Monday, April 25, 2016

A Boy who Blogs

When I have ideas about topics that I would like to blog about, I set up a post in draft mode. Well, what I really mean is that I write a title. The title of this post - A Boy who Blogs - was written a long time ago. Probably back in about 2013. For many years, I have wondered why the online art blogging community - both bloggers and viewers - is primarily made up of women. And when I say primarily, what I really mean is nearly completely.


It always seemed strange to me that while the art world has historically (and with tremendous bias I might add) focused on men, our community, whether online or at workshops and retreats, consists of women and only a handful of men.

I am moved to finally write this post thanks to Danny Gregory - another guy in the neighborhood. As is so often the case, he has touched on the most current of topics and recently wrote a post entitled Why Men Don't Take Art Classes. His post - and the lively discussion that has occurred in the comment section - has inspired mine.

I have had many random thoughts over the years about why this is the case. My first thought is always that our blogging community is just that - a community. It is not only about art but it is about connecting through art. Sometimes it is even more about connecting than about art. Call me sexist, but I have always thought that women are so much more willing and able to express, connect, share and communicate. These are things that happen almost by definition in a community. For me, this issue explains a good deal of the gender disparity. But can it be that simple?

Theories about why men don't take classes don't always apply to why there are not more men in our blogging community. The whole men-don't-read-maps-so-as-not-to-appear-ignorant theory seems to me to be irrelevant to online blogging -- not to mention that we now have GPS, which I do believe men actually take advantage of.

So this boy is curious as to what you readers think on this issue. Commenting on blogs seems to be at an all time low (hmmmm....another title for a future post) but I am hoping that you all can shed some light on this. The floor is yours.....

41 comments:

Sue Marrazzo said...

I am an art instructor, and I do get male students, but very few. It would be nice to have more of a mix in my classes. I noticed men are really quick with following art instruction. Their work usually has a different take, too! Two of my previous male students are now exhibiting their artwork...It is great to see this as an instructor.
Also, I have noticed that bloggers' comments are fewer, but I appreciate the generous and positive comments that I do get on my blog posts. I feel that bloggers are busy people, and that's probably part of it! I know it is for me. Thanks for your BLOG, Seth.

Eric said...

Seth I share the same concern. I m a Mail Artist and I m part of several exchange groups and they are mainly composed of women. I haven t found a good explaination for this up to now. Regarding comments on blogs I agree with you and I may have an explaination. A lot of people do read blog posts using applications that gather blog posts of all blogs they follow but these applications do not provide the possibility to add comments. You need to go to the blog to do so. This is an additional step that sometimes you don t take the time to do. I personnally read the blogs using The Old Reader application and the amount of comments I let has decreased over the years...

Claudia N. said...

Hi, Seth!

Yes, I think it is that simple.

I found that men hardly ever seem to need or enjoy being in a community as much as women do. They also often do not feel the urge to be part of a community or to have close friends as much as women do. Women have always been (trained to be?) more socially interactive. They are expected to be more social and also have "better" social skills, be the better listeners, be more interested in how others feel and do. They also often feel more obliged to share and help...all qualities that nourish a community by making others feel good, precious and welcome while being part of it. On the other hand also most women NEED to hear some kind of encouragement, laud and acceptance on a regular basis to feel they are a valued part of a community. Men don't. They are much more often the loners, who rather show their work than "share" it (if that makes sense). They aren't as dependent on how others see their work or how others think about them as women seem to be. And they are also expected to not be dependent, based on those role models deep within our society. These have been (unconsciously) passed on for ages and ages by now...and still are being passed on in many ways we do not even notice.
Maybe those few male art bloggers and art class takers have successfully freed themselves of those models - so they do not feel they look "weak" when taking art classes and mingle with others via a blogging community to learn from them.

I have also noticed that most men would rather give advice and precise solutions on things you show or tell them about instead of simply give encouragement or solace (which would be what most women would give - and also search for - in the first place)? I guess men feel they are expected to act like this (again based on role models). They also enjoy this when being among themselves (for example when they talk about their motorbikes they work on). And I am sure it doesn't feel like "being taught something" for them.
But women don't act like that. On the contrary - it would be severe violation of blogger etiquette to mention in a comment that something on the project could be improved. Also most women would rather say something nice about a poorly done project instead of hurting someone by talking facts. There obviously is no room for this kind of constructive criticism or "facts sharing" (as I guess men look at it). Criticism for most women means rejection in the first place. It doesn't for men. And when you know you never get anything but "nice words" on your blog or during an arts class then maybe participating in a community like that isn't that rewarding for you...as a man.

Most female bloggers talk about themselves as spare time crafters (and avoid calling themselves artists) - which might be because they are looking for this "community sharing experience" on a fun, easy and encouraging base. I find that men don't deal with blogging (and communicating in general) the same way. They rather regard their blogs as their personal "art galleries". They aren't that dependent on how much others like their art (I assume they rather would like to know what others think about it - which makes a difference). I often feel that female bloggers are way too dependent on how much others like their projects (and/or them) and how much encouragement and joy they can get in exchange for giving encouragement and joy to others. A great deal of the blogging world dominated by women is a trading thingie in a way. And I can see how that forms one of the main principles the art blogging community is based on. Definitely very typical female behaviour. So I can see why men don't feel that comfortable with that. You are either forced to play this game - or you will always be on the outside. (even I struggle with it to be honest. ;)

Jo Vandermey said...

Can it be a percentages thing. I come from a sewing quilting crafting background not "fine art" as per say. The sector of blogs I read are from the perspective of my interests. In the quilts world what would be the percentage of males who practice in that art form. In the mixed media world? In the model train world? In the fine art painting world?

Some of it could be attributed to the numbers of participants.

But mostly (without sounding sexist) I do think we know it is also a gender thing. Right or wrong, whether that is inherent or not, can or will be changed it is up to people to change. Men to encourage each other in their area of interest. Women to open up the club of craft to men.

How intimidating can it be for a women to enter the mostly male woodworking group at the local art centre or for the interested male to enter the women dominated group?

I sent all my kids for sewing lessons. The boys did some great work but were terrified their friends would find out. In my sons grade three class I went in to teach them all to knit. One boy said to me "this is so fun!" I said" oh I guess your mom doesn't knit" he told me that yah she did but she wouldn't teach him.

This would make a great study for so one to make. It would be great for some marketing genius to figure it out. Think of the untapped revenue market of getting males into some of these markets!

As per answering or leaving comments on blogs. I think it isn't just one thing it is several. Time is an obvious one. Proliferation of number of blogs in general. Amount of blogging platforms. Increase in other social media outlets which are easier to view quickly.

It takes time to add a comment on a blog. There is not a button to push like or I stand comment or pin.

There are not easy ways to follow blogs across platforms which can be annoying to follow certain people blogs.

Any way those are some of my thoughts.

I don't comment often.

Jo

Linda Ledbetter said...

I think it's going to be interesting to watch the gender balance of the crafting community over the next few years. I'm the "old lady" amongst my coworkers, most of whom are in their early to mid 20s, and I'm constantly amazed-- and heartened-- by their rejection of the gender stereotypes that have held my generation back in so many ways. As they get older and more settled, I think we're going to see a surge of men exploring their creative interests, without so much fear of being ridiculed by their more "macho" contemporaries. Society as a whole is beginning to view gender as a continuum rather than a duality, and assuming this trend continues (and I hope it does!), I believe we'll see more guys entering the crafting world.

As for blog comments, I agree with what others here have said about the sometimes overwhelming number of blogs, the lack of time to comment thoughtfully, and the convenience of using other social media platforms as an alternative. Also, I think when Google killed its Reader app in favor of Google+ (stupid, stupid move, Google. Stupid!), a lot of blog followers kind of gave up on trying to keep track of it all.

elle said...

I'm agreeing to the above. Not sure exactly how I 'found' Danny but he is a treat! Lets hear from the boys!

Craft Addicts - Tracy Evans said...

Hi Seth, I agree about blogger comments too, definitely a decline in people popping by and commenting. I also feel that some people just visit blogs of those people who visit them, so sort of returning the favour rater than simply appreciating the art because you love it.

I do feel that a great deal of Crafter's are female and they enjoy the social side of the craft as much as the physical part of creating something. I often feel that male Crafter's although very few and far between offer a wonderful alternative way of crafting and have a different eye for detail, which I adore.

As workshops have become more and more about the social aspect rather than the teaching aspect I think it puts some make Crafter's off the idea of attending workshops. I think male Crafter's go to a workshop for different reasons to the female counterpart . I also think that some groups are very clicky and this puts some males off, in fact it puts me off. Creating is about enjoying the process and obviously learning new techniques now and then too, or even developing your own techniques. Because it is seen as a female dominated area I think this puts some male Crafter's off admitting that they enjoy being creative .

I also,think it's a shame that people don't visit blogs more frequently as some are a great source of inspiration and free of charge and bloggers are so informative. However, because we are all so,short of time we tend to use Facebook to leave a quick one word comment. I do love to visit blogs and leave feedback especially when I am inspired by the art. It's not about numbers of comments but more about the quality of genuine comments I feel.

I love your blog posts and debates we all have.

I think we all need to encourage more male Crafter's they being a different outlook and more diversity to the industry.

Tracy

Xxxx

Bryan Evans said...

I see from the comments, they seem to generalise. I have a blog, and have entered several challenges for inspiration and to be part of the 'community'. There have been several occasions when I have almost gave up, even throwing my creations in the bin. I like to receive comments as much as ANYBODY else, it can be very encouraging. I am not into adding several buttons to my blog, neither am I interested in how many 'magazines' I can design for. I just like to create, it gives me a lot of joy and pleasure.

Pamela Gerard said...

Very interesting post, Seth (as usual). And interesting comments too. I have wondered about this same question. My mail art group here in San Francisco does have male members -- the majority of the group are woman but we definitely have guys too. I follow all the mail art blogs I can find and there are a number of them written by men....http://thejonfoster.blogspot.com...is a good one and
envelope100 and Cuan Miles in South Africa.....Other than that, I defer to all the above comments which all seem to ring true.

And my other two cents -- WHY don't folks comment??? So frustrating. people constantly tell me they read my blog but do they ever comment? Noooooo

Erica Evans - Simply Craft said...

Hi Seth
I don't know if it is different in other countries the Art/Craft divide is massive in the UK.
I went to Art college in the UK and felt very sidedlined in a very male dominated sculpture department, when I bought my kit for my BA(hons) I was told before I had even started- 'Don't worry, if you don't make it in Art you can always use the tools around the house'
I fell into craft by chance and I feel craft is very excepting of all people, styles and levels. As a craft tutor I do occasionally have a man join us but I think they feel intimidated by the all female groups I have, I also think it is an age thing as well, as most of my ladies are retired/close to retiring age.
I do see a change in this though as more men come forward as tutors, designers.
As for the comments thing i agree with the remarks above, I tried to leave a comment on my phone (and i use this for all my social media) but had trouble so went back to my laptop.
Erica

Just Jen said...

Great question Seth and I hope the dudes step up and answer.

What I do know ... my husband and I created a webdesign company at the beginning of the W.W.W. (1994) and while we were both instrumental in its success, I took on the online persona and he, dealt with the Face To Face. He feels much more comfortable in that arena, while I feel infinitely happier behind a computer screen.

So.

What does this all have to do with the price of bananas?

If we are typical ... he is an extrovert, feels more comfortable with dealing with people face to face, feels less sure of himself with the subjective/confusing nature of text. While I am an introvert, love the freedom that a computer screen allows me, find text meanings simple to decipher.

And for what it's worth ... younger dudes seem altogether happy to interact electronically.
Which might be worth looking into ... does mixed media appeal to older artists?!

Lisa Greenbow said...

There are some very thoughtful comments answering your questions. I don't feel like I have anything to add about why more men don't do classes or blog.
The reason I don't comment more often even though I read your blog every time you post is that I don't want to say something inane over and over again. Such as 'I love this', 'This is so cool', 'I don't like this much'...

Gwen Lafleur said...

Very interesting topic! Danny's post and comments were a very insightful read, and here as well, of course!

