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march 21 2023

i was born slightly too late for the geocities era of the internet (though i did spend my neopets-filled childhood dreaming of making a website for myself), but just in time for the boom of social media to hit when i was in high school, and to subsequently grow exhausted of the expectation that artists online must constantly self-promote and market their work to survive. it's hard to get any kind of foothold as an artist these days without knowing optimal posting times, filming little videos of your hyper-aesthetic workspace, being an influencer as well as an artist.

maybe that works for some people, but it exhausts me. the internet isn't likely to change drastically away from that (that's what's profitable, after all!), but i figured i can do a little bit to get away from that myself. social media thrives on controversy; people arguing about whatever bad hot take has taken over your timeline in a given week generates clicks, ad views, money for social media ceo's. i want to stay as far away from 'web3' as possible. i'll likely never be able to get off of social media entirely — again, that's just how it is as an artist in 2023! — but a little step towards an internet that's actually tolerable to exist in is something, at least.

i like the idea of an internet where you can find new artists to admire just by clicking through links on other artists' sites or browsing webrings; an internet without advertisements; an internet where i can carve out a home in my little corner of the web and go visit other peoples' homes, too.

solution: diy websites.

i coded this website from scratch. there's a lot i love about having my own website; i'm not an expert at coding by any means, but i've learned enough to make something that's all mine & that i can feel good about putting my artwork on, knowing that it's being presented the way i want it, without any algorithms or weird cropping, and knowing that the people spending time on my website actually want to be seeing my work.

i've become pretty passionate about the idea of distancing myself from the 'only 3-4 websites exist and anything you could ever need is on those websites' model of the internet, and expanding into something less corporate.

there's a whole movement of people making diy websites, hosted on neocities (as this website is!) or in other places. people are doing some really cool stuff out there, and i think you should explore some of it. who knows, maybe it'll inspire you, the way it inspired me! maybe you'll like it as much as i do.


want to make your own website, too? here's some resources i've found helpful in the process of building mine!

  • neocities — a super easy-to-learn website hosting platform. you can even find other peoples' websites and follow them through neocities' search tool. the paid plan is $5/month and lets you have a custom domain and a ton of storage, but the free plan is also really good.
  • webguide — starting from scratch? don't know anything about coding? here's a tutorial on the basics of making a website, presented in a really easy to understand way.
  • sadgrlonline — more good tutorials written in an accessible way, as well as a lot of info about the web revival/small web movement. includes a layout builder that'll automatically generate the building blocks of a website for you.
  • codepen — an in-browser code editor with live updating previews, so you can see what your site will look like while you work on it.
  • w3schools — tutorials for any kind of code you can think of.
  • yesterweb — a hub of info about cultivating a better internet through diy websites.

& more resources on my links page!

miscellaneous links

even if you decide 'eh, making a website sounds like a lot of work, i think i'll pass' — which i totally respect! — there's things you can do to make the internet more human-friendly for yourself.
  • firefox — if you haven't tried firefox in the last couple years, you might be thinking 'isn't that browser, like, the slowest thing to ever exist?' it used to be! it isn't anymore! now it's one of the very few web browsers that don't track your every move and sell your information to advertisers. by default, firefox protects your information and keeps tracking companies from following your activity from site to site. you can copy over all your information from chrome or whatever you're currently using.
  • ublock origin (browser extension) — a free open-source ad blocker.
  • shinigami eyes (browser extension) — highlights trans-friendly accounts in green and transphobic accounts in red, so you can easily block transphobes.