Background: “The purpose of this site is twofold,” says Meira Kerr-Jarett. “First, we are aiming to push a new creative form, one in which poetry and design interact and tell stories in unexpected and synergistic ways. Second, we’re striving to communicate our unique point of view as Orthodox Jewish women. Many aspects of this point of view are universal, and many focus on details very specific to our lives.
“Our target audience is not our own community, though we hope that they will enjoy it as well,” Kerr-Jarett continues. “Mainly, we want to show the greater creative world that may not be familiar with Orthodox people, specifically Orthodox women, the nuance and even paradox of our daily life experience. Small communities like ours often seem shrouded in mystery, perhaps portrayed through dramatic TV series, to the point that the public’s perception is either skewed or nonexistent. Our main goal, however, is pretty simple: create something at a very high level of creative expression and craft while being authentic about who we are.”
Design core: “The tone of the site is set very deliberately through animated text and visual transitions,” says Emunah Winer. “This is meant to carry the viewer through a story, a different one we tell in each chapter. From a stylistic perspective, the site feels odd and unsettling, giving space for the viewer to pause and question. This is accomplished through sometimes sinister graphics and obscure poetry.”
Favorite details: “We’re most proud of the interplay between the words and visuals,” says Kerr-Jarett. “We see this as a novel way to communicate through writing and design and are honored that the form is resonating with diverse audiences around the world.”
Challenges: “Not being a developer myself, the most difficult part of the site was not knowing what I would or would not be able to build before I built it,” says Winer. “I am never able to fully predict how a chapter will look at the end, simply because I don’t know enough about web development to execute my initial ideas. This has forced me to find creativity within constraints and push the limits of my imagination, both technically via WordPress and visually via my designs. The web is not the medium that either of us feel most comfortable in, and it is for that reason it fits this project so well: none of it is meant to feel comfortable.”
New lessons: “We learned a lot about letting the creative process unfold organically,” the pair agrees. “As two women pretty obsessed with our craft, it took a shift in perspective to be willing to use what we have and get over perfection before putting our work out there.”