I had men in my classes for what I think was the first time ever when I taught a few weeks ago (granted, I don't teach that often.) It was awesome! Both brought different perspectives, both had different styles and opinions and added a lot to the class. I wish more men would come! In one of the mixed media classes, the gentleman who was there had a very strong opinion about the "girly" type embellishments that a lot of us women use in our work (I'm paraphrasing his comment.) I admit it, I love a bit of bling. Is it the style of project that's offputting? Too cutesy? Too many pastels? Too much bling? I was teaching techniques, so he just interpreted them his own way. But maybe the style of the class or project itself is considered girly? Some of the regulars at the store also joked that the "ladies room" had to be called the "restroom" since there were men present. After reading some of the comments on Danny's post, I started to wonder if that's the kind of thing that makes some men feel unwelcome in that environment. Points to ponder...

When I lived in Chicago I was in the continuing ed program at the School of the Art Institute. It was interesting... half of my teachers were men, and there were a LOT more men who came to the classes. Was it because it was "serious art" as opposed to "crafting?" I think crafting has a lot of associations with women... When I travel, things that are considered crafts in the US are often either art or trades in other countries and seem to be pretty well dominated by men. In Bali, for instance, I went to a woodcarving workshop where all of the artisans were men and they taught us the basics of carving. I feel like in the states that would be considered more of a craft. Anyway, gender roles and semantics / local perceptions are probably both contributors. I think there's a lot of validity to the comments about the social aspect as well.

RE comments, I go through blogs in a blog reader while on my treadmill, so I'm reading, but commenting is kind of difficult. I'll usually flag posts that I really want to comment on and go back to them later, but that's the main reason why I don't do it often... I'm also not a particularly social person - part of being an introvert, I think, but many times it just doesn't even occur to me to say something! I'll usually make plenty of comments in my head, however ;)

Bill said...

I don't have time to read all of the long responses here. I'm sure they are interesting! I'll keep mine short. I think too many men are afraid to let others see they have an emotional response to art and to making it. That's the way we are raised in this country. It's quite sad!

Amber K said...

I think Gwen and Erica are onto to something there when it comes to division of "art" and "craft". I think a lot people consider mixed media as a "craft". I use "" by the way because I feel all of it is Art. I know many people have pretty strict internal guidelines they use to label something as Art. I think this internal dialect we have about art also plays into the gender division we see online.

Cindy said...


Hi, Seth and all,

This is somewhat off-topic, but your post reminded me of this:

In my 20's (40 years ago!), I took classes at the Art Students League - figure drawing and painting. I noticed then that half the students were boys and half girls. I remember wondering why most famous artists were men, when women were in the schools in equal number, and were certainly as talented and hard-working.

Now, in adult art classes, it's mostly all women. I've wondered why that is so.

Just to add... I didn't even know what a blog was until I took a workshop with Seth a year ago! Since then, I've read his blog every week. I find that's all I need, as he has introduced us to so many other wonderful artists there. Thank you!

Glenda said...

Great comments & Blog theme. Don't you think that we are dealing with society's stereotypes and social constructs related to gender performance? [ie ways we expect people to act? masculine and/or feminine}

I have found a dominance of females who participate in classes, retreats, events but I also know that men are just as inherently creative, needing connection and have untapped talent and skills that need unleashed into the community. People have always made with their hands [regardless of gender] but I think we're caught up in confining roles and expectations that are limiting to everyone.

I think the unrealistic and negative ideas/stereotypes about masculinity [aggressive, competitive, detached, etc] that we have unfairly assigned to men prevents them from taking advantage of most of the creative offers out there you are referring to. Imagine redefining masculinity with traits that included emotional, collaborative, creative and engaged, I think men would join in.

I also find it fascinating in talking with females who sometimes face strife from their male spouse/SO about the time/resources/energy the workshops take but find out in discussions about 99% of the time, every one of the males has a garage or storage shed FULL of tools [equating to the same time/resources/energy as the wife. It's as if because his making/tinkering stuff is in a garage/tool shed/boat house it doesn't count as a creative endeavor. {thus my point about masculinity} humph :)

jinxxxygirl said...

