A website can say a lot about who you are as a creative. More than any other medium, web design and coding offers flexibility, diversity and variety; the possibilities really are endless. Take, for example, a photographer whose portfolio consists of large format images full of details you want to zoom in on. A pared-down site with little-to-no text and a simple image slider will let the work speak for itself and really pull focus. For an illustrator who undertakes several editorial commissions a week, on the other, a homepage populated with rows and rows of images, all explicitly labelled, will convey the volume of work they produce and the calibre of the client for whom they make it.

But it’s not just design you have to think about. The way someone navigates a site can say as much about you as the way they see your work on the page. While this plethora of choice is exciting, it can also be a little paralysing, especially if your experience with web design is limited. If the thought of starting with a blank canvas and translating the personality and passion that goes into your work through code is a little daunting, we’ve spoken to three creatives who’ve wholeheartedly achieved it. Pitch Studios, Dot Pigeon and Calvin Pausania each built their website using Wix, and the results are as varied and idiosyncratic as their portfolios.

Pitch Studios is a Melbourne-based creative studio and a name those who came down to Nicer Tuesdays in September will be familiar with. Known for its digital-first projects and future-facing aesthetics, the studio needed something equally as slick to present its work on. Pitch, therefore, opted for simplicity in both design and interaction. “With a lot of our work, because it’s often surrealist and colourful, we didn’t want a complicated site with lots of distractions. So we opted for something more simple, where the work could really speak for itself (as you can see on the project gallery page),” the studio explains.

With little-to-no information about the studio on its homepage, instead, two icons in the top right-hand corner hint at how users can find projects or contact Pitch. This ensures the first thing anyone notices when arriving at is the studio’s creative output. Ironically, by stripping back any elements which might reflect the aesthetic of the studio’s work, its website allows the work to take centre stage through juxtaposition. A ticker with links to social accounts injects a sense of fun into the site but, ultimately, “it’s really about showing off the work in the best way possible,” the studio tells us. “As long as it’s functional and workable for the user, your own design flair can follow!”

When designing his website, Milan-based artist Dot Pigeon also opted for simplicity. “The idea behind my artworks is to create simple and comprehensible messages realised in a clean and visually satisfying way,” he tells us. For his website, therefore, he wanted the same approach: “a simple but bold website able to grab attention and entertain people who visit it.” Dot Pigeon started sharing his work on Instagram, posting works inspired by pop culture, politics, icons and trends of the moment and so the layout of his website reflects this, mimicking the square grid of the photographic platform. “It is a sort of homage and at the same time a warning to myself to always remember where I come from,” he adds.

This idea is only furthered by Dot Pigeon’s choice to show nothing but imagery, a header, and a link to his Instagram, as well as a potentially infinite scroll of images. When combined together, all of these design decisions make for a smart website that gives Dot Pigeon’s work a home on its own domain, but which still reflects the platform it originated on.

“In my opinion,” begins Calvin Pausania, “my website is my gallery, even my house. It’s the space that shows me and my profession in a unique way.” As a result, the Dutch director-photographer-designer took consideration when designing his portfolio in order to make sure it wholly embodied the look and feel of his work, as well as the ethos behind it. “The first thing you notice is the overall dark vibe with the moving background and the interactive elements through visuals, animation and text. It’s a way of communicating that I don’t have on social media,” he tells us. While Calvin’s work is often shown on other platforms on a white, clean background, he wanted to take this opportunity to present his imagery exactly as he wanted to.

He continues: “You go outside to meet people and create relationships, but people will get to know more about you when they enter your house. This is what a portfolio website is to me. On social media people get introduced to your work and on your website everything aligns and you can feel what the person is doing.” Calvin’s website is, therefore, a space where he can fully control a visitor’s experience of his work. Finally, he tells us: “I chose to not work with an existing template and did the spacing and sizing of all the work in a very specific way. It’s, in a way, tailor-made to the pages.”

What seems to unite what Pitch Studios, Dot Pigeon and Calvin all say is the notion that, no matter what, you should start by looking at your work. It can definitely be tempting to start playing around with different themes and layouts, but the answer to how best to present your portfolio will most likely be staring you straight in the face. What is it that makes your work unique or distinctive? Once you’ve figured that out, designing a website which represents you and which is imbued with your personality will be easy.

