Skip to main content

The Smart Casual Tax Jacket

I’ve been meaning to design a layout for this site that isn’t a hacked WP theme, but it just sort of feels like an ongoing Bernard-and-his-taxes-moment. I certainly have no plans of the website turning into a smart-casual tax jacket, but even racking my brains for good thoughts to post about is sending me into conniptions.

Why is it so hard to do some things for yourself than others? I think it’s a common case, especially with creative types. Like the more personal the project is to me, the closer I get to the smart-casual tax jacket. Maybe it’s because I have no timeline. Or that I know I should do my laundry first. I don’t know.

Sometimes it feels like I have no problems dreaming about it, but as soon as I hunker down to make it a reality, it all goes to hell. But let’s not over-analyze the situation. Perhaps I need more discipline. Lord knows I’d have washboard abs if I did.

Either way, I am slowly trying to chip away at it. See the new home icon? That’s me and my cat!

Who has tips?

Striving for Quality Work

So I’m not 100% sure if I shall be treating this website as a portfolio of my work, but I’m slowly becoming more convinced that this would be better off as a fuller introduction to me and what I do.

What is the difference? I’m glad you asked, Self.

The main difference I’d like to address in this content is the idea of personality and process. I’ve always liked the democracy of certain aspects of design, and I think openly admitting that I’m learning is part of the picture. The notion of a designer’s work speaking for itself is a great idea, but I have to admit that I like hamming it up just as much as I like kerning type.

No, scratch that, I hate kerning type. Or no, to be more specific, I hate talking about kerning type. It’s the kind of weirdo self-indulgent designer talk that makes me cringe. Kerning is a given, especially when your spacing looks like shit. No, I don’t feel a slight tingle in my belly when two letters sit perfectly on the baseline. I’m just glad I can read that shit.

Great, now I’m all worked up about a topic I hate talking about.

Anyway, expect lots of these tangential thoughts in future posts.

Back to the original thought at hand. To me, it’s equally important that the work is strong, and the author is not an asshole. Well, I sort of am, but I’m hoping to show you all that I’m more like an Oscar Madison kind of asshole, rather than, you know, I don’t know, this guy from The Breakfast Club:

Paul Gleason
See? Different.

In this, I’m saying that I’m inviting you to get to know me, and maybe judge me not only for the type of work that I am capable of, but for the fun times we might have in between. People in my line of work are easy to find. We are a wide range of somewhat narcissistic self-promoters who tweet shit. It’s how we get attention, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I live tweet when I watch Teen Wolf because it’s fun and I like that kid.

But if you are the type of person who will still be friends with me even after seeing all this stuff online, then yes, we might strike up a healthy friendship and create something fruitful. I welcome it. I know it works both ways, and I know I’m not alone in thinking that I would much rather be part of a group of fast thinkers with kind hearts than anything else. Lord knows the results will be more interesting.

Online Strategy

As I slowly build this dump of a website into something more presentable, I’ve somehow come across a small wandering thought.

Is it alright that my online strategy include bits that make me sound like the fool I am on the weekends?

It’s a tough thing to balance one’s professional life with one’s personal input, but it just makes me wonder, especially in my present experience of freelance work. I’ve been overwhelmingly lucky to have worked with awesome, forward-thinking people; and I imagine (read: desperately hope) that they enjoy my company as well.

One of the first lessons in promoting yourself was “be professional” or “don’t be a dumbass”, which, granted, is solid advice. But I just wonder if things have changed enough in that injecting more of your personality into your website or portfolio or what have you can actually become a benefit, rather than a disadvantage. Part of getting hired is seeing how well your personalities match, right?

Not to say that you will soon encounter topless photos of my from my last bender (evidence I only wish was true), but more of the natural things you might discover if we were lucky enough to meet or possibly collaborate on a project together. I’ve a bit of the sailor mouth. I’m frighteningly proud of my terrible Filipino accent. I have genuine respect for Hall & Oates. I, um, I have an inexplicable fascination and interest in Demolition Man. I’m the old man in Logan’s Run with all the cats in the library. I say “balls” a lot.

Peter Ustinov as the old man from the library in Logan's Run. This is me.

I’m just beginning to rethink the old structure of an office, and have really started to rebuild the image of a workspace into more of a family setting. All of my work-colleagues are good friends of mine, close to varying degrees. I won’t mind being myself around them, and unfortunately, I’m just kind of a boob sometimes. Should I worry and censor these things about myself as well? Does the monolithic wall of professionalism only apply to specific professions? Am I just being an idiot? Should I stop talking about cats?