For the last decade or so I have maintained a portfolio site of some kind, but rarely updated it with new work or blog posts. I started with Wordpress, but was never very happy with the design or functionality of the free templates that are available. I changed my template so often that nothing ever felt permanent. Eventually I decided I didn't need their stinking templates; I could just design my own website. I joined Treehouse and spent lots of hours learning to code. I built a simple responsive portfolio site. It was pretty satisfying to make my own website from scratch, but it was not simple to update, so it sat stagnant for about a year. I have an analytical mind and am good at memorizing strings of code, but at the end of the day, I like for things to be explained to me in pictures. With a full time 9 to 5 job where I was spending all of my time in front of a computer, it was hard to come home and motivate myself to screw around with a with a website that didn't have a CMS (content management system).
The idea of designing a website using a platform that non-developer types can use triggered flashbacks to 1996 when everybody who was anybody had a personal web page on Geocities — complete with a custom background pattern, animated clip art, and neon scrolling center-aligned comic sans text. And Squarespace is trying to appeal to the masses. They have TV commercials. I wasn't going to win any prizes for a website that was built using a template available to everyone. Even if their templates are nice, clean and professional, taking the easy-bake-oven approach to building websites was definitely not something I needed to be doing. It was cheating ... right?
Well a couple of weeks ago something crazy happened. After wasting an entire day revisiting what seemed like every free Wordpress theme the World Wide Web had to offer, I went to Squarespace, just to see what it was like. Before I knew it, I had signed up for a free 14-day trial and was building a beautiful website. I wasn't going to keep it, but it was fun, easy and I had more control over the design than I thought possible. I compared the pricing to the fees for my hosting account through GoDaddy and realized they were about the same. I even did some research to see if any professional web developers would ever use Squarespace to set up a quick client website (with proper disclosure of course) and found very positive reviews especially regarding the platform's SEO capabilities. I realized that Squarespace could give me a professional looking website without a lot of time wasted trying to make things look the way I wanted, and I could spend the rest of my time doing what I really wanted — making art. There's nothing wrong with that.
So here I am with a brand new website and a blog that I hope will be easy to update with my latest work, process and anything else I find interesting enough to share in the design and illustration world. I hope you will follow along. Thanks for reading and visiting!