January 24, 2011

My new craft gallery revealed!

Well, Blog, I'm just as pleased as planter's punch to be able to announce the Sorta Secret Project I've been slaving over for a couple of weeks. It's my new, spiffy online craft gallery, and I am unveiling it officially today. It's a wonderful place for me to share my polymer clay, needlecraft, beadwork, and graphic arts projects.

www.dianasgallery.com is the nifty URL!

You see, since one of my Christmas presents was a professional photoshoot of my crafts by the inimitable Chris Robleski, I decided I needed a nice venue to properly display the resulting images. So I created this new gallery, and I think it turned out mighty nice.

What I was striving for with this gallery was:

  • a clean look that would show off the stuff
  • easy navigation
  • a quick way to view the items in a decent size
  • only enough text to provide key information
  • just a little bit of whiz-bangi-ness

It's amazingly difficult to find a balance between all the elements that can make for a good art/craft gallery. For example, I wanted quick and easy viewing of decent-sized images, which kind of required the use of Flash. However, that means you can't view the gallery on smartphones. Oh well!

I wanted clear enough detail, but not huge images that would take a long time to load. That meant having to put high-resolution images of everything also on Flickr, with links there from the gallery for those who want to be able to see more detail.

On my old gallery, I provided lots of textual information, which also meant a fairly ugly layout and probably more text than most visitors would want to wade through. Now, of course, I don't tell as much...but hopefully the photos are worth a few thousand words.

The photos are of course what makes the gallery. Sadly, Blog, I don't personally have all the neat jazz required to take this quality of pictures. As you can see from this picture of the photoshoot, Chris and assistant Katie were working with some seriously fancy equipment (not to mention some seriously fancy talent). They have given me the light box you see here, so I can do better with my own photos going forward, but I still will fall a bit short. I have made some items that I wanted to share but I no longer have in my possession, and it's easy to tell which they are by my WAY less cool photos. Fortunately, going forward I may be able to have the occasional "catch-up" session, at least for any really primo stuff I make in the future.

So, for those wanting to know some of the details of the process, I designed this site using the tools on Wix. I upgraded to a "Combo" plan which is $9.90 per month and makes the site ads-free. I blew an additional $11.95 for a year of having my own domain (via GoDaddy). Wix has all the tools I needed to create and manage the site, with the exception of course of photo editing. For that I use Photoshop Elements. (Katie did the the photoshopping on the new shots, and she has the full version of Photoshop.)

I'd love to hear feedback from artists and non-artists out there. With the vagaries of web browsers and monitor settings, no two people will experience the gallery exactly the same (another drawback of the world of web sites!). I'd also love if you have an online gallery if you'd share the URL, or let me know any gallery sites you've found that really impress you.

Huge thanks again to Chris and Katie for making my gallery possible! Now I am inspired to MAKE MORE STUFF!!!


  1. What a great recap!!! It was like the ultimate "perfect storm" situation :) I wish I could quit my day job and just do THIS all the time! I'm so glad you liked all the photos...we'll definitely have to do another session when you've got another batch of stuff :D

  2. I wish you could do this all the time too, you're so good at it! The photos are even more beautiful than I imagined they could be. And YES, I would love another session sometime! I'll try to do my best but I can just see wanting to replace any photos I take myself with stuff done by you and/or Chris!