May 9, 2009
alessandra de souza : artists who blog
Alessandra's blog: www.gypsygirlsguide.com
Alessandra's shop: www.gypsygirlsguide.etsy.com
Why did you decide to start a blog?
After reading several creative blogs for a couple of years, I couldn’t help but feel inspired to create my own cyber home, to foster all my dreams, images, musings, and to connect with other likeminded artists. In addition, my underlining goal has always been to find my own voice and to walk the path towards making my creative dreams real.
How did you come up with the name of your blog?
The Gypsy Girl’s Guide Blog is the beginning of a vision and project I have in mind. The word Gypsy was meant to embody my adventurous and mystical spirit, weather I was focused on travel or simply on my life’s journey. I called it a Guide, because I truly believe that we always learn best from the honest exchange of knowledge and experience, whether it comes in perfect linear chapters or in messy heartfelt posts.
How has blogging affected your work as an artist/designer?
In every possible magical way! Blogging gave me a much needed structure to stay constantly inspired and taking creative action on the daily basis. It also gifted me with an amazing creative community, who keeps me motivated, holds me accountable and makes me feel supported. And finally, blogging gave my work some great visibility, presenting me with some very interesting opportunities and the official launch of my Photography business.
What are your favorite artist/designer blogs? Why?
This question literally stopped me on my tracks, because there are so many incredible blogs out there and I don’t want to leave anyone out. For years, I have been reading all the blogs listed as *Making the World a Better Place* on my sidebar. All of those blogs are a treat in their own special way and worth checking out.
With that said, here are some must reads, that in my opinion, combine the whole package of writing, art, design and consistent content:
Decor8: Holly Becker creates a wonderful catalogue of beautiful finds. Her blog is an elegant assembly of all my favorite magazines. She features all that is fresh, hip and colorful in Art and Design, and she does great work promoting established and emerging artists of all styles and mediums.
Shutter Sisters: Tracey Clark and all the talented sisters that participate on this site, have created an amazing community for Photography enthusiasts. This multi-facetted blog offers beautiful images, technical and artistic insights, weekly assignments, heartfelt inspiration, interviews, fabulous giveaways and more. I feel really proud to have contributed to Shutter Sisters a few times as guest blogger.
My Marrakesh: Maryam Montague runs a charismatic blog filled with visual recounts of her adventures in Marrakesh and around Africa. Maryam and I share the same gypsy spirit, with a passion for travel, color and ethnic design. I can’t wait to visit her guest house, the Peacock Pavillions, in the near feature.
Ink on my fingers: I have a major crush on Susannah Conway’s blog. I love how she weaves her personal story with her beautiful photography, her flawless writing and her design sensibility. Susannah’s blog has a progression and an intriguing unravelling of sorts. You just don’t want to miss any of it. It’s a complete package of beauty, inspiration and soul.
Do you have any advice for artists/designers who are starting a blog?
If the technical aspects of setting up your blog are stopping you, ask for help. Once you are set up, don’t get overwhelmed and don’t try to put yourself on a tight schedule to post either. Just take a minor commitment to keep posting. Soon enough you will find your own rhythm. I also would encourage you to visit blogs that you like and post comments, so you can start connecting with likeminded bloggers (this is how I ended up meeting some of my greatest friends!). Finally, make it first and foremost a gift to yourself. Watch it unfold... It will be magic!
What has been the most positive and inspirational aspect of having a blog for you?
I am constantly amazed by how many people are creating, sharing their artwork and also their hearts on their blogs. It is fascinating to watch someone’s journey as they spread their wings and take flight. Also, I have always been charmed by artists who wrote letters discussing their creative process: Hemmingway, Fitzgerald, Henry Miller, May Sarton, Rilke, etc, and I feel that blogging taps into that same passionate and soul-baring exchange, that is so inspirational to me. It connects me to my core, to a community, and it infuses me with a visionary bohemian spirit.
What do you find the most difficult/most rewarding part of having a creative profession?
I think they are both the same thing. The best and worst part of a creative profession is that everything is really about you taking creative action. I read something recently that sums it up perfectly for me: Until you dream, there isn’t a mold. Until you speak, there isn’t a promise. Until you move, there isn’t a path. Isn’t it brilliant?
Other than your blog, what has been the most effective way for you to promote your art/design?
I would have to say that it has been through other blogs, like this one!
How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance?
I am striving to schedule my weekly routine with enough walks, yoga, sunshine, home cooking, nurturing time with loved ones, personal photography, photo gigs, writing, computer time, budgeting & also some marketing. It’s always a tough balance, but I love it so much more than a 9-5(+) job.
What are your main goals for 2009?
First and foremost, I plan to photograph a lot more this year! My goal is not only to develop a strong body of work, but also to assist experienced photographers that are doing work I admire. I also plan to submit my work to magazines, approach licensing, and branch out from the online world, to participate in more conferences, workshops, gallery shows, etc. I would love to get a rep too (Any of you out there?). And I sure hope that some of the activities I mentioned above entail travel, because as you know, that is something I can’t live without!