Friday, April 28, 2017

Setting Up An Artist Portfolio Website - A Listicle

An unfortunate thing happened a little while ago to my portfolio website. When my partner first helped me set it up he added it to his own hosting service (which was convenient at the time) - a few months back, he accidentally let his hosting expire, so all data was lost, and now I have to start again from scratch.

This has been a blessing in disguise though, because I never felt particularly attached to any of the themes or set-ups I've had in the past. A fresh start was necessary, I think.

This time around I have the benefit of past experiences to help me avoid common mistakes, and that got me thinking. Back at uni we were required to create a portfolio website for our art, and I saw a lot of those mistakes coming up all over the place. That's what happens when you get artists to be their own web designers, I guess!

I thought I'd collect my lessons in bad design here, as a what-no-to-do kind of guide for artists who need to put on the design-cap for the first time.

Most of these mistakes are common, especially among creatives, because we love the process of getting messy and trying new things. The trouble with that approach though, is at the end you're left with a big ol' mess!

SO without further ado, don't do these:

1) Artworks as background

In an art portfolio, you want your art to be Front and Centre. The background is a support, like a gallery wall. You don't want to make the work of showing off your art even harder by camouflaging it. A simple background (black or white, or somewhere between on the greyscale) is usually all you need. Additional details like vignettes and drop shadows usually go in and out of vogue but I've always found the simplest design solutions are also the most timeless.

The neutral colour you pick for your background will also help your audience (and any potential buyers) to get a true sense of the colour of your work, so if you do venture outside of the greyscale even slightly, it pays to keep this in mind.

2) Colours, colours everywhere!

Like opening a fresh pack of pencils, the first thing a lot of creatives want to do when they are exploring design options is use as much colour as possible. I know you hate to hear this, I know all these wonderful options can be overwhelming; but listen to me: this is a mistake.

One remark I heard a lot made by fellow artists at uni, while developing their works, was just how much versatility they could get out of just a few materials. Your pack of pencils might have every colour of the spectrum, but imposing a limitation can generate fantastic results that might have otherwise eluded you in your enthusiasm to try it all. This theory also applies to web design in a big way.

Keep your palette minimal and clean, and select colour with care and context in mind. Again, remember to keep the artwork front and centre.

3) Using every font in the library

I have genuinely seen the most atrocious websites where artists have tried to use a different font for every line of text.

Please don't do this.

It takes the mind a lot of effort and energy to switch back and forth between different fonts while reading. This may cause the reader to lose their focus on the content of the text - it's distracting and will only be detrimental to the presentation of your work.

Like with colour, less is more. At most, find one fancy or bold font for larger titles (such as your name on the homepage), otherwise stick to using a simpler font family for other headings and body text. Sticking with the same font family will create a sense of unity across your website - this will only help to build your 'brand' as an artist. I recommend a solid sans serif like Museo or Avenir; leave Times New Roman for printouts of your uni readings.

And for the love of god, avoid Comic Sans like the plague. No one will take you seriously otherwise. Papyrus too, if you don't want to be inextricably associated with every low-to-midrange naturopath and day spa in your area. And every other area. Oh god, it's everywhere! *cringe*

4) Hierarchy, Hierarchy, Hierarchy.

There's nothing worse than looking at a webpage and not knowing where to look. I have definitely struggled with this on my website.

Basically, you want to use the design elements of the page to guide the audience to where you want them to focus their attention. Layout; font style, size and weight; and colour are the primary means of this. We've already looked at colour and font, but we haven't touched on layout yet.

The first step for layout is picking a theme. Regardless of what platform you choose to use, be it wordpress, squarespace, joomla, etc. the first step is to pick a theme. There are countless options out there that are ready to be selected and customised, so how do you find the right one?

Use search words like 'portfolio', 'clean' and 'minimal' to find the best options that will help your work shine without overshadowing it with a bloated range of features.

You will need to know how you want your images of your works to be viewed before you even get started. Does each artwork require one photo or many? Do you want to group your works together into collections? Do you want to display the images all on one page to scroll down, or in a side-scrolling gallery? Again the options are limitless, but always come back to the original question: what will present your work to the world in the most optimal light?

Once you've selected a theme it can be customised in any number of ways. Remember, you can always select a theme that suits 90% of your needs and customise it to suit you later (with a little help and a lot of googling, anything is possible!)

