Website critique

  • Hey guys,
    So after much hesitation because I don't think it looks as sharp as having one gallery, I finally decided to make categories for my art since I do so many different things. If you have a minute I'd love a quick critique. If you think anything is lacking or miscategorized please let me know. I do plan to create some new work for the categories that are a little more sparse. I haven't been getting the response from people I was hoping for with my last site design so if it's not my website I fear it must be the quality of my art.

    Thanks Everyone!

  • Wow! you are very versatile in your art. I have the same prob with my website. But I like how you categorized your art. Good job and love your art 🙂

  • Pro

    @juliekitzes I actually just overhauled my website to remove multiple categories, so I used to have the same problem. I had watercolors, mobile game art, children illustration, digital painting, nursery art... I thought it covered all my bases, but truth be told it was a mess.

    It's not a bad thing to be versatile and do a lot of different things, but I think it might be a mistake to present yourself that way to a potential client. Right now what I get from your website is you do fine art, editorial, graphic design, scientific illustration, children illustration and tattoos. Woah. That's a lot! And while you're very very at all those things, what are you going to be known for? What will people remember you for?

    Think of it this way: if you're an art director looking for, say, scientific illustration, are you going to go to the artist who dabbles a little bit in it in between tattoos and fine art, or are you going to go to the person that specializes in scientific illustration?

    What I mean to say is, when setting up your website you want to do it in a way that shows your ideal client that you are the obvious choice for what they need, the expert in this field. Not a jack of all trades (even if you are)

    What I suggest is picking the thing that you want to do the most, the thing you love that you want to do more of. Make your website around that. Keep the rest of your work in hidden galleries on your website so you can link to that work if if you're applying for a specific job where you want to show those pieces. But don't keep them public on your website, confusing clients who would have otherwise wanted to give you exactly the kind of work that you want most!

  • I like the organization of your categories.... Are you using Webflow? Thats what I use and I LOVE it. The biggest thing that stands out to me right away is that I think you need to set a max width for your logo, on my big monitor it's larger than your content.

    I'm also a little confused on how tattoos fit in, do you design them for people? If so I think you'd want them to be another category in your portfolio. Are you the one actually tattooing people? If so maybe you need to set up a separate site for those services. It looks like blackbird ink has their own website that you are listed on, maybe on your site it would make more sense to have them as a category in your portfolio and include a link off to the blackbird site for info/appointments?

    The last small thing I saw, and it's super nit-picky and down to personal preference; your entire site is written in first person except for your "about" section. Since this is your site and your work it makes sense to have the about section written in the first person as well but I know some people like their about sections to be in the third person.

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  • Your website shows you have versatility and are able to adapt to what the clients wants. It's difficult to limit your extensive talents to just one category! I like your website's easy to navigate and the potential client can find what style they are happy with. Your art is awesome and your website gets a thumbs up from me! 👍 😄

  • Also going to say that I totally agree with @NessIllustration 's thoughts on picking what you love most. I am primarily a graphic designer but decided to remove all the design work from my personal site and social media accounts. I don't want more freelance design work and decided that it was more important to me that my website speak to the work that I want to do than show off work that, while I am proud of it, is not something I want to pursue further outside of my current day job. If I have someone who wants to see my graphic design or if I decide to apply for a new day job I have a page separate from my main site navigation to send them.

  • @Squirrel-Size Thank you very much

  • @NessIllustration Hi Vanessa,
    I definitely understand that and it's in the forefront of my mind but I guess my problem is that for the time being I don't really know what I want to be primarily and am still exploring my options. I used to have hidden pages for specific things but found that people would lose the URL and just go to my main page and then see completely different work. I understand the importance of what you're getting at though and think I'm going to try to "find myself" so that I can decide what I want to be known for over the next 6 months and then revamp my site again.
    P.S. I looked at your site and it looks wonderful. I'm also from Canada (Alberta) but live in the states now. 🙂

  • @StudioLooong I use Adobe Portfolio. It's a little limiting (I wish so bad I could wrap text around an image) but it's very intuitive and best of all free with an Adobe creative cloud subscription.

    I work as a tattoo artist as well, so both. I followed your suggestion and made the tattoos a category rather than a header. I guess I was afraid of scaring people off with something so different from the traditional art.

    I also set a max width for my logo and changed the tense of my bio. Thank you for these suggestions - I wouldn't have caught them myself.

  • @juliekitzes ahh maybe adobe portfolio is powered by webflow... you have all the same wf- tags on your site that I do (which is why I asked)

  • @lou Thank you very much. I looked at your website and like your work as well. 🙂

  • @juliekitzes Cheers! That's very kind of you! :smiling_face_with_open_mouth_smiling_eyes: I'm still working on mine. It needs filling out quite a bit! Whenever I get a spare moment I try to complete another piece for the portfolio :smiling_face_with_open_mouth_cold_sweat:

  • Pro

    @juliekitzes It's definitely not an easy thing to figure out! I wish you good luck in your soul searching, hun!

  • Hi @juliekitzes! you have some great work on here and it's awesome to see your interests cover a lot of areas of art. I've had to go through and am working through what I'm about to critique. A lot of my first thoughts when seeing your site were summed up perfectly by @NessIllustration, to add a bit of my own thoughts and experiences.

    Over the past few months I've been going through a major retool of my style, my goals, and my portfolio, and I have to constantly remind myself that in addition to my own enjoyment in making the art, if I want to make a living from this, it has to meet what a client would want. From working with clients and listening to the SVS podcast, clients can be afraid we're going to screw things up. When I look at your portfolio, while there is great work in there, I wouldn't know what I would get from you if I were a client.

    Some of the categories are much more related, but things like graphic design and the tattoo don't seem to fit as well if you wanted to do fine art or illustration, and vise versa. It's a real struggle to pick a lane. One thing that may work while you're working through this is completely separate websites, then people may not lose the link. Something like Julie Kitzes Illustration, Julie Kitzes Design, or Julie Kitzes Tattoos. I have a website for my illustration work and another for my day job as a production artist in advertisement, and I don't cross these streams.

    One other suggestion, and this is difficult for basically everyone, you have to look at your work and make sure you're only putting forth your very best. If an image looks out of place and doesn't fit with the rest of your style, this may give a client a red flag. Smaller groups of strong images is better than a ton of work that doesn't all fit together. Thats where a blog can come in! You can share all kinds of stuff there and show other interests and experiments.

    I hope this can help on some level and doesn't come across too harsh, I say this with the best of intentions. It's really tough out there and sometimes there are sacrifices. Ask yourself a lot of clear questions about what you want.

  • @Norman-Morana Thank you for the feedback. I totally get why this might scare a client and will take it into consideration to try to remedy it. 🙂

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