Moving Hosts

I’ve changed my website hosting company, because I’ve had some issues with my website’s former home.

This turned out to be a much bigger ordeal than I had expected.
When I first started my website, I had zero idea what I was doing, I just coded inside Gedit and kept everything inside a disorganized blob – an entire website with over 10,000 files, all contained within a single folder. Ugh…
When I upgraded from handed coded crap to WordPress, I made a few more bad decisions – I took some lazy shortcuts to save myself some trouble, which required a few creative work-arounds.
Over the years, more and more creative workarounds were introduced with every major change or update.

When I switched hosts, every single workaround broke, and the issues they were covering up reared all their ugly little heads.
What a mess.
With the help of a good friend, we were able to solve the problems…we think

I hope everything is working flawlessly, but if I missed anything, please let me know.

Channel Changes

I’ve decided to revamp and refocus my YouTube channel. The focus will be less about a chronological vlog about me paintings, and will instead be more geared towards sharing ideas and advice I’ve heard and learned from the many mistakes I’ve made along the way.

New Website in the Works.

I’ve not a new website in the works. I dont want to post a link to it just yet, as it is still missing a lot of stuff, but I like where it’s headed.

The old website was built to be fast and efficient, but it wasn’t flexible or easy to maintain. With the introduction of tablets, smartphones, smart TVs, and web-enabled gaming consoles, flexibility has become, in my opinion, much more of a priority. And based on the frequency of my updates, making it easier for me to do so is probably going to be a welcome change on my end, because I really hated updating things the old way. The last website was built by hand in a plain text editor. I had no idea what I was doing, and changing one thing meant opening and editing at least 4 separate files. This was a whole lot of very monotonous work, and the urge to procrastinate nearly always overpowered the urge to update.

This new site is using a lot of ready made components with lots of advanced content management systems; I’m halfway through uploading all the content and I’m still discovering new features that aren’t even advertised by the theme’s creator, Devin Price.

There is now a master gallery listing of images. Images can be tagged in various ways, and galleries can be created on the fly based on whatever tag you select. That means if I tag things “abstract, 2009, acrylic, Toronto,”, you can click “2009″ and see a gallery of everything I painted in 2009. With just one more click, you can be taken from there to a new gallery depicting toronto, or all my strictly abstract work.

I think this is a great addition to the website, because it frees people from the rigid organizational scheme I used on the old site, and lets you search for things however you want to search for them.

As I play around with this website further, I’m sure I will discover more cool new features that have so far gone unnoticed by me. Content from 2006 to 2010 is currently uploaded and tagged, but I still have to go through and update all the information and the availability of each piece. That won’t be a fun job…

Once I get everything uploaded, tagged, and type up all the important details, I’ll post the link here to let you have a sneak peek at what I’ve done before replacing the old site.

website maintenance

For a few months, I’ve been extremely frustrated about a little bug in the index.html page for my main website. (kyleclements.com)

the page worked just fine in FireFox 3.6 on my laptop. But for some reason, the image would fail to render on every other browser out there. I checked multiple computers, I loaded my website on smart phones, Wii’s, and Macs. I even tried it out on the Opera mini browser for my NDS.

No image.

What the hell is going on?

My machine was getting kinda crashy, so I wiped it clean and did a full re-install of everything.

I upgraded my OS to Ubuntu 11.04 (I was still on 9.04, so this was quite a jump), which features the brand new shiny FireFox 4 web browser.

And….the image would load. Damn!

I installed chromium.

The image wouldn’t load.

At this point, I was getting pretty angry, because it was looking more and more like it was a website coding error, not a browser error.

That means the mistake is my fault. Better look at the page source.

I was missing a single < / a > tag. I left one of my links open, and that was the source of all my problems.

Finally, after 4 months, my website will work right again! Time to upload this file and get to work.

I opened up Filezilla and tried to upload my fixed file, and it just erased my index.html page instead. I spent an hour tweaking setting, visiting my web host’s website and dealing with support, nothing. That 4kb file just didn’t want to upload.

Before calling it quites for the night, I figured, ‘lets try something new.’

I installed gFTP, hit upload, and 2 seconds later, my website was up and running.

By the end of it, I had a better faster lightweight browser and a better faster lightweight FTP client. And a functional website.

Going Through Some Old Photos

I’ve been working on the CV section of the website lately.
When I started building my site 3 years ago, I had no idea what I was doing, and the result became a maintenance nightmare. Lately, I’ve been going through, and cleaning things up, and reorganising the pages.

