Season of Change

It’s better than a The Times They Are A-Changin’ pun, right?

I’ve spent some time updating my personal website recently! You should head on over to David Wilkshire.co.uk and check it out. I promise it’s pretty neat. If this surprises you- it surprises me, too! I wasn’t expecting to work on that particular element of this (increasingly complex) formula. Especially when you reflect on my ill fated attempts at trying to update the thumbnails for the umpteenth time, however therein lies the reason that I finally decided to change the site around in the way that I did.

While the thumbnails remain the same not much else does.

You’ll probably notice that the sections have changed drastically and that we’re a few shy of the number we used to have. I decided that it would probably be best to remove any which leaned on certain materials, as I may not be using those materials as much (if at all) in the future. It didn’t seem to make as much sense as it once did. Not that I disagree with the original idea, either.

It was a pretty good idea. I broke everything up into sections based on their particular materials, which does have merit and does help you find the particular things you’re looking for but it’s also rather convoluted. As, if you like my pencil illustrations, it’s reasonable to suggest that you’d enjoy my ink illustrations. Or marker illustrations. Or even digital illustrations. So it didn’t really seem to fit, both for the outdated concepts and the fact that I’m not going to be the one to use this site to find my work. You are. If I want to find various things I’ve done I’ve got myriad directories to explore. It’s also built a little more around HTML and CSS than around graphical elements now.

Pretty neat, no?

There’s no particular reason for that change, though. I just felt it would be nice to be able to create the same thing but without having to rely on a singular large graphic to do it. Now I get a relatively similar effect- but this one is built from many different things. I’ve also got a thing for horizontal rules, now. Damn those sexy lines. That said, it’s quite an extensive change and now I’ve got the task of updating various links in various places. Thankfully these updates only need to happen for the two sections I’ve removed.

The other two are pretty much as they were.

Actually changing a link can be done in a matter of seconds- it’s just finding the sneaky buggers. Once this post has been published most of the major links on Moggie @ WordPress will already have been changed, but I will be updating more over the course of the next week or so. But, in case I do miss the odd one here or there, I’ll be leaving the old directories up for a while.

So I doubt that things will break too badly. If at all. I’ll admit- it’s a pretty ambitious change. But it’s one that I felt was necessary for the betterment of the site and my content as a whole, which hopefully will not only mean it’s better presented but easier to find in the future. Apologies for not sharing more creative content recently. I’m still working through a good few things and it might be a little while longer before I’m able to share things. That said, if you’re interested in a recent creative effort or something I dug out of my archives you should head on over to Twitter. I’m always sharing various bits and pieces over there. In any case, I hope you like the changes and that the new site is not too confusing.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie

Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

Yearly Consistency

Something that is surprisingly within reach.

One of the few things I’ve always been slightly bothered by with this blog is how the older content stands out. In a bad way. Not to say that the content itself is bad- in most cases it’s quite good- but that it lacks the presentation I’d like it to have. There are a few reasons for this. Mostly that the older content was written without many of the changes I’ve made in the last couple of years. The pages which outline the various aspects of the blog, the expanded category system, and even scheduling posts have made a difference there.

So I’ve been adjusting things here and there. Slowly but surely.

It’s something I’ve talked about before. It’s also something which I’ve said is not a major concern of mine, and, as such, will not take time away from the creation of new content. But recently I’ve seen the potential to finally bring everything to a level of consistency (and quality) that I want it to be at. So I’ve invested the time to make it happen.

The changes mostly exist in the posts themselves, but there are a few changes that everyone can benefit from (and enjoy) such as the new child categories. It’s now much easier to find both the First Impressions and Review posts. It’s a minor change but one that makes it easier to access content- especially if that’s the content you’d like to see. As I’ve mentioned in the past, the great thing about designing anything that someone else will use is trying to imagine what it’s like from their perspective. It may make sense to look for things in a certain place to me. But, to you, the user, if you can’t find something- it’s kind of useless. So I’m hoping these changes will make certain things easier to find and/or digest.

