Each artist in the WordPress.com community views his or her portfolio from one certain perspective. Some may assume it is the content in that portfolio, or the business plan, that defines each of the thousands caught up in a struggle to make their art, character, or message known to all those curious enough to inquire into these sites.
I think I’ll stick my hand on the red hot stove and say, No, it’s not the content of a portfolio that defines an artist; nor is it the Mission Statement that determines the validity of one designing a WordPress.com business website in order to make money.
It is the character and sense of self-worth of the man or woman behind the creation that ports the heft and breadth of a true work of art and determines the validity and substantiality and long term viability of a WordPress.com or any other site.
The cliché of the starving artist saving his pennies to rent a dirt clod bed next to Thoreau’s Walden garden (the naturalist’s Bed and Breakfast) may actually have some validity to it. As creator and maintainer of your WordPress.com website, do you sacrifice yourself, not just in time and labor but with a mind for truth?
I have in the past few weeks examined many WordPress.com websites, and I think I understand why some are successful and some not. It is in the entrepreneur’s perspective; success is in the eye of the beholder.
It is a good thing we do not judge ourselves successful by other people’s standards. If that were true then all artists would be pumping out duplicates of Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’, or perhaps bestselling Novels in the style of Stephen King, dropping the price of a hardbound book to a penny a copy for lack of demand.
There are many types of writers creating and maintaining WordPress.com websites at any given time. Some reach out to others for aesthetic reasons. Some sites are more bent on making money. Or creating fame or other types of fortune for the artist or business owner.
Many websites are banners for small or large businesses, flagging real brick and mortar businesses to bring in customers.
Some website designers concentrate on commerce, others focus intently on fun things, like hiking, sporting events and participation, charity works, latte, pate, or pizza. In such cases it is not the worth of the individual websites that counts, WordPress.com or whatever; it is the interweaving, the interacting tendrils of websites all over the world interacting to form a base from which each separate site can launch their content or product from
In effect, it is the interactions that determine the viability of your website, not its design alone. That is the backbone of the content you have to offer. That is the worth that will set you apart from others and allow your content to make itself apparent to and resonant with our modern world.
That having been said, it is still important that the heart and substance of your site’s content have some magic to it too, the magic of the Dionysian energies that grip at the heart of artistic content to where it literally trembles with creativity. Your website must absorb at least some of the creative energies that flow in you if it is to take its place as one of millions of neurons on the tendrils of the World Wide Web.
So to succeed at WordPress.com you must instill within your website’s content a resonance that will allow you to draw people from all over the world to view, try, comment upon, critique, or applaud your efforts, ones that will either get you your financial reward, praise as an artist, or just plain Shakespearean fame.
So let’s return to ‘Old School’ for a moment. Maybe you’re thinking, ‘where do I get this creative ‘Dionysian’ resonance, and how much do I need to be successful?
Not as much as you might think. You don’t have to be the ‘Starving Artist’ to get a little more spark in your site.
When I think of success, at least in terms true artistic energy and resonance, an article comes to my mind as a loud and clear example. The article is one I re-blogged a few days ago. It is written by Mario Savioni, an up and coming photographer, poet and critic who has an insatiable curiosity that leaves him digging into the creativity of the project at hand.
The article that most struck me as resonant written by Mario Savioni is an article called, “Why Did I Get a Master’s Degree in English? (I didn’t.)”. In it Mario Savioni gives us a clue into his motives for creating art in several genres ranging from scientific observations to creative Photography, and from writing articles about his own experiences to critiquing and interpreting other writer’s works.
Why do I mention Mario Savioni? The answer is simple: Mario Savioni holds within himself a truthfulness that resonates off a strong but resilient foundation. The world is a series of checks and balances. In Mario Savioni’s article we get an insight into a child already in search of truth long before that truth would be revealed.
As a kid in middle school, I used to listen to T. S. Eliot on a phonograph in a public library. On a bench as a very young child, I told my uncle, I wanted to be a writer. My mother said, I would spend long hours with books entertaining myself. My aunt said that I had the vocabulary of a doctor. My father was a doctor. I don’t know how many of you are like me. Professional parents, a disposition for beauty insulated from the real world. My father used to cut up dolls as a youngster. He kept cats in the refrigerator. There are early signs, at least for him, they were practical ambitions.
Mario, recognizing a time in his youth as critical his artistic development:
I think in the beginning we all relished the sacrifices poets made, starving, losing lovers, losing children. We loved the small hovels poets lived in, traveled by trains, hobnobbed with the literati because of their families. After my father died, I knew such dreams were no longer a reality. He left us with enough money for me to finish a BA in Speech. I thought I wanted to be an attorney, but I hated what I saw of law: Stacks of files before friends, who are so much more articulate and debonair. When I got a certificate in Paralegal Studies, I got an “A” in everything, except that when I finished my coursework all I wanted to do was read novels or philosophy, which I did and do even four years later.
I could go on about how Mario Savioni developed that certain poetic resonance into his life that would later vibrate through his several genres of artistic content, but I think I’ve made my point about him.
What about you? I’m not trying to put all WordPress.com website owners on the spot here. What I’m trying to do is show you the pure search for truth that has nothing to do with the nuts and bolts of your site but everything to do with that one most important seed that is necessary to success in any type of persuasive communications.
When Mario Savioni absorbed literature and art as a child, he absorbed the creative energy of many artists who had appeared and disappeared over the hundreds of years before his birth. In turn, that poetic (Dionysian) energy used him to create works that would add to and compliment those who had gone on before him.
Mario set out in honesty to create art, and in the process of chasing truth he forgot about the material things in life. Like the well renowned ‘Impoverished Poet’, he has spent more time searching out truth than creating his own truth, something only a dedicated student is willing to do.
So, Mario Savioni works in a restaurant and uses his energy to create a resonance in his art that might otherwise have been drained away from a fast paced and mentally demanding career such as Doctor, for example, or Lawyer.
Am I telling you to quit all other aims and start waiting tables? Not at all. I just want you to understand that each website designer and each content writer must find inside themselves somewhere a resonance with nature or society that can push them ahead in their cause.
Or you could just hire Mario Savioni.