site news

Flock Together


Flock Together

Hey folks! I’ve been dreadfully busy, as usual, but I made a little time when I was visiting Michigan recently (where most of my art supplies are) and made some new art. This piece, “Flock Together”, is the fourth in my series of pretty women with cute animals that I’ve been doing each of the last four autumns. I was planning on ending the series with this fourth one. If I get in the mood, I might make a couple more in the future, but for now, four seems like a nice even number to end it on. Click the above picture, or here, to see bonus stuff!

 

In other news, I went through the site over the last couple days and fine-tuned it a lot. All of the image thumbnails are bigger now, fonts are tweaked, and each main gallery page has a more colorful header. I also moved some more stuff to the Archive page, and took a few really old stuff off said page. I have a few new things I’ve been meaning to add, but will do that soon when I have a little more spare time.



I’ve added (some) Japanese! 日本語!


I've added (some) Japanese!

みなさん、こんにちは。 ちょっと日本語の翻訳があります!

 

Hello everyone! As promised, I’ve added some Japanese to the site, to help the viewers in my current country of residence to better enjoy my site. Now, I didn’t go through and add translations to every page, as there are a couple hundred, all told, and that’s crazy amounts of work, but I did at least add translations to the main gallery pages. I originally planned to launch this with the new site last week, but I decided to have my friend check my translations to see if they made sense. I’m glad I did. Thank you very much to Ajani Oloye and his wife Junko for correcting my Japanese and rewriting a lot of it to make it more clear. My Japanese level is sort of rough, but it gets me by in daily communication, but reading & writing is my weak point, and Ajani really helped out.

 



VERSION 3.0


evanhaydenart.com version 3.0 is now live!

Hello world!

 

It’s finally done… After five years I finally gave my art site a complete overhaul and it’s now online. This is my biggest site redesign yet, and I started over from scratch. Here are some of the changes I made:

 