Not that I would ever suggest eating any of my posts. This process also gives me a certain amount of clarity as to how things are progressing. It’s interesting seeing the changes I’ve made over the years, it’s equally as interesting that I’m actually quite happy with things as they are now. I think we’ve got a good thing going on. That’s mostly interesting because I tend to be quite critical of myself. To actually be happy with something either means I’m becoming less critical or I’m doing things that I like.

Both of which are fairly positive results.

I would have preferred to bring you new content with this post, but I’ve been doing a lot of smaller experimental pieces recently and I don’t have anything reasonably coherent to share. Oddly, many of these have been related to digital painting. Who knew I’d dig that up again? Me. To be entirely honest. It’s always been fairly fun to do.

I’m starting to understand more about my weaknesses therein. I’d say that my use of colour and texture are among my strengths, but the initial sketching is pretty weak. I seemingly can’t sketch for love nor money with a tablet- but I can sketch with traditional materials. Mostly. I wasn’t intending to do coloured lined pieces with digital painting, but it might not be an entirely terrible idea even if it’s only for a short while. The only problem being that recent ink pieces aren’t really conducive to that approach. That said, I’ve always had fairly simple line art for watercolour paintings like Grotti v2. Which, thankfully, I scanned before painting. So there are a few ways to practice this new approach through those.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie

Fruity Nostalgia

Wherein I unearth things.

One of the perks of being around cats all the time is that you get to unearth a lot of things. That is if they bother to bury them first. I’ve known one or two that don’t, it’s just sitting proudly amongst the litter. Gaze upon it in awe. Or don’t- that works too. In any case, just a short post today to show you this painting I found in a box of old sketchbooks. It’s funny the things you find when you’re not even looking for them, it’s also funny that this painting is eight years old and I only vaguely remember painting it.

I think it was painted with watercolour… something. I don’t think I had tubes back then.

Gaze upon it with unbridled confusion.

Gaze upon it with unbridled confusion.

It doesn’t have a name, either. Which probably explains what it was doing buried in a box of old sketchbooks in the first place. The subject matter is hardly surprising when you think about Lemon and Lime, The Melon Most Watery, Corn on the Cob, and the like. I’m just a man that likes fruit and vegetables. Mostly painting them. Not eating them.

In other news, I’ve made some minor updates to my personal site. Minor updates that took nearly a day and a half to do because I never give up on things once I’ve decided to do them. Good ol’ personality foibles. There are new thumbnails, minor layout changes, and general quality of life changes everywhere. I’ve even added another new piece to the site following Aquatic Owl. I decided to upload the owl from that post- Ol’ Hooty– as its own piece. It’s great that I’ve finally realised that I have a section for those sorts of things, as I’ve been able to share so many more pieces with you all as a result of it. Which is a good thing, right?

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

Art, design, and the like found herein (unless otherwise specified) is drawn and owned by David Wilkshire (also credited as Moggie) from 2006 to present date.

Assorted Adjustments

Tinkering abound.

Just a short post today to let everyone know that the changes outlined in Plotting Progress have been implemented. I’ve also made some additional changes to recent posts to bring them in line with the rest, often to include something I’d missed/forgotten or to recategorise them. As always, these weren’t critically important changes and if I’ve done it right you won’t even notice anything has changed. But I do like to keep everyone informed.

I haven’t got any further changes planned for the collection of sites. That said, I don’t necessarily plan when things need to be changed- I just notice that things aren’t working as intended. I try not to fuss too much over the sites, though. It doesn’t take too much time to implement changes but it does take time out of the other things I’m doing. Like making content. Or doodling. Or running around in the Orient with nought but a skirt covering my loins. As you can probably tell- I live a very interesting life.

Which totally doesn’t revolve around tapping the keys on a keyboard for several hours a day.