My husband would think it a colossal waste of time... just like taking a walk is a waste of time...yet somehow fishing is not a waste of time...or watching tv....hmmmm.... i need to think about this some more...lol... Hugs! deb

Kelly Kilmer said...

In my almost 19 years of teaching I've had maybe a dozen men in my classes and I'd really like to see that change. I think that a major part of the problem is that so many of the (so called) mixed media classes, products, books, magazines, etc... seem to be marketed towards women (even down to the titles of the publications.) These labels and boxes aren't helping any of us grow as artists (and human beings.)

I always enjoy having a mix of people in my classes of all ages and both sexes. Artists (both men and women) bring something to the table and I'm grateful that both you and Danny Gregory have opened up this very important discussion.

Meg Weaves said...

In New Zealand, I quit my beloved life/figure drawing class because of what seemed to me excessive socializing (by others), and long tea breaks. (But then you know I talk to myself out loud when I get into the spirit.) We sometimes had a bloke in a class of around 12, but often not, in our Friday morning sessions, but there were a few male regulars in the evening classes. And in New Zealand, blokes knit and embroider and needle-point and most told me they learned from their moms/grandmas.

In Japan there was no socializing in class, but of course one could afterwards. And classes were usually 1/4 to 1/3 retired men. Mom had a retired engineer in her weaving class once.

In terms of attending classes, one big factor for women is getting out of the house/having me-time, especially those in the thick of child-rearing years.

Re. blogs, it'll be my tenth anniversary next week, and comments have certainly dropped, reminding me of when I first started when often I imagined myself in the middle of a cathedral listening to the echos of my own voice. It gets a bit lonely but stats tell me the numbers haven't fallen. I don't know if that's true, though.

Kathleen Harrington said...

Interesting ponderings, Seth. I think there are two basic reasons why there are few men in the online art blogging community. The first reason is that most men (at least the ones I know) express themselves creatively in ways that are not considered "art". They like to build things, especially homeowner projects, and especially with power tools. Or they prefer creating more mathematically or technically, things like robots or computer programs or blueprints. The second reason I think there are few men in the blogging community is that most men just want to make stuff and not talk about it (other than to boast with their buddies). I don't think it's true that men aren't community oriented. From what I've observed, men love community, it just doesn't look like what women think of as community. Vive la difference!

I do agree with some of the other posters that a lot of the classes available are geared towards women in theme and content, with the exception of traditional art school classes.
Does anyone know the statistics about the ratio of male to female artists having shows at galleries and museums? It feels like it's a majority of men. I think it's possible that artistic men prefer to operate in a more traditional setting; maybe they think it is more acceptable or prestigious. Who knows, I don't pretend to understand why men do what they do, I just watch and wonder.

For those wonderful men who do come to classes and who do blog, we love you, don't ever stop.

Thomas said...

As one of the few men that participate in online classes, workshops and groups - I will say I have pondered this question myself for a while now. When I first got into art journaling I noticed pretty early on that I was one of the only men participating. Although it does not really bother me I have always found it to be very odd.

I will say there on a couple of occasions, during an online workshop the instructor kept referring to the participants as 'ladies' which made me feel very excluded. I realize it was not intentional and probably was a habit from years of having no men participating.

For sure there are just as many male artists as there are female. I am not sure why they do not participate. Perhaps sharing publicly is too confrontational and they express themselves in different ways (through art)

Linda Carter said...

Excellent blog post Seth, very thought provoking and excellent and insightful comments. I wish I could read more blogs and leave more comments...but it really comes down to time. We are living in a busy world and now that we don't have to plow the fields to have food to eat and clothes to wear...we fill it with a lot of stuff. I have work that allows me to make money to do what I love, art. But think about it...we have a home to care for, a family to care for, many of us a job or business to make income and care for, and our art that we have to steal time for. Throw in reading some blogs and social media that helps us stay connected to the "community"...well I learned I have to pick between being here and being there. Time, time, time. I will say this though, I am glad I found time to be here today while I was eating my breakfast...but got to hit the road and drive 250 miles to see clients now! No more art or blogs until next week! Time.

Laura Weed said...