  • New aesthetic design. The theme could best be described as “rainbow”.  Each gallery section now has its own unique color scheme, for example purple for Illustrated-photography, blue for Photography, and so on. If you’ve been visiting my site for a long time, the background may seem familiar. I always liked the random jaggy thin-line pattern background of the old pre-evanhaydenart.com days, so I brought it back, but in this case, it’s a different color in each gallery. Also making a return is one of my favorite typefaces, Herb Lubalin’s “Avant-Garde”, making up the navigation section lettering. It’s a more sedate usage of the typeface than he did, but I think it works fairly elegantly for the nav boxes. Speaking of typefaces, I stopped using Lubalin Graph (Another Lubalin classic. He was an amazing designer!) since I used it to death on version 2.0’s design. I’ll still use it on blog post promo images, because it is my favorite typeface, but for the main site, I went with something a little more familiar… Georgia! Yep, everyone has this font, and maybe it could seem boring, but I like it a lot, so hey… In other news related to the new design,  all the thumbnail images and text is a little bigger now, to account for larger monitor sizes and resolutions, and to make for easier viewing on mobile devices. Also, the page headers still show a different image upon each page load, but now they’re color-matched to the rest of the page. So many different files were made for that…
  • Flashier index page(s). Speaking of rotating images, the new index splash page is definitely splashy! A new background loads upon each visit to the page, and fills the screen. I’m sort of picky about the new trend of GIANT leader images for articles and whatnot, but I think for a gallery front page it’s fine. I also tried to make this page work a little better on mobile devices.
  • New, wider layout. I ditched the two-column design for a single-column design, allowing me to use bigger images (seems fitting for an art gallery site, right?) The navigation is now at the top of the page, under the header.
  • Big big big! About those big images, I apologize for anyone on slow internet connections, but I decided to go all-out this time… Each gallery page has big 1000px wide images for the artwork, and in the case of some pages where the art is a series of pictures, several of those big images. I feel that for an art portfolio site, big splashy images is good, and enough people have high-speed internet these days that I feel pretty comfortable designing for that now. It might be a headache on mobile networks if you’re at 3G or below, and I know that’s where a lot of people view the internet these days, but I firmly believe an art site is best viewed on a decent sized monitor.
  • Mobile-ish. On the topic of mobile-internet, I haven’t yet figured out how to make a totally mobile-friendly site yet (I’m not a programmer, I just struggle my way through each redesign when I absolutely have to), but even though some of the images are pretty big now (which load just fine on 4G), the layout this time around is at least a bit better for mobile. There’s some text you need to expand to see better, but the site doesn’t totally fall apart when viewed on a cell phone like my old site did. If I had the time, I would make a separate version of the site just for mobile, and have the code redirect you there when you view it on a phone, but I’m way too busy with work right now to do that, so please hang in there until I can :-)  This site took long enough as is to redesign (a couple hundred hours, easily) so I may have to wait until I can afford to hire a designer to make a more mobile-friendly version for me.
  • my Society6 storeOther changes… I reorganized the site. After seven years apart, the fashion / portrait photography and automotive photography pages have been consolidated back into a Photography page. Since I haven’t been doing many proper shoots of cars lately, that page seems a little flimsy to warrant its own separate gallery. Also, all the separate gallery archive pages have been consolidated into one Archive page. Another change now involves the bio, links, and store pages being consolidated into an About page. I added some stuff to that about page. The resume / biography is still there, as are links. I added a FAQ page, a Contact page, and a proper Store. The FAQ exists to try to handle some of the questions I get repeatedly over the years… the Contact page is pretty self-explanatory, and now doesn’t involve me having to divulge an email address (thanks Foxyform!)
  • Store! Finally! The store is the big addition… After, oh, seven years of promising I’d add a store to my site to make it easier to buy prints, I finally did, with Society6. Part of what caused the delay for so long was my 2008 hard drive failure, which caused me to lose a lot of original art. Once I rebuilt my portfolio and had some good stuff to sell, it was a combination of being busy and being honestly a bit intimidated by the whole thing. Society6 should be a good solution because I don’t have the time right now to print and send orders myself, and doing so from Japan is its own kind of headache. Society6 fulfills the orders for me, and they have a good quality to their work. So yeah, finally, if you want to order prints of my work, or other stuff (pillows, cell phone / ipad cases, laptop skins, leggings, duvet covers, shower curtains, etc!), please check out my store!
  • NSFW-avoidance, if you want it. I separated the NSFW / 18+ only artwork a bit more from the rest of the content. I don’t want to censor myself, but given the nature of my day job, teaching kids, I wanted to make it a little harder to stumble across stuff that might not be suitable for the office or for younger eyes. Now, when you go to certain galleries, such as Illustrated-photography, the subsection with nudity or violent images is clearly labeled as such, in English and Japanese, and separated from the other content. If you’re using the back / forward buttons to navigate from page to page, it will stop when it gets to the NSFW content, sending you back to the main gallery, and you’ll have to click the thumbnail of the NSFW stuff to see it. No passwords or any stupid stuff like that. I just wanted to keep things accessible to those who want to see it, but stuff harder to have an “oopsie” moment and see it when you weren’t expecting it.
  • I mentioned Japanese… One thing I was planning to add to the launch, but decided to wait on a little bit longer, is Japanese translations for a lot of the major content. I already did them, in my mangled Japanese, but I have a friend who’s helping to smooth them out, so I’ll add said translations soon. The site is still prominently English-language, but at least for the main gallery indexes, there will be Japanese as well. For the individual artwork pages, there will be just English, but those are more about the imagery anyway, and I type too much sometimes, so maybe I’m actually sparing my Japanese viewers a bit!
  • New blog. As mentioned in the last blog post, the Blog has been 100% redone. After I bungled things and lost my blog archive, I took the time to redo all the old entries based off of salvaged data from the Internet Archive (but lost the comments, sadly). I also added some “from the future!” content to some of those old entries, ie: photos from events that happened. The new blog works much better on mobile devices. Well, to be honest, I used some WordPress trickery to make the site load a separate version for viewing the blog on a cell phone, and it’s not super pretty, but at least it’s not broken. It’ll do for now, until I can figure out how to customize it to make it have a bit more in common, design-wise, with the desktop site. new art!
  • What else? I added a TON of new artwork to the site… The Illustration gallery now has a section dedicated to educational art, of which I’ve been making a lot at my day job. This section includes an in-depth look at the “Hello English Picture Dictionary”, which is a publication I designed, edited, and illustrated. Also featured are worksheets I’ve made art for, and the “Word-of-the-Week” whiteboard that I draw each week for my students. Go check all that out! The Photography gallery has a new “Etcetera” section now, with photos of cats, birds, urban wreckage, night photography, and other things! Also added to the Photography page is some of the photos I’ve shot over the years of mangled and neglected vehicles and more robot photos! Growing up in the rust belt made for many such opportunities. I added new art to the Illustrated-photography gallery – an ink one, my first such piece like that in eight years. It’s of my lovely girlfriend Miwa. Finally, I added some new stuff to the Design gallery, including more mix CDs with custom packaging, more flyers, and a more depth look at my manga lettering.
  • B-B-B-BONUS. One thing you’ll notice on many of the artwork pages, is a lot more bonus content. More details, more behind-the-scenes, more more more! Also for each artwork that is available to buy on Society6, it’s linked within the page, and for manga and zines, there are links to buy the books from their respective publishers.

