Being new to the world of blogging, I'm completely amazed at the amount of support, encouragement, and inspiration I have found. It is such a blessing to me to have this wonderful way of expressing myself and actually have people I don't even know care about my thoughts and dreams. I am in awe of you all because of your giving hearts. I even had a dear women contact me last week, and asked me to send her my business card so that she could put MY card in HER orders. WOW!!
Having said that, early on (last month!) I was hurt when some of my dearest friends could care less about supporting me through my blog. I mean how hard is it to hit the FOLLOW button?? Thankfully I've come to a place where I realize that this blog is not about gaining followers or comments. The heart of me and my blog is to inspire love, support, and creativity. To love with my WHOLE HEART!
So in that spirit I'm offering a weekly post called 'Dare to love MONDAYS'. It is my prayer and desire that these posts will encourage all of us to support one another on our creative journey. SHARE THE L-O-V-E!
This weeks featured blogger is the Fabulous JANET NELSON!!
I was introduced to Janet's art in person after winning 2, yes 2, of her blog giveaways. What I like about Janet's art is her use of color and her whimsical style. She looks like she is having fun with her art and I just love that! Janet was kind enough to answer 5 questions for me to share with you. She is offering BOTH of these pieces photographed through her blog giveaway in the very near future, so CHECK HER OUT and share the love!
1. Why did you decide to start a blog?
I started my blog back in December 1995. Decided that I needed an online presence, but didn't want to pay for a website nor knew how to create one on my own. A blog seemed like a good answer to both those problems. Blogspot was free, user friendly and seemed like a good way to get familiar with how things worked online.
2. Who is your favorite blogger? Please post their link
There are so many that I have followed on and off through the years.
Two that had some impact are Gapingvoid, Not Martha and Kate Harper
I came across Hugh McLeod -- http://www.gapingvoid.com/ a while back. I am fascinated by his style and business insight, even tho some of his work is a little "crude". His cartoons helped me decide that it was okay that my Innocent Spam and Real Housecats of NJ series weren't drawn perfectly.
Not Martha was the first blog I read regularly. http://www.notmartha.org/ She posts links to interesting items, common and curious how to's. She opened up the world of the "blogosphere" for me taking me to different places on the net that I would not have found on my own.
I have only recently started following Kate Harper. http://www.kateharperblog.blogspot.com/ She is a greeting card designer and has been very generous in sharing information about the industry. Greeting cards, licensing, fabric design are all things that I am currently interested in pursuing.
3. As an artist, what has been the best way to promote your work?
I often tell myself, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained". Comment on other blogs, participate in online forums, advertise, do fundraiser events, have business cards ready to give out, participate in social media. I even got filmed for an episode of That's Clever because they were recruiting artists in Delaware -- at the time I lived just across the state line in PA and convinced them I was close enough. (the episode -- filmed 3 years ago--is finally airing June 15th) Do what you can do at the time.
You don't have to be a great artist to be successful. You can even be a bad or mediocre one. But what you do have to do is be in the right place at the right time. And most importantly, be prepared to take advantage of opportunity. So I look at the things that I do to promote myself as creating opportunities.
4. What art supply could you not live without?
White acrylic paint. Seems I never have enough. It is the one paint that I wont spend a lot of money on, ie, I will buy the cheaper craft paints. I would probably use white house paint if it came in gallon squirt bottles. Hmmm, now that I think of it, that isn't a bad idea, -- maybe a gallon bottle with a pump.
5. If you weren’t an artist, who would you be?
Good question. Cant imagine not being an artist in one way or another. People will often tell me that I am so creative and that they are not. It really made me feel bad cause I really didn't think of myself that way and I didn't know how to respond except to be self deprecating. But after examining how my ideas come to me, I know that creativity comes from above. So I tell people that they were created in the image of The Creator (God), therefore they are creative beings. They often will think about that a bit and say that yes they are creative in some other ways. So I don't think I could not be an artist in whatever else I did.
Now, if I weren't a painter, because that would require deciding to get and use paints, then I probably would be working in sales somehow as I left a retail job to work on art full time. But then as an artist I am always trying to sell myself and my work. So have I really left?
Thanks Janet for those inspiring words and for sharing your blessings with the world.