The start of 2010 was suppose to bring changes into my life regarding my website, my blog, my show schedule and my art. So far the only changes made have been to my art. I'll be taking a more "fine art" approach to my style. I've been making fractal art for decades and I can tell you the year a piece was created by the style and color combination I used on it. My earlier works were more psychedelic and highlighted strange new shapes (at least to non mathematicians) like the Mandelbrot and Julia sets. Today my work tends to lean more to earth tones and brush stroke type shapes. Both are good, it's just my transition as an artist.
My blog and website are a completely different matter. Because of my extensive travel schedule and the hassle of trying to get web orders shipped to my customers in a timely manner, I researched using many different hosting and "photo fulfillment" companies that would allow orders placed on my website to be printed and shipped to my customers without my involvement. I would no longer have to stop what I was doing or worse, figure out a way to print, frame and ship an order to a customer when I was traveling and away from my studio. Cool huh?
After spending the better part of a week looking over my different options I settled on either Smug Mug or another company called Square Space. Both seemed like they'd work out fine. Costs were in line to what I am already spending, print quality looked great but after looking at all of the additional work I was going to be faced with like photo uploading, new data entry and pricing, plus (and this was the killer) I would have had to spend 30-40 hours resizing my images to fit their formats or run the risk of their "auto cropping" feature chopping off a portion of my fractals to fit their print sizes, I decided to stand pat and not make the switch.
I'm just too anal about the end quality I want my buyers and collectors to have, so at least for now, I'll keep handling my printing and order fulfillment in house and put up with the hassle of wearing the multiple hats of being an artist, a traveling art gallery, a fine art printer and the shipping manager.