shanna murray : artists who blog

I kept this one a surprise, and I don't think you will be disappointed. Shanna Murray has delivered a beautiful, contemplative interview - as heartfelt and honest as her artwork. I admit to sharing lots of Shanna's blog favorites, and I'm also continually inspired by the positive energy and aesthetics of "our" little blog art and design community :) Don't forget to drop by Shanna's own lovely Two Trees shop and blog. Enjoy reading, seeing, thinking, and have a good weekend.

Why did you decide to start a blog?

back in early 2005 i was still relatively new to rochester and didn't really have any good friends in town. also, my sweetheart had sat me down a few months prior and told me that after looking after people nearly my whole life (as a nanny) it was time to figure out what i wanted, particularly creatively. it's a strange thing when another person hands you such a gift, the time and space to re-direct your life towards your dreams. it was exhilarating, but at the same time crippling. what would i do, how? was it even possible?

i started to look online for fabrics other than what i could find in town, and then for a non-traditional quilt pattern. somehow, by magic, i stumbled upon amy karol's blog, which led to finding rosa pomar, penelope dullaghan, lisa solomon, wendy crabb and mav and arc . it was electrifying, and instantly i fell in love with what these women were doing and this sort of craftwonderland. i saw these women creating, carving their own paths, sharing their struggles and their victories, making it happen and i was forever changed, permanently inspired. i started my first blog, two trees, in april of 2005.

How has blogging effected your work as an artist/designer?

early on, the supportive comments left by the women mentioned above, as well as others was a huge encouragement, and source of inspiration for me. without any close friends nearby, and very few creative-type friends in general, this community really bolstered my confidence and kept me going in the search to find my path.

in many ways, this community is like a sort of family. through sharing personal and creative struggles and successes along the way i've made really good friends, some i've never met, and some i see nearly everyday. all of which would not have been possible without my blog. my work is really about relationships, meaning, and purpose. and blogging definitely plays a huge part in informing those things. i've also established working relationships and collaborative relationships with people i would never have had occasion to come in contact with if not for my blog, which is really difficult to get my head around some times.

through blogging it's also possible to discover new sources of inspiration and education on a daily basis. the creative world is at once so small, and so vast. i feel like the internet and blogging has cracked wide-open this indescribable, limitless sea of creativity, ideas, and wonder. i just love being alive more, love being alive at this time on earth more, love humankind more everyday because i am so inspired by what everyone is making or doing, and so appreciative of the knowledge that i am not alone. we're sort of all trying to make our way, our own way, but we're doing it together.

What are your favorite artist/designer blogs? Why?

2 or 3 things, the habit of being, and housemartin are pure, perfect visual candy for me.
molly of orangette inspires me to try new things, and always elicits a welcome emotion; be it laughter, a smile, or tears.
hannah huffman's flickr stream and her hilarious and touching sidebar comments are a bright spot in my day.
my dear friend rachael because she, more than anyone i know, keeps it real.
penelope for always being so open about her journey.
heather smith jones for reasons i really can't explain. her work speaks to me, her heart is so good. she amazes me.
maria's blog has always been there, like roots in this whole experience. always a source of inspiration.
shari reminds me to go outside. her perspective is beautiful, and her entries often make me think.
and camilla because she's brilliant, and she made me want to get a dog. which i did and it changed my life. i owe her for that one i guess!!!

Why do you think blogs have now become so popular with artists and designers?

i think that it's a little different for all of us, but in general i really think it comes down to the fact that we're all in our own creative caves, and blogging pulls us out of isolation. we all need to stop and look around once in awhile. the feedback is great. coming in contact with people all over the world is awesome. it think we also as humans want a witness to our lives, someone to see us. not necessarily for encouragement, or praise, or anything in particular. just to make life more real.

Do you have any advice for artists/designers who are starting a blog?

just do it, the rest will follow.

What has been the most positive and inspirational aspect of having a blog for you?

feeling alive, because of all of the above.

Thank you Shanna for sharing. It was a pleasure to have you as a guest!