Ok here's what no one is saying. Men don't blog because (sweeping generalization that OBVIOUSLY doesn't include everyone) men don't like reading or writing. I email men and women all day. The women read what you write and respond accordingly. Most emails lose the men by line three. (Most men reading this have now stopped reading it. Possibly even you, Seth). Men, if they make it halfway through an email, will pick up the phone and call me to answer.

I have a degree in English and follows both my children's educations with great interest. I can tell you that the required reading in school now does NOT create readers or writers. Much of it is horrible, depressing stuff that makes reading a chore. I read aloud extensively to both of my children, maintain a huge personal library, and helped them through each book. Neither of them are readers, and while both of them can write well, they both avoid it like the plague.

Men tell me it's too much work to write it out. Men do love community, though. At my physical therapists there are several groups of guys who are there for the talking. And they will chatter to men or women. I really think it's the writing thing.

As to comments, I think we can blame mobile platforms. Some blogs make it very hard to comment from a phone or tablet. There's nothing like writing a nice comment only to have it disappear when you try to post it. I've learned to copy it first, before leaving the comment box.

Jackie P Neal said...

WOW! For an all time low commenting comment-you sure did stir the pot!!
These are some of the longest comments I have ever seen!
Having said that,these long comments are also some of the most thoughtful and insightful comments I have seen lately as well. I really do not have too much more to add as those above have said it all so well.
I will add,my husband is a creative,he does"crafting"creating and making,we actually create really well along side each other,and if there was a class he was really interested in,he would take it. As for him blogging-he leaves that to me as he is a bit more quiet than me and says I am better with people! ")
Seth, thanks for the great article!
oops..not done yet...as for commenting,I do see quite a few regulars commenting as well as quite a few new friends. I try and comment on blogs I follow regularly and that I find interesting.
I do see however,see quite a few blogs more often,that recycle and repeat previous posts and items,I suppose there again,lack of time . Those blog posts I tend to skip over.
Phew- for someone who did not have much to add,I sure did put in at least 6cents worth!
Jackie ")

Robert said...

I've often pondered the discrepancy between the majority of historically well-known artists being primarily men and the majority of those in the online arts community and those who sign up for visual arts classes being primarily women. When I was in art school in the mid-to-late 1960's in the San Francisco Bay Area I would say that there were pretty much an equal number of males and females in the studio classes that I took. As a high school art teacher for many years the student population of my classes were fairly evenly divided between the sexes, though some of the advanced classes, like Advanced Placement art courses frequently tended to have a few more female than male students. I wonder if what others have said in comments, here, about women seeking out, and/or wanting more of a sense of community as a part of their art-making experience has something to do with it. Again, historically, it seems that men who have become established and well known as artists tend to do so more in isolation, though they may have close relationships with other artists with similar interests (ex: Rauschenberg and Johns, Picasso and Braque, Klee and Kandinsky) which provide a sense of community (or, perhaps, competition?). I think also of Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner who, as a married couple, each had careers as professional artists during the "explosion" of Abstract Expressionism in NYC in the 1940's and '50's, but which one of them do we find featured the most prominently in American art history books. So, in answer to the original question of why there are more women involved in visual arts blogging and taking art classes I would have to say "I don't know", but I am going to continue to read the interesting, sometimes provocative, comments, here, and on Danny Gregory's blog to see if I can find out!

tgarrett said...

I am going to jump in here. I just finished taking a 3 day class with Orly Avineri. My friends Thomas LaBadia and Brian Kasstle took it as well. We are gay so that is perhaps adding a different level. Orly's classes are ones that go deep and it's not unusual for people to be moved to tears- the three of us were. we are comfortable with our feelings and with being open to sharing. Straight men have often had trouble with that. I was an art teacher for 36 years- much of it was in the elementary grade levels- often men are in the minority in settings like that. The last 8 years of my teaching career I taught methods classes and intro classes in the art department of a small university. The elementary art methods was a required class for elementary teachers- there were usually only one or 2 guys in the class and by contrast in my intro art classes for the art department often it was more men than women in the classes. I do think there could be some issues of men not taking art workshops because they don't want to be vulnerable- there is that competition thing- needing to win and need to be the best.... I have seen that in both straight and gay men. I have read all your comments with great interest. Still no real answers though- I continue to teach workshops now to adults- the last one was on Whidbey Island and there was one male in the class. I know that taking and teaching classes is so important to me- I always learn from doing both and always want to be a life long learner.

