CSS Animation Practice

Ever have one of those ideas you go to bed with or wake up with and you can’t wait to try out? I had one of those this morning and decided to just roll with it on how far I could go. The main concept behind it was to have a variation of diamonds that would flash randomly based on where you hovered over a certain diamond. It was to have the a bit of ambient music depending on where you hovered over as well with the background flashing. The first thing I did when I woke up was write out a quick sketch.

Diamond Animation Sketch
Diamond Animation – Initial Sketch

It was just something quick to see if I was still interested in doing it and it kind of went on from there. I highlighted some areas that would have some interesting interactions and started on a quick prototype in HTML/CSS. My assumption was that this could be done in pure CSS animations but soon found out I’d have to dig into something more. Javascript to the rescue! I never claim to be the best Javascript guy out there, in fact if you came to me looking for a JS guy I’d direct you to some more talented people. The tough part about creating JS for me is figuring out where on earth to start. Lucky for me, it didn’t seem too complex so I was able to do an outline on what I wanted it to do and go from there. I don’t create the best and I’m sure masters can refactor it all in a single line, but it works perfectly.

In the end I came up with this quick page where you hover over the middle diamond and you’re greeted with a little pulsating light show.

http://www.cliffnowicki.com/diamond-animation/diamond-animate.html

New Year. New Start.

It feels refreshing to start out 2017 the way I am. I’m a designer and for the first time in my life, I’m starting out a brand new year with no employment and no guaranteed anything. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t scary, but I’d also be lying if I said it wasn’t super exciting. I’ve always had something to fall back on in the past, whether it be a few month contract to link to my next position or a small freelance project to keep the bills going. Not this year. This is brand new to me and my family.

I want to give a thanks to my previous employer who has to have been the nicest person to work for. There’s time when people can’t wait to leave a job, but I don’t think I’ve ever been in a bad place. My positive attitude and laid back style of design has kept me an easy going guy that everybody can rely on when something needs to be done. Being confident in yourself is key and if anything ever starts to go south, it’s up to you to redirect that negativity. This sounds a little too self help but at the end of the day, you can only be a victim for so long. I choose not to be. Coming into work my entire life has been fun and I’ve never been in a spot where I sit in the parking lot in the morning hoping it was 5pm. Up until now, I’ve loved every bit of working for someone.

This is the big fork in the road right now. Do I continue to seek employment for someone else or do I start my own thing? I’ve been looking for work, but at the same time I splitting my resources on starting my own thing. My wife and I have decided to start something small on the side. Well, is it really the side if there’s nothing else? We’ve came up with an idea called “Caffeinated Motives”. A small design shop where our designs are built off our love for caffeine. Get it? Yaaaa you got it.

I’ve spent many hours pondering everything and have started ramping up my skills learning to cover any gaps I fill I would need to be more productive this year. Udemy is a huge resource as the classes can be cheap as $10 to pick up some quick knowledge. Expect some experimentation in the coming weeks as I try some new things out I have in mind. My current portfolio is also a pervious portfolio site that I’ve done and I think I’ve leaned on it as a crutch too much recently. With about a dozen half done projects I’ve been working on recently, expect to see that page not only phase out but be part of the site. It’s currently just a link to an html page, so nothing too fancy.

Here’s to an exciting and scary 2017.