We're always most critical of our own work, aren't we? Well, after repeated mock-ups, I'm finally settled on a design that will keep the feel of the site but allow me to grow the content in a number of ways. Also, the site is being converted over to a shiny, new WordPress-powered design! I'll admit, that will mean very little to the average viewer, and that's how it should be.
Truth be told, the biggest hold-up on the design change is gathering up my portfolio pieces, both the older ones on here (I want to use better copies), and the plethora of newer ones still waiting to be archived!
The transition should hopefully take place quietly during the night at some point. Until then, enjoy the site as it stands now! Thanks for stopping by!
It's nice to see an article about this. I'd heard about this concept years ago and remember thinking it was funny, and that it hadn't ever been an issue for me. Back then, sure, I was a programmer, but that was a hobby. At that time, I thought I was going to become a professional artist; comic books, surely. Graphic design, maybe. I didn't really know what graphic design entailed at that young age. I just knew someone who did it and I thought getting paid for art was the coolest thing ever.
So after glancing this over, I realized how often I've found myself belly aching after a minor setback or feeling like I was competing for the top spot in any skill, even if I could plainly see I was leading the charge and tutoring the competition in a dozen other categories. In some back part of your mind, you believe that you're a very convincing imposter.
Imposter syndrome can be a powerful, nagging ailment of creative professionals. It can hold you back, generate massive amounts of stress, and leave you feeling like much less than you actually are. It may drive you to constantly try to prove yourself, but in the end you're never satisfied with the results -- and doubt that you've "convinced" anyone you're "the real deal".
It can be a minor thing, but I'd wager almost all web professionals experience it in some degree and in some form. In a field where anyone with a computer and an internet connection could be potential competition, you notice things. It's a place where the technical geography is constantly changing, and the range of skills and languages and libraries and so on go on forever. There's always SOMETHING that you don't know. And that drives you nuts. It's easy to spot when someone else is doing something better than you, or faster than you. It can be as simple as someone pointing out a shortcut in Photoshop that you never realized existed, yet the person who made you realize you were doing it "the long way" doesn't even have the basics down. Doesn't matter.
It's easy to overlook yourself in those cases. Your logo design skills might be better. You might be constantly teaching a coworker how to do the basics in a core program or language. You might be giving them code and templates you made to help them along. And all the while you're saying to yourself, "But would you look at how they crank out pages at a rate 20% faster than me! Oh, that's a nice banner design. I never thought to do that. Oh man, I'm just not legit, am I?"
I've known some people that this sort of thing is just crippling for, and for a long time, I just couldn't understand it until I entered this field. Fortunately for me, I only get tripped up in it a little from time to time... usually when exposed to someone who just exudes that sense of professionalism that makes you feel like you couldn't possibly compete...
Which... is kind of funny to me, honestly, because I know that in college, I was openly told by others that I caused them that sense of "can't compete" when our projects were presented together. "I'm glad you went after me," one said, "because there's no way my stuff would look good coming after yours". And I just shook my head, because I didn't even think what I did was that good. I didn't have the time to do everything I wanted, and went with the basics. In my mind, what I did was garbage, and yet it was someone else's nightmare. As bonus confusion points, I thought their stuff was a lot better than mine. Hah.
Bottom line? If you get paid for what you do, you're going to have to just accept that you're the real deal. Have more confidence in yourself. For all your worries that others are outdoing you, chances are they aren't so confident in themselves, either, and they're feeling the same things. Also, if anyone you meet is, legitimately, endlessly confident in how much of an expert they are, they're probably the biggest fool. Only the wise know their limits, and are painfully aware of what they don't know and where improvement is needed.
I made the intro video for my YouTube channel. At the moment, the channel just has whatever old things I've put on there over the years, but new videos are inbound. Interested? Then subscribe and stay tuned!
I got really caught up in work the past year! That was really something. The trade-off for the learning and portfolio pieces was that I've let my personal works be put on hold in the meantime. I've spent the past month developing on some of those, however. As time allows, I'll provide links to everything once it's online, but in the meantime... Hmm.
I can at least share that I've finally started work on a YouTube channel, and there's a development script for a sort of fantasy/sci-fi/superhero graphic novel in the works. I'm also considering just cranking out a few comics for "No Rest for the Web Kid" (basically, a comedic approach to the trials and tribulations of a young web designer entering the field).
As for work itself, I've found myself caught up in some marketing agencies the past couple years. They've been pretty awesome to work for; I've developed quite a large portfolio from it (much of which still needs to be added here, but there's a lot to sort through)!
I've realized (more than I expected, really) that agencies are quite different from one to the other. Team layout and expectations certainly vary. I've had some experiences where the agency works together to create a couple quality sites a week, and others where the agency members are essentially all independent and they expect you to create 20 sites yourself in a week, and heck, I have my morals. I can't support a worth ethic that foresakes the quality of the craft to just pump out mindless spam .COMs by the thousands. I think most creatives can agree that they'd rather the web be a better place because of their contributions.
