People ask me if I will be going out of business soon since technology allows would-be clients to choose a design, upload content, and manage a website on their own. My reply to them is that I will not. Despite the value of being able to develop and manage one’s own online presence with a certain degree of ease, it still eludes most independent business owners who are short on staff and individuals with busy schedules.
When a client asks me if I could train, teach, show, demonstrate, guide, and or tutor them on how to build a website themselves, I refer them to services such as WordPress, SquareSpace, Wix, Muse and recently ReadyMag. Using any of the those services, I could show them how to launch a site in a matter of days, if not hours.
If they wanted to develop one from scratch, I would ask them if they had 20 years to put aside.
Back in the late nineties it was all about learning GoLive or Dreamweaver, Photoshop or Fireworks, and a number of other creative tools offered by either Adobe or Macromedia. One had to become familiar with those applications while learning how to write code. The notion of “drag and drop” was something you saw in science fiction movies.
My very second client, while operating in Los Angeles, was artist Jeremy Kidd. It would be the first and only time I would ever assist anyone, sitting with them side-by-side to build their website.
At first hesitant, I soon realized that I was working with a truly gifted artist, who would not only learn my trade, but share with me the techniques of his craft as a fine artist and intuition of good businessman. While I was showing him how to work the applications, he was fine tuning my ability to work with color. While I was showing him the 0’s and 1’s of computer programming, he was teaching me the values of multiple zeros behind the dollar sign.
After three months of collaboration, Jeremy and I launched his first contemporary website, complete with content needed to market his fine art career.
Our collaboration did not stop there.
Over the next three years, up until September 11, 2001, we would own and operate our Venice-based design firm, Digidome Designs, LLC. We offered services to fulfill the design, development and marketing needs of dot-com enterprises popping up all over Los Angeles at that time. Jeremy performed the duties of Senior Designer, while I acted as the Senior Programmer.
Our clients included celebrities, hi-tech and entertainment industries, artists and musicians, and start-up companies with exciting ideas in mind for the future of the internet.
We managed to land teaching positions at Otis College of Fine Art and Design from 2000 to 2001, where I had the fortune of teaching Online Applications and meeting Catherine Kanner, who would be responsible for a large portion of my current client portfolio today.
We even took our partnership out of the studios and onto the pitch, where would play with the L.A. Artstars, a team comprised solely of soccer-playing artist.
If asked if I would do it again, I would in a heart-beat. I welcome any creative collaboration.
After doing a few websites together, Jeremy would focus more on the creative and business end of Digidome, and less on development. I think he was happier there. I think most of my clients would be happier tending to their business which made it successful in the first place by doing something that they love doing, and not web design.
Jeremy currently resides in Venice, California with his wife Aritra.
Jeremy Kidd, 2016