Getting the Band Back Together

http://www.metalbandcampgift.club/

My day job has me working in WordPress and Square Space a lot. Hours every week. So when it comes to my personal projects, logging into these services is just… a bummer. And a bit of overkill.

WordPress just has so many options and features and choices. Square Space is the same. And really, I just need to update some text and links for my Metal Bandcamp Gift Club project.

Inspiration arose from randomly finding the Web Design Museum, and the late 90s / early 00s versions of the Yahoo homepage.

That’s where I got my start, back in 1995. Hitting View > Source, saving the contents to a text editor, and then messing around (and learning) HTML by saving and refreshing a local file over and over again.

The Metal Bandcamp Gift Club website was using WordPress.com, and I really didn’t need a full blown new post every time someone had a birthday, especially when all I wanted to do was link directly to their Bandcamp wishlist.

Sure, I probably could have done all this with WordPress.org, and lots of work, but I honestly love hand coding static HTML sites. It’s something I miss. It’s honestly like picking up a musical instrument and playing a few riffs and songs from years ago. The concepts and ideas are still in the brain, and it’s fun to let them loose.

I had a blast hand coding the new Metal Bandcamp Gift Club website. It’s a bunch of ugly tables, and it doesn’t look great on a phone, but oh well – it looks okay in a browser, and that’ll do.

The whole site is less than 900KB, and it’s hosted on my Dropbox account and served via Site44. I use TextMate as my text editor.

UPDATE: I ditched the Dropbox / Site44 set up and moved to a real webhost (I Heart Blank) that my buddy runs. I then use Mountain Duck to mount the server, update the HTML files, and save directly in my Finder window. I love it.

Again, this was meditative for me. It goes back to how I got started on the internet, how I began my career. I know there are all sorts of other programming languages to use, and even CSS (HAH!), but really I just had a lot of fun with this. The hours flew by, and before I realized it was midnight! That’s when you know you’re having fun.

Some Branding Resources

https://www.typographicposters.com/posters?r=0&g=0&b=0

Illustrator Ben O’Brien recently asked the Twitter-verse for some good branding resources, and since I love stuff like that, but sort of lose focus with everything on Twitter, I figured I’d put them somewhere for future reading, and maybe you’ll enjoy them, too.

https://identitydesigned.com/
https://www.letstalkbranding.be/
http://www.finien.com/
https://www.typographicposters.com/posters?r=0&g=0&b=0
https://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/
https://www.marksandmaker.com/journal
https://theelasticbrand.com/ (podcast)

Grey is Great

From ESPN:

The subway tiles are back, and much more visible on television — around most of the boundaries — than they were in the old mosaic version. The Helvetica font of the “Brooklyn Nets” wordmark matches what the Metropolitan Transportation Authority uses on subway signs.

Having lived in Brooklyn for five years, and pouring over the NOT FOR TOURISTS subway / city guides during that time, that “Brooklyn Nets” along the baseline, done in the style of the NYC subway, really warms my heart.

Wallpapers from my Favorite Todo App

I’ve been using Todoist for quite awhile now. After you complete your tasks for the day, you’ll see great artwork designed by Margarida Mouta. Now you can add these adorable images as your phone background – check out ‘New Todoist Zero Wallpapers,’ via Greg Morris.

It’s not the biggest feature, or a flashy animation, but it works. At the end of the long day, sometimes all you need is a small little touch like that.

Small Details

I search for Megadeth in iTunes / Apple Music and hit enter. Wait… wait… okay, finally it loads.

I do the same in Spotify and I don’t even need to hit enter – it just loads the results.

I’ve been using iTunes forever, but in the past several years it’s become almost unusable. Testing out Spotify recently really has me thinking of making the switch.

Willed from Wires is Still Alive

When I got rid of all my stuff and left NYC in 2010, the only thing I wanted to do was hang out with my friends that I hadn’t seen in a long time. In between all those hang sessions were quiet times in coffee shops and bus stations. With some of that downtime I started drawing again. As you can see by the photo above (from 2012), I was drawing quite a bit.

Then someone offered to buy some of my robot drawings. I got custom orders. A few bulk orders. I didn’t mean for it to happen, but I was selling drawings of robots out of my back pack.

I made a small run of a zines filled with my robot drawings. I made city-specific pieces and posted them online to help pay for bus fare, or coffee for the week. Over the years my Willed From Wires Big Cartel store sat there, doing it’s job.

It’s 2018 and I still get the occasional order for a robot drawing or two. Mostly former clients, but the occasional random order. Willed From Wires remains a hobby, very much on the side, one that I don’t push much. I last made this depressing Tweet from the @willedfromwires account in 2013.

I’m writing about all this now – in 2018 – to illustrate that everything we do creatively can still live and grow without feeding the social media beast. I can’t do several things full-time. No one can. But we can do side things that are actually on the side, and they can still flourish and grow.

Look In Lots of Places

The JUMPSUIT (“An experiment in counter-fashion brought to you by the members of The Rational Dress Society”) bewilders me, but it’s the best sort of bewilderment.

I’m not much of a “fashion” person but checking out how other industries operate is always a good thing. Sure, I know what a band’s website is supposed to look like, or a label, or a festival (I’ve been visiting them and building them since 2001 afterall), but fashion stuff? No idea.

As I mentioned, just keep copying. Copying is how I built my first band website back in the 90s (which I think it was for The Overdrives or Muckraker; PA PUNK REPRESENT). Those sites weren’t great, of course, but recently I set up Zao’s website, copying the general theme of how many one-page band websites are done these days.

(link, Kottke)