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How one artist transformed his online portfolio into a vibrant community

QA with Wix User Nedavius showing his avatar

While Nedavius was always an artist, doodling, sketching and painting, he never knew that his art could be a pursuable career until he cultivated his presence with an online portfolio. He curated even the smallest details of his art portfolio and online presence in line with his brand identity, a 3D-style inspired by the softer side of hip hop synonymous with the music of the 2010s. Muted colors, rounded edges and his distinct cartoon style breathes life into each of his creations, while also impressively showcasing his skills. He quickly found that he could use his portfolio to guide his viewers in the exact way he wanted them to interact or interpret his art.

But as the online world continues to evolve, Nedavius has found that in learning how to build a website, he did more than just showcase his work. It has gradually and organically grown a new community centered around art and music. It started when he wanted to tell more of the story behind his work on social media, so he wrote in-depth blog posts to accompany the posts, leading users back to his website to discover more of his work.

“Social media can die out at any time. A website is there to stay,” Nedavius says. “I wanted my own way to show my work in case anything else fails. A website gives more of a look into you than social media and can be an experience that people want to go back to.”

We sat down with Wix user and digital artist Nedavius to pick his brain on his journey to success through digital mediums and how he’s continuing to grow his business while staying true to his artistic sensibilities:

Tip: If you’re looking to create a portfolio website (regardless of actual website type, from model portfolio to photography and everything in between) to showcase your work, add personal touches to your site that aligns with your brand identity. For example, Nedavius used his 3D animations as site icons on his website. Also check our these portfolio website designs and our animation portfolio guide for further inspiration.

homepage for Nedavius in the Wix Editor
Nedavius's experiential website

Wix: Describe your journey

Nedavius: I’m a digital artist based in New York. Since 2016 I’ve been sharing my art online, starting out with illustrations of my friends and favorite artists, then Photoshop collages of music album covers and eventually diving into 3D illustration and animation at the start of 2020.

What motivates you?

I’m motivated by the act of inspiring people, and the fact that the future is an open book—and through art, design, we can build the stories and write the future.

Where do you see yourself in the future? How do you see your personal brand evolving?

I see myself expanding my creativity into more areas—animated films, toys, apparel, community events and more unimagined places.

What or who inspires you? And where do you look for inspiration?

Music is where I find my biggest inspiration. Whether it's the stories told through music, the feelings it evokes or the connection to a time, place, event, or person that it holds. I’ve always transmuted those aspects through visual form. Outside of music, I look for inspiration in everyday life.

How do you generate new ideas?

By digesting a lot of different art, whether through social media, online archives, movies/shows from the past and especially books more recently. I think the more you take in, the more possibilities you’re aware of and the more unanswered questions or unexplored areas you can create from.

How do you measure success?

Success to me is a combination of the freedom to be yourself and impacting others through that—living through creation and inspiration, not just survival.

Wix Editor updating Nedavius's portfolio website

What design are you most proud of?

So far, my website—specifically the site [a digital installation that takes users through an interactive experience of creating a website with Wix.] Initially it was just a thesis project for graduation, but it has impacted many people beyond that. It’s motivating to me and gets me excited to keep developing it more.

What is the best career advice you’ve been given?

The importance of patience and consistency, focusing on enjoying the journey and loving that more than whatever you think the end goal is.

What has been your biggest challenge since you started?

One of my biggest challenges has been staying away from burnout. It’s easy to get excited over ideas, say yes to everything and want to execute it all at once. With how fast-paced the world is today, it’s a challenge to practice patience and balance to create something timeless.

What advice would you give to a new creator?

“Don’t think, just make. Early on, thinking can easily turn into overthinking and then stagnation. Create and move forward always, no matter how small the steps.”

For cover art specifically, can you share your process? How does the sound of the music spark creativity?

The process is really a conversation between the music and/or the artist. A lot of times the artists have an idea of what their music ‘looks’ like to them. I just carve the details to life. When I hear the music I try to take the tone, the feelings and the lyrics in to transmute them visually.

How do you feel 3D design and movement are changing the design world?

I think it's changing the design world in good and bad ways. When combined with technology, it’s allowed for more innovation; when combined with art, it lets us create more interactive and engaging worlds. And I love that as it grows, more learning resources are coming along with it, which allows even more innovation. But ideas like a totally digital, 3D metaverse are a bit scary.

About page on Nedavius's website porfolio

How have NFTs changed the way you approach digital art?

It’s allowed for more freedom—as a digital artist specifically, in the past you were confined to a certain level of creativity or a certain set of pathways if you wanted to live off of your art. Where a painter can paint and sell the canvas in galleries, a digital artist would have to approach their art through some other commercialized means—turning it into a t-shirt, a poster, stickers, etc.—which oftentimes can devalue the art itself.

Although the world mostly sees commercialized NFTs as huge projects where art comes second to profit, the scope of NFTs has opened up a huge window of opportunity for digital artists to create more freely, live off of their creativity and build more community around their art.

Want to get started on building your online presence? Get started today with these portfolio templates. Check out the best portfolio websites or the best portfolio templates for instant inspiration.

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