Wix is a world-class website building platform with 150 million users in 190 countries, enabling you to create a professional website and manage your business online. With advanced design capabilities and specialised features, Wix gives you the freedom to design and customise a website that expresses your vision, no matter your brand or business.


Major life and career shifts bring with them a host of nerve-wracking feelings. Whether it’s an exciting promotion or a significant setback, it’s natural to be overwhelmed by the circumstances. The anxiety can be part and parcel of being in a state of flux, but it doesn’t need to define your approach to change and how you handle it. From small rituals to embracing the in-between, we gathered insights on how to make it through times of transition from those who have been through it all. 


Embrace the Unknown

Making a leap into uncertain circumstances wouldn’t be such a daunting step if there were a roadmap to show you the way. Brian Buirge felt the trepidation of diving into the unknown when he was about to embark on a two-month road trip with his business partner as they were preparing to launch GFDA. “The most important part of the experience was embracing the unexpected.” Waiting for the “what ifs” to materialize is the quickest way to disappointment. In Brian’s case, relishing in the unpredictability of his tour was what made it a success, and the obstacles that inevitably presented themselves pushed him beyond his comfort zone. 

Reject the Fear of Failure Mindset

Stanford University Professor of Psychology Carol Dweck points out how a fear mindset can hold us back from taking risks. Failure is inevitable but still carries a heavy stigma that needs to be dispelled. Accepting that not every project or idea will be a success can give you the breathing room that lets unexpected possibilities take root and flourish. 

Look for the Person in Your Corner

The perspective and support of someone who knows you well can push you outside your comfort zone. Erik Rodin looked to a trusted advisor for support when striking out on his own with his company Able. “Having mentors has given me trust and confidence that no matter what I’m faced with, I’ll be okay.” A trusted sounding board can be the confidence-booster that gives you the necessary push to dive in. For Erik, his mentor’s “honest and direct” perspective is a continual source of ambition and courage.

Portrait of Ilya Milstein in his Brooklyn neighborhood.

Ilya Milstein shot by Eric Ryan Anderson.

Remember Your Personal Passion 

Whether it be a promotion or a major career transition, you might get caught in the mire of working through the details of the endeavor. Take the time to step back and remember what gives you the drive to keep going. As artist Ilya Milstein points out, “That’s why working on personal projects is so crucial, to develop and expand. I’ve seen a lot of people who have fallen into the trap of doing the same thing again and again and again. They’re miserable but don’t see how they can reframe their career.”

Rely on Rituals 

Kursat Ozenc teaches at Stanford’s, and studies the impact and value of rituals in teams. “Often thought of in a religious or spiritual context, rituals can be any series of activities that helps connect people to something bigger than what’s directly in front of them.” Setting up specific routines can be the soothing presence you need to recenter your focus daily. 

Embrace the A4

Whether it’s a pro/con list, a stream-of-consciousness journal, or a running catalog of tasks, putting your thoughts and to-dos in writing can be a boon to your productivity and help you prioritize what matters. When a handful of creatives shared how they manage their to-do lists, we found that good ol’ fashioned paper is still the gold standard for getting organized. In times of upheaval or change, taking a minute away from the screen to sketch out your ideas can bring much needed clarity. 

Hang Out in the Ambiguity

Major career upheavals come with a lot of unknowns and stretches of uncertainty. It can be tempting to make snap decisions just to feel in control. But as career coach Tina Essmaker puts it, “Being able to hang out in that state of ambiguity long enough to know what’s next for you [is important]. If you try to make a decision out of fear or a scarcity mentality, you’re probably going to make the wrong one.”

Kill the Comparisons

As tempting as it might be to measure your progress against others in your industry, it is ultimately debilitating. Artist Lisa Congdon found herself starting on an entirely new path in her early 30s, having been through a personal upheaval and finding herself with a whole new set of questions to answer. The transition was difficult but remembering that there is room for everyone helped her through the process. As she said, “Just because someone else you admire has some amazing accomplishment doesn’t mean that your work has any less value, or that your path is any less significant.”

Julia Bainbridge at home.

Julia Bainbridge shot by Audra Melton for Gossamer.

Connect with Your Community… 

Author and podcast host Julia Bainbridge’s career has been defined by exploring human interconnectedness and loneliness. She hosts a podcast that examines how technology has worked to distance us from each other and what the effects of that distance are on our relationships and lives. Introverts or extroverts, we humans are social creatures who need to reach out every so often to feel necessary connection, especially during times when everything is in flux. 

