All the art marketing “gurus/experts” are telling us that we have to blog frequently to attract people to our artist websites. And perhaps if we’re really brave, to follow the advice of a writer (believed by some to be Ernest Hemingway) who said: “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed." (Thank you Alyson Stanfield for this tidbit.)
Okay I’m game. What business wouldn’t want to see more traffic to their website? I’ve always had high hopes of lots of visitors “oohing” and “aahing” at my coastal-themed paintings, that invite them to dream of sand between their toes, of diving into warm turquoise waters, or of sailing away to tropical islands. But according to my decidedly dry and stuffy website analytics, that’s not happening fast enough.
"Beach Palms" © Copyright Barbara Blair
I thought I was doing a fair job of posting on my blog, albeit inconsistently. But, we are told that we have to write at least once or twice a month minimum, otherwise not bother. I’m lucky if I get one a month written with all the other stuff we have to do as artists!
And it’d better be a good story too, so they tell us - revealing all (well maybe not quite all!) our innermost secrets, everything about our art and artist lives, spilling our guts, and somehow make it all sound like such valuable and insightful information that readers, and hopefully buyers, can’t get enough of our brilliance.
Or perhaps what they crave is finding out about our obvious flaws and vulnerability. Why? Well one theory is because many people are addicted to that reality-show stuff on TV. (Never watch it myself - too busy with my secret artist’s life). They have to know everything about us before they’ll connect with and/or like our art, or heaven’s to betsy - trust us enough to consider buying something.
Or in other words, we have to bleed first!
Truth is, I’ve always been a pretty private person - not one to spill the beans on my most private thoughts (except maybe to a few close friends). And I’m also fairly introverted, as are most creative types. If we weren’t so, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do. We have to spend a lot of quality time alone in the silence, to plumb the depths of our imaginings and creative urges. (Wow, that sounds good - almost like a true writer/blogger!)
I often spend several days at a time alone, as happy as a clam in a tide pool, just Being me and doing my artist stuff. But then, when I decide to go out and socialize, sometimes you can’t shut me up! I can be either a chatterbox, or not talk to anyone for days. So, I guess if I have to get into this blogging thing on a regular basis, I’ll have to do it when I’m in the mood for chit-chat, like right now.
And no, I’m not bi-polar or schizophrenic. If you really want to know (and I know you do), that behavior can be attributed to my having a Pisces Ascendant in my astrology chart. Yup, I’m into astrology, too.
The symbol for Pisces is two fishes swimming in the opposite direction, which has caused both confusion and indecision regarding certain directions to take with my art (not to mention some other aspects of my life). A Piscean emphasis also explains why I create mostly ocean, tropical and water-themed paintings, and have to live near the sea. But these astrological insights are a subject for another blog article.
There, maybe I just bled a little??
"Another Day In Paradise"
© Copyright Barbara Blair
Wait, didn’t Ernest Hemingway write that story about the old man and the sea who was trying to hook the big fish? Sounds like that’s one of the main points of blogging. But hey, smaller fish are welcome too. Any size fish will fit as long as you love the sea, as most fish I’ve met do.
Just take the bait and sign up for my blog’s RSS feed, and then I can reel you in with my charming stories, ocean rhymes, occasionally pithy writing, and almost total transparency about my artist lifestyle by the sea in southern California.
I’ll definitely add some more bleeding ... maybe make you smile a little ... and oh yes, post plenty of escapist art for you to consider if you crave the coastal lifestyle. I promise not to bore you. I’m in earnest here.
How am I doing on this transparency thing so far? Ernest would be proud, don’t you think?
I also invite you to sign up for my newsletter. It's sent out about once a month or less, containing photos of my latest work, occasional deals, and more fish tales. I’ll probably be too busy blogging from now on, to send one more frequently - unless I skip sleep, or food, or walks on the beach, all of which I have no intention of doing!