"How many categories is too many categories?"
Making decisions is hard. Making decisions on how to best display your work is real hard. I have been “kinda” working on a new site for over a year. Do you have a portfolio site? I’m not talking about a tumblr or a behance. Unless you’re going to utilizing these platforms like Olaf Breuning, Sean Schumacher, or Jason Sturgill do.
I’m talking about an actual site with thought behind it’s organization of your work (please note: it’s images of YOUR work, not images you found on the internet that you think are cool).
Lots of folks utilize existing tools like Squarespace, Cargo Collective, indexhibit, Virb, SiteLeaf, or 4ormat to showcase their work in a professional manner. These are all great and each have credentials that make them worth exploring. Custom sites built on Wordpress are also nice. Whatever you pick, I’d look into a custom domain and make sure you have good hosting.
Bullet Point #PROTIPS
- Show the work you want to be making.
- Let your work be the focal point.
- If you don’t do web design, don’t code your own site (unless you’re awesome at it and have the time). Outsource things you don’t want to do or you’re *not capable of.
- You want a site that isn’t a burden to update and allows you to make changes whenever you want.
- Update your site with consideration. Monthly? Quarterly? Randomly (whenever you don’t have client work on your plate)?
I feel like I do a decent job of updating projects and blasting the web with new content, but I don’t think my work is always displayed as best as it could be. Especially in regards to accessibility for viewers to filter through various projects.
With all of this in mind, I have been asking myself a lot of questions and seeking advice from my friend Cody. He is a very talented designer and is quite familiar with my work. AND he loves torturing himself by *overthinking every possible decision.
Big moves I have been thinking about:
- Splitting up my work into two practices “art” and “client”—in a similar way to Cody Hudson or Geoff McFetridge have done for several yearls. OR having two completely different sites like my pal Ray Fenwick does (Art / Illustration). For now, I’ve come to the decision that my work is stronger when shown in it’s entirety. It’s more complicated/interesting this way. I think in the future as my art practice further develops, it might need to live on its own.
- How big do you make yer pictures?! 1200px-1600px wide seems to be as large as you’d want to go (according to my friend). I’ve been hanging around 900px and feeling real lazy about changing all of those files.
- Landing page or “Splash” page. Seems like a thing of the past has made a recent comeback. I’m into it—but will be implementing a featured project section instead of a straight up splish-splash page. This way I get to have some big flossy photos upfront that shout “hey neato” but then a viewer could easily scroll down for a quick overview of my project buffet.
- Filtering system. How are projects organized? The bombardment of the amount of work I show is the point (I think), but it would benefit me (potential clients) if it was broken down into more digestible bites. Or snack stacks. So I will be implementing several categories to filter projects. I also plan on archiving older work and condensing some pieces into more broad overviews, i.e. “lettering” “identity” “patterns” (picture me saying these terms with air quotes).
So when is this gonna be ready? I dunno. Why am I posting about this? That I really don’t know. For some reason I had an urge to treat tumblr (this blog) like a xanga page and write about my feelings. But, I also teach and will likely share this with my students. (Hi students!)
Perhaps my woes of *grad school are wearing off. I might even go read a book now. One with words, not just pictures.
Wait a second. Did you really read all of this? Wow. If you’re wanting something more critical to read, I recommend this artnet article on instagram and art theory, The Ways of Seeing Instagram by Ben Davis. Very interesting read.
* Cody hasn’t had an updated portfolio site in what seems like a decade. Does this make me an idiot for trusting him? Nope. Just because he can’t make decisions about his work, doesn’t mean he’s not filled with great ideas about my work.
* There are times to learn new skills! Doing heavy web lifting isn’t a skill I wish to have—unless I didn’t have to go through the process of “learning” and messing up and getting frustrated over and over and over and over. Code makes me sleepy.
* In regards to over thinking here’s a link to my MFA tumblr filled with diaristic entries on spazzing out.
Last note: I’m not an authority on this :) these are thoughts of a simple Rad Dad.