Blogging about your art may seem less fashionable these days, replaced entirely by the quick and simple posts of Facebook or Instagram, but Lisa Call has proved that nurturing a blog can be one of the most beneficial practices that an artist can pursue—for marketing as well as self-discovery.
Lisa dove headfirst into the blogging world back in 2005 and created such an excellent blog that I have referenced it many times both on this site and in the first three editions of my book. Unfortunately, her blog went up in flames before I could mention it in my fourth edition.
That major set back hasn’t stopped Lisa from continuing to create what I consider one of the best examples of a good artist blog.
Lisa makes textile-based art and uses hand dyed fabric to create large abstract compositions. She uses her blog not for marketing her work but as a place where she can share her opinions about art and learn more about herself and her work. In fact, Lisa credits her blog as the single greatest factor in her success as an artist. (Turns out it had been an unintended marketing tool all along.)
In our conversation, she shares the benefits of blogging and why she decided to revive her blog after all those posts disappeared. We also go over some of the steps she’s taking to republish old posts and how her blog has led her to opportunities that she otherwise never would have imagined. Of course, blogging isn’t for everyone, but if you enjoy writing and sharing insights about your life as an artist, this is an episode you are going to want to listen to.
Music by Wildermiss
- Lisa shares the evolution of her textile-based abstract compositions. (2:21)
- Why blog? Lisa offers insights into the value of blogging as a way to unite the artist community, share opinions, and market her work (the latter being only incidental). (4:08)
- Structuring blog posts in a meaningful way. (8:40)
- Recovering a broken website, republishing missing posts, and discovering yourself along the way. (10:10)
- Lisa’s method for categorizing her current blog posts. (19:00)
- Defining your purpose in blogging and setting boundaries within your posts. (24:53)
- Details of the Make Big Art blog and juggling the ins and outs of SEO for two blogs. (27:25)
- The benefits and accountability that come with blogging about art. (33:50)
- How to find the balance between blogging, Facebook posts, and email lists. (35:30)
- Lisa’s advice for successfully blogging about your art. (40:06)
- A glimpse inside Lisa’s current project. (44:32)
- Lisa’s Blog
- Make Big Art Blog
- Lisa Call on Instagram
- Lisa's Online Workshops
- Bandelier National Monument
- “I have a fascination with making fabric do things that it doesn’t want to do.”
- “I didn’t want to sell stuff. I just wanted to post pictures of things I was working on and create a community of artists.”
- “Blogging creates an opportunity to step back from fitting in and being able to have an opinion.”
- “When I blog I always learn something about myself, and it’s never what I thought it was going to be.”
- “Blogging creates an amazing way to learn about myself and what I think about my artwork.”
- “I can honestly attribute my entire career to my blog.”
About My GuestLisa Call is a visual artist that makes abstract contemporary textile paintings composed of her richly colored hand-dyed fabric. An American ex-pat living in New Zealand, her work is informed by the surrounding landscape and also her fascination with repetition.
Lisa works in series, exploring themes of interest in great depth. She manipulates sections of pre-constructed color, versus applying pigment in small brush strokes, to create each composition. Individual elements are cut freehand and placed onto a flannel-covered studio wall, where she works improvisationally—designing, constructing, and refining the lines and shapes in the piece. Extensive stitching on the surface adds rich texture to the finished work.
Music by Wildermiss