“Why have a website?” Has been a big question for me for a while. There are so many online opportunities to share, that I almost felt I didn’t need one. Until that moment when someone asked. “Do you have a website? Where can I see your work?” and I was left mumbling about Facebook and instagram. Feeling unprepared and unprofessional.
It doesn’t matter how active you are on social media. Who will wade through the last ten years to find your earlier work or read what really matters. A website is the ultimate sharing platform an insight into your world and as my partner would say your brand. Its a showcase of projects and portfolios. Its a place to share news and blog posts. You can even have your own shop!
I first heard a website referred to as “The Mothership” by the writer Austin Kleon in his book “Show your work!” He gave great tips on all sorts of ways to share your art but couldn’t stress enough the importance of the “Mothership” the one place where people could find you and all you had to offer. For sure lead them to social media in fact keep all those lines open, so people can travel back and forth exploring your creations.
A lot of people build their own websites and I have great admiration for anyone who can do this but I knew that would take me away from my work. Hours and hours learning how to do something I would not be an expert at. I had a vague vision and sort of knew what I didn’t want but could articulate what exactly I imagined. That’s when employing a creatively awesome team was worth every penny. Holly and Glenn at Redspot literally sat me down and listened to my ideas. They seemed to understand exactly what I wanted and I felt confident I would get a website that I was proud of. Like having a travelling gallery all of my own. Yet they took it further adding details that I would never have thought of. Design qualities so subtle you would not believe the care involved. Glenn suggested doing an animation of my work to show the process of the illustrations. It was such a thrill to see my drawing come to life.
A Mothership still sails. Her content her crucial cargo. I see it as my job to entice passengers on board. I update social media daily, keeping my pages fresh, leading them back to the website when I can. I also do email news letters which also lead back to the website.
Recently I shared my work on New Zealand Made Products (Chooice) on facebook. This is such an amazing opportunity for makers in NZ. Overnight I was literally engaging with hundreds of people and thousands of likes. Imagine my relief to have my website shop working for me while I slept. It was easy for people to go straight to the shop and click buy! Again I had not been sure I needed a shop as I’ve always sold through messaging directly but this is so much easier and I believe I got much more sales. I am so glad I took the plunge to invest in my art.
We often prepare for the worst but having a great website sets you up for the best.