I am usually not an obsessive person. I can get completely captivated by linocut carving, and push myself and my body beyond what is prudent. But lately I have had another obsession: a new website.
I have had a website for four years hosted at Foliosnap, which I liked but felt was rather limited. A complete redesign by a professional was not a reasonable financial option for me, and I wanted to be able to change and update my site at any time. I looked into other different platforms for artists, but didn’t see exactly what I wanted.
Needing something to be exactly as I anticipated made this a challenging but strangely rewarding experience.
I chose to work with Kim Bruce at Artbiz — WordPress Websites & Blogs for Artists. Kim provides a range of related templates along with hosting and technical guidance. Her templates are sleek and understated, perfect for making the artwork be in the spotlight.
The main challenge came when I realized that the WordPress method of organizing galleries was not going to give me the space I needed for accompanying text. Writing about the work, and linking to my blogs about both topic and technique, were both important parts of my vision for a new site. Kim kindly found me a workaround solution and waited patiently until I understood the new plan.
Programming and coding truly have their own language. I found I could read entire paragraphs where a WordPress plug-in’s purpose was being explained, and felt that I understood nothing. It was certainly much more difficult than the content filling one does on free-standing sites. There were many days where I despaired about my choices and searched madly for some consulting help.
In the end, it worked out much like some of my more troublesome linocuts. I researched, and then I pondered. I ruminated in the shower. I thought about it when sleepless. Finally I would sit down and slowly make progress. In the end, each image has its own page, with links to a thumbnail page, a corresponding blog, and previous and next images.
I still do not always know when to quit. While trying to finish the conversion of my blog from Blogger to WordPress, I blithely tried to copy and paste some code into the function.php part of the site and I completely crashed the site. Kim very kindly fixed my damage and the site was up in time to pen this blog.
My brain has been stretched. Creating this blog has plunged me into areas where I felt completely incompetent. As adults, we shy away from this feeling, wanting it to stay in the realm of childhood and adolescence. But it is a good place to put yourself, because that is where growth happens.
Please visit the different parts of the site and see what you think. The contact page is a perfect place to let me know what needs fixing (I’m sure I missed some links) or what you enjoyed.
Now, go get uncomfortable.