The stars have aligned!

Hello my lovely visitors! I was actually planning on writing a blog update at the end of July… ha! But then motivation finally launched itself at me to finally sort out that renders section and then I got distracted.

For years, I have been wanting to make the renders as individual WordPress posts and sorted by categories rather than an image gallery on one page. As expected, it took a while but it was so worth and I’m very happy.

Summary of changes around Vizune

Right! So I’ll start off with lovely, little summary of the changes around the site especially for the TL;DR fellows out there:

  • Renders section revamped – Renders now appear on the homepage/news feed, Renders are individual posts and categorised, tracking download clicks with Google Analytics, new thumbnails and new drop-down for sub-categories
  • Tutorials are now categorised by topic
  • Icon related tutorials have been moved to Dream Fortress (I also uploaded a new tutorial on that site recently)
  • PSDs have shiny new thumbnails. The background is from a Facebook Cover I’m currently working on 😉
  • Forum signatures are back!
  • All designs are merged into one collection and then you can filter through a drop-down of the categories i.e. web templates
  • There were a lot of duplicate posts of the same design e.g. a wallpaper post and web template post with the same graphics so these posts have also been merged into one
  • Web template are no longer downloadable content
  • Colour scheme of posts have been updated with buttons / hover state updated to fit the colours: Designs are purple, PSDs are pink, Renders are yellow, Screenshots are blue, tutorials are red and blog is the standard theme

New project

thetin15

Now to address the elephant in the room, what’s with the thumbnail on the blog post? The company I work for, TheTin, celebrated their 15th anniversary. We had an awesome event, one of the designers even created a logo for the event and we wanted to do some special for the website. That’s when I stepped in! 😛 You may already know, I lurve playing around with animation and so I coded a feature for the website. Click here to see the full screen preview. The brief was to create a wallpaper pattern using the logo and the individual logos to animate into the page at random and I have a lot of fun 🙂 I might make a tutorial series on how I achieved the final result, would people be interested in that? Not sure how useful it’ll be but I like to document new things I learn, it might help others (*cough* and help me when I forget something… *cough* )

 

No more design block!

hatsune_twitter

The title of this blog post is “The stars have aligned!” because it feels like a miracle that I have finally escaped the dark abyss that is the infamous “design block” and now I am itching to make something new in Photoshop. I realized I needed to change my mindset. I was too fixated on created something that is my best work yet but I forgot the fundamental rule, “practice makes perfect“. You can’t force it, you just gradually get better with time so there’s no need to be so hard on yourself.

I have found that I work better when I’m not focusing on the what I want the end result to be. Lately I have been browsing for characters that have good flow, intrigue me or look cool and I experiment with textures, C4D renders, PSD colourings, adjustment layers, stock photos and see what sticks. Then I might look at it and think something like “Needs more saturation” and I’ll stop when I’m satisfied with what I have created.

 

So Sasha, how’s life?

You know, life is pretty good. A bit stressful at times especially with money but life is gradually getting better. Work has started assigning a budget for everyone’s training so they have paid for me to do a course on web accessibility next year in February and I’m going to my FIRST EVER WEB DEV CONFERENCE. I am so excited, it has been one of my career milestone goals to attend web dev conferences and getting the insights to cutting edge technologies in the industry. I would love to one day go to the Smashing Conference in Oxford. Things have been great at work, I feel like I’m being looked after and there are opportunities to grow. Now I have 3 years experience as a Junior Front-end Web Developer so far. I feel like I’m close to reaching Mid-Weight knowledge/experience level and then I can ditch that “Junior” off my title and bask in my fully fledged developer… ness haha.

This week was my grandma’s birthday. She’s over 70 now and it’s really sad to see her slowly deteriorating as time goes by. She was diagnosed with a form of Lupus when she was 30, hasn’t been able to work since and she’s gradually losing the battle :'( Her last birthday I noticed she was a lot more frail since the last time I saw her and now she stays indoors because she finds it hard to walk… I’m going to see her this weekend but I wish I lived closer so I could see her more often. It hurts inside to think that she’s all alone at home because she can’t go to Church and see her friends any more. My boyfriend’s grandma died when we started dating and he said I need to make the most of the time she has left and that really tugged at my heartstrings realizing she could just be gone any second.

I am very active on social media especially my Facebook Page, it’s basically like my RSS feed. As soon as I upload something to the site, straight away I let everyone on Facebook and Twitter know 🙂 I have also joined Instagram, it makes me feel old because I’m still figuring out how to use it but I’m planning on posting more on there too most likely showing a more personal side.

That’s all for this month! If you actually read this post, I really appreciate it. See ya! 🙂

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4 thoughts on “The stars have aligned!

  1. Sasha!!! Wow, I’m so happy (on your behalf, hahaha!) that you’re going to attend a web dev conference! It’s always been a goal of mine, too. *_* It’s going to be so awesome, and I hope you have a wonderful time!

    The 15 animation looks awesome. 😀 I would love to read a tutorial on how you were able to achieve that. Congratulations on the three-year step, too (if that’s a thing)! It’s strange for me to see all these “tier titles” by number of years, to be honest. Anyway, it’s great that you’re back in the groove and out of the design block! In the end, it’s all just a matter of where your mind is; we realize that we only get “the block” if we’re trying too hard to “get into it” when we should just let it flow. 🙂

    A close friend of mine’s mom is diagnosed with cancer, and it’s terrible since it has already spread to her other organs. It’s been hard; her life is already tallied, and she’s confined in the hospital now, and the medication/her condition is causing her to forget people she’s close to. He’s (my friend) been trying so hard to spend as much time as he could with her, even when they weren’t in good terms before.

    It’s just shocking how, in one second, the person we’re so used to having around can disappear. I hope you get to spend quality time with your grandma. Wishing you all the best. ♥

    1. Thanks! I’m excited and will definitely write a blog post reporting back about the conference 😀

      I’m not sure on how many years for each level but it varies with the company and it usually depends on your level of knowledge and experience. The levels are usually: Junior, Mid-weight, Senior, Lead, Head (of that department).

      Aww that’s really sad to hear 🙁 I swear sometimes the medication doesn’t even help the condition. I’m trying to gradually mentally prepare myself but I know it’s not going to be easy…

      On a lighter note, I hope you’re well Lysianthus and take care! <3

  2. I am glad that things at work are good. I am happy for you that you will go to dev conference, and I am sure one day you will go to the Smash one too. I believe in you.
    I know how it feels like to have a designer’s block. Happened to me before, especially when I have a deadline. It’s annoying. But we have to experiment, learn new things and discover new styles. We can be amazed of ourselves.
    You really reorganized everything. I have to do that for my website too, but I still haven’t got some good ideas and it’s a lot of work also.
    Since I am living at 5 hours away form my hometown, I don’t get to see my parents or grandparents so often. I am scared that one day they might just go. I remember when my father’s mother died, I was away. It was so painful for me, because she raised me and she was like a mother for me. I miss her even though it’s been 12 years since she passed. Our loved ones can be gone in a second. We have to cherish every moment.

    Have a nice day and take care of yourself.

    1. Oh god, just the thought of speaking in front of tons of people makes me want to crawl into a corner and whimper! Baby steps, baby steps… haha! 😛 Sometimes deadlines are my only motivation, I work better under pressure otherwise I get lazy and dwindle. I should get around to addressing that. I am loving your site at the moment, looks luxurious <3 I find that as a website getting a lot larger, you spend more time grooming it than updating it.

      And you're so right! I have some family members that hold grudges at the moment and you have to cherish every moment before it's too late 🙂

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