This is a "revival" of a website that I used to browse a lot a few years ago like many other people, and has been created by illustrator Penelope Dullaghan to connect with other fellow artists. The purpose was to challenge participants of all skill level to illustrate a word within a one week time, friday being the day the topic was updated.
That was a great idea and I loved to participate and see what other artists were doing with the topic. I have discovered a lot of talented people during this period.
Then, Penelope couldn't take care of it anymore (which is perfectly understandable) and let another illustrator handle it (which is also fine). But... starting from then and a new design, things started to go down (according to me at least).
I'll not detail all the things that I thought were wrong as it would be kind of a useless rant ;)
And lately, after a few years of agony, it simply died. The website now no longer exists. Until mid 2020 the domain was pointing to another site of the owner, then to an error page, then it has been bought by an advertising company in dec 2020 and is now displaying only ads. Sad.
So, considering all of this, I wanted to redo the website with the ingredients I loved in the original one : easy discovery of other artists and easy to use. So the link-viewer is exactly like the original one. You can see that as a feed reader (except that feeds nowadays rarely show previews anymore.)
But...doing that these days does not come without technical problems. See what I mean in the help section.
As I was thinking to redo it, I wondered if adding an extra challenge would add more fun ? I've always been a fan of "cadavres exquis" (sentences made of random words), which almost always end up with absurd things. So I made a generator that will add one absurd sentence alongside the word of the week, and everyone will be able to illustrate one or the other (or both ?). That will help if the word of the week is less inspiring.
Regarding the choice of words : I've set up a database that I've filled with lists of words of various categories, and that should do it for a couple of years... ;) But maybe I'll add a way to enter words suggestions in the future...
It's just that I prefered to use a script to choose at random instead of waiting for people to send words, in case I'm the only person to use it :)
The home page is showing all participations for the current topics, but with a random order that changes every time the page is loaded. I thought that would avoid the "I'll post last to be more visible" syndrome. Of course, the link-viewer is still showing participants in the antichronological order (newer on top).
For now there's no "pick of the week", but if I set this up in the future (it will depends on the number of participants I guess) it will be like it was on the original website: a randomly chosen participant as opposed to an editorial choice with the second team...
That way, everyone gets an equal chance to be visible for 1 week ;)
The title of this website could not be the same as the old one for obvious reasons, but actually that's more than ok ! I (and many others) was used to precede each topic by the initials on the title of my participations, and this one is even better because ID -> idea. Plus, I get to change the topics update day if I want :)
But for now, I'll keep friday (around 10:00 BST) as update day because I think that's probably easier for everyone to be able to play with it during weekends.
If you think this initiative is worthwhile and you want to help with costs, you can ! Right now, the server is a very little machine that I've tried to optimize so it could support a handfull of people. But the upload bandwith is really puny and that might be a problem if this "revival" is successful. So if you want and have some extra cash, you can do something about it :)