My website is complete!

  • I’ve finally got a website up and running that I’m happy with.

    I’d love for some of you to be the first to check it out and although I’m calling it "complete" I would love any feedback you have (especially on the about page which took me a while)

    One particular thing I’d like feedback on is if I should change the site name. I actually misspelled it. There isn’t supposed to be a "c" between my first and last name. So I’ll have to replace the domain anyways and I’m thinking it needs to be shorter. GMillustration is what I’m thinking right now but I’m wondering if I should at least have my last name in there so it is more clearly attached to me. Let me know your thoughts!

  • Pro

    @Griffin Actually before I even finished reading your post the first thing I thought of was that this domain name is very long and easy to mess up by accident. GMillustration would be a fine choice! I also really like your first name, it's striking and unique enough to stand on its own, so GriffinIllustration would be a very memorable domain name. You don't necessarily need your last name in there - My own domain name is NessIllustration so it doesn't have either my last name, or even my full first name Vanessa in it. But you also don't necessarily have to include the word illustration, so would be a fine choice too.

    As for the website itself, it's very lovely! I love the simple and modern look.

    Some things to maybe look into:

    • On the main page there seems to be a problem with your categories. I click on them and nothing happens. I have to open them in another tab to actually reach the link.
    • It's also not clear to me from the category images what each category is. I would maybe add a title on each image so it's clearer.
    • I would add a contact form on the about page instead of just writing down your contact information. I list my email and have a contact form on my own website, and so far 100% of people have chosen to use the contact form. It seems just easier and more convenient for them
    • Your about page is a bit long. I don't think it's a bad thing necessarily since it's very charming and interesting, but for those who don't have the time to scroll through the whole thing I would put the most important info right at the top. (contact info, availability and goals)
    • Speaking of goals, I think it might be helpful to include your immediate goals as well. What are you trying to achieve right now with this portfolio? If you're trying to get some freelance illustrations contracts, your about page does not say that and may even dissuade potential clients. If I'm a client in need of illustration and read your page my takeaway is "he wants to be an art director, not get illustration contracts. I need to find someone else" It's better if you say something like "I'm currently looking for illustration work in (x market) and would love to work on (x type of project). One day, I would also love to become an art director."

    I hope this helped 🙂 Congrats on your new website, it looks great!

  • Thank you, this is all very helpful!

    I wish I could list my immediate goals but I can't confidently say what those are right now. I'm still not sure what market I fit into which has been very frustrating. But I do see what you're saying about how people might be turned off by seeing my goals as not being related to what they are looking for, maybe I should be more specific about those being long term goals.

    I started with a shorter about page but made it longer because honestly I can't stand many artist's about pages. They usually hardly tell me anything about them at all and feel to me like people do it because "that's the way it's always been done". What I think I might do is have a more accessible bio at the top and then more info below if people would like to learn more.

    A contact form definitely sounds like a good idea, I think I'll do that.

    I had originally titled each category but my professor was helping me with the site and said he didn't think I needed them so I'm glad to have some more feedback on that. I'm not sure why you would have trouble opening the categories though . I haven't had any issues like that and neither has anyone else I know, very strange but I will look into it.

    Thanks again for all of your feedback, I really appreciate it!

  • Pro

    @Griffin It's possible that the links problem is on my end! I'm on my desktop computer, on Chrome if that helps any.

    I hear what you're saying about artists' bio pages haha.. They're very hard and awkward to write, and I also rarely like those I see on most artists' portfolios. I'm not even really crazy about mine to be honest, but the way I see it... I'm trying to see my portfolio as an argumentative essay, and each page, each piece is an argument as to why the art director should hire me. I made a list of what list of skills, what reassurances they would need to feel comfortable hiring me. Things like... art quality sure, but even more importantly: storytelling, consistency, the ability to finish a project, meet deadline, accept feedback easily, but fun to work with, be excited about children's content, etc.

    I'm making sure to address each of these things in my portfolio, and several of these things are perfect to address on the about page. I personally decided that it's more important to address all these possible objections, rather than making a cool, inventive and fun to read about page. When writing bios I have a tendency to write my whole life story so I really had to reign myself in. Each sentence I asked myself "Do they need to know I studied film animation in Montreal in order to hire me for a children's book?" or "Do they need to know I grew up always reading and surrounded with cats in order to hire me for a children's book?" and if the answer is no, I canned it. I pretty much limited it to relevant experience, my goals and some testimonials. It's not the most exciting, but it is convincing.

    Since you're not really sure what kind of work you want to get you probably don't need to go quite as far, and I do think your about page is so fun. Just make sure to hit what an art director actually needs to know to hire you, and to hit that first. Then afterwards if you really want to tell us about your favorite sport and film, why not?

  • @Griffin When I went to your page, it took me straight to your illustrations, I made that connection when I clicked on illustration and already found myself there. I didn't realize until after I returned from your sketchbook that I could click on the 4 individual works and move to what to me were like short series of comics or graphic novels. So If all your illustrations are these I think titling them as such is better than just illustrations. Also if when you move over the 4 images on your front page if they had the titles of your short series that might help also. The first image on illustration collection I found to be not as unified style wise, the first 3 looked similar with the butterflies, and taking a third look I think the others on that page are grouped in threes but I don't understand why they are not in there own category on the front/first page like the others are. Not a fan of drawing ghosts but I like yours and the blue series work. 🙂

  • SVS OG

    @Griffin i don’t have much time so I’ll just point out the biggest issues I’m seeing.

    1. Your illustration categories. I honestly did not know they were categories because there was no title. I thought you only had 4 images in your illustration tab. It was only when @NessIllustration mentioned them that it dawned on me that I could click on them. This could either mean I’m just that stupid or you need to make your categories more discernible.

    2. Long Bio. I think your about me page is sweet and really thought out but if I was an art director with very little time, I won’t read it. All I want to know is if you got the skills that’s where your portfolio comes in. I don’t want to hear your life story. Your decision to make a brief bio and another more detailed one sounds like a good idea.

    3. Domain. It’s too long. I like the suggestions @NessIllustration gave.

    I know I sound very curt right now but I just want to be honest and direct to the point as much as possible. Overall, I think you have good works. I wish you all the best.

Log in to reply