Monday, August 5, 2013

All Stripped Down and Nowhere to Go

It was about twelve years ago that I, the man who had insisted vehemently that he would never have a computer in his home, much less create a website, created a website. Having drunk the digital Kool-Aid (which takes up far less space than traditional Kool-Aid, but with questionable fidelity), I also fondled the shiny gizmos of our new computer, purchased at Melissa’s insistence, until something colorful and art-like began to emerge – something that turned out to be somewhat desirable in the illustration field in which I was still occasionally toiling. The results of having “gone digital” in my visual art were vibrant and attractive, and brought new attention from art directors and other admirers like nothing I’d ever drawn in the past. Everyone seemed to love this new work, and prospering in my career as an illustrator was looking like a viable reality.

Naturally, this was making me very uncomfortable.Something had to change.

What seems quite handy about having one’s own website is the illusion of public appearance it creates. I’ve always held that redesigning your site can feel like a major step in redesigning your life. This is a bunch of crap, of course. The debut of a new series of web pages is no more a reinvention of the self than a bar mitzvah instantly turns a squeaky-voiced, pre-teen masturbator into a man. But as an exercise in personal transformation, let’s say it’s at least as effective as trading in your Nascar t-shirt for a power suit with intimidating shoulder pads. Buddha says change starts from within. I say it doesn’t hurt to have your teeth whitened while you’re at it.

And so, having woken up one morning not long ago - mysteriously sore and without my wallet – to the suddenly realization that I was now operating more as a man of letters (I’ve memorized the alphabet through Q) than a maker of visual art, I decided a new website was in order. This Potemkin reinvention isn’t whiter teeth, but a whiter web design: A pure, white web space not unlike the purity of a relaxing isolation room in the psyche ward. This is about The Word, after all, not to mention a rejection of the candy-colored, digital realm of which my visual art was once a perpetrator. Back to the Gutenbergian foundations of text columns and the manly craftsmanship of cartoon art in ink, by God!. True to my impulsively rebellious pose, mine was to be the anti-site, scrubbed clean of the neon colors and distracting sidebar ads that actually earn money for the savvier internet entrepreneur. I will reduce everything down to the essential lines and words, and like the pretentious indie filmmaker looking for the quickest route to Bergmanville, I’ll make everything in black and white.

So, here I am, another digital debutante, coming out to the movers and shakers of internet society in my new, sophisticated finery.

How do I look?


  1. To quote a great man of the 1980s: "you look marvelous."

  2. (In Phil Hartman as Ed McMahon voice) Yes!

  3. I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.-Albert Einstein

  4. Looking good. Looking real good.

  5. This is only the second time I've come across the word "Gutenbergian". The first time it was a reference to Steve Guttenberg.