Noticeboard: June 2018

If you don’t normally bother reading the monthly Noticeboard posts (and I don’t exactly blame you) – please, read this one. Why? Because as long-time visitors to The Pop Culture Studio will have noticed, the website has undergone some dramatic changes over the past month, and I want to explain why those changes have happened, and what they mean for The Studio going forward.

SO IS THE POP CULTURE STUDIO STILL A BLOG, OR WHAT?

I guess I should start by addressing the elephant in the room: no, The Pop Culture Studio isn’t a blog anymore. Instead, it’s been reworked into a website designed to showcase my freelance writing and artistic skills, in order for me to more easily connect with prospective clients.

Why the massive shift in the site’s fundamental purpose? To be honest, this is something I’d always anticipated happening as I took on more paid blogging assignments, and given how many of my updates over the past year simply redirected readers to external websites featuring these work-for-hire pieces, now just felt like the right time.

On another level, it’s also about raising my profile as a professional blogger. If I’m going to make a living as a freelancer, blogging is (at least initially) going to form the backbone of this endeavour, and the value of an easy-to-navigate website that clearly showcases samples of my work cannot be overstated.

Now, all this isn’t to say that I won’t continue to post the occasional blog post that is essentially a “Studio exclusive” – but these updates will be the exception, and not the rule. More often than not, you can expect monthly round-ups featuring links to the content I’ve produced for my freelance clients. I realize this might be disappointing for those who have enjoyed the different post formats unique to The Pop Culture Studio, but I hope you’ll understand why this has to be the case.

WHAT ABOUT EASEL UPDATES – ARE YOU STILL SHARING YOUR ARTISTIC DEVELOPMENT?

Another big alteration in the way things will operate going forward concerns how I’ll be sharing my artistic efforts. In the past, I’d presented – in Easel Update posts and on social media – artwork that illustrated (no pun intended) how far my skills had progressed, and how far they still had to go.

This is going to stop going forward. Over the past year, I’ve come to realize that mastering an artform in the public eye is actually wildly counterproductive – not least of all because it robs you of the freedom to do the most necessary thing of all: fail. This is the reason why I’ve shared very few sketches or paintings over the last 6 months…and I’d argue, also why my skills have dramatically improved during this time.

In future, I’ll only be posting highly-polished, portfolio-worthy pieces on the site, although some of my rougher experiments/work-in-progress material will still crop up on social media at times. Again, I’m aware that this probably a tad disappointing for those who liked to chart my progress as an artist, but as with the shift away from dedicated blogging, I hope you can appreciate why this is necessary.

ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW?

That should hopefully cover all the big stuff, but let me also tie-off a few other loose ends before I bring this to a close:

  • You may notice that some legacy posts have disappeared from the Studio’s archives (most notably, all of the videos); the reason for this is that I felt this content fell too far below the standards I’d like the Studio to be known for.
  • Just on the subject of video content, this is going to be put on indefinite hiatus; it may be something I re-visit in future, but until I can devote the time to planning and executing a high-quality end product worth everybody’s time, videos will remain on hold.

And that’s it: everything you need to know about the changes to The Pop Culture Studio, and what you can expect from the future of the website. As always, many thanks to everyone who has followed the site over the last few years – I genuinely mean it when I say that none of this would have been possible without your ongoing support.

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