A ZENFUL INSPIRATION - Who is behind this thing?
My name is Lori Forster, and I am the original designer for all of the websites you see in the Zenful Creations portfolio. I have over 20 years of hands-on-experience designing web sites from small start-up companies, to known names such as iKarma and Bernard Hopkins.
While most of my experience has been hard earned as a freelancer from my home office I have been involved with several successful internet ventures including Cyber Networks Inc., Dermdex/Salu, and SkinStore.com preforming as an integral part of their executive management teams.
After I became a mother in 2000, I decided that I did not want to be a the corporate mom , and I gave up the 9 to 5 for babies. In the time that was not spent with my husband or kids, I was on the computer reading, learning, absorbing and doing. I learned how to troubleshoot and diagnose spyware problems and virus infections and freely helped users in forums all over the web rid their computers of the junk, and spent three years as the Technical Moderator on 20ishParents.com.
I spent time designing whenever I had the vision and opportunity - for friends, pro-bono projects and the like. I spent time on design forums where I could help others and learn at the same time. Google became my best friend in being a resource to others; If I did not know the answer, I was able to find the right answer with a good search :)
I was accepted as a team designer on the exclusive design team at Design Outpost which allowed me to further enhance my knowledge of interface design and planning. Being involved in the projects held there presented different challenges with each job and allowed me to push myself in design and at the same time excel in my CSS skills. Late in 2004, I was promoted to Team Moderator to assist the site owner in operations while overseeing hundreds of designers competing to win the posted design projects.
While participating in the design projects around the web, I became attracted to the work of Jason Black, and became a follower and a fan. He has that aesthetic crispness that makes my mind get "zenful", Since that time every client of mine that has required rebranding, has been graced with a JBlack Design, and his talent and vision have great influence over the designs I produce.
In March of 2005, while working for one of my clients, I needed to have a second person review my CSS markup before finalizing the files, and I turned to the WSG Email List for help. There I found the brilliant Parker Torrence, and immediately added him to my team to assist me in providing my growing client base with XHTML/CSS designed websites that are always current with standards.
I joined the iKarma team as Creative Director in late spring of 2005 which furthered my interests WOM marketing, something I had been relying on in business, but never clearly realizing it until this time. I joined the Coral Springs chapter of Business Network International in August as the seat holder in the Web Specialist position, and began attending local networking functions as often as possible. My tight grasp on buzz-marketing was futher enhanced in New York City in the fall as the spokesperson for iKarma who sponsored the event. I came away from that conference even further enlightened, and ready to "put the web to work."
In February of 2006, I incorporated and hired on several full time employees to assist in the growing demand for the services I provide - Zenful Creations, Inc. still boasts only a single designer - me - 2 standard complaint coders Parker and myself, and several PHP, Ruby on Rails, and Ajax programmers. I have also added to the identity/brand design team.
On April 30th of 2006, my father was in a tragic motorcycle accident that has left him comatose. I left South Florida to go home to Chattanooga, TN to take care of him. Being that he required so much of my attention, I basically quit working. In June 2006, I got married, and was hired to be the Creative Director for SpaLook, LLC. At that time it and iKarma were the only clients I was working with. By October, things had come to a more normalized point with my father, so I began taking new clients again. My father passed away in April 11, 2010, a short time after the sudden passing of my mother from Leukemia in September 25, 2009, so I again took some time away from work to take care of issues with my family. Time has healed all and I am currently taking on new clients as of December 2010.
My team and I are compelled to provide not only aesthetically pleasing designs, usable and standard compliant markup, and well rounded services all backed by an excellent business reputation. Over the years, I have developed hundreds of standard compliant websites, designed hundreds of graphical element, skinned dozens of blogs, and realigned more table based designs than I can remember. When I am not behind the computer working for my clients, I am speaking, consulting and attending networking events, keeping up with current design techniques, web standards and trying to stay in tune with the WOM buzz.
This site was originally created in April 1998, and has had several design overhauls since then. I call the current design, which was introduced in the May 2005 CSS Reboot, "Lucky Zen". My design relies upon the simplistic single image of a lucky bamboo plant that was photographed by Absolutely Frenchy at iStockPhoto.
This site is hand coded in XHTML 1.1 and CSS and is compliant with web standards (XHTML 1 and CSS 2) as recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium. If the layout of this web page appears plain, and you see few or no graphics, you are probably looking at it with a browser or device that does not fully support CSS. While this site looks more appealing through CSS-compliant browsers, its content is the same for any web browser.
I do markup in PSPad and use TopStyle for CSS. I choose Wordpress for my blog, and love it. I use XMB Forum for the Workroom of archived projects.
Web hosting is by Webquarry.
Speaking of Social...
I am an avid believer in Social Networking for business as you can see below... Find me on the web at any of the following: