28
Mar

I’m just full of questions these days, aren’t I?

So I guess I’ve started a bit of a series here. Sorta.

It started with watching what you do on the internet so you don’t look like an ass. Then it was about being lost and found on the internet.

And because I still have more to say about the whole portfolio/blogging thing, I will.

First, a bit of a disclaimer.

I’m not picking on anybody in particular. You can turn off that tiny paranoia button. I’m just talking out loud and all of this is just ‘food for thought’.

I’m not talking to other ‘bloggers’ here (OK, Friar? πŸ™‚ ). People who blog because they like to write about whatever. That’s awesome. Keep doing it if it makes you happy. Read no further.

I’m talking to the young animation artist (or any professional artist for that matter). The artist that has a blog up on a free service like Blogger. Because there are a LOT of you. It’s to you I pose this question and offer some advice.

Why do you have that blog?

There could be many reasons.

  • Is it just a fun thing to update family and friends to what you’re up to?
  • Is it a place to discuss your favorite movies, comics and animation?
  • Is it to show off your latest sketches and share some fun videos you found?

If it’s any of those, feel free to keep doing what you’re doing. Those are the perfect reasons to have a blog. That’s putting the blogging platform to good use. Enjoy and have fun.

But.

  • Is it your internet ‘business card’ to showcase your portfolio and your resume?

Then that free Blogger blog (that looks so much like everyone else’s Blogger blog) may not be the best place to do that. And if you’ve combined this reason with any of the first three questions I posed, you might want to think twice about mashing it up all together.

Finally, do you have a Blogger blog just because everyone else has one?

Would you jump off a bridge because everyone else did? (Said with nagging mother-voice.)

Yes, it’s a free service. Yes, it’s easy to set up. But it may not be serving you very well.

OK. You basically have three ways to have an internet presence (not including all the social media stuff).

  1. Have a blog only. (Like Lou Romano and Jenny LeRew)
  2. Have a static site only. (Like Adrien Van Viersen and Lorin Wood)
  3. Have a static site and blog ‘combo’. (Like Carlos Baena and David Billings)

What’s better?

It’s not about being better. It’s about what your needs and goals are for your site.

Lou Romano and Jenny LeRew are working professionals in large studios. They ‘got the job’ so to speak. So they post their work and sketches up to share with the world because they just like to (I assume. I don’t know these fabulous people).

Jenny has another blog where she talks about all things animation. That works as a blog. I get the impression she just likes to write and share things she’s discovered. That’s cool.

Adrien and Lorin are also working professionals. And they like to keep working so they have their work up in a static and easily navigate-able way.

No blog. No problem. Don’t have the interest? Don’t have the time? Don’t feel the need to?

That is totally OK and acceptable. You don’t have to have a blog.

Carlos and David do both. Carlos has also ‘got the job’ (at some tiny studio called Pixar or something). And he also co-owns Animation Mentor. He likes to teach and it shows on his blog. It’s good for business and he probably enjoys it.

David is a freelance illustrator and I’m sure is always keeping the feelers out for more work. You can view his portfolio in an easily navigate-able way as well.

He blogs to share his knowledge and is probably gaining exposure and contacts from being ‘out there’. There is ‘method in his blogging madness’ so to speak. And he rocks it.

So what the heck am I doing?

I think it’s quite obvious this is a ‘teaching blog’ as well. I enjoy it. I like teaching. And I have goals outside of storyboarding professionally.

Do you see a portfolio around here?

This blog’s function is not to get me storyboard work. It’s to find my right audience (*waves*) so I can expand the teaching experience with consulting, eBooks, webinars and stuff to anyone who needs it.

So before I give you any practical advice on what to do next, figure out what the function of your site is really supposed to be.

Then you won’t have to ‘jump off the bridge’ with everyone else.

Yeah, I know…nag, nag, nag!

Read the Storyboard Blog by RSS Feed or by email because I don’t think I’m done with this subject.

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Category : Career Advice

Comments

FriarNo Gravatar March 28, 2009

I’m just a Joe Public Blogger.

Okay…I’m not reading any further, as instructed.

I’ll leave now. (*quietly skulking out the door, with head hung low..*).

Karen J LloydNo Gravatar March 28, 2009

Aw shucks. Now I feel bad. Come on back and say something snarky.
It’s OK. Really. *holds out a peanut* πŸ˜‰
K

Lorin WoodNo Gravatar March 29, 2009

Thanks for the promotion on the prestigious “internets.” I’ve heard good things about it.

Found this article in the NYT that is apropos to your series here: personal branding. Got kind of a nice cliche` ring about it, huh?

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/28/your-money/28shortcuts.html

L

Karen J LloydNo Gravatar March 29, 2009

You’re very welcome.

Meh, I don’t know about this internet thing. Might just be a flash in the pan…like pet rocks. πŸ˜‰

(And who was the one who started putting ‘s’ at the end? Huh? I’d really like to know.)

Good article. And while I’m doing most of that stuff, it can all seem so exhausting sometimes, can’t it? You really have to pick and choose your social media. Try to do it all (I don’t) and it could suck up your whole life!
K

Lorin WoodNo Gravatar March 29, 2009

Addendum

For the record, I chose to close down my blog because my portfolio was suffering terribly……now I just stick with my Facebook, Twitter, vfxConnection, Flikr, Vimeo, LinkedIn, and Plaxo pages. SO much easier to manage without that ball-and-chain blog holding me back.

Lorin WoodNo Gravatar March 29, 2009

If you’re serious:

MilesNo Gravatar March 29, 2009

Very informative (as usual). What about a young artists who does want an online business card/resume, but may not be able to afford anything more than a blogger page? Will you be continuing this series? If not what would you recommend to such an artist?

