The good news is I’m still blogging. The bad news is I’m not really sure why. Or how.
Best Laid Plans
I’m a planner. Actually, I’m an over-planner. You would not believe how much planning went into this blog before I ever wrote a post. I was pretty sure I had it all figured out. My focus. My goal. My plan.
Every week, as I continue to think and learn about art, and make stuff, and think about how to blog about thinking and learning about art and making stuff, everything shifts. I guess it’s a good thing, because the purpose of this blog is to help me work through all the crapola that comes with the urge to make art. And each week I seem to be learning more about myself and what works and doesn’t work for me.
Misery, Thy Name is Blog
Blogging is a pain in the butt. Seriously. It’s not like the olden days when your blog could just be an online diary of sorts. Nowadays you have to have optimized images for every post, and an optimized social media sharing schedule, and optimized keywords for SEO, and optimized affiliate links and backlinks and deep links and interlinks. I’ve read just about EVERYTHING there is to read on the subject of successful blogging, and it’s just too much work. If my blog were about blogging, as so many seem to be these days, no problem. But my blog is about making art. And I can’t work my full-time job and make art and run a successful blog about it without cloning myself at least once.
So I’m not going to worry about successful blogging. This might sound familiar. I was heading in this direction in my previous post about “stepping away from the blog.” This is another shift in that same direction. I’ll try to post regularly, like at least once a week, but that’s all I can promise.
My dream is not to become a famous blogger, so I’ll leave all the super duper advice about successful blogging to those who do have that dream. I’m going to peel a decade off this system and just have an online journal here. For me. I don’t have readers anyway, so who’s gonna care?
I’ll have images sometimes, if I feel inspired to make one that goes with the post, or if I have art to share. I’ll toss in a few keywords here and there, and share my posts to social media when I think of it. But I forbid myself to stress over the optimization of anything except for my own learning and enjoyment.
Oh, and Another Thing
Because it’s fun to scrap everything I’ve spent time working on and constantly have to start over in new directions, I’m ditching my art syllabus. After thinking long and hard about a lot of things, I just don’t think it’s the right time for me to focus on becoming an excellent artist in terms of drawing and painting. I will still do those things, hopefully regularly, and try to get better. As I mentioned before, graphic design is the only creative activity that doesn’t cause me undue anxiety. I’ve done it before, and it made me happy and was an excellently varied creative outlet. I’m not giving up on drawing and painting and doodling, but I’m going to put my focus on graphic design.
Of course, when I say ‘graphic design,’ I don’t mean anything fancy. Just putting some words and graphics on a page in a pleasing arrangement. Way back when I designed buttons, and up until about two weeks ago, I thought I had to do everything on my own. But now I know better. I can buy beautiful images and backgrounds and textures (complete with all the licensing rights, of course) and use those in my designs. Apparently, that’s what real graphic designers do. They don’t actually get in Illustrator and draw every single image they need. Who knew!?
So I’m going to work on playing around with other people’s graphics in my designs and see what I come up with. Then I’m going to resurrect my Zazzle store (I LOVE Zazzle!) and see what happens. Maybe it’ll bring in a little income to allow me to buy the Adobe products. Maybe not, but it won’t cost me anything but time in the process.
To Sum Up
There you have it. This week, painting is out and graphic design is in. Blogging is out and Zazzle is in. I’m sure I’ll reinvent the whole thing again next week, and the week after, and this blog will just turn into one long series of posts about what the blog will be. I’m okay with that.