It also helps to look at some fantastic examples. Find artists who do work similar to yours and see if they have a website. Take a look, and note down what you like about the website and what you don't like. Every observation is a lesson, and can guide you to a better overall design.

This should provide a good starting point, but remember there are still so many more things to think about as well: the quality and style of photography used to capture your work, how much or little text to include with each work, how long/short to keep your artist statement or bio, the list goes on. Done right, your portfolio can be a fantastic promotional tool for your practice. Just be careful to avoid the pitfalls!

Monday, February 13, 2017


Happily, I can report, I am making progress on the selling-things-with-my-patterns-on-them front.

It's slow, but it's progress. The heat hasn't made it, or anything productive, easy of late. If you haven't heard from every other whinging Aussie on the internet, we're having a heat wave. Parts of the country are hitting 45+ degrees for 5+ days in a row, which is unheard of. But, as the leaders of this great keep insisting, what climate change?

But yes, progress.

I have now secured a domain, I have my Sole Trader ABN*, and the next few set-up steps are underway - all the boring stuff, like getting my business name registered on ASIC, opening a business banking account, getting a PO box, etc. For most of this I seem to be working backwards. I'll try to complete one step, but then discover more steps to complete first, then more steps before that.

I will get there though. Momentum is starting to build and I'm excited.

Although no one reads this blog anymore I still plan to post here once it is up. For posterity if nothing else. You just never know when a digital archaeologist might stumble across your little blog hundreds of years in the future (does data even last that long?).

*Australian Business Number for those of you playing at home

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

I bought a paper shredder today

and I think it's just about the most cathartic purchase I have ever made.

I know the symbolism is kind of lame (I'm destroying that which is no longer relevant to my life wow how deep) but like, it just feels good man.


Life has been a little stagnant lately, and it's juuust getting to the point where I'm uncomfortable enough to take action.

I'm still in the same job, the same position in fact, that I've been in since I started at my current workplace nearly 4 years ago. I'm seeing people who started after I did move up and away into more exciting (or at least more permanent) roles. I've finished my degree, but there's precious little I can do with it. Not that I regret doing a Fine Art degree; they're just not practical.

But, there have been little shining steps of progress lately. I signed up to play in a pit for my second show this year - I played in Next to Normal a few months back, and I'll be doing Oklahoma! in September. I started taking dance classes again after about 5 years. Just this week I volunteered to write reviews & interviews for an Artist Run Initiative (ARI) in my city, and I'm participating in a group exhibition with a group of my fellow graduates from uni. Slowly, things are beginning to happen. And it's nice.


This is all in and around one big main project I've been wanting to do, and doing in very small parts for a little while now. My artistic tendency has always revolved around patterns, so I've been trying to hone my style and technique and (as wank as it sounds) 'find my (visual) voice', so to speak.

Basically, I want to sell things, with my patterns on them.

I don't know what things, and at this stage I don't really care too much. Well, I do. I should. But I care more about the patterns than anything else. The pattern is the product.

So I'm trying to basically not just hone my 'voice', but to create products, and market them, and sell them. I'm at the set-up phase now, where I'm figuring out how much it will all cost, and oh GOD it's depressing. It's going to take so long to get it all set up, then get the first few products up to start gathering capital to get everything up and running. But I mean, it's expensive.

My struggle though, truthfully, isn't so much gathering the capital, or figuring out what I need to do (I've been 'figuring it out' for a while now). It's doing it. The thought terrifies me. It shouldn't, but it does.

So I do all sorts of things trying to avoid doing it. I stream whole seasons on Netflix, I churn out more patterns, I take up more hobbies, I skilfully fill my hours with everything but what I know I need to be doing, and it's beginning to feel like an ulcer, an irritation that I can't stop picking at. But if I just did it, it would be underway and I could get to the next thing. Then I think about the next thing and start feeling terrified all over again, and justified in not starting at all. It's all too scary.

Seriously though, I can't go on like this.

So today I bought a paper shredder. And I'm getting rid of all the bits and pieces taking up the space that should be occupied by the more important things. And it feels good, man.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I have a serious problem

I can't seem to focus on a single creative task for more than a couple of days at a time. At best. My stupidly eratic creative mind gets bored very quickly. Before I've even had a chance to find the time to execute the original creative plan, I've had another three ideas. These subsequent ideas may or may not necessarily be better, but at the time they always seem more exciting. And so, the original idea dies before it begins.