 

Okay, I think that about sums it up! Jeez, sorry to type a novel here, but this is the biggest update ever to my art site and there was a lot to cover! I’ll have more art coming soon, so stay tuned!



OK, everybody online and looking good…


Hello everyone!

 

If you by any chance read my art blog, then you may have noticed it’s been down for the past month. Now the blog’s back online, but it’s in a state of flux, with some shifting page design, and missing blog posts. Well, you can thank yours-truly, Evan, for that. See, programming stuff has never really been my forte, and I slog through it whenever I redesign this art portfolio site, but I’m by no means a wizard with such things… even less when we’re talking about databases, SQL, and all that. Blahblahblah… long story short: I didn’t properly back-up my blog posts when I updated from my ancient version of WordPress to the modern one and lost all the blog posts since 2008!  Luckily, I was able to snag the code for all of them up until a year ago off of the Internet Archive Wayback Machine (it’s saved me more than once now!)  *whew!* Also, special thanks to Ken at Doteasy for being super helpful in getting my database stuff straightened out! Anyway, I’m in the process of reposting those old blog posts for posterity, correcting dead links and typos I missed the first time around, and just generally tweaking the old before I get to… the NEW!

 

This all sort of leads into something exciting. For the past month, whenever my busy schedule has allowed, I’ve been working on a total redo / redesign of the site, and will be posting that soon! It’s been a ton of work, and everything is different, bigger, and better! I’m not 100% how soon I’ll be posting it. It’s about 90% done, but the remaining couple sections are a little tricky. Also, this blog is going to look a weird sometimes and will have some broken links (fixed later) while I tweak it, so hang in there! See you soooooooon!



MACRO is back!


Macro

 

Oh yes, and another thing… I finally redesigned, revamped, and REVIVED the Macro site! (Macro is my music). Click the above image or here to go visit the site. There are about 30 mp3s on there for you to download (including a whole album!), a few videos to watch, and lots of pictures! Also, I’ve been messing around with new music, of course. Here’s a new track, “Novo”, my first new song in six years!

 

 

I’m excited to come out of my music hiatus…



A new chapter


a new chapter...As I type this, big changes are afoot in my life. Good changes! I’m mentioning them here because they will have an appreciable effect on my art and my workflow – I’d imagine for the better. So what’s happening?

 

On January 22nd, I’m moving to Japan!! A month ago, only a brief time after moving to Los Angeles, I got a surprise phone call from the JET Program, asking me if I could come to Nagasaki to fill in for one of their Assistant Language Teachers (ALT) who would be leaving the program early. Of course I said yes. I’d actually applied for JET a year prior, had interviewed back in February ‘12, and hadn’t gotten picked for the initial wave of hiring. I had thus moved on to “Plan B”. I was finally starting to get some traction going in LA with more contract work in the photography business, but the truth of the matter is, things weren’t going smoothly enough with regular enough pay for me to pass up a rare opportunity such as this. I’ve been wanting a steady paycheck, structure, health insurance, and something new for a while now, and this will fit the bill.  I’m crossing my fingers that the US economy will have rebounded a bit more by the time I get back to the states, but this new English teaching job will give me financial security for the near-future, and I’ll be living in a beautiful area of Japan!

