Again, and forever and ever, a blog.

March 31, 2014

I spent a huge chunk of my time today fussing over this site design. Back and forth and back and forth… writing everything from scratch or using a static generator or going back to wordpress…

And aaaaah it was so frustrating. But why?? What do I want out of the design of this site that I haven’t quite yet been able to achieve? I have some thoughts…

I think, that it has a lot to do with the uneasy relationship I have to design and productive visual communication in general. I never thought of myself as possessing any talent at all in art or design or even fingerpainting while growing up- my handwriting was atrocious, I didn’t enjoy sketching or drawing… and so I didn’t seek out guidance on how to get better at any of those things.

Even after I got interested in photography, I felt removed from design and visual art in a fundamental way- photography, after all, is taking a scene in and reducing it into a frame; it is by its very nature reductive, whereas I always considered the core skill sets of good visual design to be constructive: the blank canvas and all that.

Photography did develop my aesthetics regarding form and structure, composition and weight… but having never had any formal instruction in any visual art, I never really attained a vocabulary for thinking about nor framework for actualizing those aesthetics. Not that I think formal instruction is necessary for skill acquisition- I don’t… and I could have, and still could, you know, read a book, or something… it is just that I have yet to become good at trusting myself to make design decisions in general.

Every webpage is a blank canvas, and I have enough different brushes to make, well… something, I guess…

Well anyway, this is all to say that- generally, I’m fairly happy with this site now. I hope. It looks a lot like it looked before, but I’ve begun using Middleman as a static generator instead of Jekyll. So far so good- it’s definitely less bloated (even though Jekyll really wasn’t that bloated- I was coming from wordpress after all…)

But it is also to say, to my design friends in particular, that feedback is welcome, specific or general. I would have a great interest in pursuing at least some informal study of design principles, but I don’t know where to start really.

And also, that blogging. Yes blogging. We’re doing blogging now. I’m going to do the blogging now. I am. It is happening. You will know that I am blogging well proper, because I will have too many commas, and that is your hint that I am writing, perhaps thoughtfully, but still in a conversational, flowing style, without regard to the grammarian living inside of my lit degree.