Cyber Corner

Blogs

By Libby Kyer 

Originally appeared in The Botanical Artist – Volume 15, Issue 3

 

Technology changes pretty much exponentially. We hear about tweet, twitter, blog, IM, texting, YouTube, Facebook, webcasts and skype. It seems like a foreign language. Technology is here to stay, however, so taking advantage of what’s out there means we have more options in our art. 

The good news is we don’t have to know every term. The trick is to find the terms that work for you. One of the true treasures of the internet is the blogspot. A blog (short for weblog) is a personal online site. People who create or follow blogs are called bloggers. Blogspots contain frequent updates. Such entries are referred to as posts. 

The power in blogs is that you have like-minded artists searching the internet for tips, tricks and talk that support your art. In this case, more is better. I’d like to explore one such site, located at www.botanicalillustration.blogspot.com. This is the brainchild of Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski, PhD, DSc, who is the Coordinator for Botanical Art & Illustration Certificate Program at Denver Botanic Gardens. Of course, the Botanic Gardens have their own website that provides registration, class schedules and fees, online registration and events. Handy, but material on a website is only updated on a scheduled basis. 

Unlike regular web pages, blogs can change minute to minute, accepting assenting or dissenting voices to posted topics. Blogs can easily be re-arranged to focus on subjects that matter to the author. So, you not only get the benefit of someone else’s search, you get the benefit of their point of view. As a day-to-day information site, the blogspot provides much more changeable and current information. Let’s take a look. 

After opening Mervi’s blogspot, take a minute to look around. The left side of the blogspot contains posts from Mervi. Activities locally and world-wide are discussed. 

Now, take a look at the right side of the page. In this area, you’ll find links. There are links to many, many wonderful sites on botanical art. New graduates and images of their art are presented. What a lovely tribute to all their hard work. I love the YouTube listings of the training videos online. Under Useful Links, there’s a tab for Lens to Botanical Art. This is a terrific aid. When I got to it, I really started exploring. 

Clicking on Florilegium Societies led me to 4 known societies, and another blog! You can spend hours in this lens. You’ll save time searching, because botanical subjects have been gathered for you. You can create your own lens (it gives instructions) and comment or add to entries already there. The flexibility and agility of blogs is their greatest strength. 

As summer wanes, our outdoor time becomes less facile and frequent. Dig into to the internet for inspiration and information. If you find websites that are wonderful, please send the addresses to me at lakyer@att.net. I’ll collect them and every now and then list them in the Journal. 

  • Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski, Coordinator of the thriving Denver Botanic Gardens Certificate Program in Botanical Art and Illustration