one appreciate your blog, you have now been added to my list of Art Hero's. I have recently acquired an ipad and your brushes art his inspired me to "finger" paint again. Thank you for the time you put into your blog...hoping one day mine is as informational...

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  14. Thanks again guys!

    Patti - I'd love to get a link to that article if you can still find it!

    Thanks Karen, Kristen, and Faruffa!

    Wow Dustin! I'm speechless!

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  15. I always have guilt comin here and seeing how hard your workin and how much of a slacker I am....happy holidays sir! Will have to do lunch some day soon

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  16. Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to you and your family Will :)

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  17. I typically feel like no one is reading my blog (especially when I check the stats and see nothing but a flat line for the month). But just the other day, someone who I've never met and am not facebook acquaintances with posted a message to my blog. When I looked him up, I was surprised (and happy) to discover that he was a visual development artist at a very well known company. I can't tell you how uplifting that was. I have no idea how he came across my blog, but it was enough to make me want to keep blogging. You just never know who might see it!

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  18. Thanks Michael and Mel :) - I didn't want to make anyone feel guilty - just motivational hopefully. Thanks Karen - hope you can relax now that the hustle and bustle is over.

    Thanks Dark Kristal! you said it perfectly! It's about doing it for you - eventually if you're pouring your heart into it people will find you.

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  19. Thanks for the insight and tips! Like reading your blogs so I decided to start one myself in hopes of getting more exposure. I was reluctant at first cause I never know what to say or think people aren't going to be interested in what I have to say. So took the dive and as time goes on it will get easier right? Better late than never! :)

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  20. I like your work so much!!!!.I´m an illustrator,too,and I really think,that all ur work,is Amazbg!!!!

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