Grab a cup of joe, people, this is a long one. If you have any complaints, let it be known that I blame Neda, Debi and Irene for this. Beverly a little bit too. But not Frances, or Fawzan. Well, maybe Fawzan a little.
I first started blogging a long, long, long time ago – last March in fact, so not long in the hours and days sense but in more esoteric ways. It was at the urging of hubby, financial wizard by day, watercolourist the rest of the time. He had been blogging himself for a while, partly to force himself into a discipline of creating works, whether sketches or full paintings, through this online artist diary.
I love what he does on his blog, he’s fearless about showing his work process, warts and all. He doesn’t fear criticism, and uses others’ input in a valuable, constructive manner. That’s admirable, considering how fragile artists’ egos are. Believe me, I know, because I have to deal with them not only in my family, but in my fledgling online gallery.
I hadn’t really done any blurfing* (thanks for that one, Julie!) prior to blogging myself, and didn’t really know what to expect. I certainly didn’t expect to connect (in all senses of the word) with such amazing, warm and wonderful, creative people so easily, so intimately, so rapidly. I’d read about how virtual reality is a space where anonymity is key, but what I’ve found is exactly the opposite: this is the one place where you choose to be yourself and you choose to show yourself. It is a different kind of reality, one not as encumbered by familial or social constraints, obligations and other ritual (although there is ritual involved, but that’s for some other post).
My blog was supposed to be a vehicle for helping me stretch out a little bit – I had started a newsletter for the gallery, but found it a little constraining: the format, the subjects that would be suitable, the style. Plus, to be honest, it wasn’t being read by that many, and with all the effort that went into it, I wanted more. I felt that there were so many interesting, little and big discoveries out there, a lot of enjoyable and silly/funny tidbits, not really suitable for a “serious” art website. I enjoy writing, and I enjoy the creative process of it all, and this was going to be a fun thing to try.
But most of all, I secretly wanted to emulate dear hubby, and find a way to force myself to get back to my own long-dormant, atrophied artistic self. Early on in this blog, I tried to get back to sketching and drawing, but found that whatever had been immobilizing me was not going to go away so easily. I really, really wanted a graphic for each post. I knew that this was the only way to have some discipline both in keeping a good-looking blog, and getting those creative juices flowing again. When I kicked dear ol’ sister out the blog window (so she can take flight by herself, not because I’m a meanie), I couldn’t rely on her bottomless trove of goodies anymore, so I had to find something quick and fairly presentable (I do have some standards).
Struggling with pen and paper was out of the question at that point, I would’ve had to run back to my old therapist to resolve that one and I wasn’t about to try and fix it this way. Not then, at least. And not before I win the lottery either. So I turned to digital art (with a small a, Irene).
And lo and behold, I found it! It being my little vacation, and my new doodling tool. Since I’d also like to do more design work – I’m tired of creating commercial/corporate logos, illos and designs for cheap-to-free for friends and acquaintances – this was also the perfect combo: exercise my digital design skills AND illustrate my posts.
Now you can go about your day, buoyed and enriched by this profoundly important bit of knowledge. There’s a lot more where that came from but I have to stop now. Be warned though, I’ll be picking this up again later this week, and giving you even more fascinating things to read. I need more tea now. Today is a coffee-free day for me. Endless source of compelling info, me.
* compound word of (pick one):
A) blah and smurfing
B) blue and morphing
C) block and turfing
D) blog and surfing