When I first started blogging, I had no camera, and my only recourse if I wanted pictures on my posts was to use Flickr.com. Now, as many of you know, I have become quite the amateur photographer [snicker]. But I thought my newer readers might enjoy the story of how my gorgeous blog header came into being:
I want to dedicate this post to all the artists and photographers who willingly share their work on Flickr.com, thus allowing bloggers like me to use it. I have received a number of compliments on the images I’ve used, and the way I’ve presented them in my posts.
The Flickr.com artists and photographers have enabled me to add that little something extra to keep my posts from becoming boring.
I’ve read a number of blogs by people who have really great stories, but the blog appearance itself is somewhat off-putting. Some blogs actually give me a headache because they’re so busy-looking, while others make it difficult for me to get through the paragraphs and paragraphs of a post that’s all run together, with little or no formatting, and without any pictures or breaks at all.
Were it not for the Flickr.com artists and photographers, I would have to create my own artwork, and trust me, you don’t want that. Granted, as a teenager I had a drawing published in the Highlights for Children magazine, but it was a picture of horses – and everyone knows most teenage girls are obsessed with horses.
To this day, the ONLY non-stick figure I can draw is a horse. But THAT I can do fairly well.
When I set up my blog, I realized I needed a header design. I liked the simplicity of Cordelia’s website and wanted something similar.
Doodling during my lunch hour, I came up with the idea of a header symbolizing writer’s block. I grabbed a legal pad and, using a black marker, scribbled some question marks onto it; then I took a photo with my cell phone, and forwarded that photo to my home computer.
I thought it was a really neat idea, so I showed it to my husband, who said, “Great. But what is it?”
Seems I had photographed the legal pad sideways, so that, when cropped for the header, it looked more like fence posts or jail cell bars than writing paper.
Well, you know you can’t trust your spouse’s opinion, so when my artistic middle daughter came over, I showed it to her. She had the same reaction my husband did.
I do trust my daughter’s opinion – I’ve seen her work. In fact, I have a couple of her oil paintings hanging in my home. (I can’t imagine where she got her talent – certainly not from me!)
When I first set up my blog site, I didn’t know about Flickr.com, so I was somewhat flummoxed. I needed a distinctive, but simple header.
My daughter, bless her artistic soul, agreed to take my idea and see what she could do with it. She came up with the idea of using COLOR (my original photo was pretty much black and white). She took photos and emailed me her draft.
I loved it. Cordelia loved it. I told my daughter I would use it.
But of course, being an artist, my daughter didn’t feel it was good enough. She felt she should re-do it to make the image sharper. My feeling, in which Cordelia concurred, was that the slight fuzziness of the image not only conveyed the occasional fuzziness of a writer’s mind, but it also brought out the title and subtitle of the blog, which previously had seemed to disappear into the background.
Hence, the header you see today was born.
Then Cordelia told me about Flickr.com. I immediately became addicted. So many wonderful images, and so many wonderful artists and photographers allowing those images to be used. I’ve been known to peruse Flickr.com for hours to get just the right images for a post.
I did at one point play with the idea of using my own images. For my Walking on Eggshells post, I actually took a bunch of eggshells, put them on a paper towel and photographed them. It wasn’t a bad image, and I was about to use it. But then I found the wonderful one on Flickr.com that I went with.
I don’t know why Phú Thinh Co’s photograph was so much better than mine – they were very similar in subject and layout, but Phú Thinh Co had somehow made the image just so much more exciting than I ever could.
There were a couple of old photographs from my own childhood that I was able to use, but it was more hassle than it was worth – scanning, cropping, etc. I would never want to do that for a living!
Hell, I have enough trouble just trying to match wardrobe items.
So, to all you artists and photographers out there – whether you’re on Flickr.com or not:
My hat is off to you – well, if I actually wore hats other than those woolly knit things that protect my ears and what hair I have left during those bad ass Western New York winters. But if I did wear hats, right now I would be bowing to you with my hat held over my heart.
Yours is a special talent to which many of us aspire, but it takes a unique vision to create the work that you do. I hope that those of you whose images I have used have been pleased with the way I have incorporated them into my blog.
NOTE: Having re-read the above post, I had to laugh especially at the part about scanning and cropping. Now that I have my own camera, I’ve found I enjoy doing all that photography and editing – I even have my own listing on Flickr.com [check out the photos on the right sidebar, near the bottom!]
I love to hear from my readers. You may either comment on this post, or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org