memories of a friend come back

I recently received an email from an Australian organization, The Word, asking if they could use an image of mine on their web site. I’ve always believed the internet was a communal resource and never say no to a request for using a photograph. I assumed the request was from an account I have on stockxchange , a royalty-free image bank.

Suicide, a lithograph by ted drakeI was surprised to find the image requested was one a lithograph about Ken, a friend who committed suicide over 10 years ago. I met Ken through an AIDS organization. He’s life revolved around taking care of his partner, who suffered every imaginable condition associated with the disease. When Ken’s partner passed away, Ken felt empty and lost. What was he to do now? Everything he had known seemed to be gone.

Ken and I went to the gay-pride parade that year and marched with the AIDS Foundation float. We had a great time and spent the day at the festival and that evening at a restaurant. Ken seemed happy and proud of the care he had given his partner

Two days later, Ken shot himself to death.

I made this lithograph shortly afterwards. The loss was still fresh, the dismay palpable. I still think of you Ken. Maybe not everyday, but your memory still pops up. I hope my lithograph and your story helps someone going through similar pains.


I’m a cockroach!!

Ted the Cockroach
I’m famous… sort of. I just became one of the latest creatures in Heidi Barack’s popular Animal Fiction series. I’m a cockroach. Yep, just turn on the lights and watch me run.

You’ve got to love Heidi’s art. She’s doing what she loves and it shows.

It reminds me of the latest exhibition by Christo and Jean-Claude in New York City. I wish I could find the exact quote, but Jean-Claude described the gates as having no underlying message. They are meant to be visually exciting and to be enjoyed. They don’t represent 9/11, poverty, inhumanity or anything else.

Heidi’s art is like that. Pure fun. You gotta love it. Time for me to scurry, I think I see someone reaching for a light switch.


Portrait of Ted Drake ca. 1993
About me. It’s a strange place to begin. In fact, it’s just a strange place.

Skipping the traditional third person voice…”Ted was a perfect child…”

Let’s just say that I’m a creative person that got into web site design because we needed a web site and the fools that we paid to build one were darn idiots.

I started with My Website Builder from MySoftware Co. This thing makes frontpage look like a gem. But it got me started. I went on to Net Objects Fusion then to hand-coding in Homesite and Dreamweaver. I still like my Dream…. what a boring biography! tools and history?! Boring.

Here’s what I like and try to do.

I believe the internet should be for everyone. I believe we should do what is possible to make that information accessible. Standards-based design has brought the challenge and creative interest back to web design. So, I’m a Zeldman follower that is trying to bring accessibility and standards-based design into the world, one page at a time.

That’s getting closer….

I am also a photographer and eventually this site will be filled with my photographs. My photographs are often out of focus, blurry, unclear, and mysterious. I’m not interested in one liner jokes and the same goes with art. Make me think.

While I respect copyright laws for others, I don’t care if someone uses one of my images. I’d like to get credit and would love to know where they are used, but I don’t put watermarks on them. The internet is for sharing, not hording. However, I do respect copyright for those that depend on intellectual property, such as museums, and don’t steal or download without giving credit.