The Joke’s On You, Webmaster

As a gainfully employed person with a busy social and home life, I often find that my websites are neglected. They can fall into such disrepair that my only notion of ‘updating’ them to current standards and design are to take it all down and start from scratch.

Since relaunching this site, I am making a concerted effort never to let that happen again. Especially when I found myself looking at my homepage and thinking that there was just something about it I didn’t like. Continue reading “The Joke’s On You, Webmaster”

Lessons in Design: Redneck Wedding

My mom’s getting remarried in two weeks. I like her fiance Rob, so that’s all good. The only not good part has been that I’m not a fan of weddings and all the heteronormative activities surrounding them, and I’m my mom’s maiden of honor.

Of course, I’m a good daughter, and my mom may have pulled the “I gave birth to you and supported you through your expensive private liberal arts education where you majored in creative writing and then you stayed so far away in Seattle, don’t you love your mother?” But I don’t remember as this was back in January.

Instead of buying them something for their wedding, I agree to build them a wedding website. Now while, they never managed to provide me with a lot of content for it (and the Big Day is fast approaching), I did manage to bring together what I consider a pretty solid design. And I pulled off some Photoshopping that might have gone a little too far since I removed some of Rob’s childhood scars. Who knew?

The Daiker/McGillivray Wedding Web Site

As with any new web site, I made some inquiries to friends to view the site on their computers and their browsers. (There’s only so many times I can open it in Firefox, IE, and Safari on my Windows XP PC at work and at home.) And everyone’s comments were: OMG, the colors! They burns us!

Belatedly, I realized I should’ve put the disclaimer that those are the wedding colors. Those are what my clients wanted. While, they wouldn’t be the colors I would’ve chosen, they were the requirement. I tried to put as much white space as I could to rest one’s eyes.

Compared to other wedding websites, it’s definitely brighter and less somber/classy. But this is my mom’s second wedding (and she’s had three children), so we’re dropping all the virgin-white subtext, and Rob wants to basically have a big party. Heck, the best man and my brothers, who are giving away my mom, are wearing Wranglers. Yeah, did I mention there’s a cowboy-theme underlying all this and how the reception is going to be in my mom’s new barn?

Design isn’t always what the designer thinks is best, even though we push our ideas, outlines, and platforms. Oh, don’t worry, there are always some client ideas we stop before they get out of control. Sometimes, it’s all about the client, the context, and the product. Especially if I’m building a wedding website for my mom as a gift. I’m just going to bite my tongue and ask her if she likes it. Which she does.

Now if I can get out of e-mailing her back over if she should get hot pink and black cowboy boots or hot pink camouflage-print cowboy boots to wear under her wedding dress.

Web Design: A Little About This Portfolio

I realized today that I never wrote about post about making this web site.

Obviously, every designer worth her/his grain of salt is going to have an online portfolio. My original one was not me. While I consider myself to have to a strong design-oriented eye, I am my hardest client. I am never happy with it, and it will never be perfect enough.

My inspiration for Sliver of Ice Design is actually my oil paintings. When I do oil painting, I tend to use bright colors, colors a lot brighter than I would ever use on the web. Here are three of my favorite oil paintings I did, which hang in my home:

I wanted to show off my art, my eclectics tastes, and have a little fun. A lot of time, when I’m designing professionally, I have to tone it down or take cues from branding because that’s the job, that’s what pleases the client, and makes everyone happy. Having rabbits surfing on carrots is often not appropriate.

The inspiration for the layout of my splash page was my love of comics. Comic artists like David Mack, Pia Guerra, and David Aja are very innovative and one of the many reasons I love comics as an artist. Their art has made me excited to explore new techniques and layouts. I did all the line drawings and took all the photos I used in the art, wanting to use this site to authentically show who I am.

Of course, what everyone really wants to know is: What’s up the bunnies surfing carrots? Well, I’ve always doodled them and in my painting, Universal Library Card, I used it as my signature and they kind of stuck. They’re wacky and memorable.

I do make changes here and there all the time. And I’m sure this site will morph. It’s still not up to this client’s perfect standards.