Want to see what inspires me lately?
If you’ve been here on the Fresh Rag site prior to this, you’ll notice my hat tip to all the popular tech sites that tend to post “BETA” on their site releases. Steve Jobs is attributed with the phrase “Real Artists Ship“, which loosely translates to get your product out to market and figure out the kinks later. I put “BETA” on the site mostly as a cheeky homage to Steve Jobs, but also as a sign that more changes would come once I found out more about my readers and what I felt about the site.Now that we’re approaching the half-year mark for Fresh Rag, it’s time for some slight adjustments.
As much as I initially liked the identity, I’m not in love with it—a tweaking is definitely in order. I’ve been perusing the web for weeks looking for inspiration, and I have a digital clipboard of things I’m using as source material. The general idea is to maintain a bit of the grunge, punk-rock feel, but a little more refined. I’m also going to add more elements to posts, so there rest of the site needs to be a uncluttered as possible. I’ve seen many art blogs get way too bogged down with widgets, buttons and banners. Add onto those some posts that have a bunch of photos with graphic elements, and it become a chaotic mess.
I want to maintain a little “punk rock” edge, but without being too literal. The postcards from La Mere above have touches of an old school punk flyer, but tastefully done. I think they mixed a few too many fonts, but I dig the style.
I definitely want to clean things up a bit in some areas too. A Continuous Lean is a nens style and fashion blog that admire for its simplicity.
On the personal art side, and also with some of the secondary imagery, things are going to be bolder at times and more adventurous. Artists like Sonnenzimmer, Nate Duval & Lure Design can pull off abstraction while maintaining restraint. Meanwhile, Sabrina Ward Harrison comes in and says, “FUCK RESTRAINT”! Somewhere along the way, I’m going to find a balance between these worlds.
The frenetic pace at which I’ve been working has had it’s positives and it’s negatives. I’m stoked I was able to get out so much content so quickly, and I think the readership was appreciative, but it’s very difficult to manage. Between the site, the day job, managing a small child and trying to get some art off the ground, I was losing ground. I sometimes feel the quality of the content suffered because I was in such a hurry to get several posts a day out to you. I don’t think it’s fair to new readers to be shooting out less than great stuff. So, from this post forward, we’re going for a less is more approach; one good quality post a day with some straggler thrown in on occasion. I’ll make sure to bring the top notch stuff the best I can muster.
Magazine Mondays turned out to be great, but only for a limited group of readers. Traffic on mondays is always a bit lean, but it got really low when I introduced Mag Mondays. Instead of dedicating an entire day to the subject, I’m going to let them come as the inspiration arises and then post magazine related articles on mondays. However, and this is quite ambitious, but I have toyed with the idea of producing a 2nd site strictly toward the subject of making and sharing magazine related stories (because I have so much free time).
The posts that resonate the most with readers are when I touch on personal aspects, experiences and projects I’ve worked on. You’ll see a bit more Dave in posts, but hopefully not to a fault. Fresh Rag was never intended to be a personal blog, but I appreciate that readers like to see the human side. Fret not, though; I will still continue to showcase as much great art from others.
These changes will likely be incremental, occurring gradually, so keep your eyes peeled. I love to sneak up on people and shock them with something fresh. I’m a creeper like that.