 

The whole experience so far has been like what I would imagine it would feel if you spend all of your teens and early twenties trying to be an actor, but it never really happens, so you move on. Then, at the age of 32, a big movie studio calls you up to offer a leading role in a summer blockbuster. Well, that metaphor might be a bit hyperbolic, but it seems somewhat apt. I studied the Japanese language from age 13-23, at first on my own, then in after-school classes in junior high & high school, then in college. I’ve been to Japan five times thus far, in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2003, and 2007. Despite my love of Japanese culture and the language, I’ve become a little distanced from it in my day-to-day. I’m 32 now, and it’s been almost ten years since my last Japanese class. I stopped studying the language due to having taken all the classes my university offered, as well as a lingering question of how the skill was really going to help me in life, especially since art was my main focus in life. I got pretty cynical about Japan, and didn’t see how I could fit into that world in a way that would also nurture my creativity. My interest in pop-culture & traditional culture used to be very Japan-centric, and in the intervening years it has become about 10%-20% of my cultural intake, with an expanded interest in the rest of the world. I no longer have the otaku tunnel-vision of my youth, and you know what? I think that makes the 32-year-old me a much better fit for living and working in Japan, than the 20-year-old wearing the rose-tinted glasses.

 

A few years in the workforce, having to handle the full brunt of the recession and its underemployment and insecurity, have strengthened me greatly as a person, and taught me some valuable lessons. If the overly-idealistic 20-year-old me had to deal with the ups and downs of working in a foreign country, I think I would have cracked under the pressure. For so long Japan was just a vacation / study-program destination for me, and I didn’t have to deal with the negative aspects, as I was just “sampling” the country for a while, each visit. As I’ve grown up, experience has taught me that every job sucks in some ways, even the ones you most enjoy. The trick is to use the knowledge of that occasional suckiness to help you better appreciate the good times. Also, when you live in one of your dream places, as I did in San Francisco for several years, not every day is going to be paradise. Even dream cities contain exhaustion, heartbreak, parking tickets, noisy neighbors, and worrying about paying the rent. As an adult, I can view Japan as what it is: a country with good and bad traits like any other, and not as the everything-is-perfect “nerd’s paradise” I once might have. Plus, I’m planning on using this opportunity as a way to turn around and enhance my life. I’ll finally be able to put money into savings each month, as I’ll have enough money to live on and then some. I won’t have my car with me, and with a ton of cycling, walking, and eating better, I intend to get in great shape again. I also intend on getting my Japanese ability better than ever. I used to be pretty good, and nowadays I can speak on the level of a Japanese 4 year old on a good day. Good enough to get by, but I can’t discuss deep things. When I visited in ‘07, my language ability came back quite a bit, and I imagine with living there, it’ll rebound and become much better!

 

So what does all of this have to do with my art, and why am I posting this blog entry on my art site, and not on a seemingly-requisite “American in Japan” blog? Well, it means a few things….

 

I’m not sure what my workflow / productivity will be on new art while I’m there. It’s hard to say because I don’t know yet if I’m going to be one of those ALTs who is very busy all the time, and has a lot of extra-curricular things going on outside of work, or if  there’s going to be a a lot of free time to make art. That said, my productivity this past 3 or so years has been a pale shadow of the pre-recession days, and maybe now that I won’t have the malaise of unemployment / money stress weighing down on me, maybe I can embrace my creativity again. Also, I traditionally get super inspired in Japan, and tend to at make art a lot when I’m there. I think that may well balance out with the potential lack of free time.

 

The kind of techniques I will have at my disposal for photography will change while I’m there. I can’t bring very much at all with me, and will only be shipping a small amount, so much of my usual supplies will be back home. For example, I won’t have my strobes with me, so that’s going to put a limit on the lighting I can do in my photography. I’m thinking at some point I’ll buy a second Speedlite, and a remote transmitter, and have sort of a lower-power, more portable strobe solution, but that’ll have to wait until I have paychecks coming in. I’ll be relying more on available light that I have been with my more recent shots, and continuing to use my Speedlite to make things “pop” a bit.  I also don’t know what the situation will be with models over there, so it’ll be interesting to see how much of my photography & illustrated-photography even includes people. It would be a nice challenge to get back into more abstract work again, or at least non-people subjects supplementing my portfolio.

