behind the scenes in my mind

Don’t worry, I’m not about to divulge all the inner workings of my mind, just a few brainstorms from my workbook. It’s good to see from where I have come in the three weeks that I have been thinking about how to build a professional online presence.

I started here by defining what my interests are. They are broad but they define me and my lifestyle well. I want to somehow incorporate my loves into my art, but I can’t possibly do it all straight away.

my interestsNext, I brainstormed a five year plan of what I would like to be blogging about and how my art practice can support or compliment it.

five year planThis exercise highlighted the fact that my audience have emotions and needs to be met. I would like to present an experience that triggers positive emotions in the reader/viewer. These being:

needsAnd that is what will set me in good stead for developing an audience for my work and what I have to bring to the world!

Jumping far into the future with my dreams and goals was an interesting an exciting exercise, but then I had to bring it back to my initial next steps, trusting that the rest will follow in good time. Ideas have come and gone again just as quickly, but the idea of creating mixed media sculpture based on fantasy character concepts is one that currently sticks the most. I will not shelve my love of photography as I delve onto this direction, but keep it slowly, steadily filling my lens happy needs in my personal life – that may or may not feature here on my blog. I get easily distracted, so will attempt to streamline my creative impulses the best that I can. This way, I can be focussed on becoming really great at one thing, rather than try to do too many things, and never manage to do any of them very well.

 

 

 

Advertisements

behind the scenes of my new website

I am nervous and excited simultaneously as I’ve just publicly published my website portfolio. Have a gander by going straight here www.theimaginare.com. But if you are curious to see behind the scenes of my design decisions, then stick around here for a bit.

Home Page

 

Settling into Home (above):

Within the brief parameters that I was given, I finally settled into home with the WordPress Spun theme for my website portfolio. Why? Because I love circles? Yes of course, but that’s not all. It’s minimal, clean, white and single columned allowing my work to take centre stage without the clutter of side bars. It’s not an ideal theme for me as I wanted a real portfolio appearance, but within my knowledge constraints of WordPress and without purchasing a Premium theme, it’s suitable for now. The reason why I wanted my name header to be subtle using Brandon Grotesque thin as a font, is also so the eyes of the viewer would be drawn to see my work first and foremost. I like the idea that if you are intrigued by my work, then you will want to get to know me more, and head to my about and bio pages next to learn more.

Biography

 

The official Bio (above):

Before meeting me personally, you can first read my fairly informal but official biography. Still, with my back turned, having you curiously watching over my shoulder, you read about my working environment, what I use to create art and a little insight as to where you also may find me and my work.

Meet Vicki

meet vicki continuedMeet Vicki (above):

This is where you are given the opportunity to really get to know me and should you wish to connect with me by email or read my blog – it’s all here. Authentic, personable, and aimed to be intriguing (only to some I know, as I cant be everything to everyone) – I’m trusting that my audience will get a deeper feel for me as a person, a little bit of my story, and why I make art and hopefully want to give my creations a place in their hearts and homes to belong. I believe that my open hearted approach is a huge asset to my brand, and is the essence of the viewer experience. My refreshingly honest voice resounds well to my audience because it’s the way they communicate also – breaking the barriers that can otherwise exist when attempting to relate online. I’m committed to being just me, in my realness, and hope to connect and establish a community of like minded artists and art lovers who appreciate and are inspired by this. I’ve just summed up my ideal niche market!

 

Other Design Elements I’ve considered are:

  • Fonts Brandon Grotesque and Open Sans are simple and non-decorative to make it easy reading, but also not too formal
  • Images are not professionally taken or processed, and need to be updated as my new work is created. These works are not what I want to be known for, but will fill the gaps in my portfolio until I begin producing pieces that I am really proud of, and photograph them well.
  • Mixed media sculpture is only one aspect of my art, however, in order to develop a streamlined practice, my photographic work will not be featured here. Viewers interested in my photographic art will discover it in my blog linked in the menu bar. This design choice was made with the intention of refining my style and practice as an emerging artist.
  • Experience: my brand is all about connection. This has been my number one priority with my website design and becomes the experience of the viewer. I have remained authentic and true to myself, proactive by getting out there globally on the world wide web, trusting in the process and daring to be great. I am courageously stepping out, reaching out to community. Bringing my creations to the homes of those who appreciate them
  • Menu Bar: features only the necessary tabs for now, but later I will add a link to an Etsy shop
  • Profile Pictures: I think it’s important to see the face of the maker, it definitely helps with connection.
  • Social Media: unlike my blog, the social media icons are at the bottom of each page, making them accessible but not in your face. I look upon my blog as being the place where all of that happens.
  • Blog: speaking of which: I have customised it to be more aesthetically in alignment with my website. Circles are a reoccurring theme, as are the grey fonts and icons. Previously they were black and bold – not at all the relaxed and fun vibe that it now embodies.
  • Sentence structure: although my website has a decent amount of written content, I have attempted to keep the sentences short and to the point. Well, as much as a storyteller can.
  • Language: my language is conversational and intimate. Suited for my intentions of creating connections with my audience.
  • URL: http://www.theimaginare.com. I created this before I decided to only use my name as my brand, but intend to hold onto it as a possible product name. My creations could be named The Imaginares? or I could indeed become The Imaginare!
  • In hindsight: I later on discovered how to add Portfolio Projects that are displayed as a page with posting capabilities. Given more time I would transfer all of my Category posts to Project items. For another day though…

Always allowing for evolution and growth to take place, this design is far from being complete, nor will it ever be. It’s a start, and I’m proud that I have come this far with learning WordPress. They say that you will never be ready for anything, you just have to start doing it, and become what you only dream about otherwise.

I’m continuously dreaming….but doing it too!

 

 

first impressions last

As the old saying goes – first impressions last. When considering the success of my e-portfolio I need to firstly identify what my brand is and who my target audience are (this is where you can help me – see below). This planning and strategising phase is crucial if I want to have a successful online presence that I feel proud to present to the world wide web. I have already invested some serious thinking time into building my future brand as a creative coach and art practitioner, but I also really need to pull back the big picture dream to focus on being an artist first and foremost – for how will I teach others until I have learnt the nuts and bolts myself?

A brand is much more than a logo. Your brand is your overall lifestyle and the overall embodiment of what your business is about. It is really important…that you are telling your story. Your story is your brand. You need to know who your audience is and speak to them about what interests them – Stinchcomb, M (as cited in Chapin, K. 2010, p. 28).

Previously, I have associated branding with a well designed logo and website, or catchy tagline to satisfy curious web surfers out there. Although these components are very important to having a desirable and reputable online presence, branding is more about having an identity! My identity as an individual is one thing, but my brand identity is a separate entity all together. Sure, it is the essence of who I am and the work that I do, but it is prescribed specifically to meet the needs and curiosities of my audience.

By imprinting my brand with a soul and personality of its own, I need to ensure that its in alignment with my lifestyle, values, beliefs and interests. These elements are assets to my brand, and I feel confident about sustaining my brand long-term by driving it with authenticity and passion – allowing it to change and evolve as I do.

Branding expert Paula Scher suggests to view brand identity as a ‘kit of parts’ that is fluid enough to feature across all media and platforms and be adaptable to change. She goes on to say that people need change, so to remain stagnant online is ineffective.

So to research the needs of my audience….please feel free to comment briefly on your interests and topics that you prefer to follow in the blogosphere. I’m curious to know if your interests are in accordance with my own and how that may bring us into connected spaces.

 

 

Reference:

Chapin, K. (2010). The Handmade Marketplace: how to sell you crafts locally, globally and online. MA: USA, Storey Publishing.