Sunday, May 3, 2009

belinda kemp : artists who blog

Belinda's blog:
Belinda's shop:

Why did you decide to start a blog?

Initially I resisted the idea – i had no understanding of the blogging world and how blogging could work for me. But it finally clicked when i met some vibrant and lovely bloggers/etsy sellers at a local etsy catchup who's advice was loud and clear: start a blog!

How did you come up with the name of your blog?

my blog and shop name is a variation on the name we had chosen for a baby girl - misty gretchen! {we have 2 boys}. misty is a childhood nick name that my husband's mother had for him when he was little and gretchen was my idea – i thought it sounded good and strong next to sweet misty!

How has blogging affected your work as an artist/designer?

blogging has helped my confidence enormously. to have people see my work and leave generous comments has been very encouraging. reading blogs provides endless inspiration and helpful information that keeps my mind ticking over when i'm not working. my blog also helps me to keep momentum and focus – its a work in progress and a place for me to keep track of my work and ideas. it also allows me to take a step back from my work and potentially see a bigger picture. the other big thing is that it has forced me to chase after that part of my brain that i like to use for writing {it had been pretty flooded out by the sleep loss and domestic life that goes with having little kids}. writing used to be a more natural part of my life a long time ago and now it's slowly coming back with a new purpose!

What are your favorite artist/designer blogs? Why?

there are so many great design and art blogs that i follow, it's hard to single them out . . . designsponge was my first blog love - it's just so stylish! designformankind – i like how erin let's her posts almost speak for themselves and she curates with a great sense of humour.

i recently discovered notpaper – short sweet interviews with collage artists.
tangledskystudio, artmind-etcetera + jessgonacha - are daily reads and lovely people

Do you have any advice for artists/designers who are starting a blog?

i don't feel qualified to give advice at this stage but i think real is good! i also love to see work in early stages!

What has been the most positive and inspirational aspect of having a blog for you?

like many others here have said, the connections and frienships that it helps to make. my blog allows me to feel connected to a world of amazing artists/designers/makers in a way that just hasn't been possible before. the inspiration and support that comes from this sense of connection is the icing on the cake which is being home raising kids and working from home.

What do you find the most difficult/most rewarding part of having a creative profession?

the most difficult thing for me is to switch off and relax. the need to create is a big part of who i am and to be able to see myself as having a future as an independent artist keeps me going. feedback from people who have bought my work is pretty heart-warming too.

Other than your blog, what has been the most effective way for you to promote your art/design?

having one of my collages featured in a storque article recently has been been really positive. i've also had my work featured on a few blogs, which i am grateful for. contributing work to the latest pikaland package has has also helped.

How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance?

i'm pretty sure i can't at this stage! i'm trying hard to make time for the life stuff that happens outside of family and art time but i'm also pretty happy to be living a simple and focused life for now.

What are your main goals for 2009?

to keep up with my work and ideas, to keep my shop full {and fresh} and to beautify my blog!

Thanks Belinda!

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