crissxross

Building my New Site and Blog

building an abstract design

I have built my new crissxross site and blog using Angular and Scully on the frontend and Firebase for hosting. The design is still a work in progress, and over time I'll be adding more features, but I needed to get a new site up and running because my old site was largely devoted to my creative works made in Flash and, sadly, Flash is now obsolete on the web.

Why build a blog from scratch?

I used to use WordPress, mainly for posting my creative Flash remixes, but rather than having a blog separate from my portfolio site, I wanted the two to be more integrated this time. Scully makes this possible. Coupled with Angular, it generates a fast-loading static blog. This means I can write blog posts in Markdown in my local development environment and Scully converts them into HTML before I publish to the web. These are good practical reasons for choosing to build my own blog, but there's another, perhaps more important reason: creativity.

If you're an artist whose creative medium is the web, you're rarely satisfied with off-the-shelf solutions. Currently, my site is preoccupied with archiving my Flash works but, soon, it will house my new creative works made in HTML, CSS and JavaScript. For these creative web apps, I need to strike a balance between familiar UI, for accessibility's sake, and the delight, surprise and intrigue that novel combinations of form and content can arouse. Of course, I want to create work that is accessible and well-built, but I don't necessarily want to shoehorn my creative projects into conventional architecture or web patterns. Each work has its own idiosyncratic needs.

So, if I want to be inventive using web technologies, then I have to look under the hood, take things apart and start building from scratch. It's not just about developing skills, it's about developing creativity in my medium of choice. If I'm working directly with the code, I can start to see creative possibilities that I might have missed otherwise. Building web apps is about design and engineering but it can also be about serendipity and playfulness. The making process feeds imagination just as the imaginary feeds the making.

Tags: AngularScullycreativity