Commercialism and Blogs

Blogs started out for me as something personal, an online diary where I could share stuff with a small network of friends that I had met online. Through LiveJournal I posted all about my personal relationships, my artwork, my life in general. I got creeped out and paranoid about this during my divorce, and I ended the blog rather abruptly.
At this point I started this here Collage Clearinghouse gig. It wouldn't contain too many personal references and I could be more bold about what I said. That has finally been worked out.
But now I face the idea of commercialism. Ad people have written me and asked me about posting ads on the blog, or links...and I am caught again in my own corner. But stick with me, I found a revelation thru this...
So this started last year, and after much agonizing about the idea, I put up one ad for some website about doing fine (basically a chat room where you could say how great things were)...I couldn't see how it was relevant, but intrigued, I posted the ad. It didn't last long cuz I pulled it after awhile and I made zero for revenue.
I didn't think it enhanced the blog experience, but maybe it took something away from it. I didn't want to promote something I wasn't exactly involved in. I felt as tho I was betraying someone who may read my blog. I don't know it must be a personal thing with me. In fact I got on my soapbox at this point and ended up being kind of anti-ad. I decided that there should be a place for people to deal with art and not have to put up with the bombardment of someone trying to sell me something. I didn't want an allegiance with anyone and I just wanted to be my own little entity with only my own influence. Sometimes I just want to focus on the art and nothing else. (I can't always explain my actions, I just am reporting them.)
And so that is the way it's been here at the clearinghouse. Ads don't bring discourse. They actually may take a person away from the blog...altho I do realize that the blog then could be a resource where one would go because of the ads, such as the cool things happening on Design Sponge or Poppytalk. These blogs are pretty social blogs tho, and the whole idea of them is to promote others and they do a really good job at it and there's ads there like crazy. I mean, isn't that the idea? We are promoting each other somehow??? I just don't think that all by my lonesome I could do anything that could compare. Seriously.
But back to the ads.
I find myself looking at things again here on the blog and wonder if I should succumb to some ads, or amazon book links, google ad sense???... Am I being foolish by ignoring these sources of revenue? Could I see all this blog work actually become some kind of monetary profit for me? My bills suck, I could always use the money....and maybe this is a reason I am not making a living from my art. 'Cuz I am actively refusing it.

(And here's the revelation part.)
I got really upset inside to answer these questions. "Art isn't about money! I do this cuz i love it, not for the cash. I do collage cuz I have to! It's the way that I express myself the best! I don't need money to do my art!"
You see....in that conversation about the art BLOG, I had turned it around to be about my ART>Obviously there's a connection between the reason why I refuse to become insane about selling my work or promoting myself 24/7 and the reason why I don't want to have ads on this blog. I feel it compromises me somehow. Whether that is true or not doesn't matter really. What does matter that I finally have come to the center of my issues with galleries, shows, online sales, pricing, et al. It starts with ME and how I feel about my art.
I bitch myself out all the time for not being able to make my living off of my creativity! Well, come to find out the only place in my life that I have not used creativity is in the making of money! And I purposefully am doing this. So I can no longer complain I am not this generations' DaVinci. I won't be. I am Julie Sadler. And apparently I have discovered I have an aversion to the commercial portion of being an artist and blogger.
This blows me away of course, and now I have no more reason to sit and stew about how I am lacking. In fact, I now need to embrace this issue and get it solved. Starting right here with this blog and the idea of ads.
WHAT do you think? Does it matter? Do ads bum you out? Will ads keep you from visiting this blog? Are you convinced I am totally insane and that I need to take sedatives? Does your blog use ads...? Does is offer a degree of professionalism? Do you look at ads as a service or a drag???
I would love to hear your opinion.


Anonymous said...

I don't use any ads but am not personally against it. Many people have suggested all kind of ways I could maybe make a dime via the Internet - but none really stuck with me.

I am not sure it is about "selling out" or thinking that art is pure - because none of it is really pure. It's all connected somehow to things which are foul or unappealing. Maybe it's just about having one place which is just for you. Yet not every artist operates under that assumption. You definitely don't need money to do art. But some people don't stick with blogs because they lose motivation. It's not in their blood in the same way art is. And when you start to think of quitting, maybe money indeed could be a motivating factor...

Anonymous said...

Oops, that was Eva.

Julie Sadler said...

I hear ya Eva. I don't often think of quitting, but I do nag myself about it when I have had a lapse, like recently over Christmas. I feel as tho it's an obligation. Perhaps I need to admit that I also like to write, not just do art!


I agree with Anonymous. If you can pull a nickel out of the Internets machine and spend it on Glu Stick, why the heck not? Clearly you're paying to be connected, let your creative content pay for that. But, yo comprendo how you, Julie, think of the blog as an aspect of your art and in purifying the art, you think you need to perhaps purify everything around it.

On our blogs for LALANDE, I have not signed up for any third-party promotion. I did on storefrontwindows.blogspot.com but I haven't checked to see if we've even made a nickel. My feelings about blogs and art: There're many reasons to do them, all useful, no?

Julie Sadler said...

Me? Pure!
I like that.

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