FK Guest Contributor Jade Suine chats to Emily of the print and paper blog, The Daily Smudge.
Tell us a little about your blog and why you started it?
I started The Daily Smudge initially as a way of cataloging all the amazing things I was finding on the internet. From there it kind of grew to include more original content and now showcases some of my own work also. I post about anything that makes me excited or jumps out to make me look. I’m a book designer, so my passion has always been for print design but it also spans to almost anything creative or artistic (more often than not of the paper-based variety).
Can you tell us the story behind your blog name?
I thought of it when I was swimming laps one day, (a great place for coming up with ideas by the way). I just wanted something that combined a newspaper feel with an artistic significance whilst still being a little bit playful. It seemed to fit and the next day I wrote my first post!
What do you love most about blogging?
I love that it forces me to actively look around at the world, constantly searching for creative content. Whenever I’m feeling out of inspiration I can flick through my blog and instantly become inspired again. I also love the community it has brought. I used to work freelance from home so some days I wouldn’t even say a word until my husband got home from work, (by which time it was usually a croak)! I met so many wonderful people online via blogging that I felt like part of a creative studio without even leaving my house. I think now too, especially for mums at home, it’s a great source of communication and sharing between creative people.
Do you use your blog as a digital visual diary?
Yes I do for sure. I’m horribly disorganised on my computer, so would otherwise never again be able to find any of these images if they weren’t catalogued online. I used to keep lots of real-life visual diaries, which, being made of paper I love of course, but the downside is they are difficult to cart around (and I’ve moved countries 3 times in the last 6 years). Now I just have an occasional real physical paper one to keep the odd bits and pieces I find.
Where do you begin searching for all of the beautiful work you uncover?
Other blogs I read and the links they take me to are a major place of discovery for me. Also mailing lists of artists and venues I’ve signed up to, shops or places I’ve visited, books I’ve bought or exhibitions I’ve been to. I try to keep my peepers open always and posting things on The Smudge is in the forefront of my mind at these times. I also have lovely friends and family who send me things they think I’ll like too.
Do you have any tips or hints about successfully running your own blog that you would like to share?
I’m no expert really but I do believe you should stick to posting about what you love and are passionate about. When the busy bees of life get in the way it’s the only way you’ll keep it up and also your passion will shine through. I also think, as many others say too, that it’s important to have original content and spread your gaze beyond solely reposting from other blogs; inject your own character into it! Lastly and probably most importantly, credit other people and sites, good karma comes back to you.
Is there a pattern in your posting habits?
As the name suggests, I used to post daily, but since having a baby boy last September I find it a bit tricky to find the computer time to keep that up sadly. I am pleased with myself lately if I keep to 3 posts a week, (if it’s any less than that, a little finger in my head somewhere presses a panic button)! I hope to get back to daily posts very soon though.
Can you share with us your 5 favourite blogs?
I spend at least an hour a day reading other blogs and the list is long, but if I had to pick, tricky as it is, these would be they:
The Design Files Lucy works so hard and is so passionate. She produces so much great content for her blog. I love that it’s Australian-focused and the weekly guest bloggers are great too.
Design Work Life Showcases some amazing graphic design and illustration work that I never see elsewhere.
Book by its Cover Chock full of amazing books… proves very dangerous for Amazon spending!
Pitch Design Union The author, Margot, has a great sense of humour and posts some really interesting and different graphic design content.
Upon a Fold Justine finds the most amazing paper creations and often focuses on Japan which is always fascinating. (The shop also stocks some dangerously gorgeous paper things).