The organisers of the Kigali Photo Festival believe that African artists play a crucial role in educating African audiences and this festival will see a series of workshops, events and exhibitions dedicated to the work of Rwandan photographers across a range of genres.
Every Nation Marseille have been around a while - a church plant out of the States reaching out to artists, students, locals and internationals who have made the port city of Marseille, France, their home. This was a first for me - not necessarily a site for a church or an NGO, but a site in an entirely different language! Thank you Google Translate for allowing me to at least understand what the content of the site was, and which elements should go where.
Euan and Romona McCrindle have been living in Berlin for the last ten years, and have been dreaming about making the move to Glasgow, Scotland, to start a church within the Every Nation family of churches. There are so many things on their to-do list what with moving country, settling kids into new schools, and starting the work they feel called to.
Sheryl Mulder, a school teacher based on the KZN South Coast had a dream to start a small school to support children with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), as well as learners who experience developmental delays that make it difficult for them to learn in mainstream classrooms.
The process of preparing for your website, as in many other areas of life, is severely underrated. Preparation can make or break your experience of building a website. It can mean the difference between a smooth process and a headache-inducing one, between timeously met deadlines and (very) late nights, between an excellent, well-tested end product and a rush job. Many people don't prepare for their website build, either because they don't know that they can prepare (believe it or not!), or because they don't know how to prepare effectively. Here are six ways that you can prepare for your Squarespace website build.
Harmonics has been around a while - a collaborative of musicians, percussionists and teachers who host workshops, take people on musical journeys, and help others experience the magic and mystery of music. Paul Boyter, who leads the team, has gathered around him dancers, drummers, singers and other musicians from all over South Africa and aims to blend music and mindfulness into an authentic musical experience.
Ooh Lulu is a wedding and events company based in Cape Town, South Africa. Zahida, the founder, ‘accidentally’ started her business after planning a family neighbour’s wedding. It was such a hit that people started asking her to plan their weddings too!
As someone who builds Squarespace sites for a living, I get a lot of questions about the platform. People ask me things like: Is Squarespace any good? Why should I use it? Why would you recommend it? What are the capabilities? Is it cheap or expensive? How does it compare with Wordpress? Is it safe, or will my site be hacked?
Bianca Bouverie is a super talented graphic and UI/UX designer who left the city to return to her small town roots and in the process opened up her own design studio. I've had the privilege of working with her on several projects over the last while, and am always impressed by her creativity, fast-paced work style, and no-nonsense approach to design. She isn't afraid to say when something isn't working, which when it comes to design is the kind of tactic that saves us all a lot of heartache!
Casey Polson is runs an interior and property consulting service in Cape Town, South Africa, and she recently came up with a new business idea to launch a monthly subscription box based around interiors and homeware. Each month her team curates a box of bespoke and individual hand selected home items around a theme. The emphasis is on supporting locally designed and manufactured goods.
Nerine Jones’ passion is to help women from diverse cultures discover their personal style. She is a qualified Image Consultant accredited by AICI (Association of Image Consultants International), and founded Styleworx in Doha, Qatar. She contacted me to put together a site for her new business as a personal stylist where she could introduce herself, feature a blog, showcase client testimonials, and advertise a range of services.
Fiona Hobson, a retired high school teacher and farmer's wife, realised that many of the people employed on their Karoo farm were unable to read. She started teaching basic literacy in English and Afrikaans on the farm, and later reached out to the local school in Klipplaat, their nearest town, to see how else she could help. This initial action has become a charity called 'Five Loaves Two Fish.' Fiona, along with her husband Rob (who incidentally was among my first Squarespace clients), asked if I'd put together a site showcasing the work Five Loaves Two Fish are doing among their community as a place to start raising awareness and funds for ongoing reading programs.
RiverLife Church on the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal was ready to launch their first ever website, and wanted a site that would appeal to a cross-section of the congregation from teens, to young families, to more established members of the community. They wanted a welcoming, personal and easy to navigate site.
Kundai Nachito has a fascinating story to tell - one that deals with notions of self, sickness and society. As a young black HIV+ woman in South Africa, Kundai's dream is to create a platform where she can first begin to share her story in the form of prose, poetry and photography, and then invite others to begin to share their stories. She is especially interested in the intersection between sickness and society, sickness and relationships, and sickness and love.
I was toying with the idea of designing a minimal site for a graphic designer based on clean lines and pops of yellow. I was curious as to how it might turn out and put something together. I selected some bright and cheery photography with yellow elements, put together a moodboard and colour palette, and designed a simple site map. The focus of the project was to highlight the design work and let it shine, with a supporting about page, contact page and portfolio page.
Here are some elements that went into this concept site.
If you're a graphic designer looking to showcase your design portfolio in a clean and uncluttered site, please get hold of me to discuss building a site together.
Alessia Pinna is a lifestyle and branding strategist based in Joburg. She wanted a clean, feminine site for her growing design and holistic lifestyle business - a website that would allow her to introduce herself, showcase her portfolio, share customer testimonials, display her range of services and enable her to start to build an email list.
Oribi Gorge is a beautiful farming region just inland from the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast. The Oribi Gorge Guest Farm, a three-cottage establishment on a working farm right on the edge of the Gorge, has been in operation for about 20 years. Although they had an existing site, they felt it was time for an update both of the site and the photography, and asked me to work on something with them.
I was asked to put together a Squarespace site for design competition collaboration between Mike Made This and Vega School. The idea behind the competition was to encourage Interior Design students at Vega to submit lighting design ideas that would then be judged by a panel of design experts. The winner would be selected by a process of online voting, and the design had the potential to be manufactured with Mike Made This.
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!?)
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:
- Squarespace: 12 Frequently Asked Questions
- 17 Tools I Use Every Day To Stay Organised
- Letting Go of Perfectionism: An Interview with Charl du Preez
- 9 Ways to Curate Your Instagram Feed
- Golden Hour & Good Friends
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.
I wanted to put together a one-page Squarespace site based on a couple of ideas I've been toying with lately so I came up with this "concept" site idea and called it 'Ceramique'. I was picturing a site for the kind of business that values the creative impulse, is drawn to natural textures and embodies things like sustainable, slow-living practices.