Hi! This art blog is about the artwork of Karla Kay and the business of Karla Kay Art.
I feel I should tell you a little about myself. My name is Karla Kay Benjamin. I am in my early 50’s. I grew up in Redmond, Wa. I have a fiber arts degree from ASU. I have worked as an artist, art instructor, and I spent 16 years working for Snohomish County Superior Court first as a Juvenile Services Assistant and then later as an Adult Drug Court Coordinator. My mom passed away from Cancer in 2019. After enduring 2 cancer scares myself after her passing, I resigned from Snohomish County in 2016 to pursue my passion for art and have been working the last 2 years as a full time artist. It was the scariest but best decision I ever made. I loved my job at the county. I am proud of the work I did there. I had no plans to leave until one of my co-workers gave me the DVD “The Secret” in 2015 and I made a vision board and put my goals up on it and within 6 months almost all of them had come true including rerouting my savings, downsizing a bit and starting my own business and leaving my job at the county. I am very thankful to live in a fantastic log home in Arlington, Wa. which gives me access to the Pilchuck Tree Farm (a managed forest) where I can ride my horse. I live just a few blocks from Dale Chilhuly’s Pilchuck Glass School. It is a very art infused area. My art company is Karla Kay Art. I have an art studio in my house right now in one of the bedrooms. I am in the process of converting an old horse barn on my property into a large art studio so I can hold classes and have a small gallery set up. I work with a variety of art mediums. I specialize in hand painted silk.
This blog is about my art but it is also about the business of art. I am going to start off with talking about social media. Social media is the single most powerful thing for my art business. It has helped me so much. Social media for me includes:
Instagram – is a program that shows pictures and allows for a short sentence or two about the photo and hashtags # that allow people to use the # symbol to search for items they might like. Examples are #painting #handpaintedsilk #fineart #illustration #drawing #summer #sun #eagles. Instagram is basically my portfolio now days.
Facebook – allows people who have never met to meet and have regular conversations. I like to think of it as a very efficient pen pal system
Facebook groups – allows like minded people to converse about their passions. For example, I belong to a silk painting group called “SPIN” Silk Painters International which I find very inspirational.
Websites – allow me to present a resume about my company
Blogs – allow me to tell my story and get feedback.
I am new to blogs and blogging. I had originally opened a blog site titled Karlakayart.blog but then i found out if I created my own website (vs. someone creating the website for me) and I used the wordpress program for the website I would get a free blog within the website. Free is good. Convenient is good. Simple is good. I like to follow the K.I.S.S. motto if you are familiar.
I will start out with a lesson about blogs and websites because I initially found them very confusing. Perhaps this will help others out there if they are curious about blogging.
A website and a blog are the same thing but they utilize different templates. You can have a website. You can have a blog. I just learned this last month that you can have a website with a blog inside of it. Wish I had known this going in because now i have paid for a blog site for the next couple of years that I will not be using (Karlakayart.blog).
The domain of a website is the name you give it and the ending you have on it. You have to buy the domain. You can buy it for a year, you can buy it for a few years, you can set up automatic payment so it gets rebought for you every year automatically. The endings of websites domains don’t really mean a thing it is not like they are permitted and you have to prove who you are to get one. However every name and it’s ending is unique and can’t be used twice. There are companies that buy up domain names and endings just in the hope that someone will want it later and have to buy it back. When talking to GoDaddy whom I went through to get my website domain I learned that one of the names I wanted was for sale for $2,000.00. Having said that there are many endings out there. The most common ending is .com. The .org generally refers to organizations (& non-profits) and .XXX is likely adult rated. The endings of websites do cost different amounts. .com was $11.00, .info was $2.00 and .XXX was $250.00 per year. If you find that the website you want is not available try a different ending and it might be available with the different ending.
The website/blog program/template I am going with is WordPress. There are quite a few out there. I find WordPress fairly easy to use. It took me a bit to figure out where all the buttons took me (you can get to the same place on your site using different buttons which I initially found confusing). Once I was able to get a flowchart in my head of where everything was things have gone fairly smoothly.
One of the biggest things to keep in mind when using the computer now days is that the programs change constantly. It makes no sense to write anything down because you will have to do things differently when the next update rolls out which seems almost weekly to me. It is cool to see the advances being made all the time. The advances are frustrating when you finally get the hang of adding a photo or making a text change and the menu has been moved and you have to find the menu again.
Thus, ends my blog post on blogging and social media. Look for future posts on my art companies progress. Again, my company name is Karla Kay Art. I specialize in hand painted silk. I make silk scarves, bandanas and tapestries. My Website is Karlakayart.com and my instagram page is Karlakayart. Check out my instagram page and see what art I have created this week. I think I will end this blog with a quote that my girlfriend uses on her email. It is from Will Rogers “Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb, that is where all the fruit is.”