Sunday 16 October 2011

Illustration blogging: why it's essential - a SONSI discussion

This post is mainly a supplementary series of links and points accompanying our discussion, "Illustration blogging: why it's essential" at SONSI's 2011 Presentation Day

"...The big problem isn't piracy, it's obscurity." - Cory Doctorow after Tim O-Reilly.

What is a blog?

-Creators, Groups and Curators (example1 example2 example3)
-Netiquette in the blogosphere (blogrolls, rss feeds)

Selected reading: Blogs: face the conversation, by Bora Zivkovic, A Blog Around the Clock.

Why do artists and illustrators need a blog?

-Self-promotion (Art Mondays)
-Community (#10oclockart)
-Who is it for? (remember the audience, pull back the curtain)

A brief note on the preciousness of your images: Let it go.
-Creative Commons Licences
-dying of exposure vs hoarding

Selected reading:
In the digital era free is easy, so how do you persuade people to pay? by Cory Doctorow, The Guardian. 

What do we want copyright to do? by Cory Doctorow, the Guardian.


-How accurate is possible? 
-What are they for? Illustrating a point, showing off work, hoping for new work?
-The problem with heavy watermarks and disabling right-clicking.
Selected reading: How Not To Display Your Artwork on the Web, Charley Parker, Lines and Colors.

A brief note on the preciousness of your images: Protect everyone.
-Google Reverse Image Search
Selected reading: It's time for Illustrators to take back the Net, by Glendon Mellow, Symbiartic.

Common Blog Platforms


-Building a blog. Let's make one right now in session.
-Blogger Dynamic Views

Widgets and stats.

Twitter - Microblogging.

G+ - Why Google+ is the new hotness.
-A quick look 

Why illustrators need to blog. Summary and further discussion.

A couple of fun links.
Should I work for free - Flowchart by Jessica Hische
See something, cite something - Flowchart by Rosscott, Inc.

If you attended the discussion and would like clarification or help with anything we discussed, comment or email me!  Happy to help.

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow
under Creative Commons Licence.

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--> Find me on Symbiartic, the art+science blog on the new Scientific American Blog Network!


Erica said...

Since I couldn't see this talk in person, can you elaborate on "who's it for"? Writing a great blog means targeting a fairly narrow audience, but there must be a difference in writing for other illustrators (is that useful?) vs. writing for potential clients (what is it "they" — a pretty broad group — need/want to see)?

Tygenco said...

I suppose that having an actual blog of sorts--other than my livejournal and deviantArt--would be a good thing for me to invest in.

Recommendations? I hear a lot about tumblr and blogspot but it's always along the lines of "it's easy, just like your lj" and nothing else constructive enough to help me decide.

Glendon Mellow said...

Hey Erica!

Yeah, I plan on following up this post with some of the points covered in the discussion. This was pretty much a place to park my links.

I will say though, I often find many illustrators write to build a community of each other, and forget to include and address the potential audience and clients who might want to buy their stuff.

I kind of addressed my audience accidentally when I started blogging. I didn't link at first to other artists very much: I linked to all the science blogs I was reading. Eventually, from commenting on science blogs and clicking through links to to those same blogs from Flying Trilobite, some of the scientists and writers checked up to see who I was. Led to my first commission.

Glendon Mellow said...

Tygenco, I've used Blogger, Wordpress and Tumblr, and Blogger is by far my favourite.

Blogger has a lot of support, a lot of innovation and almost never goes down. Easy to use, lots of templates.

Tumblr is notorious for going down a lot, and I have some issues with the interface and how easily supported copyright infringement is.

Wordpress is also very flexible, and very useful. A bit more complex than Blogger, imo, but still elegant enough it's not a chore to use.

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