After much rumination, I finally made the decision to rebuild my site and move it from Wordpress to Squarespace. The change was a big one for me as I have used Wordpress for years. It is where I taught myself webdesign and coding - a feat I’m very proud of. However, at the end of the day, designing my own website is a chore and a half. Despite the personal achievement and pride that came with building and running my own site from the bottom up, I know my time is better spent else where - like, making art!
One Gal Show
When it comes to my art career, I pretty much operate as a lone wolf. Until I’m wealthy enough to afford a team of peeps to help me out, it’s my responsibility to make sure everything on the business end of things operates smoothly. Maintaining my website was the biggest responsibility and the most time consuming of all the things I needed to do. There have been many weeks in which I spent more time being my own IT person than I did as an artist. Coding was learned on the fly, and I even once broke my site! Subsequently, I spent a whole day learning how to fix it and get it back online. I’m pretty sure that whole experience gave me at least five new grey hairs.
When I wasn’t just making cosmetic changes to my site, I was constantly updating it behind the scenes and doing my best to keep it secured. The internet can be a rather unfriendly place and the threat of being hacked is sadly real. This is one aspect of Wordpress that I didn’t like at all. Keeping it secure meant constantly checking for updates and making sure everything about the coding and plugins was safe (not an easy task for a webmaster novice).
Movin’ On Up!
I spent the better portion of a month thinking over the pros and cons of leaving Wordpress for another website avenue. I was worried about losing all my past blog posts and how hard the process would be to transfer all my media over. While both were big concerns for me, the deciding factor came down to the value of my time and the security of my internet real-estate.
Of course, I then spent way to long deciding on were to move to. I looked at several options, but ultimately decided to go with Squarespace. Their template format and WYSIWYG method of webdesign makes changing my site cosmetically so much easier and (most importantly) so much quicker! No longer do I need to worry about breaking my website because I miss-typed a line of code. No longer do I need to spend weeks at a time sitting at the computer trying to figure stuff out. Best of all, I can breath a sigh of relief knowing they are responsible for site security - a weight that had been heavily weighing on me recently.
As of now, my website is pretty much complete! My old blog posts transferred over and I’ve finished uploading all my artwork to the gallery sections (with the exception of my photography). The whole process took me about two days, but it was all worth it. My online shop is up and running again too! It currently only has one item, but more will be added once I retake the product photos and make new art. I’ve even found an awesome print/art reproduction shop to handle print making for me, another way in which I am tying to use my time more wisely and smartly.
With website maintenance taking up less of my time now, I can focus on other aspects of being a freelancer/small business. I have several pieces already in the works (check out my Instagram @samanthaviolette for the latest projects!) and can’t wait to finish them and move on to the next.
For those unaware, I keep a real-life, professional day job on the side. Due to the type of work I do, my 9 to 5 is more like a 6 to 6. This work schedule means I pretty much work and sleep four days of the week, leaving my weekends for literally everything else (chores, errands, art career, etc.). It’s for this reason that I realized dealing with a website should not be a priority. Time spent at the computer is time taken away from time spent at my easel.
Speaking of which, I have so many projects in the works!! This last half of the year will be busy as I work on things and slowly introduce them. One project that has already started and is HEART - an art project to help bring attention to animal rescues and sanctuaries. My goal is to help fundraiser for groups and help adoptable animals get adopted. Other projects on my plate include mixing photography and illustration with my love for fashion; revving my Youtube channel (for the billionth time) with fresh videos and new content; expanding my photography portfolio; and adding to my dormant Flora+Fauna series. Whew! Just typing all that makes my head spin, lol. It will all be a lot of work, but I’m excited for the process and hope you are excited for the end results.
I never would have guessed being an artist was so much work, but important things are worth the effort and they take time to build. Being a self-taught artist feels very much like playing a video game on hard mode, but that’s a topic for another blog!
Until next time!