My first blog post was posted on December 24, 2006. It was just four sentences. No photos.
I'm slowly trying to gather or take photographs of some of my recent art work. Of course, the holidays are never a good time to get much of anything productive done. But, hopefully I'll have most of it together within the first week or two of 2007.
Thanks for visiting!
There's one other post in December -- on Christmas day. So even though I technically started blogging in 2006, I'm going to count the real start as January 3, 2007 (check it out if you want to see some very early art journal pages), which will make tomorrow my official ten-year **BLOGIVERSARY**!!
Why did I start blogging?
I think I remember the story, but I may have made it up. It goes something like this:
I thought blogs were stupid and dangerous. Why would you want to share your private life on the internet where anybody could see it?! Eventually I became attracted to the notion of blogging because I wanted to be on design teams and it seemed like you had to have a blog in order to be on a design team. I really got pushed off the fence by a "free month" offer that Typepad was making. I figured I could try it out and then move on if I didn't like it after one month.
I made only one blogging rule for myself: no sharing random personal information. Everything I shared would be shared through the filter of art. That's why I named my blog, "Balzer Designs" -- which turned out to be one of the best decisions ever. But more on that later.
At first the art filter rule was really hard to keep. I had to write and rewrite posts in order to find the line between personal and art-related personal. At the time I was an avid scrapbooker so the line was paper thin. Plus, sharing on the internet is wildly seductive (as we all know from Facebook and other social media sites). Finding the line was really important to me and I'm glad I worked on finding it early on because oddly enough, I still hold this rule as law handed down from on high.
I think that when I design for a contest, I'm too busy trying to (1) be what I think they want, and (2) impress them -- blow them away -- and I get lost in the meantime. I am reminded of the famous opening song from A Chorus Line, which has resonated with me in my theatrical life for years. Here's an excerpt:
Who am I anyway?
Am I my resume?
That is a picture of a person I don't know.
What does he want from me?
What should I try to be?
So many faces all around, and here we go.
I need this job, oh God, I need this show.
In contrast, I found this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson:
"Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life's cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another you have only an extemporaneous half possession... Do that which is assigned to you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much."
And I am reminded that I should let "me" be more present. I guess the question is, why do I think that "me" is not enough?
How is it possible that I am still struggling with that question ten years later?!
To mark the passing of ten years of blogging I've decided to dedicate January to celebrating all of that amazing content. Put on your seatbelts because it's going to be an awesome ride. Here's what you can expect in January:
- Mondays: Tutorial Re-Dos. I've asked some talented artists to re-do tutorials from my archives.
- Tuesdays: Picks from the Archives. I'm picking favorite posts and I've asked some friends of mine to pick some posts from the past that they love.
- Wednesdays: Giveaways. Can't have a party without gifts, right?!
- Thursdays: Fresh Content. Nothing recycled here. New posts and new podcasts!
- Fridays: Art Journal Every Day Revisits. I don't know about you, but I always look forward to Friday's Art Journal Every Day posts. On Fridays I'll be sharing old AJED posts with new thoughts.
- Saturday/Sunday: Testimonials. Thank you so much to everyone who sent in your kind comments and awesome photos. On the weekends I'll be sharing these stories and images.
It's going to be a super awesome month! Thanks for joining me for all the fun!