Digital Playground – Passion Pasion Passion

CAP (Community Arts Partnership)
Digital Playground – Passion Pasion Passion
Project Manager, Navigation Architect

1997-98 Community Arts Partnership / KAOS Network, Los Angeles, CA
Project Manager
· Supervised staff in completion of CD-ROM development project featuring artwork by 31 students at 5 Los Angeles art training centers
· Mixed and helped engineer recording sessions
· Redesigned navigational elements for better usability
· Taught graphic design, video, and web development software
· Implemented exhibition with 5 simultaneous networked computers and video feeds

DIGITAL PLAYGROUND is a large project which incorporated and repurposed final class and independent student projects from several Community Arts Partnership (CAP) sites across the greater Los Angeles area. CAP, an organization run from the California Institute of the Arts, offers free arts training for “at-risk” Junior High through Adult students across LA. CalArts students are Teaching Assistants – sometimes full teachers – for the classes. This project trained students in web development, ISDN video teleconferencing, and digital graphic arts. Students from these diverse communities interacted with each other; first via ISDN, and eventually in person. Although these communities were only 20 miles apart, the students would probably never have set foot in each other’s neighborhoods. The project included work from Plaza de la Raza in East Los Angeles; Inner City Arts in downtown Los Angeles; Watts Towers Arts Center in Watts; and KAOS Multimedia Center in Leimert Park.

The theme and working title for the project was “Passion, Pasion, Passion” and it targeted views of passion in Latino and African American communities. It was an outgrowth of the previous year’s projects, which examined participant’s literal and figurative “families” – from parents and siblings to gangs and co-workers.

Digital Playground was developed throughout 1997-98, and showcased class projects on a CD-ROM-based “website.” Streaming media development tools were not yet widely or inexpensively available; however, without bandwidth constraints, we could include complete, digitally formatted video projects on the CD-ROM. HTML / Javascript pages provided an interface to these videos, and were utilized as a medium for the students to respond to the subject matter they researched in their classes.

These “passion” subjects covered a broad range; the situation in Chiapas, inspirational leaders of revolutionary ethnic change, views and attitudes towards spirituality, neighborhood redevelopment, views on sexuality, police abuse and artistic reactions to it, racism, community responses to the recent riots in LA, history and roots of hip-hop music, music compositions integrating hip-hop and notated jazz arranging, a Latino “speed-metal” band’s music, a hip-hop radio program, dance, and mixed-media animation.

Project Duties:
I began my role in the project as a digital graphics and video teleconferencing instructor, however in the summer I was promoted to project manager. At this point a broad schematic existed for the project; however most of the portions were incomplete, with no plan existing for coordinating the completion of the various elements. I consequently organized the contributions of all the different classes into the project. I worked with student artists, writers, film makers, teachers, and musicians to integrate all of their work into the final CD-ROM. In this role I had to coordinate submission deadlines, learn and write javascript code, audio engineer mix-down sessions on Pro-Tools from the recording studio, digitize videos on the Media 100 system and Video Toaster, complete unfinished graphic design projects, and help train others in use of the broad range of technology utilized in the project. Over the busy course of the summer of 1998, I brought the project to near-conclusion; and several fully-functional CD-ROMs were created. In the fall I returned to work on my thesis at CalArts, and political discussions among the involved organizations led to subsequent editing of the final CD-ROM and the censorship of one of the videos. Two other instructors made these final changes for the CD-ROM.

Tasks Performed:
Team planning, organization, and coordination
Design and Preparation of T-Shirt artwork
Production of a promotional Postcard
Adapted student artwork for use on the pages
Audio Engineering of Ed Bland and Chu’s Project
Digitized nearly all video clips on the CD-ROM
Designed and created an interface for written material introducing the videos; learned javascript to create it and teach others how to use it.
Javascript code for roll-over functionality and pop-up video windows
Created original artwork for some of the pages (Leimert Park Pyramid, On Spirituality, KAOS Video Projects)
Completed Artwork by others (Digital Playground Projects, Digital Playground, Map Graphics)
Helped execute animated graphics in Dreamweaver (People to People)
Burned first functional CD-ROM of the project
Helped demo the in-progress project on an in-house network via multiple workstations
HTML programming training
Navigation Revisions

Timbuktu Remote
Media Pro? Digital Video Editor
U Matic Video Editing
Adobe Illustrator

National Urban Technology Center

Web Integrator, Online Catalog Designer, Systems Administrator

The National Urban Technology Center is a New York-based organization providing life skills education to disadvantaged populations throughout the United States. In cooperation with the Department of Justice’s “Weed and Seed” program, they convert crack houses into community computer training centers that provide job skills training.

