Thursday, May 27, 2010

Inspiration: color, material, blog giveaways

I've been stuck at my sewing machine for several days, so yesterday I drug out my Twinkling H20s and went to town making art that was inspired by some of the blogs I read each morning. I began by trying to add a bit of color to my world.

I always get inspired to create color by Terri Kahrs at Pringle Hill Studio. Just visit her blog and you will get that daily dose of vibrant, intense color that warms your soul and brightens your projects.

I got carried away, making color messes until all the Twinkling H20s were devoid of water.

In the process, I got out some deli paper which didn't absorb the highly pigmented watercolors. I should have known better (deli paper is designed to resist liquid), but I've been inspired to find ways to use deli paper in my art ever since Marilyn Rock (In My Room) inspired me to revisit this medium after she posted a great video on its use earlier this year.
And as I was cleaning up, I painted the newspapers the project had sat on. For some reason, these colors and maybe even the designs reminded me (in the photo, but not before) of Diane Salter's (My Art Journal) art.

I was further inspired by Halle (Halle's Hobbies) who sent me the code that added the space between my daily posts. I never knew I could specify the space, so I was tickled when we talked about it that it was something I (well, Halle) could change. She even talked me through the process so I didn't add the code in the wrong spot. Any way I can make my blog easier for others to read, makes me happy. (EDIT: I changed the picture, so people wouldn't think this was the end of the post)

I was further inspired to rant about blog giveaways today, based on a questions asked by Susan at Pieces of Fate, my blog pick of the day. Susan asked (copied directly from her blog, and her colors, not mine):

and a burning question or thought that I'd like your FRANK thoughts on...

When bloggers offer giveaways...what requirements do you think are just and fair, and what is too much, or "making you jump through hoops"?

So it got me thinking as I visited a couple of the people who I already mentioned today. One is Diane who just completed a giveaway, the other is Marilyn who has just started a giveaway. What requirements did these giveaways require? "Please leave a comment on this post." PERIOD. No request for followers, no requirement to add their link, no requirement to put their photo on your sidebar, no requirement to jump through hoops, a phrase I often use. Diane got 134 comments and Marilyn had over 20 in the first few hours of her giveaway. I would say she is off to a great start.

What makes these giveaways so successful, while others that offer big ticket items are less successful? Because people who want to follow a blog, will. In my opinion, most people don't want to be coerced into following someone's blog. I sure don't. I also don't want to take the time to copy their photo and html link for my sidebar. It's cluttered enough as it is. I don't want to tweet about it, put it on my (nonexistent) facebook page, or write a dissertation about their giveaway. People who are truly successful at giveaways get people to comment because they have blog friends who respect their art, and don't attach any strings. They give from the heart. They appreciate followers (as do I), but, also like me, they don't have to "buy" anyone through gimmicks.

Bribery never won any friends, just followers who want to win a big ticket or perhaps a nicely handmade prize. That's why I love joining One World One Heart each year. People aren't allowed to use gimmicks, but MUST offer their giveaways from the heart.

So Susan (Pieces of Fate) sparked a conversation on her blog and now I'm hoping to continue it on mine. Who inspired YOU today? Did they inspire you through color, a certain material, technique, or product, or maybe a question they posed on their blog? I'll be showing other artists who inspire me over the next few days and weeks, too. There are some pretty awesome ones, who I call my friends, even though we've never met in person. Hope you will join in and let me know what inspires you this wonderful Thursday.

15 thoughtful remarks:

Terri Kahrs said...

Oh, Elizabeth! What a surprise to see my name "in lights" as being inspirational! It's the best compliment that I could ever receive. Thank you, My Friend. I see that I'm in GREAT company too, as you've listed several of my blog buddies!

And just for the record, I too, feel the same way about giveaways - I HATE hoops and being coerced! I especially hate it when three or four "requirements" are listed. Holy Cow! Hugs, Terri xoxo

La Dolce Vita said...

ok, hope this is the right place to comment!! the blog is out of whack... your h2os look great, and love Diane's work! as for the hoops, well doesn't it seem like enough to ask them to follow or at least leave a comment, but I agree not a hoop girl, that jumping just wears me out!!!

Creative Carmelina said...

i tried to comment on your newest post...but the comment button wouldn't work,,,obviously this one does..so here I am.