Those among us who have in the past experienced Severe Creative Blockitis (it's a real condition... or at the very least if it isn't, it should be) or who may currently be suffering from it are probably thinking "What the heck is this girl's problem? Too many ideas is not a problem! Not enough ideas is a problem!". To those people I say, you're probably right. Too many ideas is less bad than not enough ideas. It only becomes a problem when I can't contain them all. A point which I passed a long time ago...

So, if you're the creative type, or are in any way creatively inclined, what do you suggest? What are some techniques for getting the most out of my ideas? What do you do when your brain is creating at ten times the possible speed of the execution of the idea?

To stop myself finishing on an open-ended question, here's a picture of

...oh never mind. Blogger photo-uploader is being a douche. Sorry.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sketchbook Project

I found THIS blog a few days ago, and have been using it since as a cure for boredom in this first week back at work after the Christmas break. Since most other companies we deal with are still on holidays, including our own Melbourne office, there really isn't much at all to keep me busy.

Anika, the artist/author of the blog, participated in this little thing called the Sketchbook Project. I'd heard of it before, and always wanted to take part so this morning, whilst looking for more ways to cure my boredom (since I finished reading every last post on her blog yesterday) I impulsively headed over to and signed up. I limited myself to just ordering the book, although I was tempted to go for the $75 digitisation and final artbook pre-order package. I may get the book later though, and I'm perfectly capable of digitising the book myself.

Gotta be honest with you. I'm quietly nervous, and just a little bit excited. Before this, I've never shared my art in this way. Now, my art will forever be archived in the Brooklyn Art Library with thousands of other fantastic artists. It may never be seen by anyone ever again, but then again, it might be. Point is, it'll be there.

I'll be posting some ideas I have and progress pics once the sketchbook arrives. Can't wait! *eek* Leave a comment if you're the arty type and will be filling up a sketchbook too. I'd love some company on what is sure to be a bumpy ride :3

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I think I've finally decided what to do with this blog. I've also decided what I won't do.

I will not make myself post on a schedule, just for the sake of putting up content.

I will not put pressure on myself to make everything I post perfect.

I will treat this blog less like a portfolio of well-drafted thoughts and opinions; and more like a scrapbook of ideas.

I will be myself. Even if that means long hiatuses of laziness.

Because, I mean, really, who am I kidding?

If you're wondering what brought this on, I've just been thinking lately about how I don't really post much of my work online. Also, I need a space just to chuck the junk that I wouldn't put on, say, deviantart.

There's an awful lot more junk to post these days too, since getting my new job. I now work reception for an air-con wholesaler in the industrial district. Even when we're busy, there isn't that much reception work to do. So what happens when creativemachine gets bored with a pen in her hands? You're just going to have to wait to find out :P

I won't explain myself any further - chances are no one's going to read this anyway. Although, I did have a spike in page views a few days ago. No views for ages then *BOOM* suddenly 18 in one day. I know 18 is hardly anything, but considering the dormant nature of this tiny little blog that warranted 18 views on a good day back when I was posting frequently, an unexplained spike of 18 in one day is, well, a lot, and also kind of weird.

Sidenote: I nearly typed "alot" instead of "a lot" then. I don't normally make that mistake, but yesterday, I saw this and flipped. The internet just gets me sometimes.


Expect a redesign soon. I have a few ideas in the works.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Japan Report :)

Just recently, I went on a trip to Japan for my third international music tour :D We were asked to write reports on our experience, and I felt like mine was blog-worthy, so I'm sharing it with you here.

So here I am in Japan, sitting on the couch in my pyjamas, watching trashy daytime TV in a language I can't understand (don't get me wrong though; I find it sort of fascinating). Why? why am I here, and not outside enjoying my time here in this beautiful country? I'm sick. Nose dripping like a tap, scratchy throat and between being stuffed up and drugged up on cold&flu medicine, I can barely think. But, I will give it my best shot.

My host mum Akiko has been wonderful, giving me ginger tea and tissues, and letting me sleep in. It has been quite a hectic week, after all. I won't give you a full-on play-by-play recount of everything that has happened, but I will share with you some observations that I have made since arriving here on Sunday night.

