About Sharon Villines

Photo of Sharon Villines
Sharon Villines in 2008.

Probably all you need to know about Sharon Villines is that I am an artist and writer. I spent 25 years at Empire State College SUNY tutoring and mentoring artists in New York City. Professional artists are small business people so I also taught business management and marketing for artists.

I took early retirement in 1996 to focus on my own arts projects and writing. I published a newsletter for mystery writers, Deadly Serious: References for Writers of Mystery and Detective Fiction. That lead to writing an annual guide to mystery bookstores and publications, the Deadly Directory. I’m now (slowly) writing a humorous chapter-book series on Sam Dog, PI that I enjoy very much. I still have to see whether anyone else does. That website is MyNameIsDog.com

I’ve written  professional publications on the arts, community organization, and governance. I co-wrote a definitive work on sociocracy, a form of collaborative governance based on consensus decision-making. That information is at  Sociocracy.info.

Triple Threat Websites is about how and why I design websites, what I can and cannot do, how I will work with clients to present themselves.

Because I was teaching at a university, I had internet access  earlier than many people and began designing websites in the mid 1990s. Website design is not only about appearance. It is “information architecture.” How shared information is best structured and presented most coherently. It’s both an art and a science to organize information to so people can use it, This is involves  usability and findability. My teaching and writing has provided my understanding of structuring information and my design work my ability to present it graphically.

In Useful, Curious, Inspiring is where I store and recommend books, websites, and online archives mostly for artists, designers, and writers. It includes any resource I use or recommend or wish I had used. I often forget where these are or that I even knew about them.  I’m an habitually curious person and need a place to save and share what I’m currently researching or thinking about.

Pass the Olives is a clutter of opinions and memoir-ish writings. Basically stuff I can refer other people to without explaining them over and over. Like How to slow cook turkey and How I felt the day Steve Jobs died.

Orientation to College: On Becoming an Educated Person  is a textbook I co-wrote many years ago with two colleagues at Empire State College SUNY. That page is one of the most popular. This is partly because “orientation to college” is a frequently searched term, and partly because teachers and students are looking for information about the book and its authors.

And I like the book. It explains educational development, learning, and the importance of studying the traditional liberal arts subjects. Literature, languages, art, music, philosophy, history, mathematics, the social and physical sciences. What is forgotten in our focus on getting jobs is that business is very social. Conversation is more likely to be about cultural topics than widgets and machinery.

I’m sure this is more than you ever wanted to know about Sharon Villines but you could have stopped reading. I should have warned you.