Tuesday, May 5, 2009

vivienne strauss : artists who blog

Vivienne's blog: www.vivienneart.blogspot.com
Vivienne's shop: www.vivstrauss.etsy.com

Why did you decide to start a blog?

I started my blog mainly to have one consistent place to store images of my artwork. I had no other system of documenting the work I was doing that worked as well. So many things I've done, I have no record of at all, paintings and collages created and sold that I wish I had photos of at least.

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

I think it has made me much more productive because I like to post something new almost every day.

What are your favorite artist/designer blogs? Why?

I don't spend a lot of time reading designer blogs but when I do, I love a lot of what sfgirlbybay features and always keep up with Poppytalk I mainly read blogs for entertainment and one that I check out frequently is silentsandtalkies by artist and friend, Kate Gabrielle. Much of my inspiration comes from old movies and she is the authority on classic films. I also frequently look at the blogs of Elizabeth Bauman and Amanda Blake, two of my favorite artists.

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

If you are featuring your art work on your blog, don't make the format of the blog too flashy or it will distract from your actual work. Post often. Before I started tracking my blog traffic, I would just post every now and then. I didn't realize that people other than me were actually looking at it. Now that I realize that others are reading it, I've become more careful about not just rambling on too much about nothing and trying to correct grammatical errors.

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

I started my blog years ago when I just produced art sporadically and rarely posted to it or certainly not on any kind of
regular basis. Now it has become not just a place to document my art but a place to write about books or movies that have really moved me. Recently, Matte and I went to an estate sale of a former ballerina who had no heirs and as an early anniversary gift for me, Matte bought her entire collection of scrapbooks, photographs and ballet memorbilia including signed programs by Anna Pavlova. I've enjoyed sharing her life on my blog. It is weird how a person whom I've never met has suddenly become part of my life. Comments are always nice, you know someone is seeing your work!

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

I would say the most difficult part of the creative process is finding enough time to complete all my ideas. The most rewarding part for me is finding inspiration everywhere. Stumbling across the perfect old photograph or just seeing a name can trigger an idea for a new painting.

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

I think posting my work on flickr along with my blog has been pretty effective, it seems to develop a lot of cross traffic. Other people who discover my work and post about it is always a nice plus, it always seems to steer more traffic my way.

How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance?

I try to make sure I get some type of exercise almost every day, even if it is just a short walk or run. I also try to limit the time I spend on the internet and make sure I read just for fun every day.

What are your main goals for 2009?

Mainly to be as productive as possible, keep trying new techniques and to not constrain myself by too many rules. I keep thinking about trying oils but don't think I have the right temperament, I like to work really fast and having to wait for paint to dry would probably be pretty tortuous for me.

Thanks Vivienne!

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