Well, I finally did it. I completed the BFA Illustration program at San Jose State. I’m so happy to finally be done with school.
Reflecting back on my time in college, I often beat myself up inside for spending so much time on the computer working on PaperDemon.com rather than on my art homework. Had I been more dedicated to art, I think I could have become one of the top artists in the class. But my heart was elsewhere, with web development and design. But now I think it was actually a good thing I spent so much time on PaperDemon. Had I not been spending my time there, I would not have gotten the experience and skills necessary to work at Google.
A couple years ago I had a feeling I might go in the web dev direction but I kept telling myself that if I did go that route it would be like I was selling out. Like I gave up art and took the easier route. I know pursuing the illustration direction would have been much harder for me but I no longer feel like I gave up. I feel more like my animation projects are something I can work on in my spare time, rather than doing it as a career. But who knows where I’ll end up in the future.
So what am I going to do to celebrate my graduation? I’m going to Disneyland!
One thing that’s been a bit depressing lately is the traffic flow to PaperDemon. At about this time last year, PD was receiving roughly 30,000 unique hits a month. Now it’s HALF that! A few friends suggested the decline in traffic was due to the fact that no new episodes have been released for Zarbon’s Masterpiece Theater lately. So with that in mind, I’ve decided that I’ll get the next episode done by the end of next week.
Since my last blog post, I have released the new site design for PaperDemon.com. It has been well received. I think I probably put more time into this site design than into previous designs for PD. Another big change was that I changed the format from a fixed width of 770 pixels to a liquid/adjustable layout. This makes browsing much more enjoyable for those with wider monitors, while still being usable for those with 800×600 resolution monitors.
Now that I’m done with school, I can focus more on my personal projects. I’ll probably flip back and forth between animation projects and PD.
I did work on my vis dev work but not as much as I should have.
I didn’t touch my short film or Surviving Together.
I did work a lot on Zarbon’s Masterpiece Theater. We released two episodes and have recorded three more that are ready for animating. I will work on these slowly though the semester.
But mostly what I spent my time on was PaperDemon.com. I decided that it was time to build all of those nifty features that I’ve had in mind for PD and prepare to sell Premium Accounts. I still have some more work to do but Premium Memberships will be offered some time in mid to late February. I’ve spent a ton of time on it and I can’t wait to offer the Premium Memberships and see what people do with the cool new features. I don’t want to get into the details of the features because they are already explained on PD.
I’ve done a lot of thinking about what it is I want to do in life and what it is I enjoy doing. I spend an awful lot of time on my website and it makes sense to me that web design or web programming is where my future is. Even though I don’t have hardly any formal education or training in it, I have a lot of knowledge and experience on the subject. I really enjoy organizing information and designing an interface to display that information, which is exactly what the Paper Demon website is all about. People upload their artwork and writing and it is categorized and organized into sections. Then that information is displayed for the viewer. I don’t know why but I really enjoy doing it and for the past month I’ve been working at least 40 hours a week developing new features for PD. I often work late in the night until I can hardly think strait or keep my eyes open. And then I just collapse on my bed and sleep. So that’s what I want to do.
My Mom sent me a link to an article on Monster.com recently that was really encouraging:
It says in there that your ticket to getting into the field is to build something. Haha! I have PaperDemon.com as well as a few other websites. It’s encouraging to know that the hardest step is already done! I do think I need to spend some time improving the user interface of PD though. I know that some of it is a little plain and confusing so I’ll need to get a book on UI design principles and look at other websites for ideas.