Monday, January 10, 2011

Finding Me

Oliver in Nested Boxesphoto © 2009 Ted | more info (via: Wylio)
I love my site designer.

First, I don't have the tech skills to create a website. Having been on the interwebs for a pretty long time, I know a very little bit of HTML. But enough to create a blog template? Not even close. 

But even more important, I do not possess the ability to combine a person's personality with something that is aesthetically pleasing. When I was talking about color options and design ideas with some Twitter friends, it was incredible to me to read the different ideas that people had about what colors were "me." I had suggested some that were pretty, but in talking to these women, "pretty" wasn't really going to cut it. And that was just colors. When it came to other things like fonts and pictures and backgrounds, well, I didn't even get into that. 

It took numerous times to get even close to something that felt like it represented my writing style. Laura did tons of great work and all of the work she did looked great. It just wasn't a fit. I'm so thankful that she kept working with me and throwing new and different ideas at me until we were able to find something that felt like it fit.

And that's just a blog design. You try to boil your writing personality down into one or two definable traits and make something that visually represents your writing style without someone needing to read a word. I have deep respect for graphic artists and designers who are able to pull that off. It's a real talent and it impresses me every time I see it done well. 

My problem is that I try to do that with my life. I want to edit it down to a couple of manageable chunks that won't overwhelm people. Put out an image that is churchy enough or worldly enough or smart enough or hip enough (okay, that one not so much). The thing is, all of it's true. But I think sometimes I edit myself depending on who I'm interacting with. 

My good friend (and genuinely hip woman) Tamara has a fantastic warning on her blog. "This blog sometimes gets all Jesus-y and shit." 

I love that. No distinction between any of the "parts" of her. Nothing walled off or deemed inappropriate for a given audience.

I think that in the past year I've found a more consistent voice, but I know that I still box myself in on some level. 

I think it's why I really liked this design, even though it wasn't what I had in mind when we started. The ink spots just really grabbed me. They're not contained. They're not pretty or uniform. And they bleed all over each other. 

No containment. Breaking down boxes. I hope to continue to do that. And I hope you'll help me!


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