Thursday, September 3, 2009

Make the Most of the Blogosphere

This post is to discuss how I've been looking at blogs, and why I recommend it to others. (from an illustrator's perspective)

Firstly, the tool I use to view all the blogs I like in one place is Google Reader. You can add feeds from Blogger, Livejournal, Deviantart, practically anywhere. So that means that the instant Jon Schindehette or Irene Gallo update their blogs, it immediately pops up in my Google Reader. It might seem pretty stalker-ish when I've got the first comment 3 times in a row on someone's blog, but I can live with that. The other nice thing about Google Reader is that if you have several friends using it, you can share items from blogs you're subscribed to with them, even if your friend isn't subscribed to that blog themself.

Ok, so now you've set that up and you're subscribed to all the cool art blogs. All set, right?

Well, there are a lot of useful blogs out there that aren't artist blogs. A great benefit in having friends share their subscribed blogs is that I've been exposed to blogs I would have never sought out on my own. Blogs that are proving to be extremely valuable. Here are a few that I've found helpful in some way or another:

Poorer Than You - Helpful tips for college students and graduates on saving money. You gotta save today, otherwise it won't be there tomorrow. This one is really worth researching all the old posts.

Jacket Whys - Discusses book covers for children's and YA books. While many of the posts don't deal directly with illustration, I still find that this blog drops a real nugget of wisdom on me from time to time.

Editorial Anonymous - This one is about the publishing industry. The author stays anonymous (duh) so that they can be brutally honest without endangering their job security.

Nathan Bransford
- Nathan is a literary agent. As an illustrator, it might one day seem like a good idea for me to pursue an agent for myself. So while Nathan doesn't represent illustrators, there is still advice here that you could apply to your own pursuits of an agent.

The Consumerist - Shoppers bite back! Consumers write in with their bad experiences with companies they purchase things from, and the Consumerist staff may do a write-up about it on the front page. Often they will include advice on what to do in a certain situations. This covers fast food, department stores, banks, credit card companies, insurance companies... it covers a lot.

Stoopid Bloog - Another anonymous blog. This one is just special though. I can't say it would be helpful to anyone else, but I've found it to be very spiritually uplifting.

And of course, if you're not subscribed to Art Order, The Art Department, or Gurney Journey, you may as well tack those on as well. I don't think anyone reading my blog won't already know about those, though.

These are just a few of the ones that aren't artist's blogs that I subscribe to. There are loads of agents' blogs, or publishing blogs, or blogs about personal finance, cooking, the gaming industry, etc. Its just up to you to go seek them out.

And I didn't have any new art to show again, but issue 170 of Dungeon Magazine should hit the internet any day now, so once that happens I will update with a very fun piece I did for that issue.

So, what blogs do YOU read? I would love to hear about any blogs you guys read on a regular basis that you think are really great. I'm always on the lookout for new stuff to add to my Google Reader, so drop a link in the comments! Thanks for reading everyone!


Jake said...

I didnt' know about ArtOrder, cool thanks!
I've been enjoying these blogs lately:

Anna Christenson said...

I do pretty much the same thing you do- use google reader. In addition to the blogs you listed I've also got Joystiq to add to my gaming info, Gorilla Artfare, the Artistic Anatomy blog and a butt-ton of artists.

I'm usually pretty lazy when it comes to commenting though. I comment on pretty much 3 blogs consistently.

McLean Kendree said...

Thanks guys!

Jake - The second link looks especially rad, but I'll be investigating both in-depth. I've got a comic project I'm workin' on that would probably benefit from these! (Jake Parker?)

Anna - Joystiq is one i needa add, I've been relying on Kotaku this whole time, but it couldn't hurt to add one more! Thanks!

Erin McGuire said...

Another good financial blog is Get Rich Slowly. Really makes me realize how little I knew about this "real life" stuff for retirement and dealing with debt.

also, "the intern" is pretty funny, an intern at a publishing house tells about her adventures, meetings, why interns are important (in this case, because they often filter what gets in and what doesn't)

Nicole Cardiff said...

I regularly read Underpaintings, which primarily concerns historical figural paintings, Sass and Veracity, to give me reasonable dinner recipes I haven't tried yet, and Parka Blogs, which is primarily an artbook review blog. The snapshots and video flipthrough is pretty useful if it's a book I'm on the fence about buying.

Laurghita said...

Let's say I feed in over the 700 blogs and I found the best of the best it is and from time to time I read all this blog old posts, for one who dont have acces to drawing teachers they give away a lot of tips...

Erik Storstein said...

I haven't used google reader, I pretty much just bookmarked my favourite blogs and look through them daily. I guess this would be more efficient though, so I'll certainly look into it.

I saw that the mentor thread was linked too in the imagineFX magazine october issue. Hah, closest I've been to publication! :)


JP said...

These were great, thanks for sharing! Some of the blogs I gravitate to are: