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New Year, New Website

Updated: Aug 5, 2021

So the New Year is here.. 2021. How about that. I'm not in the headspace to adopt the energy behind the whole "new year, new me" idea. So instead, how about a new website?

Here's some history.

I was introduced to personalized websites over 10 years ago when one of my uncles introduced me to the concept of domain purchasing. I couldn't believe that I could go to a website named after me, never mind actually own it! That was a pretty neat concept in my teenage head. Fast forward a year later. A domain name; purchased, and published. I started off posting a few photos that I took of nature.. and then nothing happened. Fast forward to graduating from high school and entering the world of University, my website had been forgotten about and placed on the back-burner. Besides, I didn't need it anyway. Did I?

Five years later and in the blink of an eye, which at the time seemed like an eternity, graduation becomes a thought, and then becomes an eventual long sought after reality. The idea of graduating, getting a job, paying bills and debt became real. I didn't have a plan. Do many graduates? Honestly. Unless you've scheduled yourself to head into graduate school, already have an internship or well paying job lined up.. you're a floating head in today's world. Find a parking spot and stay there! Anyway. Portfolio's in design school are usually in print, with a touch of digital. Side note. When I feel stuffed in my own head, stressed, or confused with any other thought, I resort to creative execution. No, I'm not talking about taking my creative desires to the grave and laying them to rest, I'm talking about taking actions on ideas and thoughts; sharing them too. So, that's exactly what I did. Countless hours, select choice of words, and a little bit of sleep later, my first online portfolio was created. I can still envision it in my head. Ugh. The font was atrocious. But, what I didn't know at the time was how valuable that online tool would become in establishing my identity as a designer and helping me share my photographic creativity with others.

What started out as a creative outlet, turned into a digital portfolio that helped me land my first full-time post-graduation design job. I'm grateful. Also, if you've read this far, you're a creative individual, and you haven't gotten the hint yet.. create a damn website or start an online portfolio. Embrace Nike and just do it! Something - anything! Share your creativity with the world and put it out there. You really never know what can come of it.

While happily working, living, and paying bills, my brain wasn't satisfied. 5 long years of intense design education, which can only be described as "gut-wrenchingly beautiful" - then to all of a sudden put parameters on my creative exploration? My head wasn't having it. I knew better, but ignored it. Thus, NALTARA Design Studio was born. Where this name came from and why, is a blog for another day.. I figured that working full-time and creating a design side-hustle couldn't hurt. Besides, there's no such thing as too much creativity or being too busy.. right? Money talks. Fun does too.

It was time to say goodbye to my first website, and first purchased domain. It was bittersweet. I was a big girl now, I could do this. So, a new side-hustle business name, another purchased domain, a website builder and some new photos - voila. NALTARA's first website was here. This was over 5 years ago. Yes, I know. "Old." I'm not saying that I didn't touch or completely neglect this website for 5 years.. oh no no no. Far from it! I groomed and pushed this website to it's sweet little design max capabilities! Oh I pushed it hard. Okay this is getting weird. I'm sure the coders and designers of the website builder either cried or shrieked in shock and excitement. Not sure. Don't care. My first website builder did me well though. As the years grew, so did my clients, experience, and creative demands. I went through a few logo shifts, brand refreshes, and other odds and ends to keep the spark alive and spice up my creative passion. But like most things, you can refresh and re-do, but sometimes, you just need NEW. And well, here we are! There's nothing like that new-new feeling.

With the year that was 2020 now behind us, building a brand new website was probably one of the last things on my list of to-do's. Actually it was, haha! But, what this year and these past few weeks have proven to show me is that with pain comes purpose. It's evident that for who I am, no matter what I do, I can relate and cope in some kind of creative way and that is my outlet. Everyone has their own healing and grieving comforts. Whether it's reading a book, exercising, knitting, taking a hot bath, trimming trees.. you do you. Do what you need to do, to feel better, to stay mentally healthy; keeping in mind it's safe and not hurting anyone in the process!

Grieving the loss of a loved one has brought me here. To creating a brand new website when it was THE last thing I thought I would ever be interested in at this point in time. I don't reflect on my process in a negative way, or as a disrespectful distraction, but rather an honourable host for healing. I know that my uncle would agree.

So to keep in line with the times and without being too cliche and cheers'ing to a "new year, new me" notion, I click my mouse, think, type, and digitally cheers to a "new year, new website." Hello 2021.


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