Stuff No One Told Me, a witty and fun blog, is all about lessons learned, wrapped up with a good laugh. Alex Noriega, the Spanish-born creator, indulges us with a concise statement about life, accompanied by a cute illustration on a monthly basis. Once a month is hardly the update frequency you would expect from a blog, but it's totally worth it.
Currently, 'Stuff No-one Told Me' has to be my favourite blog. Alex has successfully fused his ability to produce fabulous illustrations with chunky little snapshots of his life and, more importantly, his own perception of the world and how he fits into it. It's such a simple concept for a blog but because the two aforementioned elements work so well together, it becomes captivating.
The most notable cartoon strip he has written is 'Goldfish' that appears in three separate parts on the blog. Without trying to spoil it to much, it depicts a tragic part of his life connected to a specific family member back in the nineties. Despite the story being very sad and bleak in parts, he has somehow managed to inject a good shot of optimism into it by way of his quirky and innocent looking illustration style.
As one would expect from a blog, 'Stuff No-one Told Me' is very simple and easy to navigate. Everything is logical and where one would expect it to be; not surprising as the blog has been put together using 'Blogger'. Nevertheless, even when using templates, it can be so easy to start adding in hideous background patterns, fonts and colours etc but instead we have been presented with a myriad of elements that perfectly compliment each other.
The blog is broken up into three basic sections: 'Home', 'About' and 'Commissions'. The Homepage contains a scrollable list of all his posts including his cartoon strips and 'one-off' static cartoons representing thoughts and humorous musings that, when combined, give us a great blueprint of how Alex's mind works. I especially like the 'Commissions' page. He could have made it so simple but instead he has turned the whole idea of him wanting to take on paid work, into a witty and funny cartoon strip. Another example of his impeccable attention to detail.
I've got one word to describe the appearance of 'Stuff No-one Told Me', STUNNING! Alex Noriegas' illustrations are funny, witty and more importantly, beautiful. Throughout the blog his illustrations, not surprisingly, dominate our screens. As I previously mentioned, despite the use of a template, everything looks great. I especially want to congratulate him on how well he's used his illustrations to create an amazing background. I've often found that using image heavy backdrops look very fussy and can easily detract from the main content on display. However, this tessellating pattern encompassing various illustrations, simply works.
Even the logo/masthead at the top of each page looks fantastic; the slightly muted greens and pinks help to create a perfect balance between the illustrations used and the stark white background that houses them. Regardless of the content on offer, visually, this really is a site to be marveled at.
I love the way the blog chronicles little nuggets of Alex Noriegas' life through the series of 'cartoon strip' style stories. I genuinely admire the work he has put into this blog, he should be very proud of what he has created. Ok, it would be amazing if he could add to it every day or two but then I'm sure for him to create work to this high standard is very time consuming. It's certainly more about quality than quantity in this case.
It's one thing that Alex is such a great and quirky illustrator but combined with his witty and sometimes poignant musings about his life, it seriously makes the package as a whole a tour de force.