I’m hoping to celebrate moments like this. I’ve dedicated some time to learning ASTRO to put this site together, and while I’m liking the progress and tooling, there’s still a lot to go to make this feel like something I can stand behind. I’m going to hit publish anyways. Trying to make this part of a larger effort to share works-in-progress and unfinished things — something that has been historically super challenging for me.
The classic Ira Glass quote about “The Gap” has been rattling around my head as I go through this process:
Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you.
Even after so many years designing in various capacities this concept still nags at me. I’m constantly in awe of all the cool things people are making, and also feeling like an imposter that just quite can’t keep up or get to where I want to be. Some days I feel closer, then I look at what I made the next day and have doubts.
That feeling is 10x when it comes to creating with code. I probably logged 200 hours on the last personal website I made in grad school. I felt good about what I ended up publishing, really good, but I had to skip a lot of things I wanted to do but didn’t know how. I don’t have the time or patience to do that again, so this round I’m going to take a more iterative approach.
In that spirit, here’s my wishlist going forward. And some of the loose goals I’d like to work towards:
I’m going to take time periodically to write about my learning process around development and design. I’ve been really excited about Three.js, interactive 3D experiences on the web, and generative art.
ASTRO is a great starting point for making a fast and accessible website, but there’s plenty of room to further optimize things and continue improving. I was doing some bad things for screenreaders with HTML that really reminded me how out of practice I was, how much I have to learn, and how rusty I am.
A lot of the work I do these days can’t be shared, or has restrictions around what can be shared. I’ve started out by linking to some of the projects that are live, but I’d also like to externalize my thoughts and process on some of the things I can share.
As it stands this website is built mostly like a bookshelf, there’s not much on it right now, but there’s space for it. I’d like to sprinkle some spice in to make it a bit more fun. Software and websites can be so weird and joyful. I’d like this space to have some of that.
I have a few ideas for dynamically generating art or visuals for blog posts. These are all firmly stuck in the “hopefully a good idea that I have no idea how to execute on” realm, but over time I’d like to change that. I’ve got some placeholder gradients in there now.
I’ve recently started actively using Are.na again. I’m going to give that a shot as a place to gather inspiration & seeds. I was considering building something out here, but its nice to use existing tools that are a bit more community focused. Are.na fits the bill nicely for that, and I appreciate that its not bogged down with the social pressure of likes and shares. I have also built up a huge list of design resources and learning — considering cleaning those up and sharing them in case they’re useful to anyone.
I’d like to incorporate a library so I can include code and have it look good.
Always something to do!
Right now this is all sort of an open sandbox that I’m using as a way to externalize thoughts and help codify learnings. I’m doing this for myself, and if someone finds anything useful, even better!