Wednesday, May 26, 2010

amanda blake : artists who blog

Amanda's blog:
Amanda's website:
Amanda's shop:

Why did you decide to start a blog?

I mistakenly deleted my website and needed a quick temporary solution while I made a new site. It ended up taking me three years to finally make a new website so in that time the blog took on a bit of a life of its own.

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

Rather boring - Amanda Blake is a pretty common name so it can be difficult to claim its use and when I first made my website years ago "Amanda Blake Art" was what I chose without much thought when I couldn't simply use my own name. Years later when I really thought about it I chose "this is all i know" as my store name and name for twitter and all that other stuff, I wanted a name I could use for my shop no matter what I decided to sell and "this is all i know" will always apply, I'm always toying with the idea of just redirecting everything to "this is all i know" and abandoning the "Amanda Blake Art" name.

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

The most clear change is that having a blog led me to read other artists blogs which led me to etsy and etsy really has changed everything for me. In a more meaningful way personally the act of writing about my work and the what and why of what I do forces me to really think about more work in more depth which as a working artist it can sometimes be so frightfully easy to forget to do. Working on painting day to day it can be so tempting to just produce but to really make something good it must have thought and the blog helps to hold me responsible in that way rather than just painting mindlessly.

What are your favorite artist/designer blogs? Why?

The Small Object, Posie Gets Cosy, This Artist's Life and Angry Chicken - great writing, great art and crafts, they are all just rather perfect blogs that make me wish I really wrote enough to really consider myself a blogger.

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

Think a bit before you just jump in to it - I wish I'd thought it out more before I started so I wouldn't be stuck with a name I don't like and wish I hadn't started on blogger, I really would rather the look of a typepad or wordpress blog but at this point I don't really want to make the switch.

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

I've met a lot of great people through my blog and through comments left on the blog and people linking to it you get this wonderfully tangible way of seeing how your work affects people and that's really rewarding.

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

I'm beyond horrid with bookkeeping, I absolutely hate it and have gone through so many different systems to try to make it work for me but just can't find a way to make it really work for me so it's always a struggle.

I couldn't really say there is any one thing that is the most rewarding - I'm so lucky to do what I do.

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

I've done plenty of things like facebook and twitter and newsletters because I feel like I'm supposed to promote but really what brings the most traffic and the most sales is when I stop thinking about promoting and just focus on making work, the more paintings I make the more chance that I'll create something that people connect with and choose to show on their own blogs which is worth so much more than any time spent trying to bring people to an empty shop.

How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance?

Still trying to figure that one out.

What would you like to accomplish by the end of 2010?

I'd like to get back to doing some large work, I miss it. And as always I'm toying with about a million different ideas of new projects I want to start, including a new blog - just need to come up with a title.

Thank you Amanda!

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