The Home of Digital Designer

Phil Coffman

Home Again

On writing and convictions

JAN 6, 2014

Back in 2008 I started blogging for the first time. Initially my postings were random and lacked focus, but over time I focused in on what I wanted to do: which was to share my interests and inspirations. Blogging was my first social interaction online. Twitter and Facebook were around, but like blogging, I was a late adopter. It was through my site that I made my first online connections with others in my industry whom I respect and, as with anyone who invests in sharing their passions with others, my writing improved, I made more connections, I honed my interests further, and grew in my convictions about design, art, and creativity.

Then I took this big hiatus. At the time my coding skills were basic at best and I told myself I would refrain from social media until I had redesigned and personally coded a new site. It took me 74 days to launch this, which I was proud of, but shortly abandoned because updating it was a nightmare. Everything was hand-coded (as is this new version) but since I was still new to coding I found myself constantly frustrated and giving up frequently when writing new posts. At the same time I co-founded Element which demanded a huge amount of my attention and played a factor in my inability to persevere with my new site. I ditched my 74 days of work and switched to a stock Tumblr theme, but I lost interest because it didn't look or function the way I wanted. Not long after I said "screw it" to the whole thing and put up a basic one page site with a photo of me and some links.

For the next two years I performed as a professional digital designer but felt "homeless" in that I was busy creating work for others but not tending to my own home. Any form of personal portfolio dwindled into a smattering of Dribbble shots and whichever projects I owned on the Element site. I also noticed that I started to lose my professional voice. I wasn't short on ideas or thoughts, but I had no real place to express them outside of Twitter. I had the opportunity to speak at a few conferences but always walked away from those feeling like I could've done better had I kept writing. I struggled to express my convictions on design and felt stifled in my desire to share my interests like I once had.

I needed an online home again. And this is it.

Writing feels rusty to me now. I feel like it's 2008 again. It'll take me awhile to find my rhythm, but I'm committed to building a home that lasts. In the coming weeks I will be adding my work section, I have some back-end work to finish, and I'm sure styles will be tweaked and fixes made. But I will be writing and I hope you'll follow along with me.

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