How I overcame inertia to love website design
I trust that it becomes apparent that this website is my resume.
In true synergestic fashion, this site has come to represent more than the sum of my art and writing. There is an overriding gestalt at work.
This site represents the individual’s need to take control of presenting himself; the prerequisite requirements for success here, as with all endeavors, are self-reliance and overcoming inertia. If you opt for a cookie cutter presentation, then the task of online publishing is as easy as it is forgettable. If you desire a site that is unique, then we are talking hard work.
When I told another artist that I was planning to work on my own site, he said: “But wont that take you away from your art?”
I dealt with this sort of dense thinking a long time back. I had decided that every thing I do is my art. This perspective has saved me from wasting time on a segmented existence. After all, the true artist lives his art 24/7.
Still, even with my pronouncement of working on my own site, I was resistant to this undertaking. Why do I need to fill my head with the minutia of details and the frustration that is often integral with website design? Ultimately, I decided I would do it out of necessity—which is how evolution works. And there is nothing stronger than something that evolves organically.
To be specific, I began the process when I registered my domain name. Soon after I discovered Macromedia Dreamweaver (now from Adobe), a superb website creation tool that had an intuitive feel that I liked a lot. I began experimenting and saw I had a long journey ahead. I did feel the weight. Other projects came up, time passed, and my site still beckoned for attention.
Then, unexpectedly in mid-December, 2001, Macromedia lightened my load as it came to my rescue with a shot of digital adrenalin that jump started my foray into doing it myself. Macromedia offered Dreamweaver and Flash users The Solutions Kit for emerging developers that contained a collection of tutorials and templates to get you up and running. I was invigorated, forgot all notions of that weight, and began modifying one of the included templates.
In the process, I learned that I didnt have to reinvent the wheel as I could build upon what others had done. I also found out that I could use extensions and templates specifically designed for Dreamweaver from quality developers such as kaosweaver and projectseven—which, in particular, has a superb support newsgroup with a base of dedicated experts who answer your questions.
Working with a projectseven template, I felt confident that I could produce a great-looking site. I dove in and havent looked back. And my productivity significantly improved when Macromedia released Studio MX.
Now, after more than a full year (its been seven years now) into my website project, I feel I made the right decision. While you don’t need to become an html or css expert, you will learn some code as a by-product of the experience that will boost your confidence to do more than routine work. You must also have the desire and be single-minded of purpose to tame a demanding medium that is evolving.
Hiring someone to develop your website is certainly an option. There are web designers who do fine work. The way you establish your presence on the Web is a matter of preference and, most often, a matter of economics as well. You know who you are. If you don’t do it yourself, however, you will miss an organic link in the process. What is this visceral difference? An example would be this: it is the difference between hang gliding yourself or watching others soar.
I encourage anyone who is proud of their art and life to create a website of distinction. After all, why prepare a gourmet meal and then serve it up as fast food on a paper boiler plate? Having control over one’s presentation is an accomplishment. Artists have been wanting this form of control forever—that is, to meet your audience directly. The digital age makes this feat of freedom viable. Additionally, having the skill to make immediate changes and improvements to the website yourself is an invaluable asset.
The Internet is a lively and dynamic medium; it is kinetic, not static. As I evolve, so too will this site—and in this exciting sense my website is non-linear, organic, and alive—as is my art.
If you decide to develop your own site, you will confront technology, meet helpful people in a community from all over mother earth, and discover that you can still learn and grow, which is the fountain of youth.»