Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Why I blog....

why I blog....

Without quite realising it - I have sped past my one year blog anniversary and missed the exact date {it was the 10th]...this is the post I was waiting to write for that auspicious occasion [hehe], so I thought I had best catch up and make it clear why I started blogging, and why I continue to do so....

I really wanted to start writing a blog to help me with my business...give me a place to 'advertise' [for want of a better word] my work, and what I was doing. I was not at the stage of being able to {financially or technically} build a website...so I thought a blog would be the next best thing. Funny how things turn out really, because it has actually been the best thing of all, and so much more than just a website.

I began to read design blogs after I graduated in 2005 {and was in the process of beginning to work from home}...and found that they filled the art and design 'stimulation' gap that was left for me after I left art-school. I really enjoyed seeing what other people were working on, and in a base way, it made me feel like I wasn't alone...which was wonderful because, of course, in my work environment..I am. So come January of 2006, I thought that making a positive move forward for my business would be a good thing to start the year off with, so I set up the blog...and off I went. I was overwhelmed with the response I received..about my work, any links I posted about...everything. I suppose when you set up your blog you don't really expect people to read it - that it will be something, and somewhere for you alone to write, document and sort through things.

I suppose for me, the big question here is really....Why I continue to blog....which is a much more personal decision now, rather than purely a business one.

Without wanting to dress this up - or make a big deal of things....running your own business as an independent {small production} artist or maker is damn hard. Much, much harder than I ever thought it would be. As well as doing all the things a person has to do within a normal job or role as part of business {ie; books/accounts, dealing with internet orders, ordering materials and stock, balancing money, being the post-room person, dealing with all office admin, invoicing - chasing money owed} you also have to find the time to MAKE, DESIGN, and SELL the things yourself, a hugely time consuming act in itself - deal with and juggle many things, like galleries, stockists...securing future venues.....thinking and planning along the line a bit. It is a lot to worry about, and I do - worry. Maybe that takes up most time of all? For me, it is very financially challenging. I make next to no money...which, is to be expected I guess at this stage...but it can dent your morale. It is wonderful to have people there to pick you back up again, and confirm to you, on those days you can't quite remind yourself - that what you are doing is worthwhile!!

Blogging is the most wonderful support network. A family of artists, designers and makers who KNOW what you are going through, and what your contribution is worth...people who appreciate, and take the time to understand what you do. What I love about this online space is, that unlike many other online communities...there is, and shouldn't be, quite rightly, any space for negativity, undermining or insults. We stand up for each other, and support {through words, links and sales} each others work. There is so much criticism and justification of yourself and your work to be had in the 'real' world...blogging should be, and usually is, the most wonderful sanctuary from all that. Where you can put your work out there and just have it be. I have made so many truly amazing friendships from doing this, I am continually stunned and thankful at what a huge impact it has had on my life....and in turn, business.

I hope to be here for a good long while to come. Thank you all *so* much for reading, supporting, contributing...and buying! ;)).....I so, so appreciate it every day.

'till tomorrow, when I will have some new things to put out there {!}.....hugs to all, xox

21 comments:

shoobydoo said...

Wonderfully put Abigail, I just wanted to let you know I've enjoyed every post of yours so far...it's a lovely insight into what you do and what inspires you and I'm looking forward to reading more in the future!

Mette said...

So well put. I really enjoy your blog, and your work. Wish you all the best for the future.

natalie said...

couldn't agree more!

esp your paragraph about supporting one another - which is so important! when mainly of us work away in the isolation of our own rooms/studios it is amazing to be supported (and inspired) by the online community!

Well done on one year in the blog world - I have immensely enjoyed reading your posts :)

jenny said...

yes, i echo what you say here too, and have thoughts the same things so many times about my own blogging. thank heavens for the amazing filter that is the web...that has brought all of us like-minded spirits together!

cindy said...

thank you abigail for your words and your talent. i learned a lot about the art of jewellery-making from your blog. here's to another year of goodness.

meghan said...

Well said, Abigail.

I've only recently (within the last month, or so)found your blog and have enjoyed seeing your beautiful creations and the inspiration they evoke.