…And Find Time for Yourself

Bainbridge also acknowledges that time spent alone can be necessary and healing, and work as a jolt to your creativity. As she says, “I am my most creative in moments when I am alone — when I’m on a quiet walk, not listening to anything on my iPhone. That’s when I come up with ideas.” If you’re struggling with big life changes, it’s worth taking a time-out with only yourself for company. 


All creatives need a personal website: for many years, this has been considered a guiding maxim. What better way to flash your skills and previous projects than a custom design with your very own domain name? And what simpler way to connect with prospective clients than a clearly marked “Contact Me” page with a mailto hyperlink?

But with art directors and managers now trawling through social media streams for inspiration—and often finding collaborators along the way—a personal website may no longer be the best way for getting your name out there. A personal website takes substantial time to create and update, whereas social networks can quickly communicate what you’re about (and without the added burden of service fees). So, one might ask: is a self-designed online portfolio still required or relevant? We speak with designers working in different areas of the industry to explore how the function of a personal website has shifted in the age of social networking.


“It’s not just work that attracts new clients but your personality. Social media communicates both what you do and how you do it”

—Amanda-Li Kollberg and Siri Lee Lindskrog, co-founders of Studio jetzt-immer 

Social media has become a natural extension of in-person networks, and for us, it’s been very effective for getting clients. 

People we met at some birthday party ten years ago, or people we went to high school with, follow what we’re doing because we post our work on our personal Facebook pages. And then some of these people we thought we’d never talk to again end up in positions to hire designers and they reach out to us. When you post your work online, you remind people of your existence and what you do. If they happen to be looking for a designer, they might remember having connected with our work, prompting them to reach out.

“On Instagram, we don’t just upload our final work but also behind-the-scenes glimpses of our process.”

Social media has the added potential of highlighting not just what you do but how you do it. On Instagram, we don’t just upload our final work but also behind-the-scenes glimpses of our process. Our stories show us traveling to teach workshops and printing posters, for example; they have a huge role in communicating who we are as people and how we work. We think that’s really important because a design team doesn’t necessarily get chosen by a client only when they have the best work. Often it’s because they’re nice people to work with. A client is going to think about what kind of people they want to spend time with if they have to be around them for eight hours a day. Instagram shows the human side of a studio.

Instagram stories of Studio Jetzt-immer

Behind-the-scenes look at Berlin-based work of Studio jetzt-immer.

We’ve definitely had clients who have followed us closely on social and understood our personality before hiring us. A school in Denmark recently got in contact with us regarding a project and said, “you have the perfect personality for this.” It was putting on an event with typography and animation but also a performance and dance. We were like, “Dance? How did they know that Siri is a dancer?” It’s because they follow our Instagram, of course.

When we graduated years ago, there was so much emphasis on creating your studio website. But now, when we ask people how they found us, it’s always via another channel. Websites have become a second step: First, you have the personal connection, then the website legitimizes you. But in a time that’s so personality-driven, we can imagine that the generation below us—who are growing up only on those mediums—won’t need a website any more.

“You have freedom and control with your website. It stands out far more than a 3 x 3 grid of expandable pictures”

—Ben Wegscheider, creative director and founder of Bureau Cool 

On social platforms, everything is very unified and uniform: grids make all content appear similar, which doesn’t necessarily showcase your work in the best and most effective way. 

A website, on the other hand, is your portfolio, and the portfolio’s design can be just as much a part of the portfolio as the rest of the content. It can set the tone for your work and it shows your direction—and if you’re a web designer, it can show off your abilities, too. A lot of my clients will reference my site when they approach me; they’ll mention that it’s how they picked up on my name. They remember it as it sticks out a bit more than others. I designed it to communicate the atmosphere of my studio, and I think of it as a sculpture—as a world that encapsulates Bureau Cool’s tone and energy.

You ultimately don’t have control over your own content and work [on social media], and could potentially even lose ownership.

You limit yourself if you don’t have a website, because every social or portfolio platform has its limitations. On Instagram, for instance, nobody writes long descriptions of work. People don’t read on Instagram, they just look at things. With a personal website, you have your own space so you can work out how to put all of your content together and display it in the most suitable way. You’re not confined to small image sizes. And if you’re only visible on social media, what happens if they change their algorithm or the design of the content’s presentation? You ultimately don’t have control over your own content and work, and could potentially even lose ownership. 

