Thursday, July 2, 2009

julianna swaney : artists who blog

Julianna's blogs: Oh My Cavalier!, Rare Red Bird
Julianna's shop:
Julianna's website:

Why did you decide to start a blog?

I think it’s a good way to show off new pieces as I make them and to gain exposure. I can update right away there with new work, whereas my website takes more time and stays more static. It’s also nice because I can show work there that I never end up showing in galleries or anywhere else, as well as sketches and pieces in process that I like, and inspiration in general. And of course I love to get I can get feedback right away about new work as I put it up.

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

I have two blogs; my strictly art blog is called Oh My Cavalier! (which is also the name of my website and shop) It’s a line from a poem I read in a high school literature class, I’ve forgotten most of the poem but I always liked how that line sounded. My other one is Rare Red Bird, which I picked because I like the old fashioned sounding phrase “rare bird” (but I had to add the “red” because “rare bird” was already taken!)

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

I don’t know that it has affected the work itself, more it has affected my life as an artist. I feel like because I blog I have more exposure, people find me, like my work and ask me to be in shows or visit my store. That allows me to keep making art for a living.

What are your favorite artist/designer blogs? Why?

A few of my favorites are Art and Ghosts & The Hermitage

They are both amazing artists for one thing but also they talk a lot about creating their work and their inspiration, which I find fascinating to read.

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

I think people get all kinds of things out of their own blogs. Is it going to be just a place for you to get out your own thoughts about your work, or do you want it so people can keep up to date on shows and exhibitions, or do you want to get feedback about works in progress. You have to figure out how you want to use it and what would help you get the most out of the experience.

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

It’s always nice to hear feedback about my work from readers, and I know if I have a problem I can always get their opinions which is helpful. It’s also jut nice to look back sometimes, I’ve always been terrible at keeping a real diary, as much as I’d like to, it’s great seeing what I was up to this time last year and how my work as progressed.

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

The most difficult part is probably that I can’t leave my work at work, it’s always with me so if I’m frustrated or stressed I’m thinking about all the time. The most rewarding parts far outweigh that though; I get to have my own schedule, I have freedom to do what I want, and I don’t usually have any reason to be bored.

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

I honestly don’t do that much self promotion. Some people have been nice enough to mention my work in their blogs, or to small interview with me, and that is really all the promotion I do.

How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance?

It can be hard sometimes to not think about work and feel stress about it even when I’m trying to relax and cook dinner. I have to constantly remind myself that it’s not the end of the world if I take a break to read or crochet for a while, or take a walk. It’s actually healthy and refreshing, and makes me happy to get back to work. I’m trying to get better at reminding myself.

What are your main goals for 2009?

That relates to the last question: Spend more time doing the things I want, not the things I feel like I have to.

Thanks Julianna!

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