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MyTxtConnect.com is up

Jun. 22nd, 2008 | 02:59 pm

Originally published at Rob Layton's Freelance Portfolio v3. Please leave any comments there.

I just finished putting the final touches on it. Head over to this e-commerce website at http://www.mytxtconnect.com.

mytxtconnect.com is up

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Rising Taku

May. 13th, 2008 | 03:33 pm

Originally published at Rob Layton's Freelance Portfolio v3. Please leave any comments there.

Chris Smoot and I have put together another project: risingtaku.com

Rising Taku

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Sipple Studios

Mar. 22nd, 2008 | 04:41 pm

Originally published at Rob Layton's Freelance Portfolio v3. Please leave any comments there.

I just finished the first phase of this online art gallery for Jason Sipple. You may view it at www.sipplestudios.com. What I’m going to focus on for the next month is developing a Mysql backend for the client to be able to update the pages, and a shopping cart.

sipple studios

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Freelance Web Designing from Scratch pt.1

Mar. 18th, 2008 | 08:45 am

Originally published at Rob Layton's Freelance Portfolio v3. Please leave any comments there.

If you’re like most inexperienced, out-of-college web designers, the first step into the freelance field can seem intimidating. There are so many factors that influence how school is radically different from a real job, it would make most people who didn’t work through college feel extremely uneasy. The worst part is that you’re not technically a web designer until you get hired by a company, or you establish a strong set of clients on your own. Hopefully, you’ve got a good portfolio, outside of your school work. As far as web design goes, you’ll find that most of what you develop in class won’t make the cut in the real world. Most schools are designed to teach you concepts and provide you with tools, not to develop practical applications. There’s just no way to prepare a student for every possible scenario. Even so, technology is constantly introducing new and different scenarios. After two years in the field, my personal experience has taught me to always be ready to do something I haven’t done before. Don’t let this intimidate you. As long as you know how to research a problem, you will always find a solution. In part 2 of this segment, I’ll discuss keeping up with technology.

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Commentary from a Web Designer

Jan. 25th, 2008 | 10:46 am

Originally published at Rob Layton's Freelance Portfolio v3. Please leave any comments there.

When I started this blog, I knew, at some point or another, that I was going to document my personal life. Two problems: the first being that I couldn’t legally publish anything about my job or my workplace, and the second being that, since I spent the majority of my days there, remaining options were limited. Writing about the routine banality of school would bore me and the reader, and relationships were totally out of the question. So I decided that I was going to dig back, and begin where everything started - my birthplace, the Philippines. It will be a collective process that I do not plan on giving up. Track those articles, titled “Relocation.” For now, I’m going to fast forward a little to focus on my prospects for the future of my field of work.

I’m a Web Designer. It’s a field dedicated to research, problem-solving, functionality, interaction, usability, computation, and integration. It’s logic-driven, language-heavy, and highly challenging. I think the biggest mistake most of my peers make is waiting until after college to jump into their career. If you think there isn’t anything you can do, that nobody will take you seriously until you have your degree, I guarantee that you’ll have another excuse down the road. Intern, volunteer, learn a skill. Let me repeat that last part. Learn a skill. I’ve never accomplished anything with wishes, alone. Goals don’t become real until someone initiates the first step. By the time I have my degree in Digital Interactive Systems, I’ll have 5 years of experience as a graphic designer, and 4 years of experience as a freelance web designer.

You won’t see many ads on this website because it serves as my online portfolio and as a hub for clients to login and monitor the progress of their websites. I plan on integrating more of a user-based model, with a community-rich interface and an emphasis on web design. As clients grow to understand the usability of dynamic websites, more and more of my projects will be implementing databases and privileges for the administrator. My ultimate goal is to create websites that require little to no future maintenance for the web designer. Clients will be allowed to update their pages with a user-friendly system, and on their own time. One may wonder what affect this will have on the web designer’s profits. I believe it will increase them, as well as the credibility of their field. More clients will be looking for better models for their websites and that will, in turn, nessecitate more skilled designers and programmers. There are plenty of run-of-the-mill, mediocre html coders looking to pull a fast one on their customers, and that does nothing but compromise the integrity of the job title. Web designers need to practice proper and ethical means of operation if they’re ever going to get away from clients paying them like bargain bin employees.

