Having an Art Blog

Paivi from Peony and Parakeet with her painting Free Spirit

With this blog post, I am celebrating 10 years of blogging! This blog started “only” about 7 years ago, but my first blog post was written in May 2005, over 10 years ago! So, this time it’s all about bloggging, what it has done for me, and what it can do for you as well!

One or Many Blogs?

I suggest that you only have a one blog and that you try to update it as regularly as you can. I have done the exact opposite at first …

My first blog was a knitting blog called “Päivi neuloo” (Paivi Knits). It was born at the time when knitting blogs started to become popular and when both local and virtual knitting groups were born. I was the founder of the first Finnish virtual knitting community, so of course I started blogging too. This blog doesn’t exist anymore, but I was able to create a screenshot from my personal archive.

Paivi's first blog post in 2005

Now when I look at those socks (my own design called “Ornamental Cabbage”) I can see the connection with my current work. But back then, I didn’t have a clue. I wasn’t very active blogger and often felt that I have more finished knits than single blog posts. So to release myself from the pressures of blogging every knitted item, I created a new blog “Sukanvarsi” which was focused on sock knitting only. Now I only had to blog about finished sock projects!

In 2008, I founded my first Etsy shop Kukkilintu. The shop needed a blog so I founded one. Updating this blog was much more fun even if I blogged in a foreign language, in English. I started to get followers from other sides of the world. Along showing the handcrafted projects, I tried to write something about my personal life and desires too. During this time, I became more and more interested in creating art again. So I founded a new blog called “Peony and Parakeet” It wasn’t meant to be much, just a place to post some collage art. One of the main reasons for its existence was that I wanted to participate in some challenges and be able to send links to my images.

But to my surprise, Peony and Parakeet started to get followers. To get Finnish followers too, I decided to start a new blog: Pioni ja Parakiitti, a similar than Peony and Parakeet, but in Finnish! For a couple of years I blogged both in English and in Finnish, updated many blogs and wished I only had one! In 2012, I finally decided to have only one English blog and move to my own website.

If I could turn back the time, I had only stayed in one blog and gradually moved to a more narrowed focus and towards blogging in English. Building a new audience from one blog to another takes much more time than expanding the current audience. Every time I began a new blog, I thought that I would be a better blogger in a new blog. But now, when looking back, I only see gradual development, not that changing one blog to another had made a big change.

How to Find Focus?

The best way to build a great blog is to blog about three kind of things:
1) things that make you really excited even if revealing them feels scary at first
2) things that resonate with your current audience
3) things that excite new audience as well.
When you manage to create blog posts that succeed in all those three, you have found your focus!

Paivi from Peony and Parakeet in 2010

Back in 2010

In 2010, I wanted to gain more audience. Blogging had become a regular practice and my new little Etsy shop, also called Peony and Parakeet, had also got some more customers. I examined digital marketing guides and realized that I needed to create a blog post that would be useful for my readers. So I did what was told, I wrote a blog post about creating handdecorated papers and waited for a couple of days. During that time, very little people read the post. I felt disappointed and forgot the whole thing. But now, when looking back, it’s my most popular blog post ever! It only took some time for people to find it.

For me, blogging has taught that other people see me often more clearly than I do. Including art that didn’t look so great to me has been one of the best things that I have done. By reading the comments, I have learnt so much and it has also, in turn, made me a better teacher and commenter. I think that it’s built in blogging that when publishing a new blog post, it feels nerve-wracking. I often worry about grammar mistakes and think that I must be the only person in the world interested in the subjects that I write about. But the truth is that the more you go into the core of your enthusiasm, the more you will attract others.

What Makes an Art Blog?

There are few things where I try to improve and hope that others will too.

1) Being a visual person, pictures are really important for me. When I see very small pictures and a lot of text, I turn away.
2) Having very little text and no personal images makes the blog more distant.
3) About the quality of artwork: the more the images communicate visually, the better. If the artwork does not embark imagination or only shows off technical skills, it remains empty.

Paivi from Peony and Parakeet with a painting that she made as a child

With blogging we can also add more meaning to our images. In the picture above, I am holding a painting that I made when I was about 10 years old. Our family is represented in flowers: the blue violets are my mother, the dark palm leaves are my father, the yellow flowers are my two sisters and the red flowers represent me. The second photo has been taken at my favorite spot, remembering the night when I made the art journal spread and enjoyed listening to opera.

10 Years of Blogging – Celebrate with Me!

Have a look at the new Gallery page!
Check the updated Create page!

Tell me in the comments:
Do you have a blog? If not, are you planning to begin one?
Feel free to include a link to your blog!

Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Having an Art Blog

  1. Sue Dunn says:

    HI Paivi , thank you for sharing your blogging tips.I do not have a blog yet and one of the questions holding me back was should I have 2 blogs or just one blog with 2 themes.This has been a helpful post.I read your blog regularly because you have been very consistent with your posts.That is something that I have learned from you also.

    • Päivi says:

      Sue, thank you for mentioning consistency, it’s very important! I blog once a week and there are not many exceptions. This way blogging is actually easier than if I would do it less often!

