I must admit that until about a year and a half ago, I didn’t pay any attention to blogs. I had read about the Huffington Post and some of the other big hitters, but never actually read them. To be honest, I didn’t really understand why normal people would write blogs—most people don’t have genuinely interesting things to say about themselves on a daily, or even weekly, basis, I figured. But when I was trying to prepare to move to Spain, I started reading the blogs of some teachers who came before me in the same Spanish government-led program and enjoyed their personal take on the experience.
And so, I entered into the blogging world with trepidation, not wanting to be overly narcissistic (or worse, just boring) but wanting to take advantage of one single spot to write about my experience in Spain, post photos, videos, and other ephemera without resorting to mass emails. I figured that with a blog, people can read you (or not) at their leisure and you’re not just adding to their ever-growing unread email collection.
And you know, it’s been fun. I initially tried to post something every ten days or so—and proudly stuck with that basic schedule longer than I anticipated. I’ve been a little quiet lately, but so has life been. And when I post something, I’d like to write something I’m not embarrassed to throw out into the cybersphere. (Or whatever they’re calling it these days.)
Since I’ve been back Stateside, I’ve discovered Google Reader. And my interest in design has grown to somewhat obsessive proportions. And so, taking a moment today, I started really marveling at how many blogs I read—on topics from photography to design to Spanish politics. When I’m asked how I know that the Orla Kiely collection will arrive at Target on February 15, I can say, “I read it on a blog.” When I comment about social customs in Turkmenistan, I can say “I read it on a friend’s blog. She’s in the Peace Corps.” It’s kind of awesome.
But it’s also unsustainable at the current rate. In not too long, I’ll have to slim down my daily reads, unsubscribe from some and use the “mark all as read” button a bit more liberally with others I can’t seem to part with. But there are a few that will stick around.
One of those, which I just recently added, is called Urban Sketchers. It’s a collection of people from around the world who submit sketches, some small in scale—rough outlines on the back of a napkin—and others that deserve a frame and a place of prominence as Art with a capital A. Of all the skills I don’t possess, I think I long to be able to sketch more than anything else. How cool are the people in museums with notebooks, analyzing art with their own art? I ooze with jealousy at their talent and general chicness. It’s not in my cards—people have mistaken my attempts at “art” for elementary school projects. But I envy these people, who in their quiet ways are documenting the mundane world around them every day and making it beautiful. And in turn, adding a dose of beauty and awe to my day. I am overwhelmingly impressed.
A few of my favorite sketchers:
Álvaro Carnicero (who lives in Córdoba…I always wonder if I might have seen him sketching somewhere and not known how awesome his croquis are.)