Each of my layouts tends to go through three phases. At first, when I have first completed it, I am absolutely delighted and eager to upload and share it with everyone. Then, after it has been in place for a while, I start to get tired of it, as is inevitable. The font starts to look boring and unimaginative, the graphics are stale and unoriginal. I start to work on a new design. By the time I finish, the current layout has probably moved into the last phase, in which I look back fondly, and rather like it after all.
It is because of this last phase, really, that I wanted to put up this site. I end up loving most of my layouts, with a sense of nostalgic regret that they can't all be in use. This is especially true of the journal, so you can think of this site as a direct result of the fact that I started using Movable Type. I had played with the idea of a layout archive for a long time. I'd already featured the themes of the domain, because those are very important to me. But it's the loss of the journal layouts, which I had always kept online before, that moved me to finally start woking on this site's content.
If you really think about it, I am narcissistic when it comes to web design. I fall absolutely in love with the products of my own hands. That is the joy I find in it. Even though I have many moments when I am dissatisfied with what I came up with, when I wish had more skill with graphics, more of an eye for style, and more creativity, ultimately I am proud of myself and of my progress. It's a delicate balance to keep. On the one hand, I do not want to appear the perfectionist, always criticizing myself. But neither do I want to be totally vain, for I know that there are infinite sites out there that look nicer than my own.
I tend to be nostalgic for things, even when they are things I never experienced. I would love to live in a simpler world, more in harmony with nature, with less technology, although I deeply love technology as well. In any case, I often like my designs more once they have been phased out, perhaps because by then I have not looked at them every day for months on end. I do sometimes look back with a sense that it wasn't I that created such a layout, so I become somewhat able to appreciate it as if it wasn't mine, as if it was any other site I stumbled across.
Except that I do think that, over time, I have finally developed a unique style that I see only in my own works. As varied as they are, as much as I tend to imitate and be inspired by others, there are certain things that I have decided "look good", at least to me, that I always try to include. Probably nobody notices it but me, since I am the one who is closest to the source, but nonetheless, I am proud enough to show it off.
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