Unexplained Absence Explained

Gosh, haven’t posted in ages. Reason being: I’m redesigning. Again. Or rather, I’m finally spending the time and energy to design this thing properly, as the last design (or current one, as of this writing) was rushed and uninspired. I commenced the last revamp in early February 05 with a deadline of March 1 05, before I attended SXSW in Austin. Most of that time was spent re-architecting things, sorting out what content would go where, assembling the portfolio, and sorting out some fairly interesting ModRewrite rules to keep my URLs clean. Once I got all the IA stuff sorted I was left with only a week or so to actually make it look decent. This is all on evenings and weekends, burning up the little bits of this “spare time” everyone always tells me I’m supposed to have. So, I fell back on what I knew: blue and gray techie. It’s functional and attractive enough, but it’s just so… cold. I was never happy with it, even as I put it online. The esteemed Mr. Malarkey hit the head when he summed it up thusly: “It’s alright, but there’s no personality. I don’t see anything of you in it.” (paraphrasing loosely). He was right of course, I just didn’t know it was quite that obvious.

So I began the whole introspective overanalysis spiral, desperately gasping for some inspiration. I am my own worst client. With most sites I work on I’m able to hone in on a concept or theme pretty easily. I’m usually given something to start from; a logo, corporate branding rules, interviews with stakeholders, etc. But when it comes to my own site I draw blank. I’ve had designer’s block for months. It all had to go back to that basic issue of personality. I had to treat it like a personals ad (not that I’ve ever written one, of course…) and find a way to sum up who I am within a short blurb, which could then inform a visual identity. Who am I? What do I do? What do I like? I asked these questions and tried to build a list of one- or two-word answers, which is surprisingly difficult. There are lots of things I like, but no one thing that defines me, no single enthusiasm that dominates my passions.

As I assembled and reassembled my list of interests, two things consistently came to the top: science fiction and comics. These are things that I love, which are a pretty deep part of my life and personality. I’m not quite an obsessive fanboy, but I’m at least ethusiastic enough about science fiction and comics that a design inspired by them will hopefully feel like me. To merge the two seems obvious: sci-fi comics. So now I have a concept. And now that I’ve gone public with it, I guess better actually build the thing. I hope it doesn’t suck. Stay tuned.