The biggest cultural difference I have seen so far, is that the Japanese really care. About everything. For example, whole teams of people are assigned to keep the streets clean and litter-free. It's their job to make sure that Japan stays beautiful. Even such a small and seemingly unimportant detail of daily life is given such attention. But the Japanese acknowledge just how a small detail can make such a big difference. If this is the kind of attitude that this society has towards the little things, you can imagine how that translates across to every other aspect of daily life here.

The second thing is that Japanese people are full of respect. For each other, for themselves, for the country they live in, and for anyone who comes to visit. I have never felt so completely welcomed into somebody else's home before. My host family, the Kawasaki's, have been the friendliest, most caring and generous hosts. Like I mentioned, while I've been sick, Akiko has taken good care of me.

The country itself is just beautiful to look at. Everything is packed in tight, but no one seems cramped or irritated by the close proximity. Despite the high density population, there is greenery and recreational space everywhere. Their work-life balance is perfect; or at least, as close to perfect as anyone on earth has yet achieved (at least to my admittedly limited knowledge).

Perhaps the greatest indulgence in this country, besides the beyond-amazing food, is that we're here to do what we love. Not only are we here to experience another culture, but we are in a position to give back to the generous community that has welcomed us here, by doing something we all do well. Making music.

It's at this point that I should express my sincere thanks to Shaun Dorney and the LYME staff for all they've done. The opportunity to see another country, and to perform on foreign shores is not something I take for granted at all, and I'm truly grateful for the time and effort they have put in to making this trip a success. I quite literally would not be where I am today without them. So Shaun and Co, I know you'll read this, for all the opportunities, for friendships forged with fellow musicians both Australian and Japanese, for the bonds formed with our new surrogate families and for everything else, I say thank you all, so so much.

To Pam Parker, if you're reading this, thank you for your ongoing support in our musical endeavours also. It means a lot to have our creative efforts recognised by the city's leaders - it's not often groups like ours earn this kind of recognition. I really hope we'll do you proud tomorrow in our final big concert with Hirakata's Brass Band.

Of everything amazing in this country, I have only one little niggling criticism - Hirakata is experiencing an epidemic of wonderfully talented young woodwind, brass and percussion players, but it's definitely missing something...

...Yep. Needs more strings.


Now if you'll excuse me, there's a trashy Japanese game show on just begging me to watch.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Review Friday: Fish Custard

In my recent blogging hiatus, I decided it was high time to see what all this fuss surrounding Doctor Who was about. I watched my first ever episode, The Impossible Astronaut, exactly a week before my twenty-second birthday. In the space of about a month, a friend lent me each of the boxsets starting on season 5 to fill in the Eleventh Doctor's story, and then back to series one to fill in all the fun from the Ninth and Tenth incarnations.

It took me a grand total of about 2 minutes to completely fall in love with the show. I am totally in awe of the acting abilities of all the involved cast who brought the characters to life. I am also constantly blown away by the intricate writing abilities of Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat, and all the rest of the writers who passionately contribute their imaginations to the show. BUT, that's not what I'm reviewing today.

I've been listening to the soundtrack* from Season 5, and while I'd like to review the soundtrack as a whole, I feel like there are a few stand-out tracks that really deserve a review post of their own. One such track is "Fish Custard". If you haven't watched the series and intend to, be aware that there are spoilers ahead. If you want to watch the series without having it all spoiled for you (which I highly recommend - Doctor Who is one of those things that should never be spoilt), I suggest you turn back now. Once you've caught up, then, feel free to come back and read, but don't say I didn't warn you.


The track "Fish Custard" is played during the scene where little Amelia Pond is letting the Doctor into her house and offering him food to eat. Eleven** is still very newly regenerated, and adjusting to his new body. He requests several different types of food, all of which he expresses his taste for before he tries, and promptly spits out and changes his mind upon tasting. At the end, he finally finds what he needs to eat. Fish fingers and custard. Together. The scene is very quirky and comedic and that is exactly what Murray Gold injects into the music. This is one track that I can listen to and instantly picture exactly what was going on.