Things have gotten quite busy! I've updated with a few sites I've done recently. I'm putting a ton of hours into my work right now, so this site's redesign plans are going on pause until further notice. It's still quite capable of handling the current content, but with current circumstances, I just don't have plans for additional features for the time being.
I've been designing and developing a number of sites lately, and I'm going to see about putting some pictures of them on here in the next few days.
More importantly, I've been working out the logic for the new version of THIS site. The site is past due on getting upgraded. I intend to separate the portfolio into its own section rather than have these various buttons relating to it -- it'd then be run by searchable database, allowing me to add far more categories than web, graphic, and illustration.
I may bring in more sections in place of these afterward. I'd like to have tutorials on here, as well as expanding out my blog to have other such rants and talking points. At a later point, I'd like for this site to also act as a portal to my personal works (comics, novels, games, etc) when I get them enough content to warrant a mention.
Recently I've gone on to make two websites for clients that are mobile-ready and started on a third. It's an enjoyable way to build webpages -- more so than I ever expected. I used to dread the mobile takeover of the Internet and waggled my old man cane at it, but it's really exciting to engineer a webpage that can hold together under any circumstance.
It leads me to think of my own page here, which was my first experiment in responsive mobile design. It's rather bare-bones in compared to my previous porfolio pages, but it served its purpose in getting me started with mobile and showing my work.
However, looking back on it shows me how far I've come since then. The page needs another update soon -- as soon as I made it I'd started to outgrow it. Upwards and onwards we go, and the page must grow to adapt!
My site here has been rebuilt using responsive design as the basis -- that means it's viewable from anything, ranging from small phones to widescreen displays. Try it out if you want -- slowly scale down your browser width and watch the magic!
While it's funny to think of someone visiting on a tiny cellphone, there is some benefit to it all: I no longer have to constrain to static standards either -- if you're at 1920px then I can size for it! Seriously, though. College professors once told me, "Grade penalties if your site is wider than 950px!" It's strangely satisfying.
I'm doing massive updates to my portfolio content in the meantime. There's simply mountains of files to go through, and much that isn't featured here right now. That should be changing over the course of the next day, fortunately.
Client work for construction company. WordPress site developed from ground-up (custom template, graphics, and interface). Design is fully mobile-responsive.
Client work on summer camp website. Repaired installation errors, corrupt images, broken links, and conflicting plugins issues. Maintained site with updates, new plugin installation and plugin customization.
Client work. Marble restoration site. Designed site and graphics, built website, coded or integrated components. Graphics, code, and interface.
Client work. Real Estate site. Logo design, designed site and graphics, built website, coded or integrated components. Logo, graphics, code, and interface.
Client work for supermarket site. HTML site developed from ground-up (logo vectoring, interface, graphics, code). Site is fully mobile-responsive.
Client work. Moving company's site. Designed site and graphics, built website, coded or integrated components. Graphics, code, and interface.
Client work. Moving company's site. Logo design, designed site and graphics, built website, coded or integrated components. Logo, graphics, code, and interface.
Client work for elemental damage restoration site. HTML site developed from ground-up (graphics, code, and interface). Design is mobile-responsive.
Client work for moving company. HTML site developed from ground-up (code, graphics, interface). Design is mobile-responsive.
Client work. Carpet cleaning site. Designed site and graphics, built website, coded or integrated components. Graphics, code, and interface.
Client work. AC Repair site. Designed site and graphics, built website, coded or integrated components. Graphics, code, and interface.
Client work. A knowledge resource for all company employees. Designed site, coded all pages and components, created graphics, formatted text. Screenshots only at client's request.
Client work. Educational company's site. Logo design, interface graphics, photo editing, vector graphics, pixel graphics for games. Illustrated videos, avatars, and components for members section.
Personal work. Side scrolling, greeting card creator concept. Graphics, code, and interface.
Personal work. Hand-drawn page concept for webcomic. Graphics, code, and interface.
Personal work. Flash-based music and video playing site concept. Graphics, code, interface, and audio.
Client work. Designs for book covers related to an educational software series. The work was featured at a state convention (alongside NASA, apparently!) and used in schools throughout Broward County.
Personal work. One of my characters cosplaying a character from the Matrix film series.
Personal work. "The Cat is a Hat" is a series of 6 images in greyscale marker featuring the transformation of one object into another.
Client work. Vector objects for a computer program detailing the production cycle. This simulated the manufacture and shipping of toys.
Client work. Part of a massive set of customizable avatars featuring boy and girl "math wizards". The characters age from early childhood to adulthood based on progress level.
Client work. The Prollox! A fictional animal in both shaggy and somewhat-fuzzy variations. Used for an evolution simulation.
Client work. An elevator simulator, generating random characters to transport between floors.
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