The start of 2009 has already brought many changes. For starters, I am no longer full-time with Hatchling Studios and now work independently through Build Interactive (website still in progress). Working for myself has been a long time dream of mine and I’m ecstatic with how well the transition has been so far. While the state of the economy continues to trim jobs all over the country, the amount of available work for freelancers and small studios has skyrocketed, from what I’ve seen. Larger companies are more often choosing to outsource rather than continue paying for premium office space, equipment, employee health care, vacation time, and all the other expenses of running a company. I’ve taken this opportunity to really focus on lining up great projects and have been involved with some high-end, large-scale websites that I look forward to announcing on this site in the near future.

This year also marks the retirement of Shifting Creations, the previous incarnation of my online portfolio. Shifting Creations was the first site I ever developed and underwent several redesigns during its four year lifetime. One of the difficulties I eventually ran into was separating business from personal and the site was often conflicted between the two. The obvious solution was to create two sites: one strictly for business while the other remains dedicated to my writings and other biographical information. So far, the change has been well received.

A few notes about the process for creating this new portfolio site: I decided on WordPress as the CMS and chose to have the blog be the main focus. The Résumé page is a new addition, something Shifting Creations always lacked. This was also one of the few sites where I started building the page structures in HTML/CSS prior to finishing the designs in Photoshop because I knew exactly how I wanted the grid and certain elements to be laid out. It was an interesting experiment but I think the final design touches ultimately took longer to finish by developing this way. The actual coding was handled in Coda, my new favorite text editor (more info regarding this app and why I chose a Mac coming soon). Mint takes care of the stats and, even with Google’s decent free alternative, I still believe this is the way to go.