Work by design studio Bureau Cool

Web design work by digital creative studio Bureau Cool.

If designers only consider how their work is going to be presented in a grid because of the layout of social media platforms, then that’s also having a homogenizing effect on design itself. I’ve noticed that a lot of design is starting to look so similar on these platforms—there’s a lack of design that breaks from the rules, or experiments with new treatments, because people are designing for the grid and the “like” button. The blank canvas of a website pushes you to do more; it gives you the space to play in a very flexible way.

“Illustrations tend to live well on social media. But for more complex design projects, personal websites might be better.”

Tala Safié, art director at The New York Times 

I’m both an art director and a freelance graphic designer. And so for me, social media—especially Instagram—has a very different function depending on which hat I’m wearing. 

As an art director, Instagram has become integral for finding new people to work with. Illustrators sometimes find and follow me there: they know I’m an art director because other illustrators that I work with tag me when they upload a new piece. If I like their work, I’ll often follow them back. Or I’ll use the save tool so that I can find them again later. 

Instagram makes sense for illustrators. I have a giant Google Doc where I put all the names of people that I come across online along with their website and handle. I’ll go to their website to understand a bit more about how they divide their personal, editorial, and client work. That can be important as I usually want to see how they work with an article and whether they’re good at responding to text. But I find that it’s on Instagram that illustrators post most of their recent work, and increasingly, I’ve noticed that they don’t regularly update their websites. So if I want to get a good idea of how an illustrator currently works, then Instagram is the place to go. 

Instagram gives exposure to illustrators far more than websites. I wouldn’t hesitate to hire someone if they didn’t have a website and it wouldn’t bother me at all. In fact, a couple people on my Google Doc don’t have websites and only use social media. But I don’t think the same idea holds true for a graphic designer. I definitely don’t use Instagram like an illustrator uses it.

“If I want to get a good idea of how an illustrator currently works, then Instagram is the place to go.”

A website is important for graphic designers because it allows them to divide and present their work however they see fit, without being bound to Instagram’s timeline, grid, or image specs. I use Instagram more as an informal blog or diary rather than a portfolio. I’d rather display my work on my website where I have room and freedom to organize my projects and provide more context around them.

My work as a graphic designer doesn’t follow a particular aesthetic; it’s often context-specific and responds to the specificity of a brief. Unlike illustrators, posting images of all of my work doesn’t necessarily increase my chances of getting hired: the diverse nature of the projects I work on doesn’t reflect one distinguished polished aesthetic that is appealing to someone who is quickly scrolling through my Instagram feed. It might appear as inconsistent and a little confusing. 

Ultimately, what platform you choose to showcase yourself on really depends on the nature of your work, how you want to talk about it, and how you want to show the different skill sets that you have.

Madeleine Morley

Posts by Madeleine

Madeleine Morley is a design and architecture writer based in Berlin. She studied English literature at Cambridge University and went on to complete an MA in art history at the Courtauld Institute of Art. She has written for Creative Review, AIGA, Monotype, magCulture, AnOther, and The Guardian among others.


Non-profit initiative Good Measure has launched the 100 Every Day project to campaign for a change to legislation regarding firearms in the US. In collaboration with creative agency Ueno and digital design studio Van Holtz, the project invites submissions for an online gallery of posters highlighting the fact that gun violence kills 100 people in the US every day.

Submitted artwork will be showcased across the campaign’s dedicated website and partner channels, calling US legislators to action regarding the epidemic. A statement from the campaign says it “doesn’t call for restrictions to Americans’ Constitutional Rights but does call for common-sense legislation that may help save lives”.

“Gun violence shapes the lives of millions of Americans who witness it, experience it first hand, or live in fear of the next shooting,” the Good Measure team continues. “According to the CDC’s data from 2017, firearms are the second leading cause of death for American children and teens and the first leading cause of death for black children and teens.”

The project is supported by a long list of creative studios including Funsize, McGarrah Jessee, Hypergiant, Hyperakt, Upstatement, Alright Studio, The Black Sheep Agency, NUU Group, Janitor Creative Studio, Craft CMS, and Awwwards. It is the result of Good Measure’s third pop-up agency project, a three-day “create-athon” hosted in March 2019 in New York City. The next one is planned for August in San Diego.