Content development took place in Los Angeles, and I acted as a web integrator and part-time Systems Administrator for the team. I implemented the designer’s ideas as functional webpages, in coordination with the Cold Fusion programmer. We also had a team of writers and animators who created flash movies and quiz games as part of the educational modules.

The home page displayed random selections of participant images with links to their personal homepages. It also served as a member login page.

Four tour pages explained the Urban Tech programs and linked to a flash demo movie. I served as designer for the textual portion of the flash demo. I also designed an assortment of animated banner ads for the site, derived from the company’s logos.

I redesigned the company’s online catalog for better informational clarity and navigation.

The real core of the company’s offerings was the flash content, which I constructed the html framework for. Cold Fusion databases controlled which content was available to each user, and kept track of their quiz scores. This is presented within the catalog and demo.

For clarification, the pages presented here are reconstructed from the final interactive database-driven pages. E-commerce links are disabled, and the content on these pages will not update dynamically. The new Urban Tech site has been redesigned by their local NY database developers.

Urban Tech Online Catalog Re-design

The old online course catalog was confusing; it lacked heirarchical organization and duplicated information several places on the page.

To further complicate things, information was again duplicated on a second index page. Although the icons were appealing, they were also confusing, and simply repeated information from the text links on the pages.

To address these problems, I used frames to create an index and heirarchical organization. The course packages were presented in a simpler informational graphic, a chart that used colors to visually differentiate each package.

The design intentionally used elements from the home and tour pages to maintain the site’s visual identity, as specified by designer Andrea Lenardin of Instant Days Design.

2001 National Urban Technology Center, Hollywood, CA
Web Integrator
· Converted static designs to web pages
· Served as liaison between graphic designer and database programmer
· Redesigned and coded online product catalog, marketing brochures, and animated banner ads
· Maintained account database, implemented archives, created documention
· Interviewed and hired creative and technical support staff

Web Designer, Navigation Architect, E Commerce Integrator

2006 Fingerlights, Los Angeles, CA
Web Designer
· Redesigned navigation for site
· Configured secure ecommerce store
· Built site including video clips of products

Asa Kim is a Navy Pilot who is marketing a remarkably tiny series of ring-flashlights for civilian and tactical uses.

Earlier web designers were unable to complete his website, which needed to include an e-commerce section and video clips. He had determined the design and graphical look of the site already, and I helped simplify the navigation using drop-down menus to maximize the product display area. A PayPal shopping cart was implemented to handle sales in a secure fashion.

Gary L. Coleman

Gary L. Coleman is a retired studio musician with a formidable catalog of recorded performances. (He adds the “L” to distinguish himself from the actor with a similar name.) His family members are all successful artists in their own right as well, and he hoped to help showcase the whole family’s work in this website. He also hoped to exhibit and offer for sale the poetry and music of his deceased son.

The graphical tone of the site is drawn from Gary’s scores and computer works; a javascript rollover interface is provided to let viewers see the son’s poems but not print them, and mp3 files are currently streamed to prevent downloading. (A Flash jukebox is forthcoming)

Poems by his older daughter Cole are included, as well as photography and ambient music from younger daughter Lisa – well known for her film scores as part of the dynamic duo “Wendy and Lisa” and for her tenure with the artist who was then known as Prince. The hope was to provide a view into the lesser known facets of the family’s creativity as well.

Structurally, the site is a mix of i-frames and css pages, navigated with javascript pop-up menus. A blog was also setup to enable family members to write their thoughts to the site.

Winslow Court Recording Studio

Winslow Ct.
Web Designer

Winslow Court is a Recording Studio in Hollywood that has produced many award winning albums. The client wanted to create an ambient soundscape that continued to loop while different sections of the site were visited. Animated slideshows of album artwork and musicians in the studio were included. The majority of the site was built in Flash, and periodically albums and photos were added to the galleries. Later the site was significantly scaled down, effectively offering only an online business card.

SolwayJones Gallery

Web Designer, Custom CMS Developer, Navigation Architect, WordPress Developer, Programming Contractor

SolwayJones Gallery is an art gallery located in the Chinatown area of Los Angeles, and previously in the La Brea / Wilshire “Miracle Mile” district. They wanted a website that would enable them to dynamically update content for new gallery shows.

