A couple of years ago I realized I needed a proper website showing my work. My teenage son wasn't too unkeen on advising me. As a former Montessori child he believed in involving me in the process and correctly pointed out that I needed to know enough to update the website myself. Quite right.
However, the design process dragged out. Indeed, mainly because his customer thought in ways outdated for web design, but also due to our time 'differences'. He thought it timely to work on it after midnight. I'm a night owl, but as a mother I found it more timely for him to sleep after midnight. The project was rocky and made us grumpy. It was ditched before a website saw light.
By now I was desperate for means to present my work. I wanted to be seen without really excisting. I started to feel like someone without a phone number saying to people; Call me any time...!
Four years ago I left many friends and colleagues in Norway. People who asked about work and ideas. Visual stuff I couldn't explain. I became quite obsessed with this; felt I didn't exist when I couldn't tell people to check out my website to see my work.
An apropos to 'Call me'
Japanese phone card with one of my old designs.
My blogging husband Sig saw my dilemma and had the perfect solution. A blog. And yes, blog seemed perfect, but I had to adjust my attitude from neutral 'presenting' to the far more personal 'sharing'.
It takes a bit of practice, this thought-sharing. Mostly I write for myself, but I realise it helps to imagine a reader, a person I know. It's the first step towards a dialog. When I read other blogs I'm impressed by the generosity and trust people show in sharing; be it everyday thoughts or deep insight or useful work related advice.
I want to take part in this. If, by presenting not only images, but also the bumpy ride that leads me to them, I can contribute to this generosity and be part of an open community of all sorts of information, then blog it is!
I just hope not too many have checked out this blog and then given up since it's taking me so long to get started. Then again I hope some will keep checking so I may get some feedback. Oh well - this is soon turning into a 'Kinderegg-wish'.
As said; I never reach a conclusion quick and easy. With the promise of and In the spirit of sharing I decided to add this piece of bickering. This was written sometime in January while I was still unsure of how to go about the blogging. Well, it did help me decide....Here's the bumpy ride it took:
TO BLOG OR WHAT? (or blog versus website)
For the moment it seems relevant to choose between blog or website, but that may change.
That is probably exactly how this blog will be - sometimes relevant but that may quickly change.
My obsession with references, the fact that I'm lazy and talkative but still strive for energy and honesty, is what made up my mind. And not to forget; Sig! See what I mean:
When I make a new picture I have to keep it for a while. It may need to mature, or I simply use it as reference for new work. What I'm doing feels more like research than artwork so I like to keep references. My image work is not about making a statement - it's documenting a process.
The documented process is what I like about blogs too. What's posted is stored. It's a reminder of what I did or thought at a specific time. Or, it can later be used as reference. Come to think of it; old furniture* are references - probably a good reason for keeping (or buying) antiques. It's nice to be reminded of how things were made and looked?
Digression apart - one point in favour of the blog.
The fact that I'm lazy and not always disciplined, points more towards a once and for all well-designed website for presenting artwork. Like my friend Tine's site, it's beautifully simple. However, I do not want a brochure - and a website can give you that brochure-feel. It's more static. I know I could update it all the time, but that sounds like repairing and not creating. Two points to the blog - website zero.
Blogging is certainly active. If nothing else, there's a positive energy in the will to share.
Besides, I write all the time anyway, why hide it? (Actually I know many answers to that).
Again, since a website is more about presentation I would be tempted to be less frank there - make it into a showcase. On a blog, however, the postings will reveal me. There's a limit to how long I can rattle on and not be honest. I prefer that and the energy in sharing. Three - zero.
Technical issues slow me down. Since I want to show pictures of what I do I have to create new photo albums. I want them to load quickly and still be of good quality. Not all of my photos are of such quality at the moment. That means doing work that I'm slow at. Unfortunately I didn't plan for my photoshop work to be displayed on the web. But the same work is needed for a website too, so still no points for the website.
I've seen other artists using a combination of website and blog and I admire the work put into that. It's just that while navigating between them I sometimes lose track and in the end I lose patience and quit. I'll try to avoid that. So I'll see if I can do without a website.
Besides I'm talkative - no one wants a talkative website! Blog four - web zero.
Finally, blogger Sig says it's a must, so that's five-zero, and blog it is!
* Old furniture - Chair designed by the Norwegian artist Gerhard Munthe for Holmenkollen Turisthotell. The chair was spesially designed for 'The Fairytale Room'.