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Relocation: part 2

Jan. 15th, 2008 | 07:23 pm

Originally published at Rob Layton's Freelance Portfolio v3. Please leave any comments there.

Dragonball Z, Samurai X, Cowboy Bebop. The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. These are all television shows that managed to exit out of Japan’s orbit by way of commerce. As of 2008, they’ve infiltrated toy shelves, gaming consoles, viral video, and the blogosphere. 50 years from now, chances are high that they won’t even exist.

American TV was the number one reason I wanted to leave the Philippines. I would wake up every morning and switch to American, Australian, British, or Japanese broadcasts because in the Philippines, the only program they put effort into were variety shows. You’d find an actor singing or dancing, or a singer or dancer acting, and they had to be funny at the same time. Donita Rose was an MTVasia veejay who ended up acting in an American film. After that brief stint, which was unsurprisingly overplayed in my community, she disappeared off MTVasia’s airwaves for a while. It seemed like everybody wanted to leave. Living in the third-world is all about hopes, dreams, and aspirations, but it’s desperation that gets you out. I learned that when I was five.

So there I was sitting in front my television set. Some station was broadcasting Samurai X, in Japanese. Rirouni Kenshin. They didn’t color the blood white in this version. I remember how much they censor out of cartoons in the states. In Japan, they didn’t censor it at all. It felt like I had crossed onto some rift between the two nations and their opposing views on the youth’s exposure to media. I was very much an American, but I was getting a small taste of Japanese moral culture. Did that make me any less American? I’ll always wonder. Believe it or not, America is teeming with culture, and you don’t have to go to church to be exposed to it. You don’t have to join a club or commit to a routine. You just have to be an impressionable child, sitting in front of the television.

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Relocation: part 1

Jan. 7th, 2008 | 11:52 am

Originally published at Rob Layton's Freelance Portfolio v3. Please leave any comments there.

2001 was the year I moved back to the states. I was saying goodbye to life in a third-world section of the Philippines. During my stay there, a period of three years, Nelson Mandela stepped down as president of South Africa, Mad Cow disease struck Europe, Stanley Kubrick died at 70, Oklahoma bomber, Timothy McVeigh, was executed, and the United States was attacked by terrorists. These are some of the moments in history significant enough to permeate the fluctuating dynamic infused by world politics. This is history as it rests across the entire world spectrum, outside the influences of a particular nation or community.

In my province in the philippines, it was a big deal, when Filipino boxer, Pacquiao, faced off against Ledwaba. The Abu Sayyaf rebels also received more news coverage, as did former actor, Joseph Estrada’s presidency. No matter where in the world, the news is going to lose emphasis or be magnified to some extent by nationalism. Nothing is absolute. Eventually, history will solidify a event in time, but even then, mass agreement will only be relative to the masses.

relocation_1.jpg

My own personal history was spent acclimatizing to a uniformed private school, 1 billion grains of rice, a glass of Catholicism with every meal, the black market, and media that was always 6 months behind the United States. Keeping up with the world means living in a country that exports more than it imports.

I was enrolled into St. Louise de Marillac private school the first day of my arrival. I had a girlfriend by the second day, who agreed to teach me Tagalog, the country’s first language, and Bicol, the region’s dialect. In the philippines, you couldn’t go 25 miles without having to learn a new dialect. Grace was sweet, hasty, and short-lived. She had drinks with me after school at a local bar. The place looked like one of those stands set up along the beach, where all the drinks come with little umbrellas and the men wore hawaiian shirts and the women had flowers in their hair. She told me she loved me. Our relationship lasted 3 days. Like they say- easy come, easy go.

We left for home on a Trike. That was their name for a motorcycle with a sidecar. 5 pesos one way. Goodbye, Grace. See you in another life.

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The above photo was taken by jikamajoja and is used under the creative commons license.

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