It's Thanksgiving Week, so I want to offer a big Thank You to everyone who reads this blog - and an even bigger Thank You to those who leave comments. There'd be little point in blogging if there weren't readers out there smiling at the Ancient Artist or throwing paint brushes at her. So, when I received the following comment to the post "Sometimes You Need To Shake Things Up", I wanted to write a longer answer than what I might normally leave in the comments field.
I'm wondering how you got into blogging, as an additional expression of your work? Or to satisfy that other creative urge, writing? My wife is the painter and I'd like to do some blogging about art, especially hers, but I can't seem to figure out how it is done - nearing 70 and always interested in ancient history, I initially took your blog to be about archeology - be well, Jan (H F Jansen & Carole Estrup, )
I know many of you found this blog because you were searching the Internet for ancient art.
There you were, innocently looking for information about Greek statues and the there I was, hanging out between cave art and the Egyptian Pharaohs. So, that's lesson number one -- perhaps finding your readers through such a roundabout manner is not the best plan for a successful blog.
However, Ancient Artist is what popped into my head when I first thought about writing a blog. And I knew if I worried about finding the perfect name, I'd never take the plunge.
So...I went with my first inspiration: it describes me and the intended audience for this blog, but a word to the wise - see that little painting to the right? The title is "Between a Rock and a Blue Plate, (oil on panel, 6 x 6, @ sue smith 2008). It pretty much describes your situation once you name your blog and get going, so give it some thought.
How did I get into blogging? Because of Alyson B. Stanfield, The Art Biz Coach, through one of her excellent on-line art career classes - and if you haven't taken any of these, I would highly recommend them. Alyson has an easy way of nudging you toward reaching your goals. If you aren't up to an on-line class, her book, I'd Rather Be In The Studio has been invaluable to me.
But back to blogging...yes, it functions as a way for me to write, and to clarify my thoughts about my work. It keeps me thinking about the bigger picture in terms of being a professional artist, the business side as well as the creative and philosophical side of things. It forces me to set deadlines and offers a structure for accomplishing my goals.
For the first several months, my posts were merely a way to figure out what blogging was all about. I was learning how to use the templates, upload photos, and experiment with what I wanted this blog to be.
I eventually decided Ancient Artist was an Encouragement Blog, where I share what I learn with other artists, and they share with me. I also started a Studio Blog , and the focus of that blog is my artwork and studio tips. The audiences for each of these blogs may have some overlap, but I think of them as two separate groups.
So, after you've picked out a great name, and you've decided what type of blog you want to write, you need to decide on the service you want to use.
Ancient Artist is a Typepad blog. Sue Smith's Studio is a Blogger blog.
Typepad offers a lot of features but there is a monthly fee. Blogger, which is a free service from Google, is nearly as functional and very user friendly. If you already have a website you have all the computer skills you need -- able to take, resize, and upload digital photos, type in rich text -- you don't even need to worry about html because the sites take care of that for you.
Set up a Google account for email if you don't have one already. This will be the first step and when you go directly to the Blogger website you will be asked to set this up. Next, use the drop-down menu to find Blogger - mine is listed under the "more" tab. It's very easy to get started, although it may take you an afternoon to decide on the template and colors you want, and fill in all the information. Blogger is easy and intuitive. As you get more comfortable with the format you will soon be adding widgets (those fun things in the sidebar) and polishing up your presentation.
The other real reason to blog is the creation of community with your fellow artists, your collectors, and interested people in general. You start conversations and find interesting, talented people who share your interests and artistic passions.
And it is for this artistic community for which I am most thankful.
Happy blogging. I look forward to reading what you write.