The track starts with some sparse pizzicato, channelling some tip-toeing vibe. Already the track is perfectly endearing, and complements Matt Smith's new portrayal of the Doctor beautifully. The track bends and sways with lilting strings and brass, punctuated by woodwinds and quirky percussion, breaking off and building back up with each failed food. At one point, the orchestra*** strikes a dissonant, suspended chord, as the Doctor flings a plate of food - this time bread and butter - out the front door, "AND STAY OUT".

The oboe's tone makes it perfect to audibly describe the new doctor's inquisitive, bizarre nature, as he rediscovers himself. One of the reasons I absolutely love this scene is that it's the perfect opportunity for the audience to rediscover the Doctor as well. This was so, so necessary for this particular regeneration, considering the extreme popularity of his previous regenerated form, portrayed by the ever-charming David Tennant. When you lose such a loveable face, it can make it really easy to spite the next one, simply because it isn't the last. As a fan of the show though, it's one of those facts you just have to come to accept. But I digress.

Later on in the track, after all these failed foods, the pace of the track picks up a bit. It signals that the trial-and-error phase is over, and now, he has a rough idea of what he wants, but he just can't put his finger on it. Apparently carrots are not it ("Are you insane?") and as he takes over the search, the music keeps building and getting even more frantic, until he finds exactly what his new taste buds have been looking for - Fish Fingers and Custard. Here, the music hits its peak and ends boldly on a dominant chord. It feels finished, but not quite, like a sentence finishing on a comma. It's perfect though, because the musical silence that follows is perfect for the next part of the story.

The music doesn't take over the whole scene, rather, it lifts it to a whole nother level, which is exactly what it should do. As a whole, the track gives us clues to the Doctors new character, provides emotional - in this case, comedic - cues, and put's the whole audience into Little Amelia's shoes. It musically describes the scene without spelling it out or stealing the spotlight. But it's still distinctive enough that you can listen to it on its own and the scene floods back into your head. As far as I am concerned, this track, this crucial element, has been what has made this particular scene so memorable. Of course, it wouldn't have been without Matt's incredible performance either; and I in no way suggest otherwise, but the track pulls the whole thing together. Murray Gold has done a fabulous job yet again, and reflects the enthusiasm and gusto and passion for the show that seems to echo and emanate from everybody involved.

I can just imagine being a member of the orchestra. Being in one myself, I know full well that you have certain pieces that you adore more than the most for whatever reason. It could be a particularly difficult piece that took you forever to get but you finally mastered, and now you love it. It could be that piece that wells up some deep emotion right from the pit of your stomach. Or it could be one like this. Quirky, fun, and full of attitude. I imagine quite a few BBC musicians list this one among their favourites.

I'm going to end it there. It is stupidly late again, which means I need to stop writing before my ability slips, if it hasn't already. Thank goodness I did restrict the review to just one track, otherwise I'd be here all night.

Hope you all have a nice weekend, I'll be back on Sunday with a report on this week's creative endeavours.

Love :D

This reviewed item out of 5: Definitely *****
Average stars this year: 5

Days I've kept this going: 3

*I should mention at this point that I'm going to be reviewing LOTS of soundtracks. They make up about 70% of what I listen to at the moment, the other 30% consisting of classical music (about 25%) and whatever else on my iTunes takes my fancy.

**I will henceforth refer to the Doctors by their regeneration number. Eleven refers to the regeneration played by Matt Smith, who is the current Doctor, and will be up until the 50th anniversary year 2013, so we have recently heard.

***BBC National Orchestra of Wales if you were wondering. They do, and have done, all the soundtrack work on the modern series, and they're phenomenal and severely underrated as an orchestra.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Here we go again

So, after giving it a generous amount of thought, I've finally decided how I want to set this thing up.

Without further ado, I present My New Blogging Schedule.

