I’ve been wanting to expand into the realm of photo-manipulation and vector art. I’ve been using Fireworks since 2006, and it’s still by far my favorite, but I recently obtained a copy of Photoshop and Illustrator (and the creative suite, because of Adobe’s cool new subscription thing) and decided that it would be a good idea to acquaint myself with working with them, because if I was able to get them down, I think my digital art would go a lot further.
I charted out my empire the other night. I think it’ll help me stay focused and remember the big picture – I can add to it as needed which is a nice aspect. I have bits of ideas and goals and big picture stuff strewn across various notes and entries in my journal, but having a graphical representation seems to make it that much more real.
I don’t know much about building empires, but this makes sense to me – and it’s nice to look at.
I found this on pinterest today and it hit me. A lot of the time I feel so young (I am young :P) and lost and like none of the stuff I’m doing really means much, because there’s so much out there I don’t know, and I’m making so many mistakes that I don’t even know about because I’m so inexperienced. But then I saw this. Sometimes I do want to quit, and just hole up and live under the blankets – I want to give up my heart and stop pouring it into paint and canvas and words because I look back on them and blush. I don’t really know what “success” is for me or how close I am to “achieving” it (if that’s even something you can achieve), but I still paint and draw and write because I *like* it, I *want* it, and even though I have so much to learn that sometimes I don’t even want to think about it – I know it brings me closer to myself, and discovering the girl inside who knows me, and knows who I am and what I’m capable of. Sometimes I get lost because my secondary motivation is to help out and honestly I’m thinking that it might be a bit of hinderance at times and I feel like I need to get back to just creating for the sake of creating, and creating because I love it, I need it, and it becomes me.
I don’t know what I’ll do or be in 5 years, 10 years, or next year. Hopefully I’ll be a better artist, a more loving person, and a better friend. I know there’s so much I don’t know…but I think I need to take the time and look at exactly how far I’ve come, in so many different aspects and parts of myself. I’m becoming me.
How far have you come in your hopes, ambitions, and journey? I bet it’s a lot more than you’d expect when you stop and think about it.
I did try to use illustrator again last night, but after spending a long time trying to just extract myself from the background and make a half-decent mesh, I decided to switch over to Fireworks – which I need to upgrade, because CS3 in OSX Lion is sort of weird. Also, I dropped my laptop last night and the keys are sticky – but that’s besides the point.
What do the pictures mean:
Probably that I should stick with Fireworks for my graphic-making experiments because as much as I hate to say it, I’m more familiar with it and illustrator just isn’t as intuitive to me. Because of that, I really want to learn illustrator because I feel like it’s lame to only stick with something because I’m familiar with it. But it’s not just that – I’ve spent hours and hours over the last few days trying to learn my way around illustrator, and I managed to make something that looks sort of decent in it, but I don’t have the patience to sit there and tap every single point on a mesh with my track pad (UGH!) maybe if I had a mouse or was sitting at a desk with my wacom tablet it’d be easier.
Fireworks, I’ve used for years, and I was able to pick it up very quickly. It’s more intuitive for me, and now even after not playing with it for ages, picking it back up again I’ve been able to make better images than I did when I was using it all the time. I think getting back into painting has really helped me with creating digital images. Understanding things about light and shadows and shades is apparently something universally applicable.
For now, the Pen tool + Gradients seem to be winning over the Pen tool +Mesh.
Yesterday I spent the afternoon reading the most boring (and it’s not that boring) of the books from my most recent library trip. Low Budget Marketing For Small Businesses which talked a lot about websites and the internet (obviously). The book is a little old (2003) but I figured some ideas would probably help. Although, I kind of smiled to the Generation Y references because well, that’s my generation, haha (as I was like, 12 at the time the book was published). #notveryold. Still it has ben helpful and even though I won’t be buying words and can tweak my website by myself for the most part (and what I can’t do, I can ask my husband or other friends to help with, because we’re all a bunch of geeks) it helped with some ideas on how to fix my current website.
Every so often I go on this completely re-do everything spree, and over the last 2 years I think I’ve alternated between blog-front and static pages multiple times (at the moment, I’m back to static page, but with blog posts featured). I’ve also wanted it to look a little bit more…me. I like clean websites but I also like artsy ones. I think the design I came up with last night works pretty well for the present and seems to balance the two. Light shades of polkadots with my balloon logo. I thought about adding a fairy, because that’s my etsy logo, but it looked too crowded.
This is all just a work in progress, so please stay patient, as I’ll probably be changing things more later. O:)
Anyway, the most helpful tidbit I’ve gotten so far from the book was the who’s-your-target-worksheet. And I haven’t filled it out yet, but I’ve been thinking on it, and launched an experiment yesterday also, which, you would have seen if you follow me on twitter (free shipping code). However, I conveniently added my twitter accounts (and other things) to my sidebar, if you’d like to follow and find the code and use it in my etsy store.
Anyway, this latest round of changes goes to the marketing book. Thanks, Mr. Book! I’ll go back to reading now.
I randomly decided that I really wanted to learn how to make animated GIFs. They’re really fun to look at and I have a propensity for re-blogging them on mlkshk and tumblr, but I’ve never known how to make them. So I taught myself. It didn’t take as long as I thought, admittedly, it’s just image GIFs and not video GIFs which I think would probably be a little harder for me to make in fireworks, but still, I picked it up easily and had a lot of fun making that. This is the evolution of tonight’s GIF-making:
I’ve become enamored; so when I’m not making random fairy GIFs this week, I’m going to try to work on writing the second version of the script. Which, actually, is going to be sort of totally reconstructed and kind of epic now that I know what things I want to come across and what the weak spots are. I think that if I can make it through this second version, it’ll be much much better while still keeping most of the points in the rough draft the same and communicating the same feeling…but, better. So I’m excited.