an image I took on a recent photowalk (more about this another time....)
Recently I read a post discussing the role of bloggers who earn money and what people's thoughts were on this.
I found it intriguing as someone who started a blog and launched an e-course from the back of that blog. Someone who tried out having individual businesses on my side bar as advertisers and then for a short, brief moment, tried out google ads (argh!). These have all gone.
I started a blog with fresh content, a change of life in the air, and a tonne to share + a determination to give up work that stifled and slowly killed my soul. And I achieved this. However, over the time of this blog, I've struggled to find content to share at times (and still worry I repeat myself). I got concerned about selling out. And became discontent with how much time I spent online, whilst at other times I struggled (and still do) with the requirements on my time to even do anything - I watched this video today nodding my head. I thought for a moment I was going to give up writing blog posts and close the whole thing down, then had quite a quick turn around in thought. It's been a slow burn and build, and I like to think there is something here worth keeping.
I got concerned too about keeping up with what I started, how I could deliver and address my own needs and interests and those of people who may read my blog. I did my art MA and thought I should be a 'professional artist' and not share intimate thoughts and opinions and simply streamline my blog to my art journey. But now I'm going through a phase of thinking, if I try to be like everyone else I will lose myself, and become another similar voice lost in a crowd, and therefore, I've got to do it my way as that's the only way that feels authentic and worthwhile and thoughts and ideas about life, art and other things always seem to bubble on up and through.
I've re-discovered a love of this. I realise too that working for myself and following dreams is still the way to go. I am glad to say that I have achieved so much by setting out on this journey and genuinely ticking off some of my key dreams/goals. But shall I tell you something strange? I have rarely reached a place where I feel I've completed most of what I set out to do (dream-wise), but that's kind of what I feel is happening right now. I'm thinking carefully about what to call in next. Oh yes, I could tell you things like I want to go holiday in the Bahamas, but I know myself well enough now and I would get bored after a while and I find the sun too hot and I think I prefer working to relaxing (at least for a certain amount of time). Also, the BIG KEY THING that I've come across recently is: IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT ME!
The holiday in the Bahamas would be great, but like most things in life it is made better by the people you get to SHARE IT WITH (why am I shouting in caps?! I don't know. Maybe I'm confirming my realisations to myself!!)
I know so much of life is about GIVING. Is this where true meaning and fulfilment comes? Does constantly fulfilling oneself ever really feels enough? Each time we reach a goal, or get to a place we wanted to get to, does anyone else feel like it's not quite what they expected, or that it's not as fulfilling as they thought, or that desire forms itself into another object/thing/feeling we would like? An expansion of the never ending search for 'having it all' or 'having it perfect' but do we ever get there?
Oh to be in the moment, to realise it is an ebb with a flow and that both are required. And that minds and things change.
To cut a long story shorter, I wish to re-visit some original ideas: to develop a school or community where we can come together and I get to share all I've learnt so far, and all I know about art-related things and creative living. Tried and tested. It doesn't do as much keeping it to myself.
And so the blog post about sales and selling and what people think, comes at a timely time as I think about how I'm truly going to embark upon the (interesting and challenging?) journey of developing the EXPERIMENTAL ART ACADEMY.
I've had a few people ask about the next experimental art e-course and I do intend to run it again soon, and on top of that I really do have so many ideas that I want to share for the experimental art academy. A membership site, that offers simple prompts, plus in depth art techniques, how to write your CV, how to write proposals to galleries, how to find the time, energy and inspiration to even just sit and start making + much more. Strength and inspiration comes in community, but yes, it will involve the exchange of money. And then there are those discussions about how much we charge which says so much about how much we value ourselves and our skills. Oh my - it can be tricky.
At this time it is definitely my intention to do it. But I know that life can throw new things in to the mix and I will have to see what happens on this front. Some of you who read regularly will know what I'm referring to ;) I'm busy scribing content at the moment and I've even developed a specific mailing list so that it will be delivered primarily (and maybe only) to those on that list. So if you are interested in hearing more about art workshops, e-courses and the experimental art academy please subscribe here.
And then I'd love to hear from you. What do you think about bloggers earning money and maybe more importantly, how they do it? What do you think about a membership site for the experimental art academy? And if you do have any preliminary thoughts about what you'd really like to do, or have shared in that site, what that might be? As although I have ideas you may have things I've not even thought about! Feel free to email or comment here and hopefully I can run some taster things......
As you can probably sense, I'm bursting a little. Writing here in the burning heat of the UK weather (not used to it being so hot), finding it easier to concentrate being out of the house and down by the River of London.
I intend to be back here again soon with more...