Amid over at Cartoon Brew has mentioned recently that the summer of 2005 could go down as the animation artist's blog renaissance, and I would have to whole-heartedly agree with him on that. I've noticed an incredibly large influx of new blogs by artists, illustrators and animators, all showcasing their talents to a new audience. So, why is there a big wave suddenly? I've narrowed it down to four factors:
1. It's free.
Simple as that. If you use Blogger (I do), it's completely free and no pressure to upgrade. With Typepad, there is a service fee, along with several other services out there, but Blogger seems to be the big blog service of choice with all these newbies.
2. It's easy.
It's much easier than uploading on your own portfolio site, which can be mundane and tedious, I'm told. Even if your web designer made it as simple as pie for you to upload, it's a matter of organizing and arranging that frustrates even the most timid of artists.
3. Peer pressure.
Most of the new bloggers I've been checking out recently I notice link to their artist friends' blogs, and some of them are even co-workers as well. I can imagine the conversation: "Dude! You've GOTTA get a blog, man! Everybodys' doing it and it's so easy!"
4. Free image hosting on Blogger.
This is the biggie. Even though blogs have been around for a long time, and Blogger's been there from the beginning, Blogger did not offer free image hosting until just recently. And that, my friends, is the real bonafide reason why there's such a huge surge in artist blogs now. Not having to worry about paying an unknown service to host images and then trying to get around to uploading to your blog gives the artist an incredible amount of freedom. It also gives them a great advantage to showcase their work simple and pure, complete with a description on what they're posting. Even better, the artist gets immediate feedback on their work with the comments. It's a win-win situation for everyone involved. Plus it helps that Blogger makes uploading images so easy.
I'm completely loving it. I've found so many cool artists and animators posting some amazing work, many of whom I've never heard of before. Now I'm a big fan. That's where blogging works. It becomes a great close-knit community where everyone supports each other and gives many a great resource for inspiration.
Some blogs I feel are worth noting:
The Daly Blog: animation director for Dreamworks, Donnachada Daly
Enrico's Blog: storyboard artist for Pixar, Enrico Casarosa
Tweedle Sketch: illustrator Michael Fleming
Les dessins de Marco: illustrator Marco Allard
Art-Attacks: animator Hans Bacher
Oscar Grillo's blog: illustrator and animator
Harald Siepermann's blog: animator
Uli Meyer's blog: animator, owns a studio in the UK
Stef's Sketches: illustrator Stephane Kardos
Mattjonezanimation: animator Matt Jones
Khoolsville: animator Sandra Khoo
Face It!: animator Sean Zeles
Captain Yolk: animator Jeremy Bernstein
Lambey's Log: illustrator and animator Steve Lambe
Ovi Nedelcu's blog: animator and comic book artist
Amid just posted about this guy's blog the other day and already I'm a fan:
Portfolio: animator Uwe Heidschoetter
So what you waiting for? Get out there and start your blog! The more, the merrier.
UPDATE: I've added some more blogs now since I first posted -- so enjoy!