Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tumblring along...

As I write this I am wondering about etiquette again.  What's the etiquette of writing about one blogging platform on another blogging platform? Sigh. Too much for me so I'll go ahead and do it anyway.

I have enjoyed having a tumblr blog for quite a few months now and have managed to overcome the addicted-ness that came with early use.  I continue to enjoy exploring the images and links that are there and in my own time and own way.  Nonetheless I got to wondering how and why other folk use tumblr blogs and I asked a few of my favourites some questions which they were kind enough to answer.

My questionees were:

When asked why they had a Tumblr blog they spoke about being able to discover and share images and quotes that they loved; as well as having a place where they could easily store inspiring images in one place. Rhonda (Ronnie) got into tumblr when she discovered an image of one of her works had gone semi-viral and she wondered what it meant to be popular when you had nothing at all to do with the posting of the work! For me, I like being able to explore lots of beautiful images, without having to engage with anybody, or get emails or notifications. I choose when and how I interact.

In thinking about how they use tumblr and what they use it for, Ronnie indicated she is experimenting with it, to see what information related to her current art research she might come across or stumble-upon. For Leslie, it's her on-line inspiration notebook, whilst Robyn finds scrolling thru it in the morning is a good way to get into work mode, and that it's also a means of unwinding after working all day. Ann uses it as an on-line scrapbook and reference book. I use it as means of collecting inspiring images and quotes - visions that calm me and that I respond to. I also do a little self-education thing where I then ask myself questions about what it is I am responding to - why does that piece appeal? etc as I try to learn more about art and myself.

©2010 Fiona Dempster - a dash of hope and courage
I think there is more than enough text here to digest, so I will finish up for the day here. The next blog post on tumblr will look at what the lovely questionees like most about tumblr, what they like least about tumblr and how they manage the posting and permission part of sharing all those images.

It would be great to hear from others what they think about tumblr and/or how they use it...feel free to add comments, drop me a line ... it's good to get the conversation going!


  1. I like your idea of using it for self education by asking yourself why you are drawn to a particular image. One thing I have noticed about all the blogging is that I learn a lot about the aesthetic taste of a number of artists. Fascinating stuff!

  2. Fiona, I do NOT like Tumblr.
    I don't understand the workings and don't have the time or inclination to fiddle.
    That probably labels me as a Grumpy Old Woman!
    Seriously, a regular blog or webpage is much easier to read.

  3. The first time someone told me to look at Tumblr I wasn't impressed. It depends where you land. If you land in an archive that is exactly to your taste you just want to wallow in it. That's how I became hooked. Thanks for including me in this post Fiona. Tumblr is an interesting phenomena.

  4. the jury is out as far as my opinion on tumblr... I suspect I will probably deem it interesting but ultimately unfulfilling ..... I can't see us having in a long-term relationship.... (but hey that's just me.... for others it might be the bees-knees)

  5. Thanks Leslie - I kept asking myself 'why?" I had these pages of images and figured it was partly for pleasure but also an opportunity to learn more about myself...

    Hi Dinah - it can definitely be confusing; and you're right there isn't much to read; it really is a visual diary kind of thing. As Robyn said if you find an archive you like and follow the links you can easily get lost!

    Robyn - thanks and I agree; it depends a bit on where you land and how you can see it making sense for you. I have had to find my own way to make it work for me.

    Ronnie - it definitely seems to have pluses and minuses and like all the options for connecting or observing that are out there; we all have to find what works for us - our inclinations, needs and time commitments. Lucky (?!?) there is such variety - there must be something for all of us!

  6. As a new blogger I now see the need to find a separate platform for my 'serious' art. My blog includes all sorts of frivolous and fun things that have little connection to my real art practice. However I find I am disinclined to change to Tumblr when I can set up another blog as a gallery. What does everyone think?

  7. Hi Jo - there are lots of options I guess. You could add some pages to your blog (tabs at the top) and make one of them a fine art gallery. You could set up a separate blogger blog which focused on your fine art side - with scholarly commentary rather than the fun! We use our websites as a showcase of our work and our blogs as where we converse and engage with like minded folk. My tumblr is just a scrapbook of lots of images - mostly other people's. You could do a tumblr blog which was only your own work - quite a few folk do. I know Kim S blogs on sculpture and facebooks on her ceramics so she has split it that way...good luck in the search!

  8. Thanks so much for this post. I seem to have taken a similar route as you did in Tumblr, with my initial obsession mellowing with time. It is interesting to hear how others use Tumblr and I thank you for the links to some artists and blogs that are new to me.

  9. Thanks for visiting Seth - its an interesting journey and experience to observe and think thru I think. Always good to make new connections as well!

  10. I use tumblr, but am not fond of it. On many layouts it is nearly impossible to figure out where to comment, & everyone who does has to be a member. Also, the tendency of many who use this hosting site is to reblog other people. When I see this I think, "Why do we need to visit a blog that shows what you like, but little or nothing that you create?" On mine I post only my own work, & really appreciate others who do the same. I also don't like those mini videos on a loop that are everywhere. They're just annoying. I actually prefer Blogger, & still use that as well.


I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.