Over the year-end/ year-beginning quiet time, I hunkered down and slogged through a project I've been meaning to tackle for several years, but had never quite worked up the motivation to do. It's a new website, or perhaps more accurately, a relaunch of an old URL, one I've had since the year 2000, specifically https://www.tony-wu.com.
Last year, a few friends (Bryn, David, Rhonda) cornered and castigated me for not having a website with a portfolio of photos that a casual online surfer could look through to get an idea of what I do and what I'm like. Guilty as charged.
I'm not big on spending time sitting at a computer, and I'm not a self-promoter. But they convinced me that I was being derelict in my professional obligations, so I resolved in August to resolve in December to get my a** in gear and attend to this digital deficiency.
I am as surprised as anyone that I (1) remembered what I resolved to resolve while under substantial and sustained duress, and (2) actually did something about it when no longer under duress. But perhaps not as surprised as Bryn, David and Rhonda are, given the looks of (not entirely unwarranted) scepticism plastered all over their faces when I said: "Ok, ok, you're right. I'll get on it."
I of course sent the link to my Terrible Trio as soon as I finished. Bryn and Rhonda both replied quickly to let me know they like the site. David's initial response upon seeing my new site was: "I’m trying hard not to get hung up on the fact that you don’t talk about me at all," thus underscoring his neediness (which I may have alluded to in previous posts). In all fairness, having met David, I can understand why he needs constant reassurance that he is the actual center of the universe. (insert smiley face and waving emoticon)
I had a bit of a brainstorm when I started to work on the site, a moment of "Hey, maybe I can accomplish more than one thing at once." Specifically, I've been looking for a way to offer prints at a reasonable price, but haven't been able to until now. Turns out, another friend, Rich, has just started a new site to offer professionally done, museum-quality prints. I've worked with Rich before, and he's always made top-quality prints for me, so I figured this might be a good time to launch that effort as well. In the spirit of full disclosure, that moment of insight tired me out and I had to take a three-day break to recover from the intellectual strain.
But once I got back to the task, I immediately had another idea. This one was sparked by a chat with my friend Asha, who is a cetacean researcher in Sri Lanka. She is, like all researchers actually trying to achieve something constructive, facing challenges with funding. I would suggest that she do something more valued by society, like try on clothes, take selfies and argue with people on TV under the banner of Reality TV, whatever the hell that is, but I take it that we already have a surplus of talented and constructive people engaged in that profession.
So I suggested that I could offer a series of cetacean images for prints, and donate 10% off the top for any sales to Oceanswell, the NGO she's set up to pursue research and conservation of marine life. The result is the Buy a Print page on my site:
I've prepped five cetacean images as a start—a breaching humpback, a humpback female/ calf/ escort, a baby gray whale, a sperm whale social unit, and a blue whale.
So...click through and buy a print! Prices start at $35 for an 8x10 or A4.
You don't have to buy a print to support Asha though. There is a link to donate directly both on my site and hers.
My plan is to prepare and offer more prints for sale as the year goes on. I'm heading out again soon though, so my natural aversion to computer-work may once again get the better of me. Until David and Bryn hassle me again later in the year. Rhonda has wisely decided not to risk consecutive-year exposure to me. Women are always so much smarter.