2011: A Year in Review & A Look into the Future

December 30 , 2011

The Birth

On May 30th of this year, I officially launched Valleys In The Vinyl. It was (and continues to be) a labor of love. Over the 4-5 months I was building it, only a handful of people even knew about the project. When it launched to a very positive reaction in the design community it was a great surprise. You guys have helped this thing grow and I hope you can continue to spread the word.

The current site and content you see are somewhat distant from my original idea for a texture site. My original core idea was to put textures into a context so that people could appreciate them in a way that isn’t really possible when looking at a single image. I wanted to visit locations, explain the history of them, and then have a set of textures taken from that location. That idea is still firm in my head, and there are plans to resurrect that idea. The one post that came close to that idea was my Urban Identity pack in July.

Even though that concept fell by the wayside for the time-being, my other goal is still intact. That goal was to raise the level of quality textures on the internet. There are a lot of low resolution images and textures out there that are frustrating to see and are somewhat useless. I wanted to set a standard of releasingconsistently high resolution textures. I never want my readers to worry about if they are getting the best possible resources. A job is always easier when you have the right tools, and design is no different. I want to make your lives easier. This leads me to my next point…

Awesome Readers

You. You are what makes me want to press on. I’m incredibly fortunate to form some connections with people based on a common interest and mutual support for each other’s work. The Facebook Page has been steadily growing, and has become more active in discussion and sharing of work. It’s a lot of fun to interact with everyone, I can never get enough feedback on the site or its content, so keep talking! I care about what you do as much as you care about this site. Keep on sharing, and thank you all!

Opportunities

This site has been an incredible way to network and find new avenues to share my work. The biggest opportunity I’ve been given is for the design blog Bittbox. I’m fortunate to have the privilege of creating textures, brushes, and patterns for two posts every week. It’s been a lot of fun so far. I’ve also had a few guest posts on Lost & Taken. Caleb has been an extraordinary help in promoting Valleys In The Vinyl, and I’m willing to bet that a lot of you reading this found this site through him in one way or another.


What's Next?

I’m glad you asked. 2012 looks to be a fantastic year. Here’s what is coming down the pipeline:

1.) I am preparing to start the re-design and overhaul of the site. Don’t worry, all of the content will remain intact. I am going to make the site look better, perform better, make it easier to use and more fun to interact with. The goal is to continue building a community built around the site, but most importantly around a love for textures and great visual imagery.

2.) Caleb Kimbrough (of Lost and Taken) and I are planning to collaborate on some new projects. While the details are still classified, you can be sure they are texture related. Our goal for 2012 is to spark a texture revolution. This includes how they are viewed, gathered, used, and understood.

3.) Tutorials will finally enter the picture. There will be some for quick tips and techniques, as well as an ongoing series focused on texture building, which will be called “Archi-texture”.

4.) More interesting premises for texture packs. Let’s be honest…as cool as vintage papers and paint splatters are, there’s nothing super original about them. I’m building a list of premises that will force me to create a set of textures according to a guideline, such as a film genre, a particular song, a mood, etc. This will help put textures into a context, which was one of my original goals when I first decided to make this site.

Your turn to share

What has been your favorite Valleys In The Vinyl moment of 2011? Was it a post you loved, a moment of inspiration, or a moment when one of these textures fit your needs perfectly? What do you want to see more of in 2012? At only seven months old, this thing is still in its infancy. I hope everyone is excited about the future and ready to ride along. Happy New Year!

  • Alysson

    I’m one of the people who found their way here by lost and taken. My favorite moment was when I first stumbled on the site. The first textures I stumbled across were so original and creative it was like artwork itself. I knew I’d be a religious follower.

    I don’t have any specific requests. But I’m really looking forward to the things you will be bringing to the site! It all sounds really promising.

  • Kristian

    I work is very fun and it shows a lot of expression on who you are. I love all the textures and work you have accomplished.

    I can’t work to see collaborative work with you and Caleb that will be awesome!

    I am going in my third year of Design school and I am also finding a love for texture in my work. I find it very interesting when I show it to my classmates and the very first thing they do is touch it.

    I can’t wait for the New Year!

  • Tilly

    I turned forty this year and realized…that I like graphic design, which is nothing like the high school class that the boys took Sophomore year. I am trying to figure out if I can create anything without AI….found you via Stumble. Good Luck this year.