The transition from art school to the real world is hard on people who enjoy the community atmosphere that working in a school studio provides (myself, included!). It's wonderful to have so many people to poke your head in at and just say hey!

jen said...

lovely post. i am glad to have found your blog and your beautiful work!

selflesh | s. Rankin said...

Abigail,
Your work is so lovely. Though I am not a frequent blogger or reader of blogs, I do take a look at a few, including yours. Thank you for being so generous! I am always inspired by your work and look forward to seeing more. In addition, when I have the opportunity... I hope to own one of your exquisite creations.

Best,
Shannon Rankin

Showpony said...

Well I'm glad you do because you've inspired me to start my own. We met at the dreaded 100% east (2005), I found your blog a few months ago and its great to see how your getting on since then and to see your new designs.

ambika said...

What a lovely post capturing the sentiments of a lot of people out there. I think it was one of the founders of Six Apart who brought up the concept of 'being nice' at a web/blog conference and it's so wonderful to see that niceness--well, more than niceness--is a given in the craft/design/style community.

kelly said...

a v special post abigail...you have inspired me a great deal since i came across your blog 8 months ago + introduced me to a wonderful community.

thank you for sharing your talent with us all...happy 1st blog birthday :)

here's looking forward to a successful time ahead for your business + many more lovely posts to come! x

lisa s said...

oh sweetie... i wish i knew a good scottish toast.

here's to one year and many many many more. i think you can imagine how your words have hit my heart today.

i feel so lucky to have you in my life. you are so immensely talented - and someday you will be a millionare!!

Janet said...

such honest beautiful words from you again, your talents will be celebrated as they deserve without a doubt, you are an inspiration to us all, just keep going xxx

paola said...

As someone who is just doing the 'shop' bit, without actually designing and making the products, I have absolutely no idea how you manage to get everything done.

I've also just realised that I've just missed my one year 'blogiversary' and I could pretty much have written your post word for word.

gilfling said...

You have echoed my thoughts and articulated them so well. I have just discovered your blog a short time ago and as a fairly recent art school graduate (edinburgh 2005) I completely admire what you have managed to achieve is such a short space of time. Yes it is hard, but you are definitely making your mark.

mati rose said...

happy one year abigal!
i hear you on the difficulty of going it alone and the wonderful support the blog land brings!
good luck in the next year my friend!

Cruz said...

Congratulations on your one year anniversary. I love reading about your work and your adventures. Thank you for sharing your life with us!

Anonymous said...

This is my first ever comment...I just had to let you know how much of an inspiration your lovely design blog has been to me...so much so that I have decided to start my own =)

Having recently graduated from a design course I similarly find myself working alone and away from a 'stimulating' environment. Reading your blog and especially this post has reminded me of why I'm in this difficult business and why I find designing so rewarding. Thank you abigail for filling me with so much inspiration and enthusiasm.I look forward to reading another year of beautiful posts.

cruststation said...

Thank you for your beautiful post. I am so glad you decided to blog and so often it gives more than expected, especially for artists I can understand the sometimes lonely struggle without feedback, and that's what the blogging community brings. On the plus side gets word out to people about your work. Hope for many more years of posting to come! XX

cally said...

Belated Happy Blogivarsary Abigail. I'm about to have my 1st one too, and am sorry I've only caught up on yours (and several others) this weekend.

And what a sensational post, it speaks to us all. And for me it is great to read as I'm wavering about taking the self employed plunge again. But I'm scared, I remember how hard it could be. But you are right, with a blog it is supportive.

Not like my 6 years of working 18hr days alone. Although there is much to be said for being able to work in just your knickers on a hot day it certainly will be nicer doing it and still be able to 'chat' with fellow bloggers.

So good for you Abigail, I think you work wonders and project yourself and your work wonderfully well on the blog, flickr etc as well as in real life places.

Courtney said...

Abigail,

Your words ring so true. As an architect and designer in the world of high-end residential design, I find design blogs to be such a safe haven…full of open-minded, hard-working, passionate individuals that live, breathe and feed off of interesting (and often independent) design/designers. I find my favorite design blogs (of which yours is one) are a breath of fresh air amidst my daily grind.

I long to have a business of my own someday, to be more involved in the actual crafting of beautiful things and so admire your work and what you are sharing with the design community through your jewelry and blog. Keep it up! Your work and words are a pleasure to behold.