I’ve always been a late bloomer, holding hard to analog long after the world has gone digital. Media and technology have never been real interests of mine and though I’m young and progressive enough to be considered a millennial by some, I am a straight-up old lady when it comes to being up on the latest. Of anything. Even art. I’m far more knowledgeable of medieval Byzantine icons than anything showing in most contemporary galleries. And I am (technically, if only in my own mind) a contemporary artist. I live with a contemporary artist, and we both worked, until recently, for another. In NYC. And yet, I remain old school/backward in so many ways, not the least of which involves creating a personal website.
This pursuit has had a million false starts. There are SO many things to consider and it’s SO much easier to just lie down.
Firstly, how? Good news: it’s easy now, with sites like Squarespace. No coding or html gibber necessary. But now, How/where do I start?
Should I make it as professional/impressive as possible, to seem legit? Even if professionalism isn’t exactly (at all) what I’m known for? What do I include? New stuff only? Things that have proven to be pleasing to others in the past? Should I post photographs only, since that is my longest running background or can I also show my paintings and drawings, the development of my most recent years? Can I still even call myself a photographer, even though it has been a fair bit since my last paying job and I’m not always itching for my camera now that I have spent some time with a paintbrush? Is it presumptuous to call myself a painter when my I’ve only been doing it a short while (even though I’ve in that time studied with a world class teacher and worked as a ghost painter in a Brooklyn studio for an artist who sells paintings for millions)? Or perhaps I shouldn’t mention the latter, since I was fired from said position. Which leads to----
Why? Why am I doing this? To get jobs? To show off? (!) Because its 2018 (God-willing this posts before years end)? This question is actually posited to you before you choose a site template. It’s multiple-choice and impossible to get wrong, and yet it took me 20 minutes to answer, and I’ve been questioning my response ever since. I feel like I could've attached an essay.
The question why make a website became why are you doing anything? Why are you making things? Why do you take photos and paint pictures and try to draw stuff? I suppose a certain kind of website could lead to a certain kind of career doing these things (or more likely working for someone else who does them) but that’s not really what I’m after, and I’m absolutely uninterested in my brand, or marketing or search engine whatever. I tried all that in school.
After all my motivational examination, I realized why I finally had to create a web presence, and the only way I could see myself keeping it up—if its just for me. For an archive. To organize my own work, to keep track of thoughts the way I never could with a journal. Not that I don’t want to share it with others/everyone, because I do. But when I start thinking about it in terms being curated for an audience, I am reminded of my continually state out-of-touchness and retreat.
Who cares? Will anyone ever even see this?
In light of this last thought that I reached some semblance of peace with this project. It is ongoing, as is my practice, my education, and my career. It will likely change many times. I will most definitely cringe at the version 1.0 as soon as I figure out what 2.0 is, just as the mere thought of my very first website created in photo school feels like clinical death (though in my defense it was 2009 and I barely used email up until then).
I make things because that’s just what I want to do, since always and probably forever. I am not seeking “success” or fame (don’t worry). I just want to make art, and then look at it, and I want a space to put it so that other people can look if they want. Part journal, part portfolio, and part reminder to myself that yeah, I did that. I can do it again, and it’ll probably be better.
Perhaps this is the most confessional of posts, designed to give myself context and will never be equaled in its character or voice. Perhaps every subsequent post, assuming I stay on this train, will be a carefully curated and professional blurb that will paint me as a scholar and professional. But as an opener, this seemed right. Rambling and uncertain, full of the fragmented sentences they never let me use in academic papers.
I love to make things. This website is a space for things I have made.