RustyMonkeyStudio-Tina Schiefer said...

Hi Seth.

As a co-owner with my husband of a 25+ year artistic business, E.B. Effects and Design Company, we've always employed mostly ALL men. They are ALL artistic, talented, and each bring their skills and expertise to the table. We have designers, graphic artists (traditional and digital), clay/foam/metal sculptors, fabricators, mold-makers, etc.

My guess, is even though they are uber creative, most of them work 9-5 being creative and wouldn't take the time to blog or take workshops. I also believe (and I could be completely off base here!), that men are WAY more head-strong, arrogant, embarrassed and/or stubborn to see the need to take an artsy-crafty workshop like women do. Many are less social than most women, and don't feel the need for that type of connection. Not that there are not wallflower women or outgoing men, but the artistic men I work with and employ do "manly" things like ride dirt bikes, play video games, work on hot rods, etc. Ask a guy to knit a sweater or create a collage for the wall, well, most would think that's a girls thing. Some may even feel the pressure of not being able to leave the family to go "play" for a week too, like women do.

I remember when the term Metro-Male came into the limelight. Stay at home dads. Sensitive dads. Daddy daughter dances. I can't imagine ONE of our Grandfathers or Great Granddads doing those things. Now what I do see lots of men doing, and which seems to create the same type of MAN-BOND that women get from workshops and retreats are SPORTS!!! and this girl (and her three grown sons and husband) doesn't do sports... I'm an art girl! lol And they are into music, art, vintage steel and the great outdoors.

So, I guess in a nut shell, I personally enjoy reading the creative blogs, bored to tears on the too-technical blogs, and have thought about creating a blog for my husband to share his thoughts on, but with FB, who knows. I've seen less comments and recent blog posts than there used to be since FB all but replaced MySpace (for the teens!). Hmmmm.... Keep blogging! You still have readers!!! :-) PS. I'm NOT a man hater!!! I just think men and women think differently when it comes to being social. And I think we need more ART is schools! Just saying. It's a dying breed. We are losing a lot of the old-school skills in the work force. That makes me sad.

One last note: I think if many men were able to be a creative kid again, without the social pressures of "BEING A MAN", they would have fun again. I've seen it! WE have a shop of VERY happy, creative men, 8-5, M-F, that LOVE their job!

Annie Choate said...

I know of two other male artists who blog.

Aaron Paquette. aaronpaquette.net. He is an artist and writer. He writes mostly on facebook and his art is found on his website.

The other blog is s.com. Robert, who's last name I do not know, was the artist/author for many, many years. He died about two years ago. His daughter, Sara has kept the blog going. She publishes a piece of Robert's writing one week and a piece of her own the next.
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You and the other male artists bring authenticity to your work and how you share it wuth us.

texasbarb said...

I actually took time to read your post, Seth. I have no real comments on the gender discussion but do agree that women tend to want the social as much as the instruction.

As for the lack of comments on peoples blogs. I follow way too many blogs and have many of them on a reader service. I have found I tend to spend way too much time on the computer trying to keep up with the blogs I follow. Clicking over to a blog to leave a comment is another time sacrifice. I have to practically force myself to step away from technology so I can actually create rather than just looking at all the eye candy.


The other thing I'm personally doing is to start following/liking my favorite bloggers, on Facebook. There I can leave a quick like, love, wow, etc with a simple tap or click.

I also tend to read Facebook with my iPad. Trying to go back and forth between FB posts and someone's blog post becomes almost a chore at times.

So there's my 2 cents worth.

The Creative Beast said...

I don't have any answers on this topic but I wanted to say that I am glad you have raised it. And I will add that it is strange to me how the online art community and art retreats seem to be highly populated with more women than men because I'm certain there are MANY MALE ARTISTS out there, so where are they hiding?!? ;) Thank you for a thought-provoking blog post Seth!

donna joy said...

