Back in April, I wrote a blog post called Meeting New People. This post was about my journey from being a Alaskan mother of three who made quilts to an artist who exhibits, teaches, and lectures.
Most of the comments relating to the blog post Meeting New People were very positive.
Still, I must mention Aunt Carole’s response. Here is what she said, “Wish there were more hours in a day. Would rather spend the time creating than at the computer. Sorry to be the naysayer but finding balance is the hard part.”
This is totally true. Social media can be a time suck and a distraction from what we really should be doing with our lives. Which brings me to a point of clarification. I don’t really CONSUME social media, I USE social media in the same way a small business, which I am, might use social media to connect with clients, contemporaries, and opportunities.
I am not an early adaptor of technology. I do not know how our T.V. remote works, and I have no desire to learn. I can read a book instead.
Still, I knew that I needed to get with it on this front, so I did. In 2012, I created a Facebook Artist Page which more or less sat there. I even gave it a kind of silly name—Maria “The Stitcher” Shell.
After almost a year of procrastinating, I decided to treat my Facebook Artist Page like a starter blog. Every day or so, I would share what I hoped were interesting posts—little bits about myself, my work, and my surroundings. Like any new habit, it was a start and stop situation. At some point, I realized I enjoyed the challenge of being interesting. I will write more about that later, just know that is really the whole of social media for me—BEING INTERESTING. For now, let’s move on to the blog.
In the wee hours of 2012, I made the leap and wrote my first blog post. My blog, as you know, is called Tales of a Stitcher.
After having paid two people to build two separate websites and then watch each site sit stagnant because I did not know how to use WordPress, I decided to learn WordPress by writing my own blog. Facebook was my gateway—it gave me the courage to start the blog.
Like everyone else, I had two readers in the beginning. Blog writing is a weird thrill. Maybe like streaking? Which I have never done, but I imagine people do it because complete exposure of yourself for just a flash could be strangely thrilling. That is what blog writing is—every time I hit publish I am sending the written version of me running down the street naked. Or at least that is how feels.
My Instagram account is also called Tales of a Stitcher.
In 2016, I decided to do a year long project to celebrate my 50 birthday. I wore only clothing I had made for 466 days—the first 101 days were in a bad location. My youngest son was my photographer.
I posted an image of myself on Instagram every day of that project. Well, sometimes I got behind, but there are indeed 466 images of me in order on Instagram. This is really how I got into the habit of posting daily on Instagram.
I really, really wanted to continue using Instagram as a place for me to post daily images of whatever daily art project I am working on. I LIKE using Instagram that way. So, I started another daily project. This time my goal was to post a daily collage.
This is even harder than Project Every Day! I am currently so behind you might even think I have quit, but I have not, and I plan to rally in the new year.
Somewhere in the middle of all this, I wrote a book.
And that is where I am at. What about you? What is your social media history?
Up next is the blog post On Being Interesting—Social Medium & the Artist. Stay tuned.