I also spend a fair amount of time scanning things. Isn’t that exciting? I bet you wish you got to do that. Unless you already do that in which case you’re one of the lucky few. You understand the joy of whirring scanner components, the blinking lights, and the excitement of having a cat that tries to climb inside that infernal contraption. I drink coffee, too. Probably enough to kill a rhinoceros. I don’t sleep all that much, though. Probably accounts for the weird things I say. Or do. It’s also not related to the consumption of coffee at all. It’s mostly due to thinking about far too much for far too long and never being able to rest.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

Plotting Progress

An entirely mathematical affair.

The protractor always said the compass was acute and they weren’t just talking about their angles! I’ll admit- that was terrible. But the rest of the post won’t be. Hopefully. I guess it really depends on your definition of terrible, though. I wanted to talk about the general state of things today. I haven’t written a post like this since Archive of Experiences earlier in the year, where I talked about the content creation process and what I’d like to do next. Now we get to reflect on whether I did those things or not.

I think you’ll agree that the recent content has been of higher quality, has been more diverse, and that overall they’ve been more engaging posts. Leaning a little heavier on gaming content at the moment, with some posts covering one my favourite series of all time and some focusing on my adventures in World of Warcraft. Gaming content will be the focus of some minor updates on Moggie @ WordPress in the coming weeks, too. As I’ve pretty much got the creative content right where I want it. Now to explain my nefarious scheme in detail only for it to escape and foil me once more. Not sure why it would want to stab me with a fencing sword- but we can figure that out later.

Scheduling has also encountered a slight change recently.

As mentioned in Liquid Orc, I’ve pushed back the publishing/scheduling time a little to make it easier to work around things outside of this. Hopefully this won’t change how people interact with the content too drastically. But, if it does, I’ll change it accordingly. The frequency of posts remains as was so there will be just as much content as before. Just a little later in the day.

There may be some minor changes coming to the collection of sites, too. I’ve been thinking about changing the header/cover images. I just need to think of a decent design, design it, upload it, and then tinker endlessly until it looks right on every site. I wish I could say I was being sarcastic but that’s how it goes. That won’t affect the creation of new content, though. Nor can I give a definite date as to when I’ll be ready with it. It’s not a major concern at the moment as I quite like my current header/cover image.

I haven’t got any new sites or major changes to talk about, either. I was considering actually using my Twitch account and doing some streaming at some point. The odd one here or there, to gauge interest, to see what it’s like, and to see whether it’s worth an investment of time. Probably something like Fallout 3 at first. Given it’s something I know quite well, it’s easy to record, and it shouldn’t cause too many problems. Just as long as I turn off the radio stations. There are still a few things to set up before that will be available, though. Like the possibility of using OBS to record/stream, as I’ve heard that has been updated considerably since I last looked into it.

I hope that everyone is still enjoying the content and that they’re excited to see more.

You can always drop me a comment or two. Tell me what you like, what you don’t like, what you’d like to see more of, what you’d like to see less of, or even what breed of cat is your favourite. It doesn’t even need to be a domestic cat, either. I’m open to all kinds of suggestions. Some I will only indulge in after dark, though.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie

Ten Year Anniversary

It has been a pleasure.

It was ten years ago (to the day) that I started my very first blog. Shortly after that I joined an art community site, then another, then started another blog, and then I ended up here on WordPress. On that journey I’ve met people, made friends, developed my personal site, employed social media profiles, and I’ve even got a few things that people haven’t heard of yet. Along the way I’ve embraced a lot of changes and most significant of those changes for WordPress is the inclusion of gaming content.

Initially (on my first blog) that was always a feature. In later iterations I had decided to focus solely on my creative pursuits, but it’s interesting seeing how the two different hobbies can interact and how some of the creative posts make more sense now. That said, I’m always trying to keep the balance in favour of my creative pursuits.

But it never hurts to have a few posts here or there about my other hobby.

Or about cats- those are pretty cool, too. As such I’m glad that I’ve been able to talk about Final Fantasy, World of Warcraft, and even Guild Wars (along with Guild Wars 2) in the last year. None of those are as prominent as they once were, but I’m hoping that could change and (even if it doesn’t) I’m happy that I’ve been able to feature them on Moggie @ WordPress. I’m looking to do more content in a similar vein soon. In the future I’m going to have a little less gaming content, but what is available will hopefully be more relevant and of higher quality than some of the posts in the past. However, as always, I don’t really have a map for this journey. So I’m going to develop as and when I feel the need to.

