I accepted the Na Blo Po Mo challenge with three achievements in mind:
1. Increase the writing branch of my arts practice which I have neglected a little while becoming officially qualified in the area of visual arts. Of course, I have continued to write poetry on a regular basis (as I have done since I was eight years old) and I did participate in Prints Charming publisher’s Lucky Charm challenge while I was on retreat with my writing group, the Lazy River Writers (the anthology will be launched before Christmas).
2. Connect with my audience, tell people about my work and start to build my platform for interested people to follow. Although I have been laying foundations and working within my arts business for years in one form or another, the definition is really only becoming apparent in recent times and I am still consolidating its shape.
If you had asked about me when my children were small, people would probably have told you I was artistic, a good designer, a CAD draftsman with an eye for detail and natural sense of balance and layout. Also a great literacy coach and a people person who is active in the community and creates fabulous themed children’s parties and workshops.
When my children were older and we had moved to the country (it was country then!) you would have associated the name Jenni L Ivins with writing and spoken word performance, singing and theatre and photography. You might have seen my words and pictures in the Gazette, in magazines, anthologies and a coffee table book that celebrates Melbourne as a City of Literature. You might have found my work in libraries or schools, in Melbourne’s Federation Square or travelling as cargo on a ship going to Thursday Island. You may even have noticed a few prizes and placements with my name on them.
In more recent times people have discovered me through the visual arts. I have been delighted by the exhibition opportunities in which I’ve been able to participate and I’m appreciative of the people who have spent time looking at my work and promoted me in so many ways (Thank you). I am still known for my participation in the community, especially as an advocate for inclusiveness.
I’m also a strong supporter of networking. I love fitting jigsaw pieces together. And there have been some short listings and prizes in my visual arts practice, too. And I still run workshops across art forms for a range of ages and abilities.
So what am I? How do I define my business? What is my product? I provide both goods and services, but how do I want my business to provide a sustainable income? That is what I am working on clarifying at the moment. Follow my journey here.
3. Learn more about WordPress. I created my first blog (called Path to Fame!) at a library workshop early in 2010, not really understanding the commitment to my readers (who would follow my blog anyway, I thought) and the discipline required – and I abandoned it, I’m sad to say. But it was a beginning.
In 2011, I began this blog and posted regularly while it was a requirement for my first year of the Diploma of Visual Art. I added a few more posts in second year then allowed it to sit on my conscience while I focussed on making art and meeting other deadlines.
While I wasn’t posting blogs, I was receiving regular emails from WordPress and I did sneak a peek from time to time. What I saw lured me in, but there is much to learn, try and apply. All fun, but time consuming to explore when I am learning to schedule time to write my blog each day (every day!).
It is worth spending time exploring all the options before finalising the look of my WordPress site. It will represent me and my brand and once the design is finalised, I can focus on other parts of my business. One step at a time.