decision

about this site

I have wanted to make this site for a very, very long time. To have finally finished it feels — if you’ll pardon the pun — SURREAL.

I had the idea for this site sometime in 2008, and started working on it shortly thereafter. About 60% of the pages in the My Story section were originally written back then. Yet I wasn’t happy with what I was making. I couldn’t quite capture the feeling I was going for. And therein lies the root of an eight-year problem: I could not figure out what I wanted to get out of this site. I wanted to make a personal dedication to my favorite artist, but what did that mean? And how could I accomplish it?

So this site sat on the backburner, and I worked on other projects. In 2009 I opened a fansite to another favorite musician, ONE OK ROCK, called 20 years old. I realized through creating that site that I wanted to cover Ayu’s music in some depth for the site I had planned for her, but what was the best way to do that? Ayu had put out a lot of music, after all.

Eventually I decided to write reviews of each album, and this culminated in the Memorial Address section. I wrote most of those reviews in 2010, coincidentally on another family vacation, this time while on a plane returning to the US. Yet once I got home, they remained where they were; I had lost even the inspiration to type up the handwritten pages.

Part of it was a lack of faith in my own abilities. I have no experience with music, so my vocabulary is fairly lacking. I have a great appreciation for music, but it’s difficult to talk about why you like a song when you don’t fully understand what it is that’s going on in it. (I have recently started learning music theory, in an attempt to bridge this gap.) The other part, though, was that I didn’t feel as though the site I was making was going to be good enough.

Ayu is — and has been — my absolute favorite artist. I couldn’t half-ass a site for her. I had to put my absolute best effort into the site I made for her. Her music has meant the world to me for close to a decade. It had to be just right, or it wasn’t worth making it at all.

And so, for years, I didn’t touch the content I’d written. I came back and looked at the pages I had written for this site every now and then. “The site’s nearly done,” I told myself. “Just get the rest finished.” But I didn’t.

Given that you’re here reading this site now, you can see I eventually pushed past it. And that’s the moral of this story: if you have something that you really want to work on, but you’re not sure if it’ll be good enough: make it anyway. Maybe it won’t be perfect. Even as I sit here putting the finishing touches on this site, I feel as though I could have done more. I’m sure I’ll think of things I should have added in the future. But I’ve accepted that this site isn’t going to be perfect, nor does it have to be. It is simply meant as my own personal tribute to Ayu, and that’s all it needs to be.

technical details

This site was built using Pico, largely as an experiment; I knew this site would have a lot of pages and this made it much easier to manage them. It’s an experiment that’s paid off.

The layout image was designed in 2008, as were some of the stylistic details. I remade almost everything from scratch when I completed the site in 2016, but after so long with this layout, I couldn’t bear to part with it. The images come from the off my day photobook, released as a bonus with (miss)understood. They have always seemed perfect, given how I first fell in love with Ayu’s music.

Resources used in the design are by subtlepatterns and lovelytrash.org (defunct).