I love meeting fellow artists..and came here by way of Catarina's blog Dolce Vita...

i'm following you..and i invite you on over to come see me too...

ciao bella
creative carmelina

Lynn said...

I like your thoughts about giveaways. I too have found it cumbersome to do all that hoop jumping, and I admit to having done so for several. Did I become followers of their blogs because of it? Probably not. I would proably gladly post all the extras for a blogging friend! Or I would have to REALLY WANT what they were giving away in a bad way. LOL I like the giveaway I did that I did not advertise at all, I just picked a name from the people who came to my blog one day at random from comments left, no one knew I was doing it, and I sent that person a gift of my art and then blogged about it. That was FUN!!!

Tess said...

I have been known to join in on giveaways that state simply to leavea message and I've jumped through hoops too but only for something that was really fabulous and something I though I could not make for myself. Usually I do just the easiest few steps and that's it. If there are 6 ways to enter I may only do 2 or 3. I don't mind tweeting about a giveaway at all. I am on twitter anyway and it just gives them more exposure. I would hope they would do the dame for me.
Who inspired me today? You!!!!

Marilyn Rock said...

Elizabeth; this is first I could comment. The block in your Blog is kind of out of shape for some reason. I couldn't comment. Now I can. I love H20 watercolors and your playing with them makes me want to bring them out. I did try them on the deli paper (thanks for the mention) and didn't have good results either due to the consistency of the deli paper. Acrylics rule on that kind of paper.

Also; I do like blog giveaways; love offering them but don't want people to jump hoops for them. I just like to share and if I give something away; it's because I want to and want someone to get it that will enjoy. That's my 2 cents. :)

Sue from Oregon said...

Hmmm Interesting read today!

Halle said...

I'm thinking your spacing picture was throwing everyone for a loop....good fix with the words over the top.
This was a fun blog post. Lots of info and inspiration...glad I could help out. :)

druga szesnascie said...

my thoughts exactly. become a follower+post about the giveaway+tweet+comment twice+whatever.
it just sounds as if people were obsessed with their blog stats...
and that's not really the point, is it?
I thought I was hugely not PC to think that's a bit too much. what a relief. :)
so my today's inspiration would be: Blogging Without Obligation.
http://www.tartx.com/blog/?page_id=233
and organising giveaways like that, too.

Angie said...

Re Give aways ....If I'm asked to comment then I will ...if I'm asked to link then maybe ....but if I am asked to follow or anything else I dont. Someone will follow me if they like my blog and that is wonderful ...if they comment but dont follow then thats up to them I love to read what they say when they feel like it and so I hope that is how people feel when I follow and comment. Give aways dont entice me to be a follower ....I shall now dismount my soap box lol xx

Margaret said...

Elizabeth, you inspired me today! I think I've siad it before but I love it when you show us the process you use on the way to the finished piece, fab thank you! Margaret

Cindy McMath said...

Hi Elizabeth - your H20 papers look amazing. Even though you can't see the sparkle properly I see it in my mind's eye as I know what those paints look like - haven't played with them in awhile. Perhaps I will be inspired to do so soon!

I agree with your thoughts on giveaways. I think it's fantastic (amazing even!) when people want to keep track of what I'm posting, or pass the word along, but I would never make that a condition of a giveaway. And I have to say I usually pass on those giveaways as well.

Great topic.

Cindy :)

Marlynn said...

Elizabeth - today, you did inspire me BUT you know exactly how I feel about your art papers. I do love them - And being the lucky owner of several of your deli papers - I am a lucky gal. I agree with you on the blog giveaways, I won't mess the ones where I have to jump thru the hoops. When I have had them, it is a simple, leave a comment... that is all that is needed. And I have said up front, if only one person leaves a comment - hooray for them because they win! LOL Have a great Sunday!

Jeannine said...

I'm with you on the entering of giveaways. Just leave a nice comment. If you want to follow that would be great but doesn't earn you extra points. It's like having friends: don't be my friend just because it might get you something. Thank you for your thoughts on this. I found you because you entered my Cottage Charm Giveaway.

Sherry said...

so what is the code for making a space? I often get comments for one post to the post following it.

and leave a comment ones are usually the only giveaways I enter. I also try to leave comments whenever possible - comments are the bloggers' reward for sharing their heart.