Muse. The word has so many meanings: to become absorbed in thought; to think or say (something) in a thoughtful way; a state of deep thought or dreamy abstraction. In the case of my new column, all of those meanings apply, but the main one is: a source of inspiration; a guiding genius.
The concept for my new Muse series came after a culmination of a few different things. This year my site turns ten, and during the process of redesigning the site I was thinking a lot about how I wanted to move forward in the industry.
Most bloggers who have been creating content for a few years will start to get bored. We all have bouts of writer’s block or times where we don’t feel super creative. Doing the same thing for ten years can tend to get boring. I’ve also been an avid blog reader for longer than ten years (probably 11-12 years), and prior to that I consumed any and every magazine I could get my hands on since I was in my teens. So content has been my life for a long time. And in the past few years I’ve just felt like a lot of content has gotten really boring.
There are just so many sites out there, it’s really hard to create original content that is not only unique, but actually interesting and something your readers will enjoy and keep coming back for. Like actually read the content on your site, and not just quickly glance at one snippet of the content on Instagram.
So that has been on my mind for a few years — creating truly unique content that people keep coming back for. My GSD column is a great example of that, and similarly the Beauty Expert column that I recently resurrected. But I wanted more.
Over the years I’ve felt a strong pull back to creating and studying art. I’ve painted on and off for the past few years when I had studio space available, but I wanted to do it much more often.
I also am constantly studying artists and creatives in my free time. I read books about artists (and as these photos imply, I literally take notes while I’m reading books!), watch documentaries and movies about them, go to museums and galleries to see specific shows, research them on the Internet — it’s just something I love to do and learn about.
So when I went to Spain last year and went to the Prado in Madrid, then the Picasso Museum in Barcelona, then to another Picasso Museum in Málaga (where Picasso was born), and went to Tangier and into the actual hotel room where Matisse lived and painted from (Grand Hotel Villa de France) — the Muse series idea came to me.
I wanted to use all of my artist research to create a series of content on my site inspired by my muses. Marrying my love of art and my job of running this website together. And not only that, but the way I would execute the content would also include my love of travel, my own artwork, working with brands, and all of the other categories I cover and am passionate about as well. Bringing a lot of the things I love in my life that I also cover here on the blog full circle.
What does that mean exactly? It means that the Muse series will consist of posts inspired by any artists or creatives — not just painters, but all sorts of creative people — architects, interior designers, chefs, fashion designers, etc. As I do my ongoing research about these people that inspire me — my muses — I will let it inspire content.
The content will be anything from doing painting inspired by my own travels that are related to these muses, to traveling to a specific museum or place where one of my muses lived/worked and covering that place, and possibly something there will inspire other things I can’t foresee. It could be beauty content inspired by an artist, or an event I throw that was inspired by a painting. I already have a few ideas in the works and a lot more ideas for the series that I’m starting to work on. I’m keeping the series really open to all sorts of things as that’s how creativity works.
I hope that the content will not only be inspiring, beautiful, and memorable — but also informative. I hope it’s something that you are excited to read and come back for each week. Over time, you’ll pick up bits and pieces of information about the muses to store in your memory. Maybe it will even inspire you to go to a museum, or pick up a sketchbook, or just take the info and feel a little more educated. I think there’s something about getting older where you just want to keep going deeper into things that interest you.
I’m really really excited about this series and I can’t wait to start posting the content I’m creating. I am posting some of the progress of things I’m working on on my Instagram Story, so follow there if you are interested in the behind-the-scenes!
Photos by Emma Weiss