There’s No Better Time Than the Present

There are a couple of boxes tucked away in my home that are full of notebooks, which are full of poetry and drawings from my teen years. These notebooks, uncensored and raw, were passed from friend to friend, to stranger, to friend, and back to me, as my peers read them, relating to the ecstasy and angst of middle and high school. They, too, would sign these books and add to the graffiti on the covers and pages within. The notebooks are swollen with ink and frayed pages, many papers no longer attached to the ring binding, but still in order nonetheless.

Michael Chesley Johnson has a wonderful blog for artists

Michael Chesley Johnson, author and frequent contributor to Pastel Journal and The Artist’s Magazine, has a wonderful blog where he shares his work and advice at www.michaelchesleyjohnson.com.

My cousin, a country musician, encouraged me to write, to put my creative work out into the world by entering poetry competitions, trying to get published, and sharing my writing whenever I could at public readings. This was before home computers, so I used a typewriter for stories and poetry, and wrote handwritten letters to pen pals.

Dry Creek Snag by Michael Chesley Johnson

Dry Creek Snag (oil, 30×24) by Michael Chesley Johnson

When the Internet became available and I hesitatingly learned how to use e-mail and the Web (remember Ask Jeeves?), a friend of mine suggested that I begin posting my work online. That made me nervous; I was afraid of someone taking credit for it, of “stealing” it, and maybe, although I didn’t admit it at the time, I was afraid that I would receive negative feedback. Obviously, I’ve found that audacity serves me well and have gotten over the latter point.

If you want to become a professional artist, I encourage you to do the same and build your own online presence; be it through a social network such as Facebook, your own blog/website, or through an online gallery. But where and how do you start? The first step you can take is to attend a webinar such as Create an Online Presence: How to Use Websites, Blogs and Social Networking to Enhance Your Art Career (on sale for $19). All of these web resources are great ways to show your work to potential clients, and some are even free. Take this webinar and learn what might work best for you.

Already in the know about websites, blogs and social networking? Then browse the rest of our online webinars to see which will serve you best. Topics include self-promotion, getting published, and painting instruction from popular artists such as Johannes Vloothuis.

Bringing art instruction into the future, our webinars allow you to study topics of your choice from your own computer; it’s like having an instructor right by your side.

Still writing, still sketching,
Cherie

Cherie Haas, online editor**Click here to subscribe to the Artists Network newsletter for inspiration, instruction, and more!

 

 


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