I’ve been working on the CV section of the website lately.
When I started building my site 3 years ago, I had no idea what I was doing, and the result became a maintenance nightmare. Lately, I’ve been going through, and cleaning things up, and reorganising the pages.
The old format for the CV pages was the same as my main gallery: One image per page with forward and back buttons. This design is simple, but that’s not what the CV pages are for.
The CV pages are more-or-less unadvertised. They don’t appear in the main website header, and the links on my page are fairly discreet, with no underlines or colour to differentiate them from plain text. They do turn light grey when the mouse hovers over them, but that’s the only way you’d know the links are there.
It’s part of the overall design philosophy I have for this site. 90% of my traffic comes from casual users who want to check out what I do, then move on. That’s why I fixed up the gallery section a few months ago. Images are now 2 clicks away, not 3.
The remaining 10% of my traffic come back often. They click through pages, and spent more time looking at each page. I like to reward that kind of behaviour, so I have put in some little “Easter eggs” for them to find, like the CV pages.
But, the simple ‘one image per page’ design doesn’t quite feel right. I want these pages to feel more personal. So, I’ve been making them more like a scrap-book, or more like a blog.
I started showing in 2004, I’ve had many years to reflect on these early shows, see where they lead me, what I learned, what I did wrong. They were a great experience, and I see them very differently now than I did back then.
I’ve been writing up little blurbs for each page, sometimes I’m writing something for each image. It’s also reminding me of those old times, flooding my head with memories of times long gone. It’s a powerful experience that can’t be expressed through words very easily. Instead of making an attempt to do that, I would recommend dusting off an old shoebox and looking through some photos. Then you’ll know the feeling I’m trying to describe.
These pages are coming along, I just finished number eleven, (out of 39) It’s taking a very long time, but I think it will be worth it. It’s good to have a record of all my previous shows, to see what I was painting back then, who I was showing with. and for people who are interested in me as an artist, I think they might enjoy seeing where I came from. (I didn’t always paint these crazy cities!)
Fortunately, I am still in contact with the people in these photos. We still get together, and we still do new things. We haven’t started chatting about “the good old days” just yet, we’re still living them.