Starting over is nearly always a bittersweet feeling, regardless of the circumstance. There is, of course, the bright, rosy sheen of a hopeful future, rife with new possibilities. However, That lingering scratch in the back of one's mind; "Is this the right thing to do?" always remains. Not to mention the realization that you never did all of the things you promised yourself you would do, followed by a quick vow that history won't repeat itself this time around.
The past few months have been a weird time for me, with a bunch of changes that have already tweaked my reality, and the seeds planted for others to cause real upheaval down the line. I'm not sure how all of this will turn out, but there's a good chance that my art production will take a hit - at least temporarily. I have a plan to combat that eventuality, and I'm committed to make it work.
The most immediate change, which I'm sure you've noticed by now, is this new website. Served by a new host, with a bunch of new capabilities (and the matching shackles of restriction). There'll be a whole new email provider too, which will be an adventure unto itself.
The previous site was my own baby - hand-coded from more-or-less scratch in an era where I had plenty of free time, and before the internet had transformed into what it is today. It came at a time when I still thought of myself as an illustrator, dabbling in the world of galleries and "fine-art". As such, it's purpose was different, and it evolved over time in an organic way - by which I mean that it grew weird protuberances and extra limbs jutting out at odd angles. I'll always love that website; after all, it taught me, through trial and repeated error, how to code html and css, among other things.
As time crept by, however, it became a bit ungainly. Worse - and this is partly my own fault - the galleries hadn't been updated in quite a while. It's not that I didn't have new art to show - just that getting it up there was a clumsy process which required time I often didn't have to give. Add to that the fact that, as I create work which is dedicated to an exhibition, I can't always update as often add I like.
Enough with the past, for the moment, Onto the future.
My hope is that the new website is easier for visitors to understand and move around.
- Galleries are divided into collections, rather than years. This makes much more sense, thematically, and hopefully shows off the connections between works which I have been concentrating on recently.
- The About section is similar to the older site at the moment, but plans call for a new section for press and media - finally collecting it all in one place, with better images and more information.
- The blog - well, that's a work in progress (I'll talk about that below). I'm hoping that it can be more social, and more encouraging to visitors who want to comment. Also, the text is bigger and prettier, so it should be easier to read.
There's a lot left to do before I consider the site complete.
- There will be more galleries coming soon: installations, pop. And, as soon as I can get some work photographed, a secret one I'm planning. Including at least one new piece which sold so fast that I hadn't had the chance to show it to anybody yet.
- The blog - it's gonna be a mess for a while. Because I imported my old Wordpress blog, a lot of the old links and images might break or disappear. It's bound to happen. I'll slowly make my way through, fixing the most important (art) posts first, until everything works.
- The shop - right now, this is up-in-the-air. I'm looking at a couple possibilities. There's a temp shop I'm building right now, which will feed into Paypal. Squarespace (my new web host) offers a shop system which accepts credit cards - but not Paypal. I'm considering moving the basic items offsite - to Etsy or something like that - and keeping this website for the items closer to my own artwork - prints and laser cuts. We shall see.
- FAQ - I think it will be a nice idea. Let folks know some basics about my process, how to buy art, that kind of thing.
- Media - a collection of magazines, newspapers, videos, etc that mention my work.
- Perhaps a News page with announcements to upcoming exhibitions?
There's probably a whole lot more. I can't promise to get to these things immediately, but over time, they will evolve. Probably not until the end of March '15 though. The next few weeks are gonna be brutal, and I need to step back from the computer to survive.
You Can Help!
- Notice a broken link on the blog... or anywhere. actually? I'd love for you to let me know.
- Misspellings? Typos? Weird nonsense? Drop me a line
- Thoughts on the shop? Do you prefer Paypal, or would a credit card be a better option for you?
- Anything else you notice, can think of, or want to say!
Thanks for your patience during this transitional time. Hopefully I haven't broken anything irreparably. That would stink. More importantly, I hope that you come to love the new site, and that it can grow to show even more cool stuff.
I've been asked by other artists (and folks who want to get online) why I've made the choices I've had with this new site, and I'll be writing about those choices in the near future. It's gonna be verbose.