12 July 2011

are websites obsolete?

Are websites obsolete?

This is a question I kick around often. With blogging, facebook, twitter, linked in, my space and a bazillion other ways to connect online, is anyone still looking at a basic little website?

As artists, an online presence feels like a necessity. By that I mean its far easier to connect with others who share our passion for our particular medium if we place ourselves online somehow. I'm lucky to be surrounded by a very talented group of fiber art friends in my area but by being online, I've "met" people that have really inspired and motivated me to be a better artist.

As far as social networking goes, I decided a while back to pick two and stick with them. I chose facebook and blogger (I do have a twitter account but mostly just post links to new blog posts and new e-zines). I've been happy with the two, they are things I can maintain consistently and not feel chained to.

But a website? Does anyone just go browse websites anymore?

And what should it look like? Lots of graphics? Sparse and clean? Logos? How do you organize the artwork? How much work should you put up there?

It gets kind of overwhelming pretty quickly. I can't even tell you how many different versions my website has been through. Last week I decided I needed to wipe the slate clean and make it reflect where I'm at in now in my art career. But more then that it needed to be simple to update (since I do my site myself) so that I could keep up with it as I make new work.

Here's what my home page looks like now:

Its totally minimalist and miles away from the first version I did years ago. If you're inclined, please go have a peek and let me know what you think.

I've got a lot of new artwork to photograph and get up there. My portfolio is woefully not up to date but I've decided to take photos of five pieces a week and upload them. Anything beyond that and I'll get that twitchy feeling that comes with too much work to keep up with and just not do any of it at all.

I still need to decide what to do about Where I Stand Sunday. I'd like to capture the project in its entirety somewhere. Its a lot of photos and a lot of writing and its not something I want to loose sight of. (I still secretly hope to one day publish a book about it.) I'm thinking my flickr account but that's still up in the air.

I'm relieved to have it done. Its really simple but it makes the artwork the star and that's what I was hoping for.

Sometimes the best solution is the simplest one, don't you think?


Approachable Art said...

Oh, Lynn, I'm in love with your new site, it really appeals to me on so many levels! Well done, you!!

Kathy said...

Minimalist it may be, but very effective. Good job!

Anonymous said...

I think it's just that there is a culture and community behind blogging and Facebook which makes them seem more important. You can't really interact with a website and the Internet is about the sharing and interaction of info. I keep both a blog and website. The website is professional and contains my portfolio and shop. It's Wordpress, so features a blog BUT that's only because I couldn't figure out how to install a rolling news box in a normal website and the WYSIWYG approach of Wordpress, and most blog platforms was quite appealing. Now I've found moonfruit.com though I would consider moving over to that for my website if they sort out better access for people who can't view flash. My blog on the other hand is more personal, social, light hearted and allows people to ask questions quickly without the need to give out their email addresses. I keep it a bit more private then my portfolio website but they're connected so people can find either and use what they prefer. It's just a case of catering to the whole Market and still enjoying it. I wouldn't do it if I didn't find maintaining either fun :)

Cami said...

I love the community and opportunity to have a dialogue with people that have an interest in the arts that get me excited. I am just beginning a blog.. and letting the group website take on its own life.
Your blog is one of them!

Anonymous said...

Lynn, I like the makeover. Your site is clean, modern and professional. A small addition that I'd find helpful would be a direct link to your etsy site either at the top of your home page or listed on the shop page separate from being buried in the the thermofax video description for those of us who want to get quickly to your screens for sale.
Have you discontinued some of your scenes? There were some all over patterned screens I was interested in.
Cheers from up the road in London ON

bj parady said...

what Lianne said, ditto. I view my website=my portfolio. It's a place to easily see my best work, learn a little bit about me, and find links to where I interact daily--my fb page, twitter, my blog. I think having one is still important. Updating it weekly, not high on my priority list.

Deb H said...

I LOVE your new look - the site is clean and the focus is on your work - perfect! I agree with Patti, a link on the top menu to go directly to your Etsy Shop would be a good idea. As to web sites being obsolete? I think not. I often go to a site to get an in-depth "profile" of someone or to see more of their work. I still think it's easier to navigate a web site than FB profiles and photo albums, etc.