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Sutton Hays Site

Sutton Hays is a fine art painter whose existing site I had previously created through an agency I once worked at. When it was time for a redesign, she went looking for me and I took it on as a personal project.

Designing for another artist is a supreme chalenge, and I wanted something for her which accentuated her work, borrowed some of its character, but didn't distract viewers from the actual pieces we were showing. She also requested the ability to manage content herself, but wanted the process to be as simple as possible since she was a painter, not an IT pro.

I gave the site a handmade painted look and constructed a color palette from some of the colors she tended to use together often in her work. I'd been looking for a good project to do in Ruby on Rails, and this seemed like a perfect fit. With its power, I was able to create a completely custom content management system. Instead of a separate admin interface, I simply added the extra controls to the site when she is logged in so she didn't have to learn a second interface. More Rails server-side wizardry took care of automagically resizing uploaded work into the required sizes for the site, and a drag & drop interface made it easy to shuffle the order of the pieces in a very visual way. I embedded her Facebook feed into the home page of her site so that posts are automatically displayed to always keep the site looking fresh without any additional effort.

Sutton Hays site