February 12, 2009

Blogger’s Quest(ionnaire): Interactive, graphic and motion designer Zeke Shore

The Blogger’s Quest(ionnaire) is a Design Feast Initiative. In contrast to the Designer’s Quest(ionnaire), the focus is on those who are taking on the blog medium, why they do it and what tools they use. This second release is by currently New York-based Zeke Shore, whose preferred work tools are Adobe CS3, his MacbookPro and his trusted sketchbook and pen. What he shares about the making and sustaining of his blog may inform your entrance into the blagosphere:

Why did you create a Website of regular entries?
“I started a blog as part of a portfolio and self promotion overhaul that I did last November. It seemed like a good opportunity to hopefully give something back to the online design community which I have always relied on as an invaluable resource.”

What Web-based solution did you select and why?
“I have fallen in love with Wordpress. After using Wordpress as a platform on web design projects for a few clients, I learned how powerful and versatile it is. Combined with such an active online community of designers and developers sharing Wordpress tips, tricks, tutorials, and plugins, it’s really hard to beat, and continues to get better.”

What is your definition of a good blog 
and what are three good blogs that you frequently visit?
“I am mostly engaged by blogs that either teach me things (like user experience design blog UX Booth), inspire me (like the stunning package design blog The Dieline), or inform me (like the voice of the Tech Industry, TechCrunch).”

How do you create content for your blog?
“I learn a lot by looking at what other creatives are doing, so a good starting place for my blog was simply documenting my projects and my creative and technical process. Now I am starting to do a lot more posts on the things that I find inspiring, and hopefully can start getting some tutorials up as well. In general, my blog is mostly about sharing the things I know, the things I do, and the things I see.”

How do you stay organized and motivated to contribute to your blog?
“Setting informal deadlines has been helpful (mainly trying to post once a week). Seeing the reader base and the number of comments grow from one post to the next is a huge source of motivation as well.

I am also an avid del.icio.us user, which is great for organizing anything I find online. I usually have two or three post ideas on queue, so I can spend a couple weeks pulling things together before I actually write the post and put it up.”

For those aspiring to make a Website composed of 
regular thoughts and/or images, what is your advice?
“Try and establish who you want your audience to be, and put yourself in their shoes. If your writing for your peers or your own industry, think about what you get the most out of seeing and reading in blogs.

Save things. Whenever you come across something intriguing, hold onto it. Again, I recommend using del.icio.us since it has such a comprehensive tagging system. Even if not everything turns into a post, it’s better to have a huge collection of things to potentially draw from. Its also good to remember that lots of things actually do exist in the physical world, too (only half joking, I feel bloggers often forget that after seeing so many posts on ‘10 great Photoshop tutorials’). So it’s a good idea to carry a camera around with you.”

What is your quest in blogging?
“I hope to just spread some inspiration, and whatever knowledge I might have. Since blogging is such an immediate and democratic medium (hopefully the cream rises to the top), we can really all participate in effectively evolving collective human knowledge. In the design community especially, the more we all share, critique, and engage in dialog, the better we all become.”

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Photograph courtesy of Zeke Shore.

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Read more of the Design Feast series Blogger’s Quest(ionnaire).

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