Thursday, November 3, 2011

Website in the works...please critique

Hi! Wondering if I could get some opinions on my website:

This isn't the final design of it, but if anyone could comment about the content that would be great.
There will always be a page that shows thumbnails. Then when you click on the thumbnail, the entire image comes up. It's not the best navigation, but will do for now.

As a body of work, what do you think? More is in the works.

I appreciate the critiques!!


  1. Stephanie,
    Excuse me for a long-winded response. Take everything with a grain of salt.

    Congratulations on a very nice job! Your site is clean, understandable, well-organized and loads fast. That's a great start. Eventually you may work on a treatment for your name that will serve as an identity for your work. The work itself is very consistent and shows a distinctive style and technique. Any client who sees your portfolio will know what he/she is getting and that's very important.

    Consider a feature I wish I had on my site —a hotlink or button to your blog and/or Facebook page. That way you can route visitors to your most recent work without writing HTML code. (Unless you're skilled in HTML —I am not.) Always remember to use hotlinks whenever you can. People are busy and don't like to paste and swipe.

    As you move forward and build your portfolio, you may want to keep a few things in mind: Illustration is always in service to something bigger. It communicates an idea, decorates a product or supports an article or story. Each of your illustrations appears as if it exists for itself.
    Obviously, as you do more work for clients, your portfolio will look more like applied art. The demands of your clients will tend to pull your artwork in new directions, adding variety and intrigue to your work.

    Until that happens, you can get the ball rolling by creating situations for your artwork. If you are interested in editorial work or publishing, you could start with a piece like "Flowers Grass Trees" and turn it into an ecological diagram (add burrows, animals, a water table, etc) to show how your style can communicate a concept or meet a specific need.

    If you have an interest in greeting cards, decorative arts or something like that, you may start with "Scattered Leaves" and work the natural shapes into a border for stationery (I like the way you added color to the linework on this one. Keep trying things like that —get out of your comfort zone!)

    If nature is going to be a big focus in your work, continue to observe it closely and master it, so that you can approach it in ways that are decorative and whimsical, but still show your familiarity with the subject. The pieces with water aren't achieving this. They seem so removed from reality that they don't strike a chord.

    Overall, you are looking good! Best of luck going forward!

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  3. Love the clean and simple design on the site. It compliments your work well. I agree with Chuck that you might want to "work on a treatment for your name" in the header area of the site. You also may want to consider using some sort of lightbox so that every time a visitor clicks on a thumbnail they do not need to load a whole new page.

    Great job and I'll keep an eye out as it continues to grow.

  4. Wow, thank you both for your very helpful comments!! @Chuck - yeah I have realized that the work just looks like it exists for itself. I've been trying to think of how to make it communicate, not just be a picture. Your ideas about the situations are fantastic.

    A logo/better banner at the top is definitely a goal as well. The name is just a placeholder for now. I'm happy to hear that the cleanness of the site works. I'm using's ProSite. They have templates and it's very very customizable, but I'm afraid I can't do a whole lot about the actual structure. I don't know web programing and this is my solution allowing me to have an actual website that I can maintain and update. The loading another page bothers me too.

    I really appreciate your time to comment. This is so very helpful!!! Much thanks!!


  5. I used to think that using existing web templates was a liability. Now, I don't think it's a big deal. Many artists simply use Blogger to showcase their latest work. I think the quality of the work itself is what counts. Being able to find it quickly is important too.

    I'd be curious to hear what others think.