So why Blogging? | How did it all start for me…..?
Even though ‘blogging’ has become increasingly popular in Ireland now most people still don’t get what makes blogging so powerful, helpful, and beneficial. Having a blog is the single most important thing a business, cause, or person can do to advance online. When I tell people that I have a blog sometimes I will get questions like “So why do you blog?” or “What made you get into blogging in the first place?”. I blog to share my passions and interests. I also know that blogging will bring me closer to achieving my goals. I only share and write about the things that I feel passionate about, that I think are worth sharing and that I hope you will find interesting too. Below, I write a very honest account of my blogging journey to date, some setbacks I have experienced along the way. I also reflect on the many positives I have experienced from blogging and give you a little sneak peak into my future plans and goals.
My Blogging Journey to date….
Back in 2012 I entered a one of my paintings (which you can see below) into a worldwide artists competition called ‘Art takes times square’. I submitted my painting with little or no expectation of getting anywhere in the competition. To my surprise, my work was selected as a finalist by the panel of judges in New York who liked what they saw. As expected, I did not win this competition but all of the finalist’s paintings were displayed on the iconic billboards of times square in NYC. This was as good as winning in my eyes considering I hadn’t expected anything to come from it! There was a lot of hype surrounding my work at this time. I was on local radio stations such as Ocean FM and Hyland radio discussing the experience and my work as well as featuring in lots of local newspapers and magazines which was very exciting . I even made an appearance in the New York articles with the tagline ‘if you can make it in NYC you can make it anywhere’!!
It was all a bit surreal but it was a great confidence boost for me. I think that artist’s tend to be very self critical people so this was the confidence boost I needed. During this time a friend had suggested that given the ‘hype’ surrounding my artwork that I should start up a website and have an online presence so that people could find me and view more of my work. I was already using Facebook at the time but I decided to set up a separate Facebook business page in 2012 as a place where I could share more of my paintings, drawings and creations and also feature and promote local Irish artists and designers I liked to a wider audience. It was definitely a nerve raking moment pressing ‘post’ on my very first Facebook post but I am so happy now that I did it! If I had not set up that Facebook page, put myself out there and took that risk I may not have been presented with the amazing opportunities that since have come my way which I am so grateful for.
Being an art teacher and artist my Facebook page started off as my creative outlet back in 2012 and over time I started sharing my other love, fashion, as the opportunities presented themselves. First I was contacted to take part in an interview in ‘Oh La La’ magazine, you can see this feature here which was a fantastic opportunity and confidence boost in my ability and my work. I was also approached to take part in RSVP magazines ‘One to watch’ and also their ‘RSVP women of Style series’. I received a lot of very positive feedback when I shared the interviews on my social media page with people giving me such lovely, kind words of encouragement. This spurred me on to start sharing more of my passion for fashion. I am sure you have noticed my love of fashion and style feature heavily in my art work. These are two areas that I am the most passionate about and for me art and fashion go hand in hand. As my Facebook and social media pages grew in popularity I was being contacted a lot more by magazines, TV and newspapers which was very exciting. You can see some more of my media features here. I also had a lot of people contact me asking to showcase, promote, review or wear their clothes, beauty products and attend their events or exhibitions and feature them on my social media sites. As some of you might already know I write a column for the Donegal News newspaper and I also write a second column for Sligo Now magazine concentrating on promoting and featuring local artists, designers and creators as well as my D.I.Y art and fashion tips. When people started to contact me to feature mainly on my social media sites I think that was when I realized that the time was right to set up an official blog/website to continue writing about and sharing my passions and interests in more detail.
The negatives of Blogging…..
To be honest, I generally find that people are very encouraging and positive about my blog but there are also the negatives to it where I find that people may have a pre conceived perception of who you are as a person, even though they do not know you personally, which I have accepted is the part of blogging that you really have no control over. For example, if I post a photo of myself on my blog in an outfit I am showcasing, some people might misunderstand the purpose of the post and assume I am an ‘overly confident’ or ‘attention seeking’ person. Neither being the case, of course!! That is the part of blogging I have come to find I cant control, I have accepted it and its fine.
I have always been very supportive of anyone who starts up a blog or new business, I say go for it!! You will often see me posting about fellow bloggers or giving newbie bloggers a little mention on my blog. I believe it is important to support each other instead of tearing each other down. Sadly, there are bloggers out there who are not so supportive or who try to bring you down. But, we all know that people only talk badly about you because they feel threated by you. It is clear that people who engage in negative activity like this ultimately are damaging their own reputation and making themselves appear childish and unprofessional. Thankfully, I’m very happy to say that I receive more positive than negatives from my blog. Phew!!!
I believe that fear of what other people will ultimately think of you is what holds a lot of us back in life and from doing the things we truly love. Over the years, as I have grown older and I like to think a little wiser, I care less about other people’s perceptions of me. I am happy and confident in my own skin. I am so fortunate to have an amazing supportive family and group of friends who are always encouraging me. I realise as the saying goes ‘those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind’. This is very true. Like everyone, I have had my fair share of knockbacks in life but I find I always learn something new about myself from a negative experience and have found that I am a lot stronger than I ever thought I was.
The positive’s of Blogging…..
I suppose looking back I just went with the flow and accepted any opportunities that came my way with an open mind. Blogging is an ever- evolving process for me. I am learning all the time but I enjoy what I do and I believe that if you are passionate about something it shows in your work. Blogging is a hobby right now and a place where I can find my fashion finds as well as my own art and designs with you all but my ultimate dream is to eventually build my own brand and business which combines my love of art, design and fashion. I have lots of ideas as to how I can do this. My own fashion or accessory collection is just a dream right now but it is something I am actively pursuing. I believe in myself and know that I will and can achieve anything I set my mind to with hard work, dedication and a little patience. Last year I took baby steps and set up my online shop where I now sell prints of my illustrations and paintings. In the future I plan on adding to and developing this little shop of mine. I am always looking to the future and I am excited about what’s to come.
I hope that you are enjoying my blog posts on this new site so far. I am still getting to grips with it and learning as I go. I would like to whole heartedly thank you all for your continued support and thank you for your well wishes and positivity about my new website.
Thanks for reading,