This week’s EBSQ Blogger of the Week is a holiday season staple. Her fun, and often mischievous Corgi’s always bring a smile. I couldn’t think of a better way for December to begin!
Who and where are you?
Thanks for inviting me, Amanda! My name is Cathy Santarsiero. I’m an artist, illustrator, writer and crafter. I work pretty much in a niche market. While I certainly do on occasion create other works, my main focus is Corgi dogs. I just love them so much. They truly are magical little creatures. I mostly create miniature scenes featuring my signature corgi characters. I live in Northern Westchester County, New York with my husband John, children, corgis, cats, chickens and other wee beasties. I am the creator of The Christmas Corgi Blog which can be found at http://www.christmascorgi.blogspot.com.
How did you get started art blogging?
A friend suggested that it might be fun for me to create a blog. I barely knew what a blog was. I do not pride myself at being the most computer proficient individual so I resisted doing it for quite a while. One sleepless night I played around on the computer and created my first blog post which simply consisted of introducing one of my Corgi dogs. I was amazed that I was actually able to post her photo. I wondered what could I possibly write about and for that matter, who would read it anyway? I did manage to post a few of my paintings that I had offered for sale on eBay and links to my EBSQ portfolio. From there, I spent hours teaching myself how to add other things to the blog. There was a lot of trial and error. God bless whoever invented html editors. Five plus years later I find myself feeling like I need to have a camera at the ready at all times to capture a blog worthy moment! I’m sure there are easier ways to do some of the things I do. I wish I could bribe a computer geek with lasagna to come over and give me a proper lesson one day.
Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?
Make any photos you put on your blog the best they can be. Don’t be afraid to crop a piece of your art as a ‘teaser’ with a link to your auction or portfolio so your readers can click over to read more about it where you want them to. Try and remember to put a watermark over your artwork or disable right clicks if you don’t want something stolen. It happens, and has happened to me. I’ve read lots of do’s and don’ts about what one should put on a blog. Look at all of those opinions like a buffet, take what you like and leave the rest.
Some people like a ‘clean’ or simple blog. Some people like a more fanciful or ornate blog. Some people loathe having music on a blog. Some love it. I love it and love to hear other people’s playlists too. I get so many emails from people who tell me how much they love the music I post. People can always turn off their speakers. You can’t please everyone. Like your art, try and make your blog an expression of yourself. Then it will be authentic and real and your readers will appreciate the honesty in that. Do what makes you happy.
Don’t worry so much about how many comments you get. Lots of people read blogs from RSS feeds or other links now and it is just a pain to always comment. Put a ‘feedjit’ on your blog if you want to see if people are visiting! You will be surprised.
Try and acknowledge comments and emails as much as possible. You may not be able to devote a lot of your time to blogging if you are a working artist, and people know that, but do try to at least answer questions if you can. I read every comment and try and answer every email. I must admit that I am especially partial to emails that contain photos of reader’s Corgis!
Make friends with other artists and be generous with linking to their work and they will do the same for you. A rising tide floats many boats.
What’s your musical inspiration of choice when you’re working in your studio?
I have such eclectic taste in music. You could walk in and find me listening to anything from Vivaldi to Metallica to Country music to Gregorian chants depending on my mood and what I’m working on. I find it fun and inspiring to listen to Christmas music when I’m working on holiday themed art, so you could very well find me painting to Carol of the Bells with the air conditioner blasting in the middle of July. I’m kind of hooked on iTunes too. I just downloaded Jackie Evancho’s little Christmas album. 10 years old? Seriously? Wow. Right now I am listening to Blackmore’s Night Winter Carols. Sometimes when I’m painting I have audiobooks on. I feel like I’m combining two loves when I do that, painting and reading. Now if I could just figure out how to cook while painting and reading I’d be all set. Oh wait, I guess I could break out the old crockpot.
What’s coming next from your easel?
I’m finishing up a piece with Corgis and hedgehogs and a few commissions right now as well as a few more requested Christmas items and then a few more commissioned pieces for January. I wish I had a clone. Or a butler. Or a clone and a butler. Or a few more hours of energy and daylight each day. I’m not complaining though. I’m so blessed to be a working artist and be able to do what I love.
Thank you Cathy for being an EBSQ Blogger of the Week!
If you are an EBSQ Artist and would like to be considered for Blogger of the Week just add us to your blogroll. I’m searching EBSQ profiles weekly for links to artist’s blogs. If you aren’t an EBSQ Artist, what are you waiting for?