The past year for me has meant a slight distance from painting for the best reason.
In 2018 I spent a vast majority of the year working on something that in the end, I didn’t feel was good enough to release as a collection. This work has stayed private and ongoing, and hopefully one day I will be able to call it complete. For now, it is one of the first times I have felt that I couldn’t quite meet the challenge that I had set for myself. I took this quite hard, as I have always stepped up to my own personal goals with painting, however it is good to know there is still so much to improve upon and aspire towards. I did manage to work on a collection named Dawn Chorus based on bird species from around the world, this made my heart glow and reinstalled my love for painting. Just after finishing this collection, I had my son Reuben. I continued to paint in small doses to ease myself back into work, from just a week after he was born. I did this not only because I can’t seem to go too long without picking up a paint brush, but I had also spent the better part of a year working on a project that never made it to the end product. I am lucky enough to call my passion a job, and also lucky enough to work from home and be with Reuben. However my time has been split and limited!
During my pregnancy I had moved home, “gave up” for the moment on one body of work and started/completed another, and therefore distanced ever so slightly from social media. Social media has been an important outlet for my work since 2013, when I made the majority of my sales online. I worked hard to research how to use social media, as well as gathering a lovely, like minded following for my work and its progression. On returning to social media, it had changed. A lot.
When talking to people about Instagram’s new algorithm which took the timeline from chronological, to a new format, these conversations seemed heated and annoyed. Why would these social media sites stop showing us the posts of the accounts we have followed? For anyone unaware of the change, the algorithm detects posts that you have previously engaged with (comments/likes) and shows you more of this material. If you clicked ‘like’ on a photo of a poison dart frog, you will see more poison dart frogs… I personally like a poison dart frog from time to time, but it doesn’t mean I want to see a stream of them as I scroll. This is all in the name of profit. Instagram/Facebook can then ask you to pay for adverts to have your post seen by the very people who initially chose to follow you.
As someone who profited from these platforms, I can wholeheartedly understand why Instagram and Facebook would chose to charge, and profit from the apps they created, which have previously helped many people build lucrative and profitable business profiles.
I am choosing to continue writing blog posts to reach my original audience, and hopefully send out a more personal and detailed run down of the work I do, how I do it and what I have been up to, for anyone that may be interested! I will post links from my social media accounts so you know when there will be a post! As I plan for the year ahead it would be great to hear from you, what sort of posts you like and what you would like to know about through my blog posts! I would also like to start a Facebook group of a community of artists, where we can share our preferences in materials/techniques etc and chat about art, artists and help one another out! If this is something you may be interested in please let me know!
If you are reading this, thank you wholeheartedly for supporting my art work.