Monday, April 18, 2016

Post 1600

This padfolio could be yours!
As I noticed I was coming up on my 1600th post, the number struck me as auspicious, worthy of pointing out, a perfect pairing with another Austin Kleon post I've been saving to share, and calling for a giveaway. It's the giveaway part that's been holding up this post. I've decided to go with this padfolio which, in all honesty, is what's known as a "second" - a product that in some way, generally cosmetic, doesn't meet the specifications of the manufacturer. That's what happened here, a cosmetic flaw that the public may not have recognized but which glared at me, one I've played with a bit to make less obvious before letting it out into the world. It doesn't affect its usability but I can't in good conscience take money for it. And so - I'm giving it away!

Some wonder if blogging has become passe, insisting that no one reads them anymore what with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. I still maintain that blogs are important and a richer, deeper, less fleeting expression worthy of the writer's, as well as the reader's, time. For someone who wants to "show their work" (as in the steps leading to the final product), it's a great format - at least it has been for me - and the feedback in the comments tells a fuller story than a simple click on a "like" button.  Started during a difficult time when I couldn't motivate myself into the studio, I used it as "someone" to be accountable to, "someone" who would be sitting out there wondering why I wasn't posting progress. More than 10 years later, I still feel a responsibility to my readers that often gets me off my duff and getting something done so I can blog about it. So thank you for sticking with me!

That brings me to Austin Kleon's blog post: 3 Reasons Why You Should Show Your Work. He's written a book on the value of showing your work and as is his way, he makes simple sense, no reason to be embarrassed. The following three reasons, I realized, are pretty much why I blog.
  1. Documenting your process helps your progress.
    Keeping track of what you’ve done helps you better see where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re headed. It’s also a great way to hold yourself accountable — if you dedicate yourself to sharing a tiny bit of your process every day, you’re forced to actually do the work you should be doing.
  2. Sharing your process reaps the benefits of self-promotion without the icky feelings.
    People are often just as interested in how you work as much as the work itself. By sharing your process, you invite people to not only get to know your work, but get to know you — and that can lead to new clients, new projects, and all sorts of other opportunities.
  3. Building an audience for what you do creates a valuable feedback loop.
    Christopher Hitchens said the best thing about putting out a book is that it’s a “free education that goes on for a lifetime.” As you gain fans and followers by sharing your work, they will, in turn, share with you. Even when the feedback is bad, it can lead you down new paths.
 There you have it - great reasons to show your work, great reasons to blog about it. And now I'd like to hear from you. In order to qualify for the giveaway, leave a comment below telling me your favorite thing about my blog. Is it sharing of my process or what inspires me? Is it introducing you to other artists or bringing you along to exhibits? Perhaps you enjoy my "deep thoughts" quotations and musings, or discovery of tools and products or techniques. Whatever it is that brought you here and brings you back, that you look forward to seeing or hearing about, that you wish there was more of or even less of, I'd like to know. You'll have until next Monday (April 25) to add a comment, and if you are "anonymous" or "unknown" designation, be sure to add your name to your comment. I can't wait to hear what you have to say!


cdevsol said...

Good to show your work. Great way to attract interest. Charles DeVore

Living to work - working to live said...

Sheila - your second paragraph so resonates with me. That's why I blog! It gets me off my backside too. If I didn't I think the work would just slip and I would end up in a spiral of self loathing.

You referenced the Facebook v Blogging thing too. Again, you're spot on IMHO. Too easy to press like. No thought involved. ( though, as you know, I do love a meander round Facebook).

And 1600 posts! I'm a lightweight compared to you!

H xxx

Emma said...

This padfolio looks wonderful - can't see a thing wrong with it so you must have a very critical eye! Found you at the Quilters Tea Party & delighted to meet you. I like a blog that inspires & informs & is a 'month' in the life of' an artist kind of thing, that's what I like to think my blog is. FB has lessened my posting I'm sorry to say but it hasn't managed to kill i - I shall carry on for me if anybody. And altho I love Yoga & have learned to meditate I cannot believe that sitting on your butt waiting for the universe to 'speak' to you (last post) is the answer, it's definitely 'got to find you working'...hard. Anyway, please count me in!

