I want to share with you how my life was turned upside down by the creation of this Website and it’s appendage – my journal, which turns out to have some elements of a blog, or maybe they’re one and the same.
This narrative will take more than one entry, for sure!
In the beginning, probably about a year ago, I knew I wanted an online gallery in which I could display my paintings. I had just returned from a trip to the Big Apple (NYC) which included a visit to the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). An artist friend from Door County told me that I could receive an annual MOMA membership for free if I said I was an artist (which I am). When I asked the attendant at the front desk, she confirmed it and then… asked for my website address. Website? I only had a business card which was illustrated with one of my paintings, “Spring Marsh” on the front, so I showed it to her. She admired the painting, but said a website was needed to verify the fact that I was, indeed, a working, recognized artist. Using all my persuasive skills, she finally admitted me to the museum, annual pass in hand.
It was at that point that I knew a website must be in my future. I just didn’t know how or when. Long story short – I knew I couldn’t successfully endeavor to accomplish this alone and through some ins-and-outs, I set up a meeting with Stephen Kastner of DesignWise Studios in Fish Creek, Wisconsin.
We met a couple of times and talked about what it was that I wanted to accomplish through the development of a website. I could hear my hesitancy because I had not thought much beyond simply establishing the visual presence of my work on the Internet. Stephen and I met a few times over the next couple of months, and each time, I learned more about the many paths I could take with my potential site. Finally, when I had the confidence that we could indeed work together and that my ideas and needs would be his primary concern (or at least taken into consideration), I signed a hosting contract and agreed to make a series of monthly payments.
From then on, the site began evolving; it wasn’t cereated from a nuts-and-bolts template or a copy of what had ever been done before. Through many working sessions in which I provided content and information, Stephen crafted the material into as creative a piece of art as any of my paintings. To top it all, when he learned I was giving a public talk on the evolution of my work over a 10-year period at a local gallery, he produced a video of my entire presentation and incorporated it into the site!
Wow! I remain quite impressed. He also set up the beginnings of an e-gallery in which (at some future time) I can offer giclee prints of my paintings for sale.
The final piece, which he suggested, was that I keep this journal – as a means of connecting with whomever visited the site; buyers or lookers, and let them come to know me as a real person by sharing my thoughts, feelings and experiences as an artist. This intrigued me, as I have always been a writer. And, there you have it. Or do you?
Suddenly, journals are called blogs; bloggers are multiplying faster than rabbits; social media marketing is becoming the conversation of the day; Myspace grows; Facebook surpasses it, Oprah Twitters and Linkedin begins linking everyone. But, what does this all have to do with me and my little website?
My left-brain simply met my right brain and became a connected whole brain, ready and “able” to take in all the changes which are rioting around the world. I am interested, challenged and energized! I’ve always been an entrepreneur and for me, the real fun is in the start-up and the organization of an entity. That’s where I’ll begin in my next blog – stay tuned and invite your friends to join in.