Subject matter~ Ask an elementary aged boy "what did you do at school today?" and he will say 'nothing.' Ask a girl and she will talk for 10 min. Girls have more to say. :)
The number of guys who blog are much fewer than girls-I think it"s more of a "creative guy" thing.
I think women need community more than men do to some extent. We have our art in common, but we also have family/jobs/life crap that we discuss. Men don't. Many creative people tend to be reclusive at times-a class gets you back out in the world or recharges your creativity.
Many creatives can be reclusive-blogs are a way to communicate with other like minded people. (classes too)
The men i know are either sports or car/airplane lovers. They don't "do" classes. They go to air shows/car shows/sporting events. They talk about those things. Look at sports radio-men can rehash the same game 100X over-for years. Women, not so much, the game is over, it's done. move on. I think maybe if more guys were exposed to some of this-they might actually like it. I had a guy in a class I took at artfest once-he came because his girlfriend did. They took different classes -and of course women took him under their wing and helped and made sure he had a good time :) I think male artists are happy to just create-not blog~
I think you're an exception to the rule based on your profession-you helped people. Art is just another way of doing that~

Robert said...

I think donna joy has some insights. Some others, here, have expressed similar ideas but I think she has gotten to the core of some very clearly stated, yet generalized, male and female differences. Exceptions, however, are many as I, myself, am one.

Cindy said...

Yes, I think what Donna Joy says rings true. At least in my experience.

Stephanie Hilvitz said...

such a great topic Seth...I struggle with the decline of the art blog on the whole. I think for me it's because I seem to do my 'surfing' on my phone and I cannot comment from my phone. I struggled with my own blog and decided to attempt to do a post a day on the topic of gratitude....not sure who visits (I am grateful for your visits :)) but do it for my own sense of contentment.

bravo for your ongoing commitment and wonderful content!

alteredbits said...

i agree about comments being at an all-time low (i think people are lazy* and too accustomed to the "like" button and move on....)... but yes, another topic. *for lack of better word.

i think you're on to something about women, in general, being more expressive than men. i know/have met all of two male bloggers/mixed media artists in person and you are one of them. women? hundreds, i'd estimate. it's not just about art though. my male family members can sum anything up in one sentence or less. it takes me a good ten paragraphs.

Anita Houston said...

OK...I read your post the minute it was out, but wanted to wait a while for the comments to pour in...always my favorite part on a good heated post. I've read every comment, and have agreed with almost all of them on both issues...the shortage of men bloggers, and the lack of commentors. You do such a great job of blog post issues...different, cutting edge, and thought provoking...I'm always very moved at your honesty and candidness...and I love your spin on our industry. You are educational and entertaining! As a full time designer and educator myself, I have pondered these issues and I GET YOU MAN!!! Thanks for that!!! I don't have anything to add on the male issue that's not been said, but I could write a short story on the commenting, so I better not get started.

Bridgette Mills said...

I think it has to do with the craft vs art divide. Also, a generalization- but I find to be true: men would rather do, than talk about it. I've had men in my workshops and they tend to have a very definite reason they com, ie a goal, a skill that they need/want. While the women's goals are more expansive, often more social. I hate generalizing in terms of gender,but just some observations. I myself never fit in gender stereotypes!

Bridgette Mills said...

The thing is, the art world is very very much a male dominated world. Always has been and still is. And their art commands higher prices.

An Li Na said...

Hi Seth - I follow you on Twitter (on my phone) and read this post from my feed. I can't comment on the gender gap, but as for commenting - I have a day job where I spend all day every day on the computer and on the phone in meetings. When I get home, the last thing I want to do is spend time looking at a screen. I don't even watch TV. I will either read a book, work in my art journal or do some other creative activity. Commenting from my phone is a complete no-go. Too frustrating to use an on-screen keyboard when you are a touch typer from way back. So, saved up this post to come back and comment on the weekend. I do read and appreciate your posts!

Brian Kasstle said...

Hey Seth, I tend to think it is that so few men are willing to be in touch with their artistic side and those that do, do not often blog about it. I have heard it a lot lately that there are so many other social mediums to post artwork on that folks in general do not feel the need to blog. I recently with the help of my friend Thomas redid my blog. I am glad you are blogging and being an inspiration. Thank you Seth