Karen J LloydNo Gravatar March 29, 2009

@ Lorin – I’m ashamed to say I really didn’t know where ‘internets’ came from. Too f’n funny.

Um, yeah. All that stuff sounds WAY easier than one ball and chain blog. Whatever works for you! πŸ˜‰

@ Miles – Yes! I will do another post with more practical info and advice.

I think I’ll take three angles: if you have NO money, if you have a little money or if you have a little *more* money to cover all the bases. πŸ™‚

Stay tuned!
K

Abhinab PattjoshiNo Gravatar March 30, 2009

Hi,

Yep i admit, I am the criminal I do have a, no wrong two blogs, one where I use to keep my sketches and animation related stuff (end up putting some poems and photography also) and another one is mine write up. Oh big words, I don’t really feels any compulsion of updating anything but i do update when ever I get some time to let out my hasty spirit more on writing though. Just in case Karen if you ever wish to check the links you will know why in the damn world with one life I am having two blogs.

abhinab.blogspot.com

burningfingers.wordpress.com

Really i like your blog cause I learn a lot of thing by visiting it. I wish you could have more tutorials for people like me.

bye
Abhinab

Karen J LloydNo Gravatar March 30, 2009

Hi Abhinab – Well there’s nothing necessarily *wrong* with having two blogs. If you have separate interests in different subjects, or if you use one for a portfolio and one for writing about whatever, that’s totally fine.

It’s just knowing about *why* you have them and if they are serving their purpose. If you update a blog every 3 or 4 months, you may have to ask yourself if it’s worth it. Your readers will think you abandoned it and may never come back.

That’s why I want people to think before they start up a blog when a static site might suit them better.

That’s cool that you have one on blogger and WordPress. It’s good to check out the different options out there. I’ll be talking more about WordPress the next time I write about this stuff. πŸ™‚
K

LeahNo Gravatar March 30, 2009

Great post, Karen! I enjoyed it. Love your writing style.

Karen J LloydNo Gravatar March 30, 2009

Hi Leah and welcome!

Thanks a bunch. We both have blogging on the brain these days it seems. πŸ™‚
K

AngelaNo Gravatar March 30, 2009

“Why do you have that blog?

There could be many reasons.

* Is it just a fun thing to update family and friends to what you’re up to?
* Is it a place to discuss your favorite movies, comics and animation?
* Is it to show off your latest sketches and share some fun videos you found?”

Wow – you just described the past five years of my blogging experience.
I have to admit it was kind of scary to read those words, yet oddly intriguing as well, because you’ve hit the proverbial nail on the head as they say.

For me, it started out as a means to get myself to practice drawing on a regular basis and morphed into those three bullet points you described. I’ve found blogger to be a very useful tool for someone who is working their way into the animation food chain and learning HTML and CSS style sheets at the same time. Also, as you mentioned, I think every type of site can serve some sort of purpose – it just depends on what you want to do. For example Tom Warburton and Dave Levy both use blogger and they’re doing great. Of course, they’re also famous so it’s not like they’re hard to find on the internet.

Thanks for the great post – looking forward to reading what’s next in your series.

Karen J LloydNo Gravatar March 31, 2009

Hey Angela – Well, remember I also said there was nothing *wrong* with doing all that either. That’s what a blog is for. πŸ™‚

And I hope no one thinks I’m just crapping on Blogger. I’m not. It’s a great, easy way to get a blog up and running and learn some stuff along the way. As a BLOG it’s just fine.

But as a portfolio site, maybe not so much. That’s really all I’m saying.
K

ShaneNo Gravatar April 3, 2009

That paranoia button has been on since you started this series. I kept thinking to myself “gosh she’s really calling me out here”. Alas, I realize you were talking about Friar, whew!

You’re absolutely right though, I just googled myself and found some things I wrote a long time ago on Helium.com regarding Lindsay Lohan. Granted this was back when she first started her descent into devilish ways; I tried to defend her honor based on her acting potential (back then, anyways).

I realize now how embarrassing it will be for a prospective employer to see that I said positive things about Satan’s girlfriend. πŸ™‚

Karen J LloydNo Gravatar April 3, 2009

@ Shane – No, I’m actually NOT talking about Friar. That was the point in calling him out…that I *wasn’t* calling him out. If that makes any sense…

I wouldn’t be too worried about the Hohan thing. Moving on to hookers and the Sham-wow guy is a step up, I think. πŸ™‚
K

WillNo Gravatar April 9, 2009

Thank you so much for your site – I am a storyboarding mess, and I have been putting off throwing together an online portfolio for a long time. This definitely gives me some direction!

t. sterlingNo Gravatar April 9, 2009

Hi there. I didn’t want you to think I forgot about you. I waved back when you waved to your audience. I was in the with back, wearing the sunglasses indoors at night.

I do notice you pick on Blogger a lot. That’s the very reason I moved. I jest. And I know this wasn’t particularly directed at me, but it’s still information that I soak up to either use later in life or pass on to someone who needs it (or just give them your link).

Karen J LloydNo Gravatar April 9, 2009

@ Will – Hi and welcome! Gee, what does a storyboarding mess look like? πŸ™‚

Glad I’ve given you a place to start. That’s the hard part actually. But once it’s up, you can always tweak and change. The good thing about the blog platform is that it’s easy to change and experiment with what works best for you.

@ T – I thought that was you in the sunglasses!

I hope I cleared up in the next post that I’m not trying to pick on Blogger. It’s just that a LOT of animation students start there…because everyone else does. I just want to show them their options.

I’m not picking on ALL Blogger blogs. Just when you try to use it as your only portfolio. You’re not in that category, so carry on. πŸ™‚

Like I said, it’s just food for thought. I’m no blogging expert!
K

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