artist blogger interviews

Artist Bloggers Talk: What Makes for a Rewarding Blog?

What is an artist blog? That question is certainly easier to answer than the philosophical question “What is art?”

The bloggers interviewed here follow no rulebook when it comes to defining their own blogs.

Along with the online galleries and exhibition listings, we find various means to buy their art; invitations to in-person workshops; chronicles of works in progress; videos of public installations; and behind-the-scenes glimpses of the artists at work in their studios.

Now they’re inviting you to enter their private blogging world, as they share their passions, struggles, and lessons learned. This is one invitation you won’t soon forget.

 

Meet our Panel of Blogging Artists

Our artists hail from Europe, New Zealand, and America. Some had formal training in art while others are self-taught. All have created capitvating blogs we think our readers can learn from.
 

Eva Lewarne, Eva Lewarne

eva lewarne blog
https://www.evalewarne.com/

Eva Lewarne’s life has been shaped by a love of art and a quest to understand the mystery of existence and the individual.

Her work has been influenced by the observation of, and compassion for, suffering — whether that of peasants depicted in the paintings of Breughel or the victims of Hitler’s atrocities.

“I am a post-war child born right at the end of World war II in Poland,” she states. “I have pictures of myself walking with my grandfather among the ruins of the city.”

When she was a child Eva preferred sketching to watching broadcasts on her family’s new black and white television.

“Mona Lisa hung above my bed and across from her a Modigliani. I wanted to paint like that,” she recalls.

Eva’s art has been shown at the Grand Palais in Paris and in exhibitions worldwide. She has received many awards and medals from both sides of the Atlantic.

Readers of her blog will find thoughtful observations on contemporary culture, compassion, Zen, and other topics, that are all interwoven with her art. The variety of thought can be seen in post titles like The Effect of Ads Injected into Serious Articles in Social Media and Artists as Shamans in Society.

 

Nancy Paris Pruden, Nancy Paris Pruden Fine Art

nancy paris pruden fine art
https://parispruden.com/

Nancy Paris Pruden is an award-winning painter who lives in Houston, Texas.

Her website features galleries of her still lifes, landscapes, and portraits as well as her works painted en plein air.

Nancy is known for her focus on texture and color and for using the alla prima style of oil painting.

Nancy’s blog gives her the opportunity to share small works she creates between commissions; “little oil sketches of ideas for future paintings or just small things of beauty that strike me at odd moments.”

In her blog, we get a glimpse into Nancy’s thought process, her delight in her surroundings and the act of painting, and her enthusiasm for teaching.

Browse her blog and you’ll see her on the Amalfi coast in Italy painting, or teaching a workshop in Park City, Utah.

Nancy organizes workshops in Europe and North America, like this upcoming event in Sonoma.

Under “Candids” we find a delightful assortment of photos of Nancy and her friends and students painting in various cities and simply enjoying life.
 

Carol Moore, Moores Art Gallery

carol moore's art gallery
http://mooresartgallery.com/

Carol Moore is an Oregon-based artist who works in colored pencil, watercolor pencil, graphite, charcoal and sometimes acrylics.

She began freelancing as an artist in 1999 and later added website design and online ad design to her portfolio of services.

Carol’s award-winning illustrations have appeared in galleries, books, and magazines, and she has published articles on her technique.

Visitors to her website and blog will find colored pencil lessons, tutorials, and information on her works in progress.

Carol uses the Zazzle and Etsy e-commerce platforms to sell her artworks, as well as receiving commission requests directly.

The free resources that Carol provides readers include colored pencil tips and techniques; tutorials such as how to portray rocks;  supply sources; tutorials in various media, and recommended books and magazines.

 

Cindy Chinn, Cindy Chinn

cindy chinn website
http://cindychinn.com/

Cindy Chinn is a Nebraska-based artist who works in an unusual variety of media.

She’s a wood carver, a painter, a pencil artist, and a sculptor.

She’s created wearable art and even a steampunk electric guitar.

Her works include commissioned mural paintings, old saws remade into metal art, and miniature carvings made from lead pencils.

“I am a full-time fine artist and when I create artwork, I am reminded how lucky I am to have the freedom to do I as choose,” says Cindy.

Cindy’s blog shows readers the step-by-step process of art that Cindy is creating.

It also takes readers behind the scenes at her incredible 33,000 square foot studio. That property, built in 1907, was originally a school.

Cindy’s future plans for the property include using it for artist retreats and classes.

You can see Cindy at work in her environment, including in her welding studio at the property, thanks to her YouTube videos which are embedded in her blog posts.

 

Ali Dunnell, Travels With My Art

travels with my art ali dunnell
http://travelswithmyart.com/

Ali Dunnell is an adventurer and she wants you to tag along.

Some twenty years ago, after completing a degree in art history, Ali took a year off to travel. That adventure turned into 10 years filled with explorations of all the world’s continents.

In her thirties, Ali returned to England where she became a newspaper and radio journalist. After marriage and three children, Ali and her husband decided to work abroad again in order to give their children a “taste of international life and an experience of different cultures.”

Ali’s travel experiences are captured through her camera lens and in countless sketchbooks.

Her blog is the gallery through which she shares her art, as well as “musings on travel, expat life, art, teaching and motherhood.”
 

Reina Cottier, Reina Cottier Art

reina cottier art
https://reinacottier.com/

Reina Cottier is a New Zealand artist who describes herself as a “creative intuitive.”

After a long career as a hairdresser, Reina sold her salon and rediscovered her love of art.

The flora and fauna of New Zealand figure prominently in her works as do motifs from Maori and other Pacific island art.

The koru — a symbol commonly used in Maori art — is common in Reina’s work. The koru depicts an unfurling silver fern. It’s said to symbolize creation, new growth, strength, and a return to beginnings.

Reina’s art has been featured in books and magazines and is in private collections worldwide.

Reina shows her works in progress via her blog and the process behind creation. She also uses video to take the readers into new environments, like this reveal of a painting that was installed in an office building.

Reina is active on several social media platforms and interacts the most on Facebook: “I love meeting new people and building on those relationships,” she says.
 

John Hogan, Art and Life Analysis

art life analysis
http://artandlifeanalysis.blogspot.com/

U.K.-based artist John Hogan began drawing and painting at an early age. He went on to earn a degree in graphic design.

Since then he has enjoyed a full-time career as a professional illustrator for advertising and editorial projects, in web and print publications.

He works in a surprising variety of styles and formats including digital 3D design.

His commercial and private work seems to draw on a myriad of influences, from Caravaggio to Hieronymus Bosch and twentieth-century surrealism.

John has exhibited widely, serves an international clientele,  and his works are held in public and private collections.

John’s most recent blog posts chronicle his new forays into illustrations for children’s stories.

As part of his goal, he has enrolled in a second M.A. program, this one specializing in illustrations for children’s literature.

Q&A With the Art Blogging Experts

We asked each blogger the same 5 questions.

Let’s visit their blogging world.
 
starting an artist blog
 

Why did you start blogging?

Eva Lewarne, Eva Lewarne

I began blogging as a reaction to what I was seeing and reading, art or life-related.

I began to wonder why art is becoming so unprofessional in our times, why we are not more concerned about our environment, and how we are allowing fascism to rise in our political life.

I feel we all have a responsibility to voice our concerns.

Nancy Paris Pruden, Nancy Paris Pruden Fine Art

Love of teaching painting. I have been a teacher for 15 years but an artist for 50. Noticed that most people didn’t realize that it was a teachable subject

Reina Cottier, Reina Cottier Art

I wanted an online outlet for my art, it was a way to get my artworks out there, as well as talking about my process, at that early point I didn’t have a dedicated website.

Carol Moore, Moores Art Gallery

I started blogging because I wanted to share with my followers and viewers step-by-step of works in progress, tips, advice, and resources on the web.

Cindy Chinn, Cindy Chinn

I work on a lot of commissioned artwork for people all over the States and around the world. I needed a way to share progress photos and updates on their projects, so I started making a blog post that they could share with their friends and family.

