I’ve been doing a lot of work for various clients lately, and soon the new work will be done, I’ll have it all up on the web, and I’ll be able to do a few long-waiting changes here and at my other sites.
Jean and I went to a midnight showing of Men in Black last night. It was pretty good, funny at times, but I felt a bit disappointed. The best parts for me were the aliens living in human bodies – and the way they “don’t quite” work at times, especially the “bug” and the pawn shop guy – he is especially hilarious after he has to regenerate his head, but it’s a bit loopy. But I do have a burning question for anyone else who’s seen this movie. That scene in the coffee room, where the little aliens that smoke pour the coffee – they tell a joke, but I couldn’t make it out – what the heck did they say? If you know, can you please tell me.
I’ve also been thinking about all the BS that I went through this past week, and I was thinking about the work I do.
As some of you know, I got a ProjectCool badge back in early May. I was mentioned on the Site, that MSNBC show last week. I think these things went to my head. I still am and always will be protective of my “work”, be it print media or web design, but upon reflection, I should have handled the situation better.
I also know that I’m no web.god, and though I claim to all that I am not one, don’t call me one, etc., I sometimes slip into this mode. Seeing recent Project Cool Sightings, like zoecom, makes me think it must have been a mighty slow week when I got my CSoD. And when I pop over to Josh’s new stuff at EyeCandy, the only thoughts going through my brain are – “I suck” and “I’m lame”.
Well, I know it’s a case of extremes, and while these kinds of sites initially make me very depressed about my own skill level, they are also an eyeopener that I am not “all that” when it comes to design. If anything, seeing this kind of work makes me do two things – it makes me realize that I still have a lot to learn, but it also gives me something to shoot for. I caught myself looking at some of the stuff at zoecom, and thinking, “how could I use that technique?”… which is essentially what Joanna did with my tables. Now, the end result would be different – if I copied zoecom’s stuff / style / concept, I would definitely give the credit for it – they did the hard, creative work, all would do is copy it. But in the end, I’d be just copying, and not creating.
That’s something I don’t do much – I prefer to create. I got mail from a guy saying “I can see the similarity between the Flabjab page and yours, but hey, you said on your own tables your inspiration from someone else”. Obviously this guy didn’t see Stephanie’s tables (since changed). The fact is, my tables don’t look very much the same as Steph’s work – that’s why I sourced her as an “inspiration” and not the “original creator”. Steph used the same technique of using color table cells to create patterns on the browser screen, but I took the idea in a different direction – I went with the idea that the table cells would instead be used as highlights of text I wanted to place on a page – not just frilly extras. Well, the different color “bar” at the end of the links cells is frilly… but if you put Steph’s table beside mine, they’d look very different, not just in color, not just in layout, but in execution. That’s what I tend to do – recognize someone’s excellent work, and think about how I could modify it, change it, use it in my own means.
Most real design work is like that – you see other work, pick a few elements you like, put them together, and add your own creative stuff. Hopefully, you do a good enough job to have your work considered “original”. I hope my table work is “original” enough, when you compare it to Stephanie’s work. That’s why I got so upset at the Flabjab page Joanna did – and why I said to her, in email, “the least you could have done is changed the cell sizes” – it is my table work, pretty much unaltered.
But… I overreacted. I played the net.god role to a certain extent. Seeing my work, no matter how lame it actually might be, credited to another person made me blow a gasket.
This doesn’t excuse the flabbyjabber wankers’ rather evil methods of trashing me and those around me with his sad parody pages (like saying I force Jeanette to have anal sex, doing sad commentary about Jeff and Heather, saying I fuck my dog, etc) and their weak mailspam attempts with various mailing lists – Ben and his buddies are still complete idiots, IMO, but I realize now that I acted like an overblown egoidiot too, and for that, well, I would have been sorry the day after and to this day, if not for the massive flamage I had to endure. Now I regret the initial words, but don’t regret the subsequent ones.
(links are gone, dude!)