Week-End Inspiration–Slogging through the Wasteland

Screen shot 2013-10-26 at 10.11.24 AMThe Muse visits during the act of creation., not before  Don’t wait for her. Start alone.”  Roger Ebert

It’s been a long week and you are counting on having some time to create art this week-end.  You are pumped, you are ready, all your supplies out, then… nothing.  A big fat nothing!  The Muse has left the building.  Major bummer!   All the planning to have this time and the inspiration has dried up.  All dressed up and nowhere to go.  What now?

In Twelve Steps to Stay Inspired the authors have some great ideas such as get outside, go looking for inspiration.  If the Muse is gone, go looking for where she went.  Do some searching in a park or the shopping mall.  Drop in to a local tourist site and mingle with the tourists.  Seeing things through the eyes of the tourists may change your perspective.

Listening to dreams is on Artpromotivate’s list of 20 Art Inspiration Ideas for Creativity.  That is an interesting one.  Can you remember what dreams you had last night?  Were you too tired from the week before to even have dreams?  If not what was the last memorable dream you did have?  Write it down.  Sketch it.  Think about its meaning.  See if there might be some sparks lurking down in your dreams ready to light some fire.  Hopefully, you haven’t had any nightmares recently.  Or maybe you have!

Smashing Magazine says if you have a regular “go to” place for inspiration, change it up.  Go somewhere different.  ArtistsInspireArtists.com suggests a look into what other artists are doing.  Find inspiration from your peers.  See what is inspiring them.

If all else fails, go to the studio and make some marks.  Any marks.  Taking the steps may bring out the rest. The effort will, hopefully, start to take shape.  Sometimes the best things happen when feeling lost in the drought.  The defenses are down and feelings dejected.   You never know.  There just might be a pleasant surprise waiting to show up on the canvas, paper, etc.   Something wonderful may grow out of the wasteland!

SEO, So So

“I’m not a marketing person.  I don’t ask myself questions.  I go by instinct.” Karl Lagerfeld (from BrainyQuote)Screen shot 2013-10-22 at 10.56.16 AM

How does the whole Search Engine Optimization(SEO) thing work and is it important for artists?  It may depend on two factors.  First, how tech savvy you are may indicate how effective SEO is for you. The second factor depends on how much time or money you have to invest.  The whole point of SEO is to get your website on pages one through three of the big search engines.  If your website does make it to page one through three, does that equal success?

This is not an easy conversation for artists who really just want to paint.  Whether or not it is important to take the time to become more tech savvy is naturally up to the individual.  Artist Rizwana A. Mundewadi, writing for Absolute Arts is not so sure it is vital for artists.  Mundewadi states the more important thing is to write from your heart about your art.  She believes, you, the artist, are the best person to write about your art.  You are the one with the passion.  Mundewadi states, “This some how is felt even on the net, there is a connection with genuine hearts.”

Duran Inci, writing for Optimum 7, says SEO can be very rewarding for artists and muscians and a strong marketing component.  However, Inci advises the use of a company with the know- how and successful track record particularly for artists.  His article gives several tips for finding the right SEO company for artists.  The most important point Inci makes is long-term commitment.  There are no short cuts or quick fixes.  The rewards come from staying with the plan.

Smashing Magazine features an article on the SEO topic by Paul Boag advocating the same basic idea as Mundewadi, though with more tech information.  Boag makes it plain that people should take control of their own websites and blogs.  Boag outlines a good plan for doing this with the point that the primary driver of traffic is good content.  If you want more traffic, write good content that people are interested in.  Feature useful information people will want to share with others.

The bottom line is SEO may be helpful if you have the time and/or money and especially the interest.  If you do not, concentrate on what you do have.  Most artists have a passion for their art.  That is the key.  Write about it.  Tell people what you find in your art.  Talk about what you are passionate about in a way that is useful to other people.  Become as tech savvy as you want but above all, be who you are.  Let your heart shine and others will connect.