Ali Dunnell, Travels With My Art

The main reason I started my Travels with my Art blog was because I wanted to share my travel photographs, paintings, diaries and sketches with friends and family who were at ‘home’ in the UK, while I was living and traveling overseas.

Also, I had previously had some success in exhibiting and selling my art and thought that having a blog would be a great way for me to reach a potentially larger global audience.

John Hogan, Art and Life Analysis

As a professional artist/Illustrator, I needed a place to share and promote my services.

top-art-bloggers
Candid moments: From left: Eva Lewarne in her kitchen, Nancy Paris Pruden (at table right) with friends in Ireland; Cindy Chinn with her collection of rusty saws. 

motivation artist blogging
 

What’s your secret to staying motivated & inspired long term?

Eva Lewarne, Eva Lewarne

Probably because I care about our world and the role of art in it.

Cindy Chinn, Cindy Chinn

Creating is my life, so I am always working on something new, a new commission or series.

I like to keep these projects chronicled for future reference and clients like to watch the process of creation. As long as I am creating, I will blog about it.

Nancy Paris Pruden, Nancy Paris Pruden Fine Art

Actually, I seem to find something more to say from my students but also from my own experiments. There is so much to learn!

Ali Dunnell, Travels With My Art

My secret to being motivated and inspired to write my blog is really very simple, it is because it combines my two passions — travel and art. I have always kept travel diaries and enjoy regularly updating them with images and narratives, and my blog is just an online version of this.

I love sharing stories and images about my travel experiences and also enjoy getting the positive feedback about my blog posts from people around the world.

Reina Cottier, Reina Cottier Art

Change. I made sure I sought change in style, medium and process over time. This kept me motivated (by doing the same thing over and over is a slow death to me).

When I would discover something exciting, it always felt good to share it.

Carol Moore, Moores Art Gallery

The secret to staying motivated and inspired for so long is the love of sharing of what I create and what I know as an artist. It’s a joy to help others grow and learn.

John Hogan, Art and Life Analysis

I try to create a new post as often as I can, usually a few times a month but this could be over 2 weeks depending upon my time.

I try to give the posts strong visual content as well as being informative and interesting.

 

art by art bloggers
Our artists use their sites to present galleries of their work. Left: Eva Lewarme’s Red Canoe (top) and Home Sweet Home, both from her raven collection. Middle: Nancy Paris Pruden’s Park City Dawn (bottom) and Untitled (boats in Rockport, Maine)(top), from her mountain plein air collection and plein air collection. Right: Ali Dunnell’s sketch of interval drinks at the bar in the Stockholm Opera House (top) and her sketch of Winking Willy’s, her favorite fish and chips shop, in Scarborough, England.

 

successful artist bloggers
 

What do you think had the biggest impact on making your blog a success?

Nancy Paris Pruden, Nancy Paris Pruden Fine Art

Am I a success?

Eva Lewarne, Eva Lewarne

Maybe the fact that I use social media extensively.

Cindy Chinn, Cindy Chinn

I think that I can attribute the success of my blog to the amount of detail and work in progress photos that I include.

It tells the complete story of creation. Also, it is real, if I run into issues with technique, I include that.

John Hogan, Art and Life Analysis

I believe people are naturally drawn to creativity and creative posts that offer an insight into the working life of an artist.

Reina Cottier, Reina Cottier Art

I created a unique art style over time, something that is ‘signature Reina’, and that is what people like and ask for.

Even when I have huge changes, and go off in other directions, its this style that I come back to, even though that style has evolved as well.

Carol Moore, Moores Art Gallery

I think the one thing that has impacted making my blog so successful is I put my readers first.

Ali Dunnell, Travels With My Art

I think the one thing which had the biggest impact on making Travels with my Art a success was the realization that the content of my blog posts must always be of a good quality and also that I regularly need to share my posts.

I have found that the more frequently I write blog posts the more interaction I get with people and this increases my blog’s traffic.

