7 compelling reasons why you need a blog if you're an artist
“Words hurt my brain.”
“I’ve never really thought about writing or blogging much.”
“I suck at words.”
These are the actual words of artists. Really freaking great artists. These are the artists and crafters who are ridiculously talented at what they do. They are the experts. They’re actual, real artists.
These artists aren’t starving, but they’re not making millions. If only they could get their art “out there” or "hit that big break."
Your art needs words.
Words are art too.
The easiest way to complement your art is to wrap it in some words.
If you’re an artist and you’re not blogging, you might be missing out. Here are some reasons why:
1. Sell more art and make more money
Unless you don’t care about making money. If you don’t care about making money then you have a hobby. Not a business. There is absolutely zero shame in wanting to make money. Money supports you and your family and can help you make more art.
Customers aren’t flocking to your website and online portfolio because Google doesn’t know how to read pictures. It knows words. If you start blogging, art-loving people will start finding your website, discover your work, throw all their dollars at you and you get to be a crazy-haired artist making like a maker in your workshop til 2 am with pleasure.
2. Strategically sell your work
Maybe you have an oil painting that’s been taking up too much real estate in your workshop or gallery, and you want to get it out. You can write a series of blog posts about this piece—what you were thinking when you painted it, show the progression of your work, and talk about the meaning. Then, link to where people can buy it. You’ll have better chances of selling it this way than having it leaned up against your workbench.
3.Connect with your customers by showing off your personality
I know, I know. I’m an introvert too, and I could happily sit in Starbucks all day long typing away on my MacBook with earbuds in my ears and only glancing up at the humans around me every 20 minutes.
People want to connect with makers of things. When you can create a connection with your customers and let them in on who you are, what you care about, and little details of your personality and home life they feel like they know you. People buy more from people they know and are more likely to spread the good word to all their friends. Because they want to be associated with the likes of you and your art.
4. Explain your art
If you’ve stood at a booth at an art show, you had a great opportunity to chat with potential buyers about your work. When a passerby says, “Oh, I love that piece.” I bet you went into explaining the details about it, what it means, what was happening in your life that prompted you to make that piece of work. I know this because this is what I do when I look at art. I want to talk to the artist. When friends compliment your work that’s hanging on my walls or my necklace, I want to be able to tell them all about the meaning behind it.
There’s no need to overthink it. Even if you have a description of your work, you can go deep in any direction.
5. Writing about your art will make your art better
There’s something to be said for creative cross training. If you sing, try painting. I know I can show up at a blank page more fully if I’ve been doodling or painting recently.
6. Blogging will keep you accountable
If you have a hard time finishing paintings if you share your progress each week on your blog you might be able to stay on track and put the finishing touches on more pieces of work. You can also track your progress each day and compile all the progress into a single blog post. Your blog readers will get some insight into just how much time and meticulous effort goes into each piece.
7. You can inspire others
You’re an expert at your craft and are constantly refining your skills. Imagine you eight years ago. Wouldn’t you have loved learning from someone who was just a few years ahead of you? You have your mentors, and you can be a mentor to a lesser-experienced mentee. You can teach some of your skills in your blog and then branch out into teaching workshops and make more face-to-face connections.
If you start blogging today, you’ll be amazed by this time next year. Getting started is hard. I liken it to getting that first brushstroke on a blank canvas. As time goes on, you’ll get better, you’ll have more readers, and you’ll sell more art. And selfishly, because I love reading about artists, I want to read your blog.
Will you tell me when you launch your blog so I can be your biggest fan? Have questions about starting a blog? Email me!
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And if you need someone to kick your butt to get you writing, you might be a great fit for Write Like a MOFO.