 

I intend to return to some neglected kinds of art that I can make on my own, in my apartment… music, comic books, and illustration. I’ve been planning out some new comic ideas, and have been waiting for a time where things stabilize so I can dive deep into a graphic novel, or at least some short-form stuff. My illustration – my first artistic skill, sort of neglected due to my focus on photography – needs to make a more prominent return in my life. As for my music, I’ve been itching to make a new album. After making a noise album a year ago to get back into practice, I’ve been spending a lot of time, building parts of new songs. Having some new toys at my disposal, and feeding off of the inspiration I feel in Japan, I intend to return to music in a major way soon!

 

Okay, I’ve rattled on long enough. I’m not sure exactly yet how long I’ll be in Japan, but at least through JET, it’ll be a minimum of six months, and as long as four and a half years. I’m hoping to put in at least a solid 2-3 years, to save up a good nest-egg of money, and I don’t see myself as a “lifer”, but who knows? The future is hard to predict, and who knows who I’ll become? Anyway, thanks for reading this. Unless I manage to make some new art in the busy next couple weeks, my next update will most likely be from Japan. I don’t know exactly how long it’ll be until my next content update, but I’ll try not to let it be too long. See you soon!



Odds & Ends – November 2011 edition


odds & ends...

Okay, in less naked news, I added a bunch of… well, odds & ends to the site, mostly to the Design page, but one to Illustration as well. Mostly stuff from the past year that I for some reason forgot to upload, but also a few brand new things.

 

 

In other news, I made a bunch of subtle tweaks all over the site. Now all the copyright dates are correct. Well, let’s rephrase that. I get lazy about going through the whole site each year and changing all the dates, and I’m not enough of a coding wizard to install a site-wide auto-updating line of date code. Thus, now it just says “© Evan Hayden” instead of  “© YEAR Evan Hayden”. It’s my copyrighted work, regardless of the year anyway. I can see you falling asleep from here, so I’ll get onto the other site tweaks… I also redid some of the thumbnails on the Design page to better reflect their content, mostly notably in the album packaging (square thumbnails now to give a quick preview of the whole album cover), and in the logos (thin borders on the thumbnail boxes now to make everything more cohesive). The other change I made was in taking most of the text on the screen and bumping it up a size. In my opinion, this isn’t as pretty as delicate small text on the page, but it’s more readable in general, and I was getting tired of leaning so close to my monitor to read my own dang site! (and others mentioned to me that the old font was too small as well). So in general these tweaks mean better accessibility for others, and less updating headaches for me!



Sherbet Time!


Sherbet Time!

Hey all you cats and kittens. I’ve just uploaded a new set to the People Photography page, and you’ll notice right away that it’s pretty different than my usual work. Namely, it’s my first serious venture into pinup / nudie photography, and also my first set to be published on Zivity. It’s called “Sherbet Time” and features Raven Le Faye – one of my favorite models to work with, as you can tell from how much she’s been on my site lately! click the above image (or here) to see about 40% of the set. The rest of the set is on Zivity, here. Note that you have to be a Zivity member to see that last link. I should also mention if you can’t tell yet, this photo set is pretty NSFW, so if you’re at work, underage, or a prude, don’t look! Otherwise, enjoy!

 

Not along ago, I shot another set intended for Zivity with a beautiful Florida model I met through Raven. I’ll be posting that soon as well, both here and on Zivity. Also stay tuned for more pinup work in general from me, as it’s a pretty fun and potentially more lucrative direction I’ll be continuing. If that’s not your bag, never fear, I’m still doing a ton of other kinds of stuff!

 

Side note, you’ll notice that I reorganized the People Photography page to better separate my fashion, product, and pinup work .It’s also set up so it will pretty hard for you to accidentally view the naked pics if you don’t want to (unless you’re not paying enough attention, of course). Anyway, I also uploaded a ton of other things to other parts of the site and did general site tweaks a bit. More on that in my next blog post, coming up in 3… 2… 1…



“A Love Letter to My 13-Year-Old Self”


Guess what kids, I’m not dead. Although I would forgive you for thinking that due to the conspicuous lack of updates around here lately. Let’s just say that life punched me in the face, but it wasn’t a TKO, so here I am posting some new art! At last! You may remember in my last blog post (6 months ago, argh!), I posted a little sneak preview of this in it’s very early stages (after only 2-3 hours of illustration / compositing). Well, 60+ hrs of work later, spread out over several months, here it is:

 

A Love Letter to My 13-Year-Old Self

In the midst of an epic battle, twin psychic school girls deal a decisive blow upon a towering giant robot. Pretty much my magnum opus thus far… It’s the third in my giant robot series, but there’s more to it than just that. From my middle school days until the early days of college, I was a huge anime nerd. I also read a ton of manga. These two mediums have had a profound effect on my art style, techniques, and favorite themes to this day. Though I am still being a big manga fan, I don’t watch much anime anymore. I got sort of burned-out, and didn’t feel like I was seeing enough variety in the modern-day anime (with the exceptions of auteurs such as Satoshi Kon, Mamoru Oshii, and Katsuhiro Otomo).

