So…yeah. That hiatus went way longer than expected. Sorry about that I honestly thought it would take me a month, tops to get my site up and running again. Turns out things happen and time just flies by way too quick. This year has been absolutely cray and I feel like putting the brakes on a bit…but that’s life.
I guess the first thing I should talk about is the website itself. I redesigned this site a lot, around five times to be exact. Not only that but some of these designs went through a bit of development as well, plus I lost one design doing a reformat of my computer (I’m too impatient to back things up) so all in all – many hours spent on not much really. Well, actually I did learn a lot both technically and aesthetically creating the past revisions so I can’t say the time was entirely wasted.
The main reason everything took me so long to get up and running was because it’s really kind of hard figuring yourself out. This is a pretty personal website with no affiliations, profit goals, or business plans in mind- I just want it to be me. Personal branding has got to be one of the hardest things to do creatively. Seeing things from an outside perspective is easy, but looking inwards is hard. The aesthetic I went for evolved from modern, to nostalgic, to stupid, to perhaps somewhere in the middle. I did take inspiration from my personal branding I did last year, and expanded upon it a bit. I think I might have just tried too hard with my first few designs- letting go of trying to be what you’re not is actually really challenging. It seems like the easiest thing to pick out what you like from different websites and get inspiration from that, but while it might look cool it might not be what you’re about. I found that a lot with my experience designing for myself anyway.
All that said, I actually do really like how this site turned out in the end and feel like it encompasses a lot of my journey from being a hobbyist who messed around in Photoshop in high school, to a modern-day designer with a larger visual library of patterns and styles to draw from. I drew a lot of inspiration from retro early 2000’s designs and tried to combine the tacky with the modern. I think the thing I liked most about that era was that each site was unpredictable, and unique, and just a bit weird. You never really knew what to expect and I loved that experience of discovery and perspective. I wanted to bring some of that unexpectedness back with this design, so that’s what I did and of course, had to include the glittery animations and rainbows somewhere in there too- because no nostalgic website is complete without rainbows and sparkles and animated gifs everywhere. I would love to know what you think of it all though – let me know in the comments whether you hate it, love it, what I should improve…etc.
Oh and side note but this is actually the first theme I’ve built properly myself. I’ve coded layouts and websites in the past but not really to this scale or level of design. Actually, I feel like 2016 is the year of code for me. I started a new job at Monk early this year as a designer and developer, and have learnt so much in the past few months just building sites and learning and being inspired by my team mates who by the way, are the most talented, inspiring bunch of people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with I’ve gone from doing basic html/css sites to a few more complex ones with more involved PHP and JS it’s actually been really challenging but also very rewarding and satisfying. I just love that moment when something clicks and you just get it. Coding had always been an outlet for me to express quite basic ideas digitally, but now I just want to learn so much more so I can do more as well. I have a lot of ideas and a huge backlog of side projects I want to start – finding the time and capability to do it all however is the thing.
I’ve had a lot of help and support from Cam as well in making this site. He spent hours helping me set up my dev box (affectionately called cupcake) and my whole back-end dev process involving hacking the terminal (not really but I love how retro-futuristic it looks) and setting up a script that processes and minifies my files. Having never had a dev process or even a clue where to begin, I really appreciated his insight and help although I still feel like I’m in la-la land sometimes. If (or actually, when) I get a new mac I’m planning on refining my process again at some point. It’s just a lot to take in and process in what seems like such a short amount of time.
When you become part of the web industry you’re bombarded by so much info- what you should and shouldn’t do, what you should know, how you should code…it can be overwhelming and a little bit scary. Having someone to encourage and motivate you helps a lot though and I am super lucky to be able to learn from him and my work mates who have been so kind as to take the time to help me be a better designer and coder. <3 Going from doing it for fun to doing it as part of my job is also really awesome and it’s honestly the most satisfying feeling learning something and using that knowledge to create something that actually works properly.
Art-wise, not much has been happening, other than random scribbles and gibberish. New stuff is coming, I promise! And yes I WILL go through my grad show pics and post-college summary in my next post too! In the meantime here’s a pic of me and my amazingly talented college buddy Mads at the exhibition last year. Ahhh good times.