Without getting into too much detail, there was a big trip and a lot of painting planned for early April. But as always, whatever can go wrong, will go wrong, and so the closing of the US borders meant that any plans would be delayed indefinitely. Currently dozens of layers of large stencils (at least 45) sit waiting and theres no way of knowing if it will be further weeks or months until travel is safe again. But every obstacle usually results in something even better, so lets see where this leads us.
Like everybody else, the current situation meant a lot of staying home. Honestly this isnt much different to every other day since my main studio is connected, but without new supplies and no more painting outdoors, theres limits to what can be done. Also closed international shipping means a pause on any new art releases.
Fine with me, theres a lot behind the scenes that needs some catching up.
First on the list was rebuilding the TABBYthis site. The original was pieced together in 2013, and while technically functional, it was more of a miracle that it didnt eventually implode. I enjoy figuring things out, but am by no means a brilliant web designer.
Everything on the old website was the result of copying some HTML from here and there, deleting a bit of code in between to see what happens to the site and eventually figure out how to manipulate it just enough to get it to look the way I wanted. If I needed a sidebar on the right, but the current one was on the left, I deleted small bits of code, refreshed the page to see what that part actually did, until I found the right segment that could position it on the right.
It wasnt until years later that I found out that the site didnt look right on a mobile phone format. For example, the sidebar didnt show on mobile and people wrote emails saying that they couldnt subscribe to the release newsletter, because it was in the sidebar.
A lot of the releases were done through the site and these were designed to work well on a desktop/ laptop. Things have changed since 2013 and now most people were surfing and buying through their phone.
Long story short, it was time to rebuild. You may not notice all the details, but every picture, word, post, link etc has been carefully recreated on a new platform over several weeks. It was important to save as much of the TABBY history as possible, from correct dates, old treasure hunts, past releases and anything in between. Hopefully this allows you to better enjoy the full spectrum of all the past and future TABBY works.
Side note: TABBYthis.com started out as a place for me to collect pictures of what I was doing. I didnt want to be influenced by what others thought of the pieces and so for the first year I did not share the link with anybody. To not get caught up in numbers, I never added an option to track how many visitors it had, so until visitors started writing emails I had no idea if anybody had ever seen the site. I could have had a million visitors a day or it could have been zero, I didnt know and didnt care. I was always just focused on the next piece in development.
Now the new site is up, some other side projects are being worked on, a couple new pieces have been published, but the exact plan for 2020 is still somewhat open. There are the piles of finished stencils waiting for their walls in the USA, and either those are next, or they will have to be pushed back until after summer and it is time to start up something new. Who knows, but we'll have a great time either way. Much love,
Bonus: Here are some of the non-art related activities that were completed during quarantine.
-Pizza from scratch approx 9 times
-Try to start up yoga again, failed after 2 attempts
-Baked and ate about 8 dozen chocolate chip cookies
-Baked 1 apple pie
-Make pasta from scratch once
-Made 8 masks for friends and family/ learned how to use sewing machine
-Organized everything in sight
-Washed the dog x2
-Broke my glasses (had backup)
-24 hour and 40 hour fast
-Hung up 10 picture frames, one of which came crashing down.
-Watched about 50 movies, 1 a day. I selected half of them.
In no particular order:
Lord Of the Rings 1-3
Hobbit, short 2 hour recut
The Other Boleyn Girl
Mädchen Mädchen 1
Mädchen Mädchen 2
Bill And Teds Excellent Adventure
Swiss Army Man
To The Bone
Ill Sleep When Im Dead
Shaun Of The Dead
This Is 40
The Lives Of Others
3 Türken Und Ein Baby
Pride and Prejudice
Letters From Juliet
Charlie And The Chocolate Factory – original version
She's Out of My League
Maybe, maybe not
2 movies I would recommend: Heavy Trip, Swiss Army Man
1 movie I would avoid: She's Out of My League