My last portfolio site was designed and developed in-house by me. It was a really fun project to bring into existence. I went with a single-page site with lots of subtle parallax effects, strong typography, and a lot of character.
It garnered lots of attention and was featured on a few showcase sites, like Site Inspire. I received lots of inquiries from fellow illustrators and designers about contacting the firm that had built the site for me. I don't think many people believed me when I said I made the whole thing from scratch on my own.
As is with all things, the site got stale. It wasn't responsive and it was difficult to add new work. The modal lightbox window was okay, but didn't serve my illustration work as well as I'd liked. I had it in my head that I needed to update, but client projects wouldn't allow.
At the same time, I'd been feeling a slow disconnect from the world of web design and a strong urge to increase the amount of fun illustration work I was getting. I can design responsive sites and have enough technical skill to make it close to what I envision, but to what end? What fun art director or children's publisher cares if I can develop in addition to illustrate?
Students and younger professionals always ask me about what to include in their portfolio. I always lead with "remove all the stuff you don't want to do more of." To get to where I want to be professionally, I needed to remove the web design work and play down some of the printed work that I didn't want to have an outsized influence on my portfolio.
So here's my new site, fully responsive and featuring my illustration work more prominently. I decided to use Squarespace for a lot of reasons, but chief among them is that I didn't have to build the site myself. Leaving me time to make work that I really love.