This year has been particularly good for creative content. We’ve seen some older traditional pieces, some newer traditional pieces, and even a few posts about things I’m currently working on. Alongside that we’ve had some digital and traditional marriages, some digital pieces, and even a few digital work in progress posts. It’s quite a fortuitous year in that respect. Given that this would be the year that I would doing an anniversary post, and that, as I said above, I’m trying to keep the balance in favour of my creative pursuits.

So now you get to look back at all of these wonderful posts! Isn’t that great? Besides what already exists on Moggie @ WordPress, it’s likely I’ll be doing a lot more creative posts as the year slowly winds down and everyone starts playing Christmas music in November. Not that I mind- Christmas is one of my favourite seasons.

I might even be spending it in Azeroth this year.

I’d like to thank each and every one of you, too. For all I can write, for all I can say, and for all I can do it means nothing if there aren’t people to consume the content. So to everyone who has liked a post, everyone who has shared a post, and to everyone who has taken the time to comment- thank you! I hope you’ve enjoyed your time here and I hope you’ll enjoy what’s to come even more. I can’t guarantee what that’ll be, but I can guarantee that (at the very least) I’ll be around here for a little while more. Until then, have fun clicking through all of these links and reading all my previously published ramblings. Enjoy the site, too. I’ve spent a while getting it just the way I like it.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie

New Approaches

Every day the list gets longer.

I’ve spent the last three months (on and off) working on various updates for the collection of sites. This started as a small project to improve the quality of older posts for Moggie @ WordPress, that led to developing new teaser images for art posts, updating my personal site, working on a new social media site, and is a list that gets longer with every passing day. Every time I start to work on one thing I think of other improvements I’d like to implement!

The good news is that I’m ready to share these updates. First and foremost I’d like to unveil my new Google+ page which filters through updates from Moggie @ WordPress, as well as tailored updates, and (some) posts from Twitter. It also features a collection entirely focused on my creative efforts. You can follow one (or both) if you’d like to get updates via Google+, too.

I’ve been slowly adding updates and content to my Google+ page since late last year.

You’ll also find a link to the Google+ page on both my personal site and in the sidebar to right. Additionally I’ve been making some changes to Moggie @ WordPress in the form of new teaser images for the art posts over here. You’ll find all but the oldest content (from 2012) have new thumbnails, updated layouts, and other minor changes. I’ve been working through many of the older posts trying to keep the quality and formatting as consistent as I can. For the most part the content has been left as was and you’ll still be able to go back a few years, browse old posts, and observe how my writing style and/or approach has changed in that time.

You’ll also find that both the Gaming and Art pages are now updated with some newly discovered posts that slipped through my initial sweep of published content. These are now closer to being concise, well organised, high quality lists of previously published content that you can use to find anything (and/or everything) I’ve got to offer. My personal site has also seen a few small changes to heighten the level of quality you’ll find over there, too.

Twitter has seen a lot more activity recently and some of those updates will now be mirrored to Google+ which should allow a much higher level of exposure for certain things. Best of all this allows people who may not use Twitter but use Google+, or vice versa, to access the content if they want to. I’m pretty pleased with how these two sites are currently progressing.

This doesn’t conclude the range of updates, though.

I’ve still got a few things that I’d like to update for Moggie @ WordPress along with a few ideas for my personal site. But, for the most part, I’m quite happy with how much work has gone into- and how much difference it has made to- the various sites. Besides the aforementioned changes I’m actually at a loss as to what I’d like to work on next. Obviously either creative or video game content is always a welcome addition, which, if you’ve been following recent posts, you’ll know there’s already something nearing completion there. I’d like to do a post or two about Grim Dawn (and likely a full review) when that fully releases this month as well.

I apologise for having a few text heavy, explanatory, less interesting posts recently but I hope you’ll agree the updates were worth it.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie