As artists we get mainly recognized for the art work we produce. However, times have changed and a full-time, professional artist does no longer spend all her time in the studio creating.
Nowadays, up to 50% of time is spent on the aspects of running a small business with tasks ranging from accounting, finding exhibition opportunities, keeping track of inventory shipping out to galleries or coming back home, communicating with potential clients about commissions, and all sorts of marketing. Marketing efforts include writing emails, newsletters and yes, blog posts. Another marketing tool is the artist’s website.
A website needs to be up-to-date in terms of information with the latest dates for exhibitions or classes and images of the newest art work. Moreover, it needs to reflect the latest trends in design. Years ago it was trendy to have a black background. The images looked stunning on black background but the white font of the text was difficult to read. So black or gray font on colored background became the hit. And then came the revival of the white background.
As technology is evolving websites need to follow closely. Everybody looks at websites not only on their computer monitor but also on a laptop or tablet and a phone. These devices all have different sizes for their screens which requires websites to be responsive. “Responsive” means that the website is coded such that it adjusts to the size of the screen for optimal display.
In addition, we all become more and more connected. We use Facebook or Twitter to communicate with friends and clients, we stay professionally engaged through LinkedIn or Google+, post new work on Pinterest or advertise our hand-made gifts on Etsy. These are only a few places that modern artists are supposed to regularly send images and information to to stay on top of their game.
It is a lot. And there is a time when “a lot” becomes “too much”.
I wanted to do an overhaul of my website. So far I have designed, coded, and maintained my website myself. But the latest trends of websites being responsive, the overwhelming offers of widgets (little computer programs that are embedded in a website to do all sorts of things), linking various social media to each other and the completely unrealistic expectation that all of this will work once I am done with my new website caused the jitters!
Consequently, I shopped around and decided to hire Holly Knott. Holly is a web designer AND she is a fiber artist. The perfect combination for what I need. She has created plenty of websites (take a look at her work at http://hollyknott.com) and therefore, gave me a myriad of option to choose the layout from. She explains processes with great patience and – so far – has not complained about my requests for changes such as maybe a darker orange? Or maybe teal? Less blurry? How about …? 🙂
I’ll let you all know when the new website goes live. Until then, I will work behind the scenes. To give you a preview of the new look here is the top part of the homepage.