I’m amazed to see I’m approaching 100,000 visits here on The Creative Cat. The pace has increased dramatically over the past few months as December and January topped at over 10,000 visits each and February nearly 12,000. So far in March daily visits have averaged 500, I would guess we’ll hit 100,000 sometime next week. I’ve placed a widget to display the number of visits in the left column so we can all watch. I’m thinking about a giveaway of some sort on that day since I’m not sure I’ll be able to tell who is the 100,000 visitor! Guess we’ll have to see when we get closer.
Not that I look at statistics just to see numbers! Actually, I rarely looked at the overall number until I noticed it was increasing so quickly, rather, I look at the statistics for individual posts and for subjects and images. I love sharing my stories and articles and creative works through my artwork and the goings-on of my household of felines and I check these numbers along with comments here and on social media to see your response and hear what people have to say.
I began The Creative Cat on January 28, 2009 as I was learning ever more about Namir’s hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and I realized we didn’t have much time left to share. I wanted to begin sharing him and the rest of my household in stories and art, and from there just to see what would develop. As the inspiration for this site Namir is the kitty in the header, and I’ve included the full painting at the top of this article.
Since then I’ve continued with the goal of doing pretty much what I’m doing today: sharing my personal and other rescue stories, writing articles about feline health and welfare and my and others’ experiences in pet loss and providing an online gallery for my artwork and other creative endeavors inspired by my cats and others’ animal companions.
Along the line I realized that many people were interested in gardening, wildlife, feeding birds and backyard wildlife habitats, so I added articles I’d written for conservation newsletters and expanded from there.
In 2011 I found people were interested in reading about my process in both creating artwork and in creating products from that artwork. I added articles about my life as an artist and began seeking out other artists who create with cats and other animals and who I think you’d enjoy reading about, and writing about creative efforts from a technical standpoint so that non-artists can have a greater understanding of how we do it, and working or aspiring artists can read about anothers’ technique.
It’s all a work in progress, not only to build what I offer, but also to build myself as a creative person.
Keeping organized has been a challenge, especially once I began the daily photos in earnest, then added the daily sketches in December 2011. I am working on a complete redesign, going from just a blog template to a complete website design where categories of content will be much easier to find and follow. Categorizing has been dull but necessary. Believe me, I can’t even find things I’ve posted!
I had been planning an “anniversary event” for January 28, and even having the new site up and running, but Cookie wasn’t well through much of December and especially January so I put these plans aside to focus on her. She was by my side, literally, through most of my creative life and while I’d hoped, and I’m sure she did as well, that she could continue with me for a few years longer as I pursue new goals, she is with me in spirit as I move on.
And those new pursuits will be guided, again, by your readership, comments and suggestions. For instance, Kelly’s recent rescue story “A Little Bit About Kelly” has inspired several people to ask if it will be become a book with illustrations, and really, you read my mind! Kelly is sweet but complex, and her story is not only moving but also touches on so many issues of animal care and welfare that I wanted to let it play out completely; my daily sketches of her have suggested a style of illustration to go along with the story. For Kelly’s story and other book ideas I am diligently studying POD publishing, e-books, different readers and tablets, and even recording for audio books.
Two of my recent daily sketches, “Colorful Kelly” and “Mimi in the Middle”, brought in “likes” from everywhere, even a non-reader who just happened to be in my studio and saw them. The purpose of these sketches is multiple: to allow me the freedom of an extemporaneous piece of artwork every day, to try new media, and to present my experiments without editing for people to enjoy and comment; from there to determine what individual images and styles are popular and use that to further my experimentation and work in that medium and style, and also to develop new feline-themed products using that and similar art. I could picture both on ceramic items and asked a few of my customers what they thought would work as a product for these and coasters, trivet tiles and mugs seem to be likely. I am pricing these out through regular suppliers I already work with and looking into Zazzle and Cafepress in addition to my Etsy shop.
This feedback will be even more important to me in the future because I’ve also decided to close up my little shop in Carnegie Antiques, which had been an outlet to meeting the public and gathering feedback. I’m actually very sad to do this but business is a little too slow to justify the time spent there, and I can help the owner who is also one of my customers for design and promotion, much more by giving her back that room to display her vintage finds.
So maybe once the big day is here I’ll collect comments for 24 hours or something, and give away a $125 portrait certificate. I like that, so we’ll plan for something like that a little over 4,000 visits from now.
All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used in any way without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in purchasing one as a print, or to use in a print or internet publication.