Thump Takes Issue with a New Generation of DJs—What Can We Learn?

Thump’s Trino Trevino hilarious, yet accurate assessment of the state of today’s aspiring DJs has a lesson for us all. Social marketing is an important component in your quest for fame and glory, but don’t overlook doing the work.  Also, don’t be like THIS guy!

“Here’s the bad news: fame and glory will never come if you never make music.”

The Awfully Good Job of Carroll Spinney

For those select human beings who are determined, humble, and fortunate enough to do what they love—truly love—and contribute to making this world a better place deserve our recognition and our respect.

Carroll Spinney is one such person. For more than 40 years Mr. Spinney has been man in the yellow suit as Big Bird and the man in the garbage can as Oscar the Grouch.

Carroll Spinney and Jim Henson on the set of Sesame Street
Carroll Spinney and Jim Henson on the set of Sesame Street

Featured in a recent NPR segment with Scott Simon and an upcoming documentary, I Am Big Bird, Spinney discusses how at 81 years old he has no intention of quitting from “an awfully good job”.

As a child who grew up in the first generation of the show, it holds a special place in my heart (and my early development). It is the first place where I learned the expanse of creativity, music, imagination, and learning.

So You Want to Learn to Code? Five Great Resources to Improve Your Web Skills!

I am a Graphic Designer with a little bit of Front-End Web Development experience—no one would ever confuse me with a programmer or full-stack developer. In all honesty it takes some knowledge and experience for me to accurately assess what I know and what I don’t know.

One of the cardinal rules of design is never, ever misrepresent yourself or your abilities (better to be perceived as ignorant than incompetent), so rather than fake it here are five resources you can use immediately in your journey to web design:

  • General Assembly, their onsite front-end courses are a great way to network and learn
  • Codecademy, useful interactive online courses
  • A List Apart, informative blog tracking the web industry
  • Code School, fun and challenging online training
  • Lynda, the definitive resource for online design training, learn at your own pace
A List Apart is a great web resource.
A List Apart is a great web resource.

Find out what you don’t know, gain confidence, and have fun!

To Wix or Not to Wix?

Helpful content management system or a sign of the end of civilization?
Helpful content management tool or a sign of the end of civilization?

In the past six years I have had many client inquiries to build a website for a product or service and several have wanted to use a template-based Content Management System (CMS) like WIX.

Although these drag and drop, do-it-yourself sites have been a source of controversy amongst designers and developers (several months ago I attended a designer’s meeting where the disdain was palpable); as a freelance designer and small-business owner I need to consider the factors of time, budget, and functionality and make the right decision for my client. Sometimes that may mean using WIX, like I did for Sparkling Clean Handbags: a client with a small budget, quick turnaround time, and a service and products ready to go to market.

Sparkling Clean Handbags: Landing Page
Sparkling Clean Handbags: Landing Page
Sparkling Clean Handbags: Product Page
Sparkling Clean Handbags: Product Page

In the end, the client loved the final product and I gained practical UX experience and gleaned invaluable metrics on the strategic planning and pricing of web projects.

CMS services are innovations and tools that are here to stay, so it is necessary to make peace with the machines and fashion a peaceful coexistence. Familiarize oneself with CMS functions, usefulness, and drawbacks in order to provide your client with sound counsel and effective design facilitation based knowledge and experience, not fear and anger.