October 8, 2013

Blogger’s Quest(ionnaire): Jane Potrykus of simplepretty

It was through her blog simplepretty that I discovered Jane Potrykus who, from her blog’s profile, “covers fashion, design, living, photography, travel, and paper, with a penchant for letterpress.” This is a delightful range of topics. She can be found on Twitter: @simplepretty.

Why did you create a Website of regular entries?
My blog is the result of reading blogs that spoke to me, and gave me the courage to try something similar. The early days of lifestyle blogging seemed to constantly introduce me to people whose brain worked just like mine. It convinced me that my insights and passions were worth documenting and sharing.

What Web-based solution did you select and why?
I use WordPress, and it seems to be the right choice for me. I wish I had something thoughtful to share here, but the honest truth is that when I renamed and redesigned my blog in 2009, the team I hired to help me installed WordPress. That said, it works and I’m happy so win-win.

What is your definition of a good blog
and what are three good blogs that you frequently visit?
To me, a good blog offers depth, whether that depth is content that provides greater detail and insight into a topic I’m interested in, or as simple as a post that promotes thoughtfulness/introspection. Three blogs that I frequently visit are Remodelista, Ben Pentreath’s blog Inspiration, and it may sound silly, but I consider my Twitter feed to be a highly entertaining, interactive blog. (I’m a bit of a Twitter addict.)

How do you create content for your blog?
Staying open to possibility (at her workspace above). Content may be sparked for me on a walk down a street in London, or a flip through a magazine, or a discussion with a friend. If you start to define parameters for inspiration, you’re limiting it and yourself.

How do you stay organized and motivated
to contribute to your blog?
Organization for me tends to be pen-and-paper lists. I try to broadly map out posts, but those plans inevitably change as something will spring up and grab my attention. At that point, I scrap the scheduled programming and go with my gut.

For those aspiring to make a Website composed
of regular thoughts and/or images, what is your advice?
Sample it all: read blogs and determine what you like and don’t like, and then be true to yourself and your voice. The reality of blogging (and life) is that it lends itself to comparison far too easily. If your writing is authentic, you may find success or you may not, but I find self-discovery to be the greater reward. Of course, I would be lying if I didn’t admit to daydreaming from time to time about being discovered. But if that were my motivation, I’d have stopped long ago.

What is your quest in blogging?
Making connections. I know this sounds trite, but the people I’ve met through blogging have been nothing short of amazing. I moved to London this summer with my husband and son, and there is no way the transition would have been half as smooth if I didn’t have the help of some kind + talented Londoners, as well as the cheers and support from my American readers. I am grateful for my group of blog-friends and I hope to be as good of a friend to them as they’ve been/are for me.

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Photographs courtesy of Jane Potrykus.

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Typeface of quote is Futura designed by Paul Renner in 1927.

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Read more of the Design Feast series Blogger’s Quest(ionnaire).

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