I am pretty pumped to be writing this. Not because I am SO proud of the design or anything… but more because I PUBLISHED It! You don’t understand. I have had it in the works for the a new portfolio website and blog for 2 years now! 2 years. and I have been working on designs for THAT long. I would work on it in between projects and late at night. But when I would come close to finishing a design I would abandon it. Because for one reason or another it just wasn’t IT. Ya know? I had started over 10 different designs.

I am not sure if you have had this problem but I have come to realize that it’s hard to design for yourself. But I needed to do it. I thought about having another designer work with me on it. But figured I would be a nightmare for anyone to work with and I definitely want the responsibility and credit that comes with designing my own website. That only makes sense. But having friends along the way that will critique it and give constructive feedback? I will take that every day and any day. And for that I am very thankful.

I do have to say that getting to my wits end on this last round of designing a new website DID in the end have it’s advantages. Haha. Looking on the bright side. I wasn’t as nit picky. And I let an idea develop because I wasn’t over scrutinizing it. I just wanted it FINISHED plain and simple. Publishing it became the goal. And therefore I relied only on my gut instinct to carry the idea through. After I got through this whole process I found that I now have a few tips for designing your own website. Tips that I wish someone told me…. to help me speed up the process. I can share those with you in another blog post, if you like. (mention it in the comments if that interests you)

1 // I wanted to visually clean up my act a bit. My style in general is eclectic and messy but also organized. I like to have a lot of little things to look at and explore while also appearing that it’s seemingly put together properly. Kind of like my room growing up. It was messy… but the mess was in organized piles around the room. haha.

2 // I wanted a unique shape to the site. I love when pieces fit together oh so perfectly… but that sometimes can start to look boxy. I don’t mind boxy. I actually LOVE IT. The boxy-puzzle-pieces-fitting perfectly together is my style for sure. But I felt that boxy with a few missing pieces would give it a uniquely organized shape.

3 // I wanted a prominent grid. The site is broken up into slightly askewed squares. These squares can be interchanged with color fields, photos, textures, type, or left completely blank. This grid gave me flexibility to try different layouts for each page while maintaining a consistent look. This grid gives me a strong foundation to make changes in the future too.

4 // And the last thing is I wanted was to balance a minimal aesthetic with a lot of personality. I think it’s tough to achieve a marriage of the two. and I really hope I did. Having my own design studio, yet being part of the design industry at large is an interesting dynamic. The corporate/industry world says that the tool (your website) in which you showcase your work should be virtually invisible. The point is to show the work and let it speak on it’s own. A lot of those sites don’t even have a photo on their about section; It’s just text. On the opposite side of the spectrum is the encouragement to showcase who you are on the site…. making the site design a reflection of YOU, your personality, and your personal design aesthetic. So I aimed to do what feels right and lean more towards personality… but also balance the design so that if a corporate potential client wonders onto the site, it wouldn’t turn them away. But it’s not really designed FOR them in mind. If that makes sense.

The website is created using my favorite website software, Showit. Showit is a drag and drop website creating software that requires no coding! HECK YEA!!

AHH and the blog. I had a blog crisis. I debated with myself on switching completely over to tumblr or discontinuing blogging all together… and I can share my thoughts on that in a different post as well if you’re interested. (mention it in the comments if that interests you).

The blog design is still a work in progress. I like that it has a really similar feel to the website. I created the blog myself using the prophotoblog software for WordPress. and I AM REALLY IMPRESSED with the platform. It was very flexible, intuitive, and easy to navigate around. You will probably be seeing updates quite frequently on the site as I am not settled on the final look of it quite yet. again…I just needed it published. and BAM!! It’s published. WOOHOO!! Party time.

Alright thats it for today!! Let me know if you have any questions. I’ll be happy to answer them in the comments!! Off to go finish the plans for the event I am hosting next week!! YIKES! So nervous! yet completely stoked.

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