  2. Judy Shea says:

    Hi Paivi.. I do have a blog. It’s been a little neglected in the past year. Trying to get back to it. Working a full-time job keeps me away too much from art. My blog is: http://thekeytomyart.wordpress.com Love for you to stop by. Thank you for all your tips and sharing.

  3. Mary W says:

    Your updates are wonderful! Have you ever had a dream that was so good, you didn’t want to wake up because all that goodness would be gone? Looking at your gallery is like one of those dreams to me except I can come back and look again (and often do). They are like going into a bakery at Christmas with rows and rows of wonderful pasteries and I want to try them all. It just makes me so happy to look at all these in one place – makes me hungry! Then I looked at the Create page and got lost in the Kariellian Pie post – hungry again! Lov eyour updated pages with all the links – thanks for all that work since I will certainly be back to look some more. And I won’t gain any weight! LOL

    • Päivi says:

      Thanks, Mary, I am so flattered! I sometimes see a dream about the house near the sea, the sun is shining and it’s so beautiful …

  4. Tina Wilson says:

    Love your gallery Paivi. So full of color and joy.
    I had one blog that I started because I wanted to lose some weight and become healthier and thought if I put myself out there I would be committed to the process. It turned into more of a diary but after a couple years I decided to change the focus. I erased the old posts because I felt they were too wordy and personal. I didn’t really have a following. I use the same blog address and title but now focus on things that bring me joy. It includes some of my still life photography, websites I’ve discovered, and fun finds, etc. The latest post is my newly rediscovered love of art and included my first Imagine Monthly art assignment. There is a link back to Imagine Monthly. My blog is titled Me Discovery and you can view it at:
    http://tmwdiscovery.blogspot.com/
    I love reading your blog and it inspires me.

  5. Tabitha Beck says:

    Hi Paivi…I love your work. I went through something similar when I started blogging. Every expert said have one focus, have one focus…so I started a knitting blog and a writing blog and then every writing project got its own blog…and then I started to create art…and then there was a personal blog for personal and family stuff…and every so often I would become too exhausted trying to keep up with so many blogs…then one day it sort of hit me…I am my own focus–my art, my knitting, my kids, it all belongs on one blog…and that’s where I have tried to stay–this is the first year officially that i have had a single blog–in the past few years there has been my main blog and a free creative prompt blog that I ran, but last year I began combining them–and this year…it’s just the one blog…I love your stories…and I adore your artwork, Thank you for sharing SO much of yourself. Oh…and here is the link to my Alyce journey… http://thisismysideofthemirror.com/ — thank you for letting me share that here.

    • Päivi says:

      I love how visual your blog is! … Yes, everybody says that focus and it’s true, but it’s also almost impossible to do that right from the beginning. I believe it’s same with art, you have to try a variety of techniques first before finding the true focus.

  6. Clemencia says:

    Hi Paivi, this blog post just heat me in the heart 🙂 I would never thought that you went from one blog to the other, which is exactly what I have done for a few years now,http://storytime-storytime.blogspot.com but finally decided to put it all together in one http://alifefullofpassions.blogspot.com. I went through a rough time posting and I was about to close my blog, but my love for blogging wouldn’t let me. Then you start talking about finding focus, which is my word of the year lol and you are so right, I can’t help it by to post things that are exciting to me, now I have to find the right people who gets excited about what I share 🙂 and thank you, thank you so much for the advice on what makes an art blog. Have to put all this to practice and find my tribe now 🙂 Hugs

    • Päivi says:

      Thanks for sharing your blogs and the story behind them! I am actually happily surprised about how much response this subject has got. I was very doubtful of publishing this post!

  7. Congratulations Pavi, I’ve been a reader for years, all the way from Pleasant Hill, MO USA. Love your style and learn from your great use of color and doodles. Wonderful work!

  8. Sandi Keene says:

    Congratulations Paivi! 10 years is such an accomplishment. I loved looking at your gallery and just discovered Tribute to an Old Watercolor Set which I had never seen before but LOVE. You are and will always be one of the most inspiring artists I have found on the internet and now I love that I can call you an art friend!

  9. iHanna says:

    You’ve Bern blogging almost as long as me – Congratulations! What a great accomplishment it is to still going strong!

  10. Lynda says:

    Interesting blog post! I have wondered about my blog name over the years since when it started it focused on three of my passions. In the past 5 years it’s really about the one. I’ve thought about changing it to my name but really like the audience I’ve built and still gives me the flexibility to blog about those other interests from time to time. Anyway, thanks for some food for thought today and love reading about your journey.

  11. Kathrin says:

    Hi Päivi, your blog is very inspirational and I am really enjoying it since I found it in 2014 – both the wonderful paintings and the text.
    Congratulations to your work and thank you for your inspiring blog!
    What you said about sharing bad art: it often happened to me that what I considered as not so good got a lot of positive response and vice versa.
    I have got a blog (www.kathiwerner.wordpress.com) and since I have started it, my posts have changed as have my drawings – not predictable for me – so good to read about your experience!