  • Monday - "Little Things Monday" - I will be continuing the series I started with the goal of listing all the things in the world that make me happy, and that I am grateful for, in blocks of ten at a time. This, with the goal of encouraging myself to look closer at things, and be glad for even just the little things when times are tough. I feel like this is a worthy thing to blog about on a regular basis.
  • Wednesday - "Critical Thinking Wednesday" - This will be the day where I plan/post an in-depth analysis of whatever has been occupying my thoughts throughout the past week. It could be anything, from politics, to music, to whether Snape deserved to be with Lily instead of James (short answer: No). I decided to include this one, because I am discovering that when it comes to certain topics, I have very strong opinions, and I'm pretty damn good at backing them up too. And where better to put one's opinion than on one's blog?
  • Friday - "Review Friday" - I tend to like reviewing things when I'm done experiencing them. You might see reviews of concerts (usually of the orchestral variety) or pieces of music, or movies, or books. Basically, if you can experience it in some capacity, and you can review it; you could possibly find it here.
  • Sunday - "Creative Sunday" - This is where I get to show you guys what I've been up to. Whether an illustration, or a video, or a graphic, or a song, or anything really, as long as I've made it using my own two hands and my creativity, it goes here. Even if it's just an idea. This is where you guys come in too. All creative people need a sounding board. I'm relying on you guys to let me know how awesome/terrible my work is, and also, what you would like to see me do next. See, being the creative type I am, I can be terrible at keeping the creative juices flowing. It doesn't have to be profound either. I may just need one word to kick-start the next project. 
Anyway, that's it for regularly scheduled posts. Unscheduled posts will include but not be limited to: diary entry or recount/reflection on the day whenever I happen to do anything interesting/worth recording/remembering, any other lists I happen to come up with, and so on and so forth. Labels/tags should also be used extensively, just in case a reader feels like going through and looking at every "Review Friday" post, or something. 

Also, posts should be ended with some sort of counter, preferably relating to the topic of the post, although keeping consistent within the category. For example, on "LTM" I will be keeping tally on the total things I can think of that keep me happy, and also, a tally on how many items listed were experienced on that Monday. "RF" could give a rating out of five for whatever was being reviewed, and also, a running average out of five for reviews throughout the year. "CTW" might include some sort of satisfaction rating, depending on how much a situation/issue is annoying me eg. if the issue is easily solved, or being handled effectively, or something relating to the resolution of the problem. This one still needs to be clarified though... ideas? 

Today is Thursday, so the first official scheduled post will be up tomorrow. A Review for Friday :)

Sleeping time is now though so I must away. I look forward to this new venture. May it actually work out this time. Cheers.

Days I've kept this going so far: 1
^ I like this counter. I might keep it there :D

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Keeping with the times

This is going to be a short post. Yes I realise I posted only a few hours ago, saying that I was tired and about to go to bed. Yes I am still awake. I blame the internet.

Skipping forward to the catalyst for me hitting the "new post" button for the second time in only a couple of hours, I just found out via Twitter that Amy Winehouse died. She was 27.

I'm devastated. I know she was a drug/alcohol addict. I realise that this is something she brought upon herself, but MAN! That woman had one heck of a voice on her. Have you ever heard it? She was incredible. I just, I think in my eternal optimism, I was hoping she might recover and make a decent career for herself. Which makes this even more tragic. It's like romeo and juliet, minus the romeo element.

I remember sitting in my work tearoom, reading up on her latest antics in whatever gossip magazines were there. I, just, why? I can't even.

I realise that topically, the events in Oslo, Norway are far more tragic, but to be completely candid with you all, I haven't really caught any of the news, so I'm really disconnected to the tragedy over there. I'm ashamed to say so, but it's true. Whereas, even though Amy had a choice, and the people of the Norway Tragedy had none, I actually spent time, while Amy was still with us here on this lump of rock, listening to her dulcet tones. Developing some semblance of a one-sided relationship with her as a human being (as we all do with musicians. That is, after all, the role of the singer/musician/artist/whatever). So, there was a part of her that had become a part of me before she died.

Don't get me wrong, any loss of life is terrible, and my heart goes out to all of Norway in the light of everything. But a little tiny piece of me died tonight with the news of Amy's parting. And that is why I am in mourning.

Last time I felt like this was a few years back, when we first heard the news of Heath Ledger. Then again when we heard of Britney Murphy. So much talent among them all. So much waste. And it's no unheard of either. Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, among others, were only 27 when they left us too. I wasn't around for those, but I imaging their supporters all felt the same too. GAH! I have no more words.

I'm going to shut up now before I get any more gushy. It's 10 past 3 in the am. I'm obviously just emotional and delirious because it's 3:10am, and I need sleep, though I doubt this news is going to suck any less when I wake up.

RIP Amy. Let the heavens enjoy your dulcet tones forevermore.