Seven Year Series: Three Online Tools We Use

This is the second instalment in our blog series commemorating our seven-year-long business slog, where we share things we've learned, mistakes we've made, stuff we should have (wish we had) known at the beginning. 

Today: some of the online tools we use for (and at) the studio.  

Photo by Sean McGrath

Photo by Sean McGrath

This will be a short list. I'm still a person who clutches to my paper agenda. 

Squarespace

Squarespace is an online tool for building websites. It's template based, no coding-stuff required. I have been with Squarespace for seven years, since the very beginning of the gallery. That's commitment. 

What has kept me around for seven years:

1. Portfolio display

The Squarespace templates have excellent portfolio display options. They are elegant and clean. Clean. They obviously had designers and artists in mind when they created their company. 

2. E-Commerce

I like integrated things. Simple things. Like having a eCommerce on one's own artist/gallery website. I've never liked the idea of sending customers off my site to make a purchase (like on Etsy, for instance). I can make a shoppy-shop directly on Squarespace. 

A note of caution. There is a Squarespace learning curve. There are many editing options and lengthy menus. I would suggest diving in, exploring, and making full use of the Squarespace tutorials and help videos. It will take time. 

A glimpse at the style editing options.

A glimpse at the style editing options.

Audible

I would not make it through the long studio days without my Audible subscription. I've talked about my love for audiobooks in previous blog posts. I find music too distracting while I'm painting, and I abandoned CBC when they canceled Dispatches. Hence audiobooks. Something meaty and Russian and 40+ hours, yarr. 

Instagram

We have recently started to concentrate more on our Instagram account. It is for sharing photos and short videos. I am warming up to this as a social media tool and starting to enjoy the process. 

Instagram is good way to connect with others artists. I religiously follow a couple in England and a few in the US. I get ideas from them about technique and supplies and studio processes. I try to share the same type of visuals with my audience - tidbits from around the studio, emphasizing works in progress and experimentation.