Recently I was asked ‘Why am I a Web Designer?’ I’ve been building websites for 15 years now… There must be a good reason why I do it. Part of me is an artist, and part of me is a technician.
As an artist I work in several mediums: graphite, paint, clay, data, & pixels. As a technician, I love a good problem… If it ain’t broke then there’s nothing to fix…
Creating web-sites and interfaces appeases both sides of my brain. On one hand I have a universe of data to try and control. On the other hand I have billions of people to consider when delivering data and ways to interact with that data. So why do I do it?
I build web-sites to preserve & organize information that may otherwise be lost. The universe of data we have collected over millennia is ours for the taking. Billions of people revise & contribute to hundreds of billions of topics online. The wilderness of online-information can be pruned and nourished. I enjoy the idea of preserving all of humanities history. We can preserve our languages, our stories, and our thoughts. As a builder of web-sites it is a special privilege to cull pockets of information to fruition such that others can do the same in the future.
Shameless Self Promotion
I’m an artist. In my youthful fervor to find work illustrating video-game characters I built several websites to promote my artwork. When younger I began publishing online-comics aiming to build a fan-base, then sell many books and t-shirts… I would often spend more time building portfolio web-sites than building my portfolio. Web-sites became another form of artwork. Without knowing it I became a web designer.
Creating Beautiful Things
Where would an artist be without an appreciation for beauty. I want to create things that people enjoy. When sketching I sometimes over-draw things: I draw and re-draw parts of a composition, sometimes to the point of loosing the rest the piece. Sometimes I would erase & draw right through the paper… But with code & pixels it is different, I can revise to my hearts-content and each back-up is a piece unto itself.
A note on digital-art: When drawing on paper before scanning always scan before you ink! Adding ink to your work floods the spectrum of shades (the depth of the piece) and destroys the subtleties of your pencil-sketch.
Education Teaching & Learning
I love to learn and teach. When one teaches they learn how uniquely we each perceive the world. When working with technology you are always learning. Would you rather discover than learn? Discovering something new is exciting.
When one builds a web-site they do so in hopes if that place being discovered and explored. As one who loves to learn I love to discover sources of knowledge. Each of us has something to teach, to give. Technologies change daily and I get to learn daily. The more I have learned, the more I can teach.
The internet is a great place to advertise. Giving people and businesses the means to take their cause further is very satisfying. Each business has unique requirements and meeting those requirements (on budget) provides a challenge outside and beyond the code, the pixels, or the educating. It is a good feeling knowing that you have given a client what they want.
It is a wonderful feeling knowing that you have given a client all they could want. And it is genuinely satisfying knowing that your own handy-work is selling, promoting, and pushing the world-economy forward every second of the day.