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Interviews by Readory

Zach Tutor

Learn how Zach turned his contemporary art Tumblr blog 'Supersonic Art' into a successful online brand.
600 000+ Subscribers
Art, Design Topics

How did you get started?


Well, I suppose I should start with the fact that my father is an artist and I grew up in his studio and around his artwork, spending countless hours learning about and practicing art myself. But in Middle School I started to become very interested in web design, HTML and computer programming. These hobbies persisted throughout High School and into my twenties. I followed a number of “techies” online and in early 2008, they were all hyped on something called Tumblr. I had been blogging on WordPress (about music, with a website called “Modern Hi Fi” - it was actually a contender with Stereogum at the time) and Tumblr was so much easier to use and to customize. I started using it more and more, and eventually realized I no longer wanted to blog about Music and so Modern Hi Fi went to the wayside. At the beginning, Supersonic was purely a personal blog and I slowly realized I was mostly posting about artwork. So at some point - being influenced by Jeff Hamada’s BOOOOOOOM.com - I decided to post only about art. From there, Supersonic’s popularity grew exponentially daily and still is growing at a rate that blows my mind every day.



What motivated you?


I’m not sure I was motivated by anything. I think Art was what I loved and what I wanted to focus on and that emanated naturally to blogging about it. I think there’s an innate passion within me, to look at art and to share art. It’s really all I’ve known my entire life.


Tell us your typical day and routine.


I wake up at 6AM and the first thing I do is check Instagram. From there I read emails and respond to any that need immediate responses. Then I spend about two to three hours reading News, Interviews, watching YouTube - decompressing and also, I guess, learning… Fearing for the world, haha. Then it’s about 8 to 11 hours of blog work (Which includes social media posts, etc). I look through submissions, through nearly 150 websites I have bookmarked - choosing artists to post. The posts themselves aren’t that difficult, unless they’re major posts about events or gallery exhibitions where numerous artists are included. I run a Printshop called The People’s Printshop (http://thepeoplesprintshop.com) and a good bit of work is done on it every day as well. On Saturday and Sundays, I try not to open my email or computer whatsoever.


What are your future goals?


Right now, I’m working on a failed idea - Supersonic Art Gallery - and re-launching it as The Supersonic Art Shop (http://supersonicart.shop) -- I’ll be selling rare prints I’ve accumulated over the years, Supersonic Art branded art supplies, clothing for artists and there will be monthly online exhibitions there. Not getting it right the first time has made it much more exciting this time.


How have you attracted readers and grown your following?


I think the unique part of Supersonic Art is that it is ONLY me. It’s very personal. And I share a great deal of what I’m doing in my life alongside all of the artwork and artists. They trust that I can find the best New Contemporary artwork out there.


What have been your biggest obstacles?


Right now it’s getting my readership on Tumblr to also view Supersonic in places like Instagram or Facebook. Supersonic’s Facebook page is so, so close to breaking 100,000 likes. But with the way Facebook’s algorithms are set-up, it’s… not even a snail’s pace. I wouldn’t know how to quantify how slow and how hard it is to grow Facebook’s numbers without paying for ads. It’s really a bummer to think about for anyone trying to start out without any money. Instagram, currently, isn’t as bad. But it’s still difficult to grow. My Tumblr audience has never stopped growing, as there are no algorithms in place other than on their mobile app.

But in the past, I always seemed to be super lucky and any obstacles were always fun. I like problem solving.


What advice would you give to anyone looking to start blog writing themselves?


Uh, save up a lot of money before you start to spend on advertising. But otherwise, never give up. There are going to be days when you feel like no one is reading or will ever read or care about what you’re doing. But those days don’t matter. As long as you have passion and keep going, someone, somewhere will notice and it will matter to them. But even if no one ever reads your blog, it shouldn’t matter. I’m strongly for just doing things for yourself. I just love posting art - I don’t need anyone to see it. I’m posting it so that I can go back and see it myself if I want to. It just so happens, a lot of people love seeing it as well. And that’s an added, amazing bonus. I think you have to look at all endeavors like that. Never give up. Figure out your obstacles. Try and try again if you don’t succeed. But never let success get in the way of what you love.


Do you directly or indirectly generate income or plan on generating income through your writing?


Supersonic Art has sponsors but I generate no income from it. All of it is immediately spent on supporting the blog, either through advertising it or creating products.


What is your tech stack?


I use Tumblr to blog. It’s the easiest, most proficient blogging platform I’ve used. It’s extremely customizable. It’s downfalls are that it’s not as powerful as WordPress. As in, I can’t make a site that looks like The New Yorker on it. (Which, one would be able to do if Tumblr added two or three little features).

G Suite for Email.

Google Analytics for Analytics (Though I no longer really pay attention to it).

MailChimp for newsletters (It’s freaking THE BEST).

Google Drive. Google Docs. Google Sheets. All of Google’s office suite is amazing.

But my number one thing for keeping everything organised is a notebook and a pen. I highly suggest getting one.


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Definitely check out Supersonic Art’s latest shirt designs by artist Joshua Minnich, they’re seriously incredible: https://supersonicart.threadless.com/

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Zach Tutor
Zach Tutor is the founder of Supersonic Art, one of the most viewed contemporary art blogs on the planet.