Looking Back at 2017

Looking back over 2017, it was a year of 'more of the same' as well as a year of many 'firsts'. I really got serious about blogging in 2017 and committed, for the most part, to blog regularly on topics relating to Squarespace web design, Digital DIY, photography and creativity. I designed and put together a bunch more websites in 2017 with rather diverse clients ranging from specialist surgeons to explosives companies (how's that for variety!?)

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Here are some of my highlights from 2017... 

1 | Getting serious about blogging

Half-way through 2017, I set a goal of blogging twice weekly, especially on topics relating to Squarespace. If you've ever attempted blogging consistently you'll understand what a challenge this can be. On top of web design work, and other projects on the go, blogging can take up a significant amount of time. I'm proud to say I (mostly) stayed on the bandwagon and managed to create quite a lot of new content on the topics of digital DIY, Squarespace, photography and creativity.

Some of my most popular posts this year were:

2 | Creativity interviews

Inspired by a conversation with an artist friend, Amy van den Bergh, I launched a series of interviews with South African creatives who had taken part (or were busy with) an ongoing creative challenge. It was such a privilege to interview painters, interior designers, writers, musicians, illustrators and photographers about their creative process. I am so grateful to everyone who took the time not only to answer my questions, but to open up about their journey into creativity. It was definitely one of the highlights of my year! 

We chatted about letting go of perfectionism, how to write a novel in a month, the importance of practice, and the ebb and flow of creativity, among other things. If you're interested in reading more on this series, here is a summary post of all the interviews. 

3 | A year of photography firsts

Armed with the first DSLR I've ever owned and with much encouragement from family and friends (especially Sophie), last year I photographed my first maternity shoot, first wedding, first family shoot, first portrait shoot, and my first interiors shoot! I'm so grateful to everyone who trusted me enough to take pictures of their special occasions, their kids, dogs and homes! I'm looking forward to leaning into a bit more photography in this new year - especially interiors and a bit of food photography! 

Here are a selection of images from all the 'first' shoots from 2017.

4 | Launching new Squarespace websites

I was fortunate to work on over 20 websites this year, with a range of incredibly diverse clients from Cape Town to Edinborough, and from the Karoo to Christchurch, New Zealand! With each client I've learned something new about: managing timelines, the client process, expectations on both sides, and about myself! I've gained new knowledge, read like crazy, partnered with graphic designers, honed my organisational processes, and spent many hours on Skype, Facetime, Whatsapp calls and the good old telephone making sure we were on the right track. There have been days I've felt totally stumped, completely clueless and supremely overwhelmed, and other days when I've felt like it was just a walk in the park! I've leave you to guess which days were more common.

There really is something so rewarding about working with someone to take their business concept, creative project, food blog or community project from concept to reality by launch an online home.   

Here are a few of the Squarespace sites that were launched this year...

5 | Creative Workshops

In partnership with Artisan's Republik I taught a number of creative workshops this year from Shibori (Japanese indigo dyeing) to Mobile Photography to Blogging. I really love teaching workshops, and the Shibori workshops, in particular, were just delightful! On more than one occasion the participants were so excited they started dyeing their own clothes, right then and there. After another workshop, everyone wanted to leave early to get to the fabric shop to buy more material so they could go home and keep on dyeing things!

I'd love to host (and attend, for that matter!) more creative workshops this year, specifically related to small business, digital DIY and creativity. I have a few ideas in mind, but am still mulling over them! I'll be sure to share more on my blog, as well as on Instagram and Facebook as the year unfolds.

I'd love to hear from you! Are there workshops you'd be interested in attending, blog post topics you'd like to read more of? Drop a comment here, I'm all ears.