Shifting Focus

I know, the last few months have been slow here on le blog. Where have I been?!?

I knew once I started on my path of shifting my focus in my work from mostly blogging to art that it would dramatically change my life. It’s the first thing people ask me about if I haven’t seen them in a while — how’s my art/murals/painting going?! They see pieces of it on Instagram and are curious to know more, and I am overjoyed to talk about it. I’ve continued to be fairly active on Instagram, but I don’t stress about it.

I’ve wanted to make this shift to art for YEARS. Even before my blog became my job art was always something I knew I wanted to do in the long run. But in the present my blog was blowing up (back in the early days 2007-2013) and it ended up becoming my job. When I started the site in 2007 I didn’t plan on it being my job. It wasn’t anyone’s job. It wasn’t a job, it was a hobby back in the day. For the first 4 years of my blog I didn’t make any money at all. But once I left my job at Hallmark and started blogging and consulting full-time art took a backseat.

I also felt like I needed to develop my art, and blogging and consulting kept me busy. Basically just excuses to not fully jump into art, and blogging was exciting and fun but I always thought about art and knew it would be my long-term career. It became more and more apparent because it’s just something I think about constantly and have for years. Decades really.

Over the years I’ve painted here and there. There were a few years I had a studio and could do big messy paintings, but otherwise I didn’t have space for large work. I continued sketching, and kept sketchbooks that are FULL of ideas for paintings and series I want to paint. But the world of blogging has finally became something I don’t want to be my 100% job anymore, or even be my main focus at all.

I’m not going to stop blogging altogether, but my posts will be less frequent as they have started to be the last 6 months, and a lot of the content will be different. I’ve already started shifting it a lot this year, showing a lot of my art projects and process and focusing more on wellness, books, travel, and random things I find interesting.

I just don’t want to be in the rat race of “creating content” for the sake of creating content. I don’t want to be in the title-writing click-bait-headlines-for-traffic game. I don’t want to do meaningless gift guides just because it’s a good time of year for affiliate links. I don’t want to do a photo shoot just because I got a new outfit and I think it will “do well”. Honestly I just don’t shop that much! My taste is too expensive and I just don’t have room for that much stuff. I wear the same things over and over, and I don’t want to shop and create trendy fashion posts. There are bloggers who do that really well and I don’t need/want to be one of them. I might throw fashion posts in when I feel inspired to, or do product roundups of things I love on occasion, but have scaled back from that a lot in the past few years already.

There’s nothing wrong with being any type of blogger. I’ve been doing it for over 11 years. It’s been good to me. It’s been fun, exciting, taken me places I NEVER would have gone otherwise. I’ve gotten to meet people I never would have met. I regret nothing. I’ve also worked my ass of trying to “make it” up against people for whatever reason explode their readership and Instagram following with what feels like lightening speed while I just watch mine stay the same (for years). Exploding is something I’ve never been personally able to do in a way that I thought was genuine/honest or that wouldn’t cost me a lot of money in hiring someone to help me do it (it takes time, SEO, lots of social media time, networking, connections, etc.). It’s very hard to blow up organically.

I want everyone who follows me to want to follow me. To be organic, true, actually want to see what I’m creating/saying. I don’t want to beg you to consume my content and like my Instagrams and comment on them. I’m happy to inform you the content is there and that I think it’s worth your time. I think it’s totally fine to approach all of this as a business and have a strategy for it all (like a lot of bloggers do), it’s just not what I personally want to be 100% of my job. I’ll still be following and engaging with my favorite bloggers!

I still want blogging to be part of my job, but in a different more meaningful way, but not the main part of my job. Bloggers without any other sort of income stream rely mostly on sponsored content/collaborations and affiliate links (readers shopping through their site/links and them getting a commission off the sale) and sponsored content. I don’t want to rely on the marketing budgets of companies for the bulk of my income (and more complexly the state of the economy as marketing is usually the first to go, and count the influencer marketing companies that choose which bloggers to present to their clients).

When you get older you start thinking about things differently. What do I want to be known for? If I die tomorrow (morbid but possible) what would I be known as? I want to be known as an artist more than a blogger.

I’m also just not scared anymore to put my work out there and to start making work at an obsessive level. Right now I’m trying to tie up some loose ends, do my taxes for 2018, and get annoying things like that out of the way so that I’m free to just start making work without things like that looming over me.

I’ve also been cleaning out my home office because we live in a tiny house and since I currently don’t have a studio outside of my home the room was just SO PACKED until about a week ago. I’m still looking for new studio space and have a few things on the horizon, and that will help a lot. I also think just having a change of pace, a studio to go to, will make a huge difference for me. Working from home drives me nuts after a while. It’s been almost a year since I closed my Georgetown studio and over a year and a half since we bought a house and once we moved I basically mostly work from home. So I’m at that go crazy point.

But I don’t want space to be an excuse for not creating work, so I just told myself — make small work while you are in a small space. So until I get a studio, that’s what I’ll be doing.

You can still expect to see content here. I’ll still be posting about books, and wellness, and home renovations, but there will be more art posts as well. I will share what I’m working on sometimes, and overall just be immersing myself in art in so many ways that I know it will reflect here. But creating content isn’t going to be my main focus. It will be creating art and art collaborations. Lucky for me, that process is very content rich and it’s something I just naturally do (capture photos) so while I think I won’t be posting as much, I guess you never know where I’ll take it…I’m just going to let it all work itself out as I shift my personal and professional focus to art.

For the last few years I’ve had almost all professional photography for posts here (in addition to my own photos), and while I think that’s great and professional and all, I think I’ll be sharing more content that I capture in the moment on my phone. It sort of feels like I’m shifting a little bit back to how blogging used to be.

I always love hearing about the type of content you like to see from me. You guys have great ideas of things I would have never thought to share, so always feel free to tell me in the comments or on Instagram or email me (although I can admit my inbox is a black hole).

Yes, I’m still open to collaborations and such. I’d LOVE for them to have some sort of art connection when possible, but I will continue to work with companies I love.

Just wanted to give you a little update on what’s going on. I was so busy with mural projects and things in the fourth quarter of 2018 that I just didn’t have a lot of time to create content here and it helped me realize that I only want to create certain types of content.

Thanks for coming along with me on this crazy ride!