This article is by Brian Sherwin, regular contributing writer for FineArtViews. Brian Sherwin is an art critic, blogger, curator, artist and writer based near Chicago, Illinois. He has been published in Hi Fructose Magazine, Illinois Times, and other publications, and linked to by publications such as The Huffington Post, The Boston Globe, Juxtapoz Magazine, Deutsche Bank ArtMag, ARTLURKER, Myartspace, Blabbermouth, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Conservative Punk, Modern Art Obsession, Citizen LA, Shark Forum, Two Coats of Paint, Vandalog, COMPANY and Art Fag City. If you want your blog posts listed in the FineArtViews newsletter with the possibility of being republished to our 17,000+ subscribers, consider blogging with FASO Artist Websites. Disclaimer: This author's views are entirely his/her own and may not reflect the views of BoldBrush, Inc.. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.
Most artists will openly tell you about their art influences if you ask them. For example, if you ask an artist about his or her influences, you will likely be 'hit' with a list of artists from the past -- and perhaps a few art movements for good measure. The question is always a good jumping-point for a back-and-forth exchange. Words flow with ease verbally. That said, based on my experience very few artists write about their art influences on their art blog -- they fail to tap into that exchange text-wise. In fact, many appear to be intimidated by art writing in general. That trend is unfortunate for a number of reasons.
I, for one, think that artists should actively pursue writing about art. I suggest this knowing that many artists (based on my experience) are intimidated by writing. They tend to avoid writing about art -- and avoid having an art blog -- because they 'don't know what to write about' OR fear that it 'won't be interesting'. I've heard/read variants of those two excuses thousands of times over the years. When in doubt -- write about your art influences. Write about something you are comfortable talking about in person.
I can't stress this enough -- one of the easiest ways to get into the routine of writing/posting on your art blog is to write about something you are comfortable with. There is nothing wrong with taking a comfortable art writing approach -- especially if you happen to be intimidated by art blogging in general. The ease of sharing your art-related influences could be the key -- unlocking the 'inner art writer' inside of you. It can also be good practice for other forms of art writing... such as writing an artist statement (yes, I know that artists tend to be intimidated by those as well).
As mentioned earlier, the majority of artists I've met are extremely comfortable talking about their art-related influences. I'm willing to bet that most artists could make those ideas flow just as easily in text form. The knowledge and admiration they have concerning specific artists and art movements could become instant art blog content... art blog content that is not intimidating to write about. Point blank -- pick an art-related influence, ward off art blog intimidation by staying in your comfort-zone and write as you speak. You will thank me 10 blog posts later.
Kicking the intimidation factor aside is the first step toward becoming an active art blogger. Writing about your art-related influences is a good start -- it WILL help you to get over the intimidation that is holding you back from writing actively about art. In addition to that, art blog visitors who share your interest in specific artists may strike up a conversation -- which may result in further introducing those individuals to your own artwork. Furthermore, blogging about your art-related influences may help you to establish rapport with the artists you have written about if they happen to be living (I've seen that happen).
Keep in mind that your artist website may benefit from blog posts about your art-related influences (assuming your art blog is located on your artist website). For example, your blog/website may receive traffic from specific searches due to art blog posts you have made about famous artists -- or even lesser known artists who happen to have high online visibility -- who have influenced you. Point blank -- those blog posts may help to increase your website ranking based on those specific searches if people discover your content when searching... especially if you utilize social networking websites to introduce others to your art blog articles in general. That is a good reason to get over the intimidation that many artists feel when considering art blogging. There is so much to gain... you just have to start posting in a way that is less intimidating.
In closing, writing about your art-related influences can be a great way to condition yourself for art blogging regularly. It will help you to post more frequently -- and help to establish the presence of your art blog / artist website. If the words flow when you talk about those art influences... they will most likely flow when writing about them. Write as if you are telling someone about the influence -- write as if somone has asked, "Why does *insert artist name* influence you as an artist?". In addition to that -- writing about art-related influences can be an easy way to find your 'art writing voice'. I do hope that this art blogging suggestion helps you to get over your fear of writing / blogging about art.
Take care, Stay true,