I specified a database to meet their needs, and contracted php programmer Mark Losinski to build the content management system. Additional programming was done by Andrew Farley. I was responsible for the graphic and navigation design of the site. In 2008 a WordPress blog was added for the “News” section, allowing them to add written updates about their artists and video clips of their art work. The blog has been exceptionally successful.

The website opened a number of doors for the gallery, enabling them to enter art fairs that had previously been unreceptive, and also ushering them into some professional art publications.

The site’s content management system allows them to add, remove, and re-sequence artwork, exhibit, and artist listings from the database. Images are sized using an Imageready “droplet” for consistency. Because of changes in browser technology,  a site overhaul was discussed, but the gallery closed before that could be undertaken.

SolwayJones Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
WordPress Developer, Videographer
· Designed and built gallery news WordPress blog
· Videotaped exhibition artwork and published flash versions online

SolwayJones Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Web Designer, Project Manager
· Designed and built gallery website with updatable catalog
· Specified PHP database to catalog artwork, contracted programmers to build it

Blythe Projects

Blythe Projects, Beverly Hills, CA
Website Designer, Developer, Photographer, and Graphic Designer
· Designed and built website incorporating flash and javascript slideshows and php database
· Designed business identity, stationary, logo, and business cards
· Shot portrait photos for website

Web Designer, Navigation Architect, Logo Designer, Graphic Designer

Blythe Projects embraces the dual art consultancy and artist development businesses of Hillary Metz. The sites incorporate a Flash animated slideshow on the home page, a javascript projects slideshow, and static pages with biographical information and a list of art fairs.

The content scope for this mostly static site was small, so navigation design focused on simplicity and clarity. Drop-down menus used in the client’s specification were eliminated, and an allied site intended for emerging artist management services was created separate from the gallery site. A small php database was begun to facilitate dynamic listings of art fairs throughout the world, however time and budgetary considerations gave priority to development of an animated home page.

Allied work included business cards and the gallery’s logo.

Francois Ghebaly Gallery

Francois Ghebaly Gallery
Web Designer, WordPress Custom Theme Developer

François Ghebaly
Website Designer, WordPress Developer
510 Bernard Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
November 17, 2009-March 15, 2010

New Location:
François Ghebaly Gallery
2600 La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034

Kunsthalle @ M+B
612 North Almont Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90069

When initially designed, this site presented the holdings of the Chinatown-based Ghebaly Gallery as well as a cooperative space in the same arts district that exhibited group shows co-curated by several different galleries. Later the gallery moved to Culver City and removed the cooperative gallery section of the site. The client wished to duplicate the layout and functionality of Berlin Gallery “Gallery Luis Campana” website, which also featured exhibitions at two locations. Their site was a custom built PHP site, so the design challenges centered around adapting that site into a WordPress theme (and translating the code of the original site.)

Ghebaly’s website was created to match this gallery’s website.

Kevin Rendon Photography

Kevin Rendon Photography
WordPress Implementation
310 388-7660
September 1, 2011 – October 3, 2011

Kevin is a professional photographer who wanted to install a commercial portfolio template in his WordPress site. I configured the site and provided training for photo preparation and WordPress usage.

Shambhala Restoration

Shambhala Restoration
Website Designer, WordPress Developer
Ilonka aka Irena Root
Moorpark, CA
October 2012

Ilonka is a spiritual healer in Moorpark, CA. Her facilities include a crystal massage table, infra red sauna, and several special healing baths. Her previous web developer had setup multiple domains and left her site mostly incomplete. A large part of the project involved resolving domain redirection problems between web hosts. I photographed her facilities and customized the 2011 WordPress theme to display different header images and use a color scheme more in the spirit of her location.

Good Vibes Studio

Good Vibe Studio
Website Designer, WordPress Developer
David DePalo
Susan Ross
Cynder Niemala
1489 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Suite C
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
December 11, 2012 – January 27, 2013

This was a joint venture between musician David DePalo and inspirational business consultants Susan Ross and Cynder Niemala. The studio offered music and video recording and performing facilities for childrens’ parties. Services included WordPress training, design, and site customization.

Copywrite Editorial

Copywrite Editorial
Website Designer, WordPress Developer
Joy McCann
818 429-9806
January 14, 2011 – January 5, 2013

Joy McCann is a professional copy editor whom I had worked with extensively in the past as a designer. She wanted a website to present her copy editing services to prospective clients, and the ability to provide introductory information about copy editing to authors. In keeping with the literary theme, we used typography reminiscent of The New Yorker magazine, as we had with her print ads and business cards.