Continue reading Going Through Some Old Photos

An Experiment with Micro-Payments

I know artists aren’t supposed to talk about money, but I’m going to break that rule in this post to talk about a little experiment I’m going to be running for the next few months.

See that little box in the right hand sidebar, above the archive? That is my Flattr Box. Let me explain what that is and why I put it there.

There is a micro-payment service known as “flattr”, and it seems like a really neat idea. Flattr hasn’t really broken into the North-American market yet, but I think this service has the potential to really go somewhere. Unfortunately, it’s a very social thing. Like a fax machine or facebook account, Flattr is utterly useless if only one person has it. It’s value will increase with its popularity.

You know how you can “like” something on facebook? Flattr is sort of like that.

Let’s say you are on a web page, and you want to show the author that you appreciate their work. They could have a “Like” button that is similar to what you see on facebook. But what if you are an extremely altruistic person who wants to do more than give some virtual props?

Let’s say you want to do more than offer moral support. Let’s say you want to send a small donation to the creators to show them your appreciation. But…you can’ be bothered to go through Paypay., because let’s face it, it’s a hassle to log in, enter all the info. Why can’t you just click a button and be done with it? Someone needs to design a system where a single click is all it takes to send a small token of support to a content creator.

That’s where flatter comes in.

You register an account. You set your monthly allowance. You flatter the pages you like. Your monthly allowance is split between those pages. That’s all there is to it.
Continue reading An Experiment with Micro-Payments

Website Updates

Wow.
It seems like I’ve done nothing this past week but update and add to this website.

The biggest change to this site would have to be the addition of a dedicated area for illuminated landscapes. It’s pretty much it’s own mini site, complete with full image galleries, essays, multiple pages, links, embedded objects, etc.
Lots of work.

But that’s not the only thing I’ve been up to.
I spent a good chunk of last weekend (Feb 12-14) modifying some of the earlier entries of my CV. The old way of doing it works fine on the front end (what viewers see) but the back end (what I deal with) is clunky, disorganised, and a nightmare to maintain. So I’ve been re-arranging the CV galleries, and I’m slowly turning the CV entries into long, single pages.
All the images are still there, but now it’s all on one page. I’m also adding a lot of text, providing information on how the show went, what it led to, what I learned, and anything else that seems important.

The CV section is intended to be a ‘gold mine’ for anyone who ever decides to dig up information on me. I will reveal what I showed, who I showed with, what I wore, what I drank, old artist statements, etc. Everything I still have or still remember will go into these pages.

I think I am, for the most part, done with these website updates.

Next up will be some blog entries expanding on Illuminated Landscapes. Stay tuned.

Website Updates

I’ve made some minor changes to my own website, and some massive changes to the “Take a Picture” website.

Take a Picture had a complete re-design with drop down menus, new content, lots of cool stuff, definitely worth checking out.

As for my main website, my changes were aimed at tweaking some navigation issues that have been bugging me since last summer.
Continue reading Website Updates

Website Updates

Hello all. I’ve got more boring technical information for you.

I’ve added a new section to this website. Remember the poll I had running a few months ago? (Technically, it’s still running right now.)

I’ve taken the most popular images, as voted by you, and put them in a new gallery that’s right out front. Clicking the image on my website’s main index page will take you to this gallery.

There are two forward and back buttons beside each image to navigate through the nine images in this new gallery.

Now, by best work is right up front, rather than being buried in menu three clicks away.

Vote Now! Seeking Feedback on my Paintings

Vote Now! Seeking Feedback on my Paintings

I’ve got a little project in the works. I won’t reveal what that project is quite yet, but it might turn out to be the most awesome thing in the history of the entire universe (but that outcome is rather unlikely).

A few days ago, I set up a new little area on my blog. I’ve got enough of the bugs worked out that I now feel comfortable advertising this new section. The link, which can be found in the upper right hand corner of this page, leads to a blog entry where my urban landscapes can be viewed, and more importantly, voted for.

Each of my paintings can be given a “thumbs up”, or a “thumbs down” rating, and as far as I know, the whole thing is completely anonymous. You don’t have to worry about offending me, or forcing my artistic direction one way or another, this is just about getting some feedback on my work.

At first, I published the link to a fairly small following, the people on my facebook fan page. The next day, the link was posted to a low traffic web forum. Yesterday, I tweeted about the page, and today, I’ve put the link on my blog, my main facebook page, and a few other places.

I will be keeping careful track of the results, and adding to this entry in the near future.

If you can spare a few moments, please, head on over to the new gallery section and vote!

Thank you.