This is kinda nasty but its something creative!
inspiration for inspiration
I’m updating this blog post after a few e-mails with Dripbook. They are a group of people trying very hard to make an excellent service. Most of my reasons for writing this post could have been dealt with better communication on their website. I suppose that’s been done by now.
Photographers, illustrators, hair stylists etc are typically a little crap at keeping their websites maintained, if they exist at all. I appreciate any efforts to help these busy creative people show their work to the world. Dripbook is one of those efforts. I found out about them through a comment in one of the Virb art groups and Mashable have written about them too. I’ll check anything out and it seemed like a good project. Easy portfolio tools combined with a social network aspect to help you connect and promote. So I sent them an application. I had to apply because… they’re pulling the exclusivity card as a marketing stunt really. I said I’m handsome and make nice work and sent them my portfolio site (ironically). Thank goodness I was let in or my street cred would have collapsed like an underfed model. The feature I wanted to explore was their ability to publish to third party sites. Widgets that create a bit of code that refers to your dynamically updated portfolio instead of you having to create the books on your own site. I use viewbook.com for a site I built for a photographer which does that exactly. Unfortunately I never did get to trying that feature.
Most of Dripbook is fine even if it’s a bit dull in the design stakes (a web 2.0 phenomenon apparently). The upload of images was easy enough, the networking idea is a good one. After I uploaded I found that my images came out looking soft. Which is odd considering they were sized down for web use and were sharp, black and white images when they left my desktop. Even that I could figure out given enough patience.
My irritation is that the site is not recognizing that I have “published” a book of drawings. It says it’s published. But it’s not visible to anyone else it seems. I’ve tried every “publish” button three times and now I’m bored. If you can’t publish, you can’t promote and then the social network is useless.
Turns out that because I put a “Mature” marker on my book because it contained drawn nudity, I encountered a legal fix:
You followed the instructions exactly and did exactly what you were supposed to do. When a user goes to look at your book, he / she is asked whether he / she wants to look at mature content. Then a cookie is places on that user’s computer, and the warning does not show up again.
A fact that would have been good to know a few days ago.
Not wanting to spend any more time on the site I figured that I’d cancel my hard won account and focus my efforts on other tasks, like my real job. Except I can’t find anywhere to cancel, suspend, deactivate, kill my account. Really. I’ve looked pretty hard. The FAQ neatly ignores the fact that anyone would be brazen enough to leave their services. I wonder what happens when you buy a premium account ($9 per month)?
Dripbook have informed me that they hadn’t got to that detail yet. It’ll be done now.
Dripbook is in Beta phase which may excuse any screw ups and my decision to leave their site is based on a few personal impressions, not only some basic technical glitches. The site is slow, I don’t like their presentation options and I don’t like their design.
‘d leave, but I can’t. ps. Turns out that no one had ever asked to leave. I have that dubious honour. My apologies, Dripbook, for being that guy.
I have been deleted. After the short e-mail chat with Dripbook I appreciate that I was rather harsh on their Beta site. I only wish they had been a bit more forthcoming with how Beta they were. I mean, who doesn’t have a delete account button? If you think I was a putz let the comments fly.
A friend asked to see some art that I reckon is fairly decent at the moment. Instead of hiding it in an e-mail, let me share with everyone. I’ve blogged about most of these people or sites before but there’s no substitute for an easy to click blog post to get motivated to look again. So, in no particular order, here’s some food for thought:
Painting removed by artist’s request
John Copeland – Probably my favourite painter at the moment.
Jim Woodring – A great contemporary Surrealist
Ashley Wood – Famous for concept art, comic books and being a “little” brash at times. He paints on real boards and sells the original pieces to collectors. He qualifies as a real artist.
Hoogerbrugge – A Netherlands artist who uses drawings of himself to lay waste to the repititions of modern culture. Or something like that. This music video is the quick sampler of his work but check out the website for classic focussed Hoogerbrugge.
Michel Gagne – This is his 6th book, Frenzied Fauna: From A to Z.
ICanHasCheezBurger -The meme called Lolcats is something that many would not consider to be art, but it has been
accepted adopted by the masses and shares some of the traits of art: visual aesthetic, an underlying theory, self-imposed executional rules, a sense of history. Is it -ism or is it -crapism? Will people in 100 years time have retrospectives of Lolcats? And in case you think I’m writing total rubbish look up the definition of Art.
I’m always on the looking for talented people who make ad guys appear to know what they’re doing (I need all the help I can get). Bite Animation are one of those crews. They’re a small motion graphics & design studio in Johannesburg who’ve done some impressive work for some very picky creatives. They’ve just relaunched their website so go visit them. If you’re a fan of heavily layered illustration you’ll enjoy the experience.
Jill Calder is a Scottish illustrator who has an amazing line style that she applies to type on occasion. I’d love to see some of this sensibility applied to standard corporate brand work. People might actually pay attention. Her illustration work is beautiful as well.
ps. There are some more images at Friend & Johnson, just look in the Illustrators section.