Gil Gundersen

Gil is a professional pianist and piano teacher in Pasadena, CA. We setup a simple WordPress site to present his performance schedule, teaching services, and YouTube videos.

Gallery Neuartig

Gallery Neuartig
Web Designer, WordPress Developer, Navigation Architect, Programming Contractor

Gallery Neuartig
Beate Kirmse is an art gallery owner in San Pedro, CA who wanted to create an online catalog of her artists and provide online purchase inquiry capabilities for their artwork. She also wanted to create an online community for gallery visitors with a news section featuring regional art events. The site plan was extensive, on par with many commercial arts websites, and was modeled after British site murmurART. This site provided unusually extensive search capabilities such as artwork dimensions, predominant color, price, and image zooming and panning, like many e-commerce fashion sites.

I created the site’s graphic design and wireframe navigation plan incorporating JQuery overlays, accordion search constraints, and integrated purchase inquiry forms. Design was heavily informed by knowledge of the capabilities of existing WordPress plugins and focused on facilitating a simple viewing and purchase inquiry experience for the prospective buyer. Page mockups and initial html versions of the pages were created. The site was implemented in WordPress, which had released a substantial update with version 3.0 while we were designing the site. I found programmers from PixelJar to implement plugin customizations at the yearly international WordCamp in San Francisco. They implemented the designs for the final site.

This site was intended as a portal for arts information as well as being a portfolio for the gallery’s artists. The client was heavily inspired by UK art site “murmurART,” hence the site incorporated many e-commerce features not often found in the gallery world. Navigation design focused on three primary user scenarios; first-time gallery visitor, prospective art buyer, and art news reader. The challenge was to create a satisfying simple path that allowed the prospective buyer to view multiple artworks and send an inquiry referencing the items in the online catalog. Off-site exhibitions and group shows for the artists also had to be accommodated by the catalog, and on-site feature articles and off-site media coverage about the artists had to be easily navigable within the site.

Design was heavily informed by knowledge of existing plugin capabilities, WordPress functionality, and theme construction. JQuery accordion sorting and overlay image display were used to simplify the purchase inquiry process for the prospective buyer. The wonderful programmers from PixelJar modified a contact form plugin to achieve these ends, and ultimately constructed the final pages for the site. Unfortunately, a good portion of the typographic design was discarded in this final phase of the project.

DJ Cat

DJ Cat
Web Developer, WordPress Developer, Navigation Architect
WordPress Theme Installation and Configuration
Catherine Wentworth
West Hollywood, CA
November 22, 2012 – January 13, 2013

Catherine Wentworth is a professional DJ who works extensively in the fashion industry and in night clubs throughout the country. I implemented two different versions of her site; the first was an update and theme transition due to some broken features, to accompany her feature in Playboy’s music issue, and a later, more extensive site overhaul was implemented using a commercial theme called “Sideways” (because it’s blog scrolled horizontally instead of vertically) to   integrate her broad social media presences, integrate with online sales, media downloads of both music and video, and provide a gallery of photos and press coverage.

The broad scope of this site offered a number of challenges for navigational clarity, graphical branding consistency, and social media integration. The client chose a commercial theme whose developer did not respond to our support inquiries regarding gallery features that had been rolled into WordPress after the theme’s release. During development, navigation was streamlined and organized as simply as possible. Extensive plugin testing was required to facilitate unusually broad social media integration needs; most social media plugins don’t include options for music sites and are not extensible. Consequently, simple outbound links were added to visit external sites and plugins were used for sharing posts on primary sites such as Twitter and Facebook. The blog section of the theme features an unusual horizontal scrolling layout, however certain types of posts wouldn’t display correctly. Testing was done to determine the limitations of image display within this layout, and the client was advised to prepare images accordingly. I aimed for typographical clarity and consistency throughout the core of the site, however, the nightclub typographic aesthetic prevails as the media images and blog posts are added. The site includes an event calendar. Training for the features of the template was provided to the client.

Theme Debugging
Theme Configuration
Navigation Design
Calendar Configuration
Social Media Integration

Theme: Sideways

ISushman Consulting Group

Social Media Marketing
Website Designer, WordPress Developer
Israel Sushman
Los Angeles, CA

Israel is a social media consultant. He liked a theme from a Czech theme developer;  we customized a proven theme from  Woo Themes to provide the same features and styling.

The content scope for this site was small, so navigation design focused on simplicity and clarity. Duplicate navigational elements were minimized, and the carousel slides linked to the most recent blog posts.