February 23, 2009
cathy nichols : artists who blog
Cathy's website: www.cathynichols.com
Cathy's blog: www.cathynichols.blogspot.com
Why did you decide to start a blog?
For seven years I was part of a very active artists’ co-op in Venice, California called The Ten Women Gallery, and I loved the way that working in the shop kept me in touch with the wonderful people who were buying my art. Then, in 2007, when I left California I wanted to keep in touch with my fans and friends, so I started blogging! It was a wonderful way to update people on the west coast who missed stopping by to see me & my work in Venice. Plus I made many new friends all over the world.
How has blogging affected your work as an artist/designer?
I think blogging has really motivated me to create new work. Every time I post a new painting, I feel like a kid running home from school with a fingerpainting on construction paper saying Look mom! Look what I made! There is nothing more fulfilling to me as an artist then getting immediate feedback. Art is such a visual medium, and I think we all want to communicate, to be seen.
What are your favorite artist/designer blogs? Why?
My all-time favorite blog is Marisa Haedike’s Creative Thursday. This is because Marisa was my first friend to start blogging and I LOVE that she posts a new painting almost every day. I have two of her original paintings in my daughter’s room, and they are two charming and kind creatures that watch over her while she sleeps.
Do you have any advice for artists/designers who are starting a blog?
My best piece of advice is to post new work regularly. It keeps people coming back. It’s also nice if you can blog every day, but I haven’t been able to do that myself since my second child was born.
What has been the most positive and inspirational aspect of having a blog for you?
I guess I am just amazed that so many people actually have an interest in my paintings! It’s very motivating and it brings back some of that wonderful community spirit that I so loved at the Ten Women Gallery.
What do you find the most difficult/most rewarding part of having a creative profession?
Right now I’m finding the most difficult part of having a creative profession is actually finding the time to create and market myself while also raising two babies (aged 6 months and 2 years). I never really get to relax. But the rewards of the artistic life have been much broader than I had ever imagined. Creating a new painting is incredibly fulfilling for me. I love turning my imagination and memories inside out and playing with color. It’s also a wonderful way to connect with other people – both through making art and through sharing it.
Other than your blog, what has been the most effective way for you to promote your art/design?
I think being on ETSY has really helped to introduce many people all over the world to my work. And I also still stay active in the non-virtual world by participating in gallery shows and even hanging my work in a local coffee shop.
How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance?
I’m teetering on the edge at the moment, but I think that it all comes down to making the babies nap at the same time and go to sleep from 7pm to 7 am. I work when they sleep – and I try to fulfill print orders at night when I’m tired and create new paintings during daytime naps while I am most alert. I also multitask a lot... and forget/lose things a lot. But I keep working because I never want to get rusty. There will come a point when both children are at school where I will finally have a surplus of time (at least I dream this to be the case!), and I want to be ready.
What are your main goals for 2009?
My main goal is to keep painting... but I’ve told myself that this summer I will finally get back to doing some encaustic work. I had started doing small narrative encaustic pieces before I got pregnant, and I can’t wait to get the wax cooking again to see what evolves!