 

Despite the disaffection with modern anime, I still have a strong love of the stuff I grew up on, tracing back to being a 4 year old and watching Robotech with my older brother. That had a profound effect on me. In this piece, I pay tribute to that, as well as Mai the Psychic Girl, Gundam, Domu, Project A-Ko, Cutey Honey, and other bits and bobs of Japanese pop culture that I grew up with, as well as a little dose of Transformers. Basically as you can see, giant robots and psychic battles are two of my favorite subject matters!

 

I shot this (the girls and part of the background at least) with one of my favorite models, Raven Le Faye, in Berkeley over a year ago. The robot is made up of over 20 different cars that I shot in Michigan and California. I shot the distant background in Los Angeles. Lots of stuff going on in this… I’m very pleased to finally be releasing it into the world after so long.

 

On a semi-sad note, this is going to be my last “super epic”, super detailed piece for a while.. It took me too long to make (over 60 hours) as I work much slower in Wacom than anything analog. Most of my illustrated-photography pieces take me between 15 and 30 hrs, which is also a long time, but this one was ridiculous. Just the robot on it’s own would have normally been a piece on its own, but I decided to take this piece farther. That said, I really need to buy a Wacom Cintiq, for a more 1:1 drawing experience – as opposed to the disconnect one gets from drawing on the desk and looking at the screen. I think this would speed up my workflow considerably. Problem is, I’m broke, so until I can scrape together the extra cash, I’m going to have to stick with more simple pieces for a little bit, otherwise I’ll only get one new piece done every several months, which is not enough for me. Good to pause this era (for now at least), with a BANG! (literally, in this case, hence the explosion)

 

the making of

I decided since this new work is particularly special to me that I’d throw in a little bonus. Click the above image, or here, to see a detailed “Making of” / behind-the-scenes for this work.

 

Special thanks to Raven for modeling for this. You’ll see her in a couple other works on the site, and you will be seeing her in more work soon! For example, another illustrated photography piece, a much more simple one that I’ll be getting to soon… Also, she modeled for a pin-up / alt / fetish / nudie set that I’ll be submitting to Zivity soon. That’s very new territory for me, and was a fun experience. Once I get that posted, I’ll direct you there (all of you over 18 yrs old, at least!). Also, I’ll be posting an EGL shoot I did with her soon (and if you didn’t see these really cute pics from a year ago, you should!) Thanks also go out to Ryan Sands, David Murray, and Dawon Kim for giving me feedback at various stages along the way of the creation of this beast! Also thanks to Lady Gaga, Skrillex, Wham!, Dschingis Khan, Arabesque, and the TalkRadar and Gamespy Debriefing podcasts for supplying background sounds for the big push this past week.

 

In other news, I have more stuff to post soon. Other stuff that I’ve been working on over the past few months, but haven’t had the time to organize into gallery pages yet. A shoot with Beau (some of which is edited and done, some note)… Also the ongoing product photography work I’ve been doing for my buddy Seibei / David Murray, and also product photography I did for Babushka Designs / Tatiana Jimenez. Both of those coming soon (or you could just look at those links and buy some awesome stuff!) You’ll also notice that I upped the font size on the last stuff I uploaded. I’ll be doing this throughout the site soon, I’m just super lazy right now. the old text looked great on lower-resolution screens, but I’m finding it hard to read on my 22″ Samsung, and I’m guessing you might too! Okay, gotta get a little sleep now! It’s after 7am and I’ve been in a creative trance!



things keep happening


things keep happening...Hey dudes and dudettes.. Yes, it has been a long time since my last post. This summer was pretty crazy busy, and fall got busier. Since my last post, I moved to Los Angeles in early October. I’m here possibly temporarily, hopefully long term. It just depends on how my job hunt turns out. I’ve also been applying for things up in the Bay Area, so I could end up back there. Or I could end up back in Michigan again if I don’t get something stable set up here by the time I run out of money. Maybe I shouldn’t be so forthcoming about that stuff on my art blog – perhaps it makes me look unprofessional – but hey, just being honest. It’s a rough economy out there for everyone, and a time when there are a lot less opportunities for us creative professionals. Let’s just say that for every graphic design or photography job I’ve applied to, I’ve applied to two retail jobs. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I’m just hoping to get something stable enough out here to stay, and keep working towards… THE PRIZE.

