Friday, March 11, 2011

My Art Studio Workspace

Update, August 2012: Since this post was made, I've taken some new photos and posted them here. Carry on!


A few of my friends have made posts like this about their workspaces, so I figured I'd jump on the bandwagon.

(click to enlarge and view description)

An artists' studio is always evolving. I think back to 5 years ago when I worked in a huge loft space above a nightclub, and how much has changed since then. I've sacrificed a lot of floor space over the last couple studio iterations, but ended up with better equipment, so in many ways it's a fair trade. My next missions for my current studio are to get a better flex-arm light for my easel and a second bookcase that can support my overflowing art book and magazine collection.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Website Updates and Thoughts on Branding

2011-sheppard-arts has received its yearly facelift for 2011, including a new mobile version for those of you who are bound by the confines of the modern smartphone.

I spent a little more time planning out this year's revisions than last, and more time thinking of myself as a brand. Some new features include:

-An official Cynthia Sheppard Illustration logo.

It's high time I had a single image that I can carry across all my promo items. I was inspired by some of my cohorts such as Sam Flegal who established his "Strange like Sam Flegal" brand last year.

-Bigger thumbnails.
1. I got a lot of comments like "make the thumbnails bigger!" hehe.
2. I still opt for a lightbox image viewer over a slideshow or full-page-scroll format because the proportions of my images are all different, so they look disorganized or don't read/resize well in a fixed window. One AD mentioned that using a lightbox can be cumbersome, especially if the window overlay doesn't allow you to right-click/save the pictures. So to make his life easier I chose a version that does allow people to save, and increased the thumbnail sizes so he and other ADs can better jog their memory of what a painting looked like without having to click on anything.

-A dropdown menu for external links/social media and to share the site on facebook.
I'll probably add some more sharing-via-social-media options later, but I want to test Facebook first to see what kind of traffic is generated.

-The removal of unnecessary sections.
My painting tutorials will still be available, but since I rarely had time to update them, having a whole page dedicated to them was dead weight. The majority of people that come to the site are there to see the artwork or to find out how to contact me, so I also nixed the Resume section in favor of a small and tidy client list on the homepage.