FK Guest Contributor Jade Suine chats to Julia of Australia and New Zealand creative blog, Studio Home.
Tell us a little about your blog; what do you post about and why did you start it?
My blog has slowly morphed from a sort of handy form of visual bookmarking to pretty much my all time favourite passion. I focus entirely on creative talent from New Zealand and Australia getting particularly stuck on the incredible art, photography, jewellery and design that seems to be bubbling away, often unknown, down our end of the world.
What do you love most about blogging?
Far and above anything else, I love finding someone new who pairs their passion with actual amazing talent. The other incredible and exciting discovery I made quite early on was how friendly, open and supportive the design blogging community worldwide can be. I have emailed bloggers from New York to Melbourne asking for some of their wisdom and always have received heart-felt answers. This networking and sense of community has now stretched to those that I blog about and even very recently I was able to email three of my favourite artists for some advice on a project without even a second thought.
Do you have any tips or hints about successfully running your own blog that you would like to share?
Did I mention networking? I think having a firm focus or theme is a great way to start and little things like regular posting has turned out to be super important for readers. I always try to give credit where credit is due, something that I learnt pretty early on. Linking back is easy and the big kids out there in the blogging world see it as a must!
Studio Home has opened doors for me in terms of blogging and writing for other publications, which I love! I always get a massive thrill at any invitation. I definitely see it now as something that I could list in my CV and I am set on developing it as far as I can.
Is there a pattern in your posting habits?
Originally my posting was pretty haphazard, but following last winter I was teetering on the edge of pulling the pin on the whole thing. Sometimes it’s weird and you wonder if there is even anyone out there interested in what you are collating! But apparently there was, so I sucked it up, got a friend to re-design the site and aim, (and mostly succeed at), having 2 posts go out a day. Fridays are always a random link-fest and weekends are a break, or often a chance to schedule posts for the week if it’s looking a bit crazy in the day job.
Can you share with us your 5 favourite blogs?
At the moment I am obsessed, (check twice… actually three times daily for updates), with a number of American blogs. Creative, eclectic, a mix of original and found content, and these amazing funny and bright voices and faces behind them.
What is the criteria you use to select the work that you feature on the blog?
Lucky for me I set some rules at the very beginning, as I would be hopeless at choosing without them! I post about creative people in NZ/AUS or Kiwis and Aussies doing their thing offshore. As a general rule I will only post about people that have a website to link to, which now can be anything from a blog to a Facebook page. As the blog grows I am finding that I need to stay even stronger at only featuring what I personally really like, to maintain the whole Studio Home vibe. This gets tricky and awkward at times.
What is the balance between you finding the talent to feature and the talent finding you?
For the longest time it was me finding the talent and 3 years later I would still be finding 90% myself. The last 6 months has seen a huge increase in submissions, (which I welcome by the way), advertisers and offers of giveaways. It has also presented me with a bit of a double-edged sword. Less time on my www-trawling but hours agonising on how to politely and respectfully decline a submission. I never want to degrade the efforts that someone is going to in promoting their work, I just have to make sure that every single post reflects the years of posting that has come before it.
Do you find keeping the blog rewarding?
Super rewarding! I get a thrill at hearing from readers and watching that regular daily visitor tally grow, but mostly it’s the happy notes of thanks from people that I feature that makes me think that this is more than just a website about pretty things that catch my eye.
All images in this post are from the creative talent that Julia features on Studio Home