 

Anyway, despite not getting much real art done this last four months, I have been making some stuff. The problem is that a lot of it is freelance graphic design for secret projects, or for internal corporate documents & presentations. Not as exciting as making big colorful illustrated-photo pieces, or comics, or fashion photography, but it does pay the bills when those fun things are hard to rely on in an economic pinch. Anyway, I should be able to show some of that work sooner or later…

 

I did actually make quite a bit of changes to the site, both in flow and mechanics. A lot of it you won’t really see, but trust me, it helps. I guess you could say it’s evanhaydenart.com, ver 2.1. Since coding is not second nature to me, I had some big bugs that had been waiting to be squashed since the site overhaul. The last bit of them involved problems with the CSS involved in my links. So if you saw visited links showing up as white on white (not very user friendly), that’s why. Usually it’s as simple as changing a style property, but this was a unusually complex problem, under the surface. I wanted to extend my gratitude to my buddy Vivian Hui – an amazing graphic designer and web designer – for helping me fix this problem!

 

Other changes around the site include:

  • New background on all pages but the intro page. I love the way the colorful pink & purple splash background looks on the intro page, but on the regular gallery pages, I thought things were looking a bit too busy, and that the background distracted from the content. The new background is darker, which should help the content stand out more, and still has that eye-trickery that I like… If you stare at it too long, it starts to get a bit of a moiré pattern to it…  I apologize for any headaches it may induce!
  • Shuffled around some of the Illustrated-Photography and People Photography pieces. Deleted some of the old stuff, and took some of the old or less-potent stuff and moved it into archive pages. Basically these archive pages have work that I’m still fond of in a way, and want you to be able to see if you so desire, but don’t have the same punch as the newer and/or better work that I wish to showcase. If you want to see the archives, they are linked on the bottom of their respective galleries.
  • Simplified code throughout the site. Many of the pages should load faster and cleaner now. There was a lot of redundant/junk code that Vivian pointed out, and I tried to strip away a bunch of it. Also, since the new background is about 10% the file size of the old one, that should load faster as well.
  • Rearranged the links page a bit for better visual parsing.
  • Took the links to all my different automotive Flickr sets out of the Automotive Photography page. You can still access them, but I realized that I didn’t need them all listed there. Took up a lot of space, and was too much to maintain every time I made a new Flickr set (which I do often). So now just click to check out the collection, and go from there…

 

As for things still on my checklist, I realize it’s been two years since the new site launched, and I still don’t have a proper shop set up for prints. I’ll get to that soon, hopefully, if my life stabilizes anytime in the near future. What originally held me back was when my hard drive died in ‘08, and I lost the originals of a lot of my work. I had to redraw a lot of them to sell any prints, and I now feel that those redrawn ones, in addition to my new work since, has given me a good base to work from, when I do get the store set up. In the meantime, just email me (skeletron  AT  gmail  DOT com) if you wanna buy some thangz. Also, I know that the music page is pretty barren. I’m still on a music hiatus. I want to get back into it soon, but again, life has been too hectic, busy, and unstable this last couple years.

 

In other, more exciting news, see that pretty face up there? The one with a few outlines, but still none of the nose? That is a very tiny segment of my next illustrated-photo piece. It’s going to be a very epic one. I’m about 4 hours into it, and I estimate it’ll take another 40 to finish. It will contain a lot of different themes that I enjoy, all jammed into one big piece. As for those themes, I’ll keep them secret for now… I will just say that it’s my first illustrated-photo to contain an explosion! Also, the theme could be referred to as “a love letter to my 13-year-old self”. I’ll keep that vague for now. It’ll all make sense when it’s done. Anyway, adieu for now. Hopefully less than four months will have elapsed by the next time I write.