This last Tuesday was a very big day for me regarding the new header going up on my website! It was quite an odyssey that took two and a half months to complete. I absolutely loved my current header at the time with all the buttons that were created and installed by my webmaster and friend, Chris. There was a lot of planning and time spent on it. I wished I had saved the original blank page in Word Press that we had.
I wanted to write book reviews, food reviews, movies and tv and music reviews, sports commentary, to share my own short stories, and my travel thoughts, wishes and dreams. But that center pic was ALL Chris. He asked for one of my favorite pics of Phoenix and that is what he came up with. For those of you curious to know. It was Phoenix sitting at the foot of the recliner with me holding his prized Kryptonite…his tennis ball. Waiting for me to throw it. That pic rocks!! So, that was our thinking and as time has progressed I realized that I had spread myself too thin with categories. Oh, I will still write on all of the above mentioned but the categories will likely be condensed. It’s a fluid situation and changes are occurring daily. I will especially miss the center button showing the picture of my baby boy, Phoenix. I’m sure Chris will figure something out.
One night late last November I was chatting with my very close friend, John. I had a couple of pieces of scratch paper and was doodling – if it can even be called that because I would lose a stick man drawing contest. Yep, the actual picture I drew that got this all started. Told ya I suck! **You can click on the picture to see it full frame**
I was telling him I liked my current header but I wanted something that really painted a picture of me, Phoenix and my writing. I had gone through several scenarios from skylines in the big city and possibly having them photo shopped. But, that truly wasn’t me.
Then I thought of using the Reno skyline at night. And I thought that in no way sent the correct message nor depicted specifically me and Phoenix and my writing.
Next I thought I would take a pic of my house or a line of houses on my street with only my bedroom light on. Ya, I was going to coordinate that with the entire block and the City of Reno to shut off the street lights for a specific night shoot by yours truly. By the way a kid came speeding around the corner right after I shot this pic standing in the middle of the street. Yikes!
So, going back to John, I showed him some really general block sketches of what was in my head. He said, “Hang on, let me try something.” In Paint he came up with this in a matter of minutes. For me, that was dang impressive. **You can click on the picture to see it full frame**
Then he did another one after spending a little more time on it. As you can see, the Easter Bunny is sitting behind me on a late winter night and no sign of Phoenix. Creepy, I know. But, we had a general concept down and I was very excited. **You can click on the picture to see it full frame**
John sent me his updated copy after a couple of weeks so that I could see a base template to give to some professional graphic artists. Now, it was one of the flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz late at night and still no Phoenix. Even more creepy. **You can click on the picture to see it full frame**
By the way, I’ve been poking some fun at the pics. But, always know that John has been the method behind a great deal of the madness with my website. Hell, he was the contest winner for website name! The man has a great gift for spontaneous artistry both visually and verbally. I’ve learned so much from him as he is absolutely brilliant. Thank you, sir! I can only hope you will pursue this gift of your’s to places of success you can not fathom right now.
Next, Chris and I hired three graphic artists off of DeviantArt.com to submit some rough drafts and the “winner” would be who we would go with. There were some good drawings submitted but I will not post them here for copyright reasons. Many of my friends got to see the rough drafts and offered their opinions in an informal poll. One gal, Jennifer from Germany, was the one I wanted to hire to pursue the final product. But, the more I thought about it the more leery I became of trying to do a high-end product overseas and via email. And of course there would be money involved.
So, I thought and thought on it for a couple of weeks. And I knew in my heart what I wanted. I attempted to contact a few people through friends but none of them could show me a gallery of their work. I was becoming very frustrated until one day I was walking into work and I passed by the webmaster, Robert, for our company. I went on to my work station and sat down and began work and then BAM, it hit me, call Robert! Of which I immediately picked up the phone and he put me in touch with the graphic artist for our company, Josh. Long story short after meeting with Josh and explaining what I was after he said he would be more than happy to help me on his own time.
In the future there will be templates for each of the four seasons (but all at night) and templates within those four seasons for several of the major holidays. You will like them all….trust me. I want to send a huge thank you to my friend, Carolyn, who spent a great deal of time helping me with artistry of this. Chareese also for the many great suggestions I inputted before putting together the final template. Thank you also to Hendrix for all his creativity and to John for his initial drawing. There is one little surprise that is being worked on in the background and you will just have to wait and see. That is all Chareese’s idea and it’s absolutely magic. And lastly, thank you Josh, you are the best for making this all come true for me!
It’s important to me to always thank those that have supported me unconditionally along this path of mine. Phoenix and I are forever grateful to all of you who helped this become a reality. What’s ironic, is that Phoenix is right here watching me type this before sending it out in the wee hours of the morning. On to the next post!
Here ya go…