James Jean – Review

13 Jan

jamesjean.com

★★★★★★★★★★

Maybe I’m biased because James Jean is one of my favorite artists, but I think this site is nearly perfect. It’s kind of like a much better version of Alex Goblau’s website, which I reviewed earlier. I’ll try to keep my gushing brief:

  • On the front page, you are introduced to James Jean with a large detail shot of his work. Now, not everyone is going to realize this, but if you click James Jean (over in the corner) the artwork changes at random. I think this is a lovely, subtle way to introduce a variety of his work without resorting to obnoxious intro animations. The fact that it’s just detail shots – and, as I said, lots of people probably won’t notice this feature – adds a little intrigue as well.
  • Clicking on the introductory image brings you to his most recent piece, aside from the things going on his blog.
  • He has a blog that he hosts himself and updates frequently, instead of a Livejournal account that was last updated in 2007.
  • You could spend hours at this site going through his pieces. As I mentioned with Goblau’s site, it’s always nice to have large shots of your artwork, as well as detail shots or three-dimensional photos of the work. James Jean has all of these for every piece (although I have to say, I haven’t actually had time to go through every single piece on his site. This is a good sign) and it brings up the quality of his work quite a bit.
  • This site is minimalistic but it definitely does not lack substance. The typography is a subtle mix of classic and modern. Instead of simply having grey text, images and a white background, the site is a pale grey with the images outlined in white, with soft drop shadows around the white as well as the site title (James Jean) to bring a little bit of focus. The active and hover links are also generally red, which is a really nice touch if you’re familiar with his work and the way he uses red.
  • The site is astoundingly easy to navigate. For a site with so much subtlety, there is very little guesswork. And I’m no professional web designer, but I can recognize quality web construction when I see it.
  • I enjoy his biography a little more than necessary. It’s like, I don’t feel like talking about my life, so here’s a picture of a dead bird. Mystique! Plus a tiny reminder at the bottom of how young he is, to make everyone feel just a little bad about themselves.
  • His contact page is also strangely charming:

Screenshot of James Jean's contact page

…So much for brevity. One day I will achieve this! One day.

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