Face Making

Artist Gwenn Seemel’s bilingual blog about art, portraiture, free culture, and feminism.

On blogging and being a better artist

2010 . 02 . 17 - Comments / Commentaires (3)

Today is the second birthday of my blog, and, in the last two years, my forum has done me more good than I could have imagined.

Starting out, I knew a thing or two about blogs. For one thing, they’re supposed to be wickedly hard to keep up; for another, they’re meant to help artists connect with people by turning their websites into conversations instead of brochures. But, after two years of keeping up and connecting, it’s clear that my blog is much more than that to me.

I’ve always had a tendency to talk too much. And that’s fine in my everyday life, but fairly early on in my career I realized that it wouldn’t fly in the professional sphere. I needed to distill my message and myself into a more easily understood package. I had to figure out just how I wanted to come across to people—whether that was clients, venues, or journalists. I struggled with this a good deal before I started my blog, but, once Face Making got rolling, I began to develop a voice. I learned to edit out the less interesting bits and to phrase things just how I wanted them.

Portland Business Journal, photo by Cathy Cheney

And that means that when the Portland Business Journal calls wanting to interview me for an article about artists and the recession, I am more prepared than I might otherwise be. And that makes the journalist’s questions more fun than intimidating.

I love blogging about my painting process by including step-by-step images of my work in as many posts as possible, but that was something I knew I would do before I started Face Making. It wasn’t until I embraced the discipline of posting an article once or twice a week that I realized that I have a lot more than process shots that I want to talk about. I soon started writing about the business of art and copyright law as well as portraiture’s special challenges.

Through my blog, I discovered that I could still talk too much, but at least now I’m learning how to say a lot more…!

- The artist’s self-esteem
- How to write an artist’s statement
- Words, words, words…

CATEGORIES: - English - Business of art -

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(3) Comments / Commentaires: On blogging and being a better artist

-- joshua -- 2010 . 02 . 17 --

But Danger to wanna-be blogger painters like myself.
It can fill your head with things to say to everyone, instead of Painting.
I think Gwenn can not be imitated as a person that blogs.
She is too good a writter/essayist. Its not so easy.
Your life must be balanced and prioritize or you will blather instead of paint.
IT IS DANGEROUS. The whole information world is, to a painter.
Painters must be thinking about which white works best for them on a particular painting etc. etc.
Gwen has pulled off a really hard thing=She can do both. She knows how to write. Her blogs could be published in a book form.  They are quality. They are amazingly well-written essays.
That is so rare.
And of course, she keeps pumping out satisfying work.
So, happy 2nd birthday and Please, Please keep it up!

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-- Jaime Lyerly -- 2010 . 02 . 17 --

I never thought of a blog as being a place where people who like to talk a lot could express themselves, but it is totally true!

This is a great little post and shows how much blogging does actually help you as an artist.

I have been blogging for over a year now and I also take pictures of my process. I find it is easier to write in my blog than it is to format pictures for the step by step ones. Those are the posts that I procrastinate on.

So glad to find your site (found you through Linda Womack on Twitter).

Jaime Lyerly

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-- An'Angelia Thompson -- 2010 . 02 . 17 --

Happy Blog, Birthday, Gwenn! This is a great post. Thanks for sharing.  I started a blog a year ago and didn’t do much with it.  I had a mental block about expressing things that aren’t perceived as being art related.  This year, I’ve given myself permission to write about the process of life instead of the process of art and I’m having a blast. Will anyone be interested? Who knows. It’s a true act of giving and I like having it there to fall back on for reflection.

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