As you can see, my new website is up and running. The site is cleaner, more efficient, easier to maintain and update, and incorporates all of the features I wanted, but could no longer create on my own. To get the job done, I hired Erik Bernskiold with XLD Studios, and couldn’t be happier with his work. I’ve included the testimonial I wrote for him at the end of this entry, which pretty much says it all.
If you look around the site, you’ll see that things have changed a fair bit. Much of this will be self-explanatory, but here are a few details of some significant changes.
Rather than present them in a gallery format, I’ve used more of a blog post format, showing only the most recent ten cartoons. Judging from traffic reports on my previous site, I had many regular visitors looking at the current work each day, but few people actually spent a great deal of time going through galleries from years past, so I did away with them, in favor of keeping everything more current. I’ve turned the comments off on these images, as I would prefer to keep political arguments off this site. I do post daily editorial cartoons on the Cartoon Ink Facebook page, if you’d like to see them there as well.
I’ve now got three portfolio galleries. My totem animal paintings in one, paintings of people (caricature and portrait) in another, and commercial illustration work in the third. I can easily add new images to each gallery as I create them and add more galleries if I find them necessary in the future.
For many years, I was a jack of all trades, accepting almost everything that came through the door, but recently I’ve decided to focus on my strengths. I’m a cartoonist, cartoon illustrator and digital painter. That’s what I enjoy and what I’m best at. For everything else, I have a very large network of incredibly talented friends and colleagues who excel in their creative fields and I’m more than happy to recommend them. For example, Elizabeth Gast with designbyfirgs.com designed the evolution of my logo you see at the top of the page.
This is a very exciting addition for me as it showcases my first training DVD through PhotoshopCAFE. I’m working on the next one right now, with plans for more in the future. Additionally, I have more training opportunities that I’ll be able to talk about soon, as well as others on the horizon.
As regular followers of my work and ramblings will know, I have a line of limited edition giclée canvas prints for sale at Two Wolves Trading Company in Canmore, Alberta and Editions Gallery in Banff, Alberta. Those can be purchased and shipped from each of those venues, and I won’t be selling them from this site. I am, however, offering open edition matted paper prints of the four totem paintings you will see in the Shop, with more to be released this year. The prints are available in two standard framing sizes, so framing them won’t cost you an arm and a leg. The Shop operates through PayPal, and I’ll ship any purchases via Canada Post. Takes a little longer, but then you avoid duty fees if you’re shopping from outside of Canada.
If you do happen to be in the Canmore area, or plan to be in the future, I would ask that you buy them directly through Two Wolves Trading Co. They’re wonderful people there, and they treat me very well. The prices are the same, and you’ll also get to see the work of other talented artists when you visit them.
All of my blog entries from the past few years have been imported from Blogger to WordPress. Most of the transfer worked well, some of it did not. I’m still updating categories for the older entries, and some of the links need to be repaired. Bear with me if you find a broken one, as I am making these fixes here and there when I have spare moments.
It’s going to take me awhile to get used to this site, but I’m very happy with it. It will allow me to keep moving forward, and is designed so that I can edit and expand it when it becomes necessary. Some of the best parts of my business, the work that I enjoy most, were not things I’d planned for long term. I love trying new techniques and believe in being ready for opportunities, so I wanted a website that would be ready to handle things I haven’t even thought of yet. And if something does come up that I can’t handle on my own, I know who to talk to help me out, which brings me to the testimonial I wrote for Erik Bernskiold at XLD Studios.
After years of creating my own websites for my freelance cartoon illustration business, I had recently realized that my online image wasn’t keeping pace with my recent successes. As such, it became apparent that I could no longer create my own site with the limited knowledge I had and still put forward the image I wanted to. I needed a professional designer and found one with XLD Studios.
Erik Bernskiold came highly recommended from a number of colleagues and having seen the work he did for them, I knew he could build the site I needed. While I fully expected him to have the technical skills necessary to get the job done, I was pleasantly surprised and very impressed with the service and support Erik provided as well. He listened to what I needed, asked all the right questions, and offered suggestions I hadn’t even thought of to take my site to a higher level than I’d expected.
Having never used WordPress before, I was apprehensive, but Erik assured me it was the best solution for what I wished to accomplish, even going so far as to give me a very detailed walkthrough tutorial via Skype when it was time for me to begin populating my site with images and content. During that process, he patiently answered all of the questions I had about functionality and addressed each concern quickly and efficiently.
Erik provided a level of service and professionalism that is far too often lacking these days, and I am very pleased with not only the site he built for me, but with how I was treated as a client. I wouldn’t hesitate to hire Erik again, and would recommend XLD Studios without reservation.
Patrick LaMontagne Cartoon Ink