Do you think you know Selene M. Bowlby?

Nah, you don’t know her! Or maybe you do?

If you’ve ever talked to her, you know that she has a burning passion for what she does and really loves the community that has evolved since the olden days. I know that I feel I got to get to know her just that much more after receiving these responses, and I hope you feel the same. Lets get to know her a bit better together. Don’t forget to follow her .

 

Who are you and what do you do?

Selene M. Bowlby: My name is Selene M. Bowlby. I’m a web designer and front-end web developer with over ten years of professional experience in the design industry.

As the the owner of iDesign Studios, I specialize in creating custom web sites for other businesses – focusing primarily on custom WordPress theme design and development. I also blog on topics relating to web design, small business, freelancing and work-life balance.

What is one thing that you would love to see available in a default wordpress install, that isn’t presently there?

Selene: There’s a core set of about 10-15 plugins that I install for EVERY WordPress site that I develop – some basics like Feedburner, WP Database Backup, All-In-One SEO, XML Sitemaps, etc. Obviously not realistic, but it would be cool if some of them (in particular security type things like the Database Backup) were included by default.

Where were you on the night of February 30th, 2002? Don’t try to lie your way out of this one, we have leads saying you were fraternizing, with Curlz MT Font!

Selene: Would you believe I first started tracking back to where I was in 2002 before realizing there is no February 30th??? LOL Good thing too, because I’d hate to have to fess up to fraternizing with Curlz MT… though hypothetically speaking, if I did ever work with it – it was WAY back in the 90’s in high school and college. Strictly hypothetically speaking, of course…

You are also a twitterholic, along with Grace Smith, but attended last week’s meeting only after a heavy amount of arm twisting. Who are some people that you think everyone should follow?

Selene: This is a tough question, because there are so many awesome people on Twitter! For all of my recommendations, check out my Twitter Lists! But to name a few that I converse with quite a bit – some great designers/developers to follow are:

You are stranded on a desert island and find a bottle and blank piece of parchment to be used for a rescue message. What font would you use for the message?

Selene: Helvetica Neue

What are a couple things you miss about any 9-5 cubicle life that you’ve experienced? It would be hard to argue that there are no benefits to that career path over a freelancing path.

Selene: The main thing that I miss from cubicle life is a steady paycheck. The biggest issue with freelancing is that it truly is “feast vs famine”, and you don’t always know when your next client will come in (and when it does, it’s sure to bring a few additional new clients with it… then they all disappear for a bit… rinse and repeat!) I definitely miss having a guaranteed check every 2 weeks, but still not enough to trade freelancing! Especially with today’s economy, a full time job isn’t necessarily the most secure option, either. At least with freelancing you have multiple sources of income.

I miss the real-life chit-chat that goes on at the office too… but I have Twitter and TweetDeck to make up for that, so it’s not that big of a deal anymore, LOL.

When birds stand on power lines and don’t get hurt, it’s most likely because of:

  • good tim­ing, they only land between calls
  • body mate­ri­als that are insu­lated from current
  • not touch­ing any­thing else at the same time
  • they do get hurt, they just express it poorly

Selene: Good timing, they only land between calls.

Do you have any personal quotes that you’d like to share with the internet?

Selene: Actually my husband’s quote: Family First / Work Second

Many freelancers – especially those with families – are constantly trying to achieve the perfect work-life balance. Being a workaholic, this is something I constantly have to remind myself. I’ve got a much better balance going on now than when I was juggling both a full time job and freelancing (can you believe it’ll be 2 years of full time freelancing next month!) Anyway, moral of that story is that this is all for family, because without family, what else do you have?

I also like the quote: Perfection is the enemy of “Good Enough”

This is an anonymous quote that I have on a magnet on my whiteboard in the office. Something I need to pay attention to more, LOL. I recently re-designed my web site, and as any designer knows – we are, indeed, our own worst clients. I finally just had to pick a point and say that it was “good enough” to run with. There are still a few things I’m not 100% happy with, but you can only tinker with a design for so long…

What CSS3/HTML5 elements have you wiggling i your chair the most?

Selene: Multiple background images without a doubt! I sometimes create extra <div>’s just so I can layer a few background images. Can’t wait to be able to combine them all into a single <div>

Can you recall any client moments that really made you go *facepalm*?

Selene: Ohhhh yes, I definitely can, but will refrain from pointing out too many specifics so as not to incriminate the (not-so) innocent, LOL.

My biggest *facepalm* moment, though would be a client I had worked with for years (one of my first). I focus strictly on front-end web design / development, so I used to outsource any programming work. Unfortunately any of the programmers I selected for this particular client over the years never fully came through. There were always issues, and since I sub-contracted out the programming, their errors made me look like the incompetent one.

I ultimately lost the client (who went on to find their own programmer… and believe it or not they’re still having issues). Anyway, that has shaped a bit of how I currently run my business. I now stick with front-end design/development projects only. If there are any sites I take on that would require some back-end development, I let the client (or potential client) know up front that they would need to separately hire a programmer to complete those portions of the site.

Yes, I’m sure it’s cost me some jobs where the client wanted to just work with one person / firm, rather than hire multiple individuals. But the peace of mind that I won’t be tarnishing my name if I hire the wrong programmer for the job (not to mention the hassles that project management sometimes bring) is worth it. That’s part of why I freelance – I get to set the rules and decide what types of jobs I will or won’t take on.

If you were an LOLCat, what would be your caption?

Selene: I can haz iPad?

Favorite Internet Meme?

Selene: I like the “7 Weird Things” meme! I had participated in this one on my anonymous alter-ego blog, WAH(web)Mommy, back when I was still juggling cubicle life and freelancing. I shared a few of my quirks, and learned some very interesting facts about some of the bloggers that I followed.

That old post of mine is in a tightly secured vault somewhere… and only a handful of people knew that it was my weird things they were reading about, mwahahaha.

If you could visit any art age in the past, which would you choose and for how long?

Selene: It would be cool to go back to the Renaissance period – but just for a bit! I like my current life, and wouldn’t want more than a glimpse of the past. I think a nice day trip would be sufficient.

It’s the showdown to end all showdowns, the battle of epic proportions! It’s brought kingdoms down to their knees and made once-brave warriors tremble in fear! It’s Pirates vs Ninjas dueling to the death in Rock/Paper/Scissors. Which side are you on and which hand do you throw?

Selene: Pirate / Rock

Any closing comments or thoughts?

Selene: Just to thank you for this truly unique interview! Each interview I do, I think that it has pretty unique questions… but I don’t know if anyone can top the creativity of these! Thanks so much for including me in your interview series!


 

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