Friday, April 23, 2010
olivia jeffries : artists who blog
Olivia's blog: www.sweet-loon-bird.blogspot.com
Olivia's website: www.oliviajeffries.com
Olivia's shop: www.restlessthings.etsy.com
Why did you decide to start a blog?
I started my blog late in 2006. Six years after graduating from art school I still hadn't found my creative niche and was feeling very lost. I was really looking for a way to bring all of my ideas together and help me develop my style as a creative individual. Before starting my blog I had only ever looked at music blogs but after spending some time online one afternoon doing some research I had come across some artists' blogs (i think it was port2port!) which completely fascinated me and by going through all of their favorite reads I uncovered this amazing network of creative bloggers. This completely inspired me and although it still took me many months to finally get to a stage where I had anything interesting to write about I knew it was something that could help me bring all of my ideas and inspirations together.
How did you come up with the name of your blog?
It was some kind of mash up of my partners pet names for me, 'sweets' and 'loon', a loon is a kind of a bird and bird is slang for woman and I can be a bit of a loon so it's some kind of combo of those things!
How has blogging affected your work as an artist/designer?
Blogging has really helped me to keep track of my ideas and themes as they develop and also to go back in time and see what I was thinking about at a particular time. Getting feedback from other people who find my work of interest has been fantastically useful and has helped me to make connections with similar minded people. My blog also really helps to fuel me along through those times when I feel like I'm stuck in the mud creatively.
What are your favorite artist/designer blogs? Why?
all the mountains
an ambitious project collapsing
my love for you is a stampede of horses
to name but a few.
I like these blogs because they have something raw about them.
Do you have any advice for artists/designers who are starting a blog?
It can take a lot of time to develop a space that really comes across as being a visual/virtual version of yourself but eventually you find yourself at home in your little blog space - keep at it!
What has been the most positive and inspirational aspect of having a blog for you?
It has to be communicating with other people. I practically work in a vacuum so it's great to be able to finish something and get it straight out there and for people to be able to share their thoughts on it.
What do you find the most difficult/most rewarding part of having a creative profession?
I find working in isolation is a double edged sword. On the one hand I'm the type of person who really enjoys her own company and can spend many an hour/day pottering around drawing, writing, photographing, resting, eating on my own. There are some times however when it can be overwhelming and I want nothing more than a restorative coffee and chat with someone to take my brain out of the work zone.
Other than your blog, what has been the most effective way for you to promote your art/design?
Promoting my work is something I'm still working at and I don't think there are any cut and dry methods to getting good promotion - it will be different for everyone. I have paid for promotional slots and have found them to be inefficient. The best kind of promotions are those that happen by word of mouth. I try and provide really great customer service to those who buy my work who in turn leave great feedback which makes other potential customers feel confident that I am a professional artist to do business with. Also, keeping other others up to date with what you're working on with a newsletter can be useful. I've recently started a facebook fan page too because I keep reading about how amazing they are for business. We shall see!
How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance?
I don't as I work at home but I try and sneak in a lazy day with my partner where I can and try and have a good holiday at least once a year.
What would you like to accomplish by the end of 2010?
I would like to be able to take part in some shows around the uk, it's proven a tough market to break. I would also like to find the perfect studio and work towards separating my life from work.
Thank you Olivia!