Be Smart About Art

Why not?

written by: Susan Mumford June 19, 2016 1) RECOMMENDED-> Susan's weekly blog post 2863 views

Why not?

from our Sunday reading series - a weekly blog post (subscribe here

The wording “Why not?” jumped out while walking through a park that had been home to Carter’s Steam Fair in South London only hours before. It was dusk on a Sunday in June, and blog photographer Chris King and I decided to go out to try catch an some lovely evening light.

When we stumbled upon the plate adorning the front of a vehicle, we immediately agreed that the phrase could provide the basis for a post. With photographic gear already to hand, we staged an impromptu shoot.

With the creation of an image, writing concepts materialised. The one that still stands out to me is how to respond when you have an opportunity.

Consider this scenario:

An art fair organiser offers you a complimentary stand for a show that takes place in six weeks’ time. You might internally think, “why not?” Or in other words, sure, might as well, what do I have to lose?

Your thought process will vary depending on if you’re a person who sees the glass half full or empty. If the former, you’ll presumably imagine a number of possible positive outcomes. If the latter, you may wonder what the catch is if you accept the offer.

Although I could carry on, I’ll refrain. What I want you to see in this piece of self-reflective writing is how a story has been crafted around a single image. Countless self-employed professionals struggle to keep on top of their blog and email newsletter, despite having best intentions to maintain an active blog and email campaign. Having personally written weekly posts for 43 months, I’ve developed methods for generating new ideas, keeping track of numerous concepts, and maintaining a commitment to publish on a weekly basis.

First and foremost, remember that online pieces needn’t be wordy. If you don’t like writing, you can go heavy on imagery, providing only basic text in association with visuals. You can also opt for vlogging, or video blogging, the content of which can readily be created with a smartphone.

What then about the generation of ideas? Consider the two ways that I generate storylines: 1) The majority are generated during real-time conversations or workshops, based on my own life experiences, those of others, or concepts discussed at the time. 2) An image is created, and the narrative is crafted around and/or inspired by the visual.

As for capturing ideas? I encourage you to make a promise-to-self to record each and every concept at the time that it presents itself. If you’re anything like I am, they’ll fly out of your head as swiftly as they appeared. Keep a log of every single idea that ever occurs to you in a single location. (It’s amazing how useful this is.)

And if you’re one for social accountability, promise a set regularity of publication. As much as keeping to promises builds trust in your brand, not keeping them can be equally damaging. So only promise regularity (monthly, quarterly and the like) if you really will stick to it.

With these personal tips combined with your own creative flair and unique life experiences, why not give writing and some of these methods a go? 


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