Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.


Free, Inspiring Resources for Designers

Filed under: Art,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun Work,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:24 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

It may be obvious by now, but I’m not a graphic designer.

Still, I appreciate the work. I mean, I understand the effort and appreciate the people who put in the work to make good design. And, I have to admit that design, good and bad, fascinates me.
So, to make amends for my various bad design, I offer the few good designers who might stumble across my site some nice bits.

I don’t know about full-time, professional designers, but I need a good bit of inspiration now and again. I often get photography and graphic design magazines just to stare at and get ideas. But, they get very proud of those magazines and charge dearly for them, so, in this new, tighter economy, what are we to do? Well, why not look at free, on-line design magazines! How about 42 Free Online Magazines for Designers?
Need more inspiration? Well, personally, I’m obsessed with logos, so I found the Logo Designer Blog endlessly entertaining.

Of course, when we’re creating for the web, content, as they say, is king. In this case, that means words. Lots and lots of words. In marketing school they called those words “copy” and the process of churning them out was “copywriting”. It’s an art, too, in its way. An art that all too many graphically creative people don’t seem to get, especially on the web. At least, I’ve seen a lot of sites that sure could use work on their words. Well, GrokDotCom has help for them at the GrokDotCom Ultimate Copywriting Cheat Sheet. Even if you think you’re very good at this, this page is worth a look. Trust me.

So, there you go.
Now go make something.


Squeezing Creative Time In

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Art,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Life Goals,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:05 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

The biggest excuse that “wannabe” writers give for not writing is that they don’t have the time.

“Q) What does a typical writing day look like for you? How long do you write, that sort of thing?

A) I do most of my writing during my lunch breaks at work. Typically, a few minutes are spent actually eating, and then there are a few minutes of stalling and procrastinating before I dig in and start typing. 50 minutes or so isn’t a lot, but I’ve found I can do about 5000 words in a good week, which allows me to write a book every year in addition to some short fiction.”

– from Wyrdsmiths; Q&A with Jim Hines–Goblin War So, um,yeah, an hour a day really is all it takes, if you really want to write. Really. So, uh, guess what? Yeah, that means no more excuses…

Also, I recently purchased a book titled Time To Write, with the intention of finding ways to make regular writing part of my normal weekly routine.  Well, writing beyond this blog, that is!

Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"It is only when they go wrong that machines remind you how powerful they are."
   --Clive James


Creative Advice

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Art,Career Archive,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:05 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Not sure if this is “good” advice or not, but I’ve certainly found it to be true.

The other night I was flipping through channels and, as I buzzed past either Sundance or IFC, I saw one of the two oldest Marsalis brothers doling out some advice that was given to him by an older Jazz musician. I came in after the interview had started, so I don’t know if it was Wynton or Branford, nor do I know who gave him the advice, but it was significant enough to make me think.

He said, basically, don’t have anything to fall back on.
When someone starts on a path of professional creativity, whether it be musical or otherwise, we’re told that we need to do something else, too, so that we “have something to fall back on”. But, here’s the thing. If you have something to fall back on, then you do, and never truly give everything to that creative endeavor. I know that’s been true for me. I used to write all the time, but, then I got involved in my career and started spending more and more time on that. It’s not a bad thing, as I do fairly well, but the IT stuff is what I do, not the writing. I never really succeeded at writing because, well, I never had to succeed at writing. I had something to fall back on.

So, whatever it is that you want to do, do that. It’s the only way.

Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"The weakness of men is their facade of strength; the strength of women is their facade of weakness."
   --Warren Farrell

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