Giving an artist a platform with Alisha Faye
Alisha Faye is a very close and dear friend of mine; we went through our GCSE’s together. So, when I had an Agency module at university, she was the first in line for a custom portfolio.
She is a digital artist and animator, who was studying her first year at university in Leeds when I created this. She’s got a fanbase of around 1000 followers on Twitter and Instagram each, and really needed her own place to curate and host her artwork.
What she needed was a content management system that would easily allow her to do just that: WordPress. I built her a custom, responsive WordPress theme and wrote the copy for her.
This was a perfect chance for me to learn theme creation, and I think I did a pretty decent job of it.
Update: The site has since come down.
Brand Style Guide
I also created a lite brand guide, containing the type and colours I used to form the visual identity, as well as the possible hashtags she could explore as a an artist and animator on Twitter and Instagram.
I styled this using the colours I had chosen and with her own artwork as background and accent.
Would I do anything differently?
Yes, a few of things.
Firstly, the primary colour I chose was not accessible and was not something I checked for when I created this. I chose this colour of pink based on Alisha's Twitter colour, but this was not suitable for use in a website or documentation.
Secondly, the way I built the WordPress theme relied on hardcoding images, which broke easily if the URLs changed at all. Now that I have grown as a developer, I'm sure I can find better ways to build the gallery nav (on the homepage) and hero images. I also relied on a plugin to build the masonry-view galleries, which I would have preferred not to do. However, the time constraints from my course coming to an end meant I had to finish up as soon as I could.
Lastly, the site was slow as none of the images were optimised. This is something I should have taken into account while I was building, but I did not and the site took a long time to load. Now, I would save all of these as .webp files and reduce their dimensions, as I have been doing here on my own portfolio.