It is important to remember to write well and share visually striking images — if you want people to read your blog then make sure your blog posts are interesting, unique and original.

art by cindy chinn and carol moore
How did she do that? At left, elephants carved by Cindy Chinn from a pencil; at right, colored pencil drawing by Carol Moore. Both artists use their blogs to share their process and techniques. 
 
lessons for artist bloggers
 

What lesson about blogging do you wish you’d known before starting out?

Eva Lewarne, Eva Lewarne

It is best to be a plain-speaker and talk from the heart, rather than citing a lot of authorities and their opinions.

Nancy Paris Pruden, Nancy Paris Pruden Fine Art

Try not to use the word “I” or “me.” The blog is information for the reader.

John Hogan, Art and Life Analysis

Keeping a wide focus, i.e., including other artists work to add interest and comparison.

Reina Cottier, Reina Cottier Art

The use of certain words in my content to attract readers/viewers. Better titles for my posts, that are to the point with keywords.

Carol Moore, Moores Art Gallery

One lesson I wish I had known when starting out is disciplining myself to be consistent in writing blog posts.

Cindy Chinn, Cindy Chinn

I have a running list of photos, starting from the top and in order… this is annoying when you have already been there watching the daily progress of a project because you have to scroll pretty far as I get further along.

So I started posting the updated/most recent photo at the top of the blog.

I had to go back and change a lot of posts.

Ali Dunnell, Travels With My Art

I wish I’d have known more about the importance of sharing things on social media. It has taken me quite a long time to build up my social media followers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest etc.

When I first started blogging I mainly shared my posts with friends and family, which meant I only had a limited audience. Reaching out to other people via social media has increased my blog traffic so much.

Now, I share my blog posts in lots of different places and on a wide variety of social media groups and always make sure I interact with people who have left likes or comments.

 

A sense of place: Reina Cottier shows blog readers where her commissioned works have been installed. This triptych features motifs inspired by Maori art. Reina also shares, through video, her works in progress.
 
advice artist bloggers
 

Best advice would you give a new blogger?

Eva Lewarne, Eva Lewarne

Be yourself and develop your voice.

Nancy Paris Pruden, Nancy Paris Pruden Fine Art

Write about what you love.

Reina Cottier, Reina Cottier Art

Be you. Do your research about content, then apply it to your ‘thing.’

Have images to accompany your blogs, share to all your social media platforms.

Post regularly, be confident in what you are saying/showing.

Carol Moore, Moores Art Gallery

Value your readers. Make time for them when they respond to your blog posts. It will keep them returning to read more.

John Hogan, Art and Life Analysis

Try to maintain continuity, post at least once every 1 to 2 weeks.

Post with the reader in mind. Be aware of your target audience.

Try to include visually stimulating imagery.

Cindy Chinn, Cindy Chinn

If you are writing an artistic blog, don’t get too wordy. People want to look at the pictures and if they have more questions, they want to read a short description.

Well, that’s how I like to do it so that is how I do my blog. If people want more in-depth information, they write me.

Ali Dunnell, Travels With My Art

The one piece of advice I would give to new bloggers is to make sure you link up with other bloggers.

Whether you do this by following lots of other blogs, commenting on blogs, joining blogging groups on social media or researching existing blogs in your subject area – however you do it, be sure to link up.

Fellow bloggers can be supportive, encouraging and a great source of ideas too.

john hogan illustrations
Down a new path: John Hogan’s blog is chronicling his forays into illustrations for children’s books. John shares his uncertainty, challenges, and questions as he creates art to illustrate mock text. 

Final Notes and Insights

A big thank you to the artist bloggers profiled here. Their unusual journeys and wisdom shared are much appreciated. We highly recommend that you spend time exploring their blogs and art.

Key Takeaways

  • Write clearly and concisely.
  • Post regularly. Use social media. Be yourself.
  • Interact and respond to readers.
  • Reach out to other bloggers with questions.

Know an artist blogger who we should feature here? Have another idea for a blogger interview? Please let us know!

Sherrie is a former magazine editor and marketing executive who helps small businesses identify and solve their biggest digital problems. That includes helping clients discover the power of a good blog.