The Inside Stori said...

What an insightful post….thank you. AND….I couldn’t agree more…..the heck with Twitter etc., with the 15 second - Sesame Street approach to communication. I too have personally benefited by having a blog AND learned so much from other generous blog posters!!

Marybeth said...

All of the suggested reasons you mentioned are why I love this blog (and many others.) I love the varied topics each day. These are what keep me excited about working with different ideas and materials. I love the conversations they start with others I know who follow your work. Keep feeding us all the good stuff, please!

Chris said...

I still love blogs. I am not a big fan of facebook or some of the other social networking things. Plus your blog is always thoughtful with interesting topics as well as your work and process. A few times I have thought about deleting my blog and stopping the blogging thing. But then I think at least I have a history of what I have been doing for the past several years. That to me is useful even if I don't get many people reading or commenting on my blog.

Michele Matucheski said...

Yes--It's good to show your work. You have a record of how you did what if you want to revisit it in future, and do it again. And a record to show how much you've done, your productivity, so to speak. Otherwise things get lost in an outta-sight-outta mind kind of way. That said, I do like the fact that your blog shares your process, and that it has such variety -- from art quilts to beading to sketching to dying fabric to photography to philosophical musings on creativity. There's enough variety to keep anyone interested! That said, I'd LOVE to have another one of your padfolios. They make great travel companions! ;-)

Unknown said...

I like the variety you include.

Unknown said...

Previous comment by

Charlton Stitcher said...

I can't remember how I first came to your blog but I do know why I keep visiting again and again. For me, blogging is a way of exchanging ideas, so I like to see process - it is always fascinating to see how artists reach their finishing points - and I like to see work that is very different from my own. I especially enjoy your use of colour - vibrant and delicious, and a great contrast with my current preoccupation with black and white.

Susan Sawatzky said...

You will pick me, you will pick me, you will pick man, need for celebration, we are doing well.


Anonymous said...

You don't know it, we've never met, but you were my first friend in Idaho. I googled "Idaho quilt blog" and there you were. It was a little scary thinking of moving 1400 miles away, leaving family and friend behind, but when hubby and I retired we fell in love with No. Idaho and began making plans to relocate. You showed me good places to hike (still haven't made it to Farragut), places to eat, about the Farmers Market and more. I would have my coffee and you would share your trials and tribulations with me. I thought if half of the people in Sandpoint were as nice as you, this would be a good move. Now that we've settled in our forever home, I not only anguished and exhilarated with you over each step of "MASKS", but I got to see it in person! Beautiful!
My own blog is getting off to a rocky start but Post 1600 gave me lots to ponder. Most of the blogs I followed in the past showed completed projects almost daily and certainly weekly. How to compete? And when I would post something I would feel a little icky, like I'm bragging or self congratulating. Who likes THOSE people? But like Austin Kleon states "documenting your process helps your progress." And what better way to reward yourself and your readers but by eventually posting the finished project? Unlike Mr Kleon's audience, I have no aspirations of garnering clients, and as I realize my memory it not getting better with age, I really just want to keep a record of the things I am doing and a history of the little things that bring me joy each day. And if that is of interest to someone then it's a win-win.
So, although I am already the proud owner of one of your stunning padfolios, I would be thrilled with a "second". (Pun intended 😉) It would fit nicely in my traveling sewing case to record notes and references I pick up during classes and want to look up later. Please put me in your drawing. And keep blogging.
Your web friend,
Renee S.

Sent from my iPad

Mary D said...

It is always a pleasure to see others work and the process. I love how creativity has no bounds and the magic of it all. I blog to just hold it out there as what I love with no expectation or need to explain why I do it as creative people get it. Your use of materials, color and function always make me smile. I do not have the artist eye you have but I have the desire to let my creativity be mine knowing beauty abounds in all forms. Love your padfolio art.

Nikki said...

I love your blog because of your honest, in- depth discussions of your process. I'm fascinated by how artists work and you really lay it all out so well.