Posts Tagged ‘art’

Blogging inspiration from my talented artist friend, Lisa Albinger

All artwork used with permission from the artist.

Do you have anyone in your life who is unimaginably talented? They move far beyond passion into transcendence when it comes to their work, art, or gift? I have such a person in my life, the fabulous artist Lisa Albinger. Lisa and I have been friends for a number of years, and I am privileged to own one of her original paintings, Flora. Following her whimsical spirit, Lisa packed up and moved to Oregon a few years ago, but we have kept in touch as she’s come back to visit the Phoenix area and, of course, via Facebook.

The great news is that Oregon’s loss is Phoenix’s gain, as Lisa will again be making the Valley of the Sun her home. We got together for coffee the other day and talked about life, manifesting, art, and … blogs.

Like many people, Lisa is fairly new to blogging, and she’s doing an incredible job! The problem is she fell into the trap that many new bloggers encounter: she got discouraged because although she writes dynamic posts, she wasn’t seeing much response or interest in her blog. Lisa’s been at her art for a long time and has a vibrant following, so perhaps she expected those followers to instantly take an interest in and liking to her blog. But just like blogs are not books, they also are quite different from art. The people who read Lisa’s posts, while they will likely overlap with her longtime fans, are not necessarily one and the same.

I like this explanation by cartoonist Hugh Macleod about why most artists’ blogs fail:

Your typi­cal artist’s blog usually con­sists of little more than a pho­to­graph of the latest art piece, with a brief desc­rip­tion like, “I pain­ted this yes­ter­day. I like how the pur­ple dog clashes with the green sofa.” Or whatever.

But the rea­lity is, most peo­ple are not rea­ding your blog because they have an inhe­rent love for pur­ple dogs and green sofas. They’re rea­ding your blog because THE PERSON YOU ARE ins­pi­res them. They’re not rea­ding your blog because they’re thin­king of buying your pain­tings, they’re rea­ding your blog because the way you approach your work ins­pi­res them. It sets an exam­ple for them. It stands for something that reso­na­tes with them. IT LEADS THEM TO SOMEWHERE THAT THEY ALSO WANT TO GO.

While Lisa’s posts have much more depth than ““I pain­ted this yes­ter­day. I like how the pur­ple dog clashes with the green sofa,” I still think there’s a great deal of truth in Macleod’s comments. People probably read Lisa’s blog for different reasons than they buy her paintings.

AUTHORS, there are several lessons here for you. First – what Macleod says about artists applies largely to you, too. Secondly, go visit Lisa’s blog and see what she’s writing. A handful of the posts I read recently include:

  • The story of finding a book of Paul McCartney’s art (yes, that Paul McCartney) when she was in college that still inspires her today
  • Addressing the question of whether her dog ever makes its cute little way into her art
  • Discussions of her two all-time favorite paintings
  • A description of her experience growing up with scoliosis and how it impacts her art and understanding of time

Interestingly enough, authors frequently want to know what to blog about. Take a page or two out of Lisa’s book. What art lover wouldn’t want to know which kinds of art inspire another artist? Likewise, who among your readers wouldn’t be interested in hearing about the process of writing your book? How did you develop your characters? Where were you when the first inspiration for the book hit you? Which authors inspire you?

Lisa, PLEASE keep blogging! And authors, if you’re not blogging yet, start! If you started and stopped, get going again! And if you’ve been steadily at it for a while, keep posting!

Here’s my all-time favorite painting by Lisa…

Wishing you massive doses of inspiration!



We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.


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The Art of Captivation: What makes us LOVE that book, movie, song…?

You probably have one of your own. That CD or MP3 you’ve listened to 1,000 times. For me, it’s the first 3 songs from U2’s Joshua Tree (Side A for you old-school vinyl enthusiasts). I’m not sure what it is about The Edge’s primal guitar beat that is so captivating, but it is as intoxicating to me as any drink. I hear the intro to “The Streets Have No Name” and I want to climb inside the music. Add an open car window on the freeway at midnight, and I’m in heaven.

Right now, you might be relating, or thinking I have terrible taste in that overblown Irish quartet. The point isn’t that you agree with my taste, but that you can relate to the concept of music you absolutely love.


These passionate responses are not exclusive to music. What about that movie you’ve watched dozens of times? The painting that mesmerizes you? The book that’s falling apart, you’ve read it so many times?

What makes them so special? Although there are general success indicators, the answer to that question is personal to each of us.

For example, the music industry has distilled the prediction of hit records (primarily from new artists) down to a science. Ever wondered why so many hits have such a similar sound? It might be related to the fact that music researchers in labs hook up test subjects to electrodes and measure their responses to numbers of beats, rhythms, and tones. The studios then generally take risks only on those artists whose music meets the standards predicted by the research.

Similarly, a guy decided to research what makes an Academy Award-winning movie. He got copies of 25 years’ worth of Oscar winners, watched them, and dissected and recorded the similarities between them. Then, he turned his research into a screenwriting class for which he charges thousands of dollars. Not surprisingly, many of his students sell their scripts and see them made into films.

Even with these behind-the-scenes “manipulations,” not every song the studios release becomes a hit, nor does every screenplay from this man’s class become a movie. They are indicators, though.

One thing I’ve observed about most popular art forms is that they’re usually of decent quality. Of course, every now and then a lousy book or movie finds a cult following, but more often than not, the things we like as a culture are pretty good. However, even the most popular books, movies, and music will never appeal to everyone.

As a personal example, it’s just in the last 15 years that I’ve begun to like the Beatles. And to this day, I’m still not a fan of one of the most popular bands of all time, The Rolling Stones. Both inarguably quality artists, but one appeals to me much more than the other, and even that one took some time to grow on me.

What does all of this have to do with you and marketing your book? A few quick reminders:

  • If you want to sell books, make the best book you can.
  • There are success formulas; one of them may work for you.
  • When it comes right down to it, taste is individual. Some readers will resonate with you; those are the ones you want to find and cultivate.
  • Even if you hit a home run with your book, there will be some people who don’t like it.

Study the movies, music, and books you love; pay attention to what about them captivates you. Are there hints you can glean about developing and capturing a similar passion in your readers?



We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.


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