The Power of Painting had a very funny start. I have told this story in previous posts but essentially, I only became interested in painting because of the COVID-19 quarantine. At around April, I would take my daily walks around my neighbourhood and sometimes I would end up at the dollar store. I grabbed a couple of paints and supplies, and the rest is history. With all of this in mind, when I began this class, I wasn’t too sure what I would make a blog on. At first, I considered a restaurant blog but that seemed generic and hard to do during COVID. But then I remembered my paintings and I thought a blog would be the perfect place to not only show my audience but also a place where I could document the work I have done and also share ideas and tips. This blog acts as a platform for me to be myself and write what I am thinking, which is apparently normal as “some people do report being more like their true self in cyberspace” (Suler, 2004). I like to think of it as my creative space and an online art gallery for myself.
During my editorial and writing process, the audience that I had in mind was just like me. This is because “the content should speak to the few people who can identify with this personality because this is the only audience that matters”which means that my content should reflect my own personality (Gertz, 2015). This includes regular people who aren’t expert artists, have little to no drawing/painting experience and are just looking to do something for fun when they have time. I think this is one of the reasons why I write the way I do. I specifically add steps and include points that may be simple to artists but are things that never would cross the mind of a beginner. I also took a very friendly and casual tone when writing my posts. I never wanted to be too serious with my audience and I wanted to make it seem like I was having a one-on-one conversation with the person reading. By doing this, it made the flow of the posts to be more natural and also easier to read.
In terms of the paintings I have made, they were all chosen by me and are designs that I really enjoyed. Therefore, the look and aesthetic of the paintings may be geared towards a younger audience but in all honesty, it can really be for anyone. The same can be said when I was choosing my theme and designing the blog. I already had a bit of an idea in my head and decided to do what I know I would love. Since I am a very minimalist person who enjoys very simple and easy to navigate things, that was what I wanted to see on this website. I chose a theme and template called “New blog WordPress theme” because it looked clean and had a nice menu bar at the top.
With this audience in my head, I am glad I used Google Analytics and WordPress analytics to actually figure out who the people visiting my blog were. Having these tools was “like having an all-seeing eye gazing directly into the hearts and minds of our audience” which is really helpful as a publisher who wants to increase engagement on their platforms (Gertz, 2015). As I figured, my demographics were what I anticipated. In terms of age, it ranged between individuals aged 18-34. This makes sense because that’s who my target was, and I know a lot of my friends who followed my blog journey fall between these ages. For gender, I predominantly attract females which also makes sense because of the girly aesthetic of my website and also the more feminine paintings that I choose to replicate.
Regarding value, I hope that I am giving helpful advice, tips and tricks to beginners just like myself. As mentioned before, I am no expert and what I am writing about comes from other artists that I have learned from. Also, I have no plans on monetizing this website because my intentions were never to make a profit or generate really anything from doing this blog. It’s just a creative and space for me to use to talk about my newfound hobby and also for other people to learn and get inspiration for their future endeavours.
In the beginning, “The Publication of Self in Everyday Life” didn’t exactly make sense to me. I was reluctant to take this class, but this experience has really changed my perspective of publication in general and I would highly recommend this class to anyone thinking of building an online presence. With all of this being said, the end of this semester is approaching, and all of my assignments are wrapping up. This was a difficult semester (and year) for all of us but I am very proud of what I accomplished this term. Under the circumstances, I managed to create a blog that I grew to love and become passionate about. Although sometimes tedious, documenting my progress through my process posts really showed how much my thinking and thought process grew over the past couple of months. This website was really my own personal digital garden because I “frequently adjust[ed] and change[d] [ my website] to show [my] growth and learning” (Basu, 2020).
In terms of the Power of Painting, I would love to continue it. A passion that I gained over quarantine at the beginning of the year now holds such a big influence in my life. It has made me so happy to paint or come up with ideas each week and be able to share them with my audience. Even if the people reading my content were just my friends and classmates, it was still so exciting to see my analytics go up and it proved to me that I could continue this in the future. Obviously, I do say this now as my optimistic self, but I know that life gets busy and a lot of what I love gets pushed to the side. That is why my goal will be to try to continue this blog to the best of my ability. I think it is important to prioritize things that make me happy and this definitely does!
Gertz, T. (2015, July 10). How to Survive the Digital Apocalypse. Louder Than Ten. https://louderthanten.com/coax/design-machines
Basu, T. (2020, September 3). Digital gardens let you cultivate your own little bit of the internet | MIT Technology Review. https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/09/03/1007716/digital-gardens-let-you-cultivate-your-own-little-bit-of-the-internet/
Suler, J. (2004, June 1). Psychology of Cyberspace—The Online Disinhibition Effect. http://truecenterpublishing.com/psycyber/disinhibit.html