Diary of a Network Geek

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

9/30/2018

DIY Pop Art Prints

Filed under: Art,Fun,Stimulus and Production,The Tools — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Snake which is mid-morning or 10:43 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Like Andy Warhol, but that match your decor.

If you don’t know who Andy Warhol is, this post may not make sense to you. Also, you may not be old enough to be reading my blog. Seriously, though, if you don’t know who he is, please, for the love of art, go look him up.
One of the many things I enjoy about Andy Warhol is that he supported himself and his art via work in advertising. Even well after he was a well-known and successful artist, he kept up his advertising work. I suspect that, like many artists, the regular job provided a sense of security. Either way, he made some of the most incredible modern art. In fact, even if you’re somehow not familiar with the artist, you’ve no doubt seen his Campbell’s Soup Can work, or something that riffs off of it. Or, you’ll have seen some of his other prints, like Marilyn Monroe or the arguably better known Chairman Mao. Those prints all derive from silk screen work that, while complicated to do in his style, is actually a technique well within the grasp of the motivated hobbyist. As a kid I remember watching my older siblings silk screening t-shirts.
And that’s why, this week, I’m sharing Watch how to make prints like Andy Warhol from Boing Boing. At that link you’ll find a really good tutorial on doing just that. It’s only about five minutes long, and obviously only a start on actually doing this entire process, but it’s well worth the look. And, I even know, personally, at least one current artist who’s using this method to produce work, so it’s definitely still viable!
Go check it out and maybe give it a try this weekend!

7/27/2018

Making Neon Signs

Filed under: Art,Fun — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

As promised, I’ve got fun videos for you this week.

I’ve always loved those “how did they make that?” shows and videos. Even the most mundane things in our modern world can seem miraculous when you can see the incredible way that they’re made. As a survivor of a Marketing education, I am still interested in advertising and signage. And, in my opinion, the most magical signage is still the venerable neon sign. Even in science-fiction movies, like Blade Runner, neon signs still show up to give us that sense of gritty reality and solid commerce that underlies whatever environment they inhabit. All of which is preface to say, “Hey, look! Cool videos about how neon signs are made!”.
The link I’m sharing is to the blog post Watch this short film on the art of making neon signs on Boing Boing. But, don’t be fooled, there’s more there than one short film. And, more than that, all the films of artisans creating the most amazing and gorgeous neon artwork are fascinating to watch. At least, they were to me.
I hope you enjoy them!

This post originally appeared on Use Your Words!

1/20/2017

Building a Great Minimalist Studio

Filed under: Art,Fun,On Creativity,Photography,The Tools — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:30 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Third Quarter Moon

Another resource for photographers.

I think one of the reasons I initially was interested in photography was because I was shy, but wanted to meet people. I figured that a photographer would meet beautiful people, which seemed like a great idea in my teens and twenties.  Actually, it’s still not a bad idea, except I’m a little less invested in meeting new beautiful people now that I’m married.  Now, I’m strictly interested in the photography.  But, like a lot of amateur photographers, I don’t really have the time, space or money to justify having a big, fancy, dedicated photography studio in my home. I’ve mostly made do with some seamless paper in my garage, which, to be fair, has pretty much worked okay. It worked well enough, in fact, to take not only my LinkedIn profile shot, but also get paid for taking someone else’s LinkedIn headshot.  So, you know, it works well enough.  But, what if you want to go a little farther than that?  What if you want to do more than just the occasional headshot?  Well, my favorite commercial photographer and author of Studio Anywhere, Nick Fancher, has written an article for PetaPixel about just this subject titled You Don’t Need to Spend a Fortune to Have a Great Photo Studio.
It’s a great article and shows you some really creative options for a small, but very versatile studio you can use to make some really inspiring photos.
To his article, I’ll only add that you can get really creative with cheap LED lights and shop lights, not to mention rechargeable light bars and automotive lights.  I recently shot some still life photography in my kitchen using a glass shelf and some cheap LED flashlights and was very pleased with the effect.
So, go read his article and see what Nick has to say about textures and space and see if you can’t apply that to your own situation and find some available space for a studio, even if it’s temporary.

But, above all, keep shooting!

This post originally appeared on Use Your Words.

7/25/2014

Free Photography Tutorials

Filed under: Art,Fun,Photography — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Two things I love are photography and free.

This week, I’m sharing a link to links. But, it’s in keeping with the theme of free photography stuff.  The link comes from PetaPixel and it, in turn, links to their pick of the 25 best free on-line photography course and tutorials.

These tutorials run the gamut from beginner to advanced level of experience and cover a pretty wide variety of topics, including, but not limited to documentary and photojournalism, Lightroom and Photoshop, “Tilt+Shift”…
Read More

2/17/2012

Typography Deconstructed

Filed under: Art,Fun,Red Herrings,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:54 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

You may not realize it, but typography is actually very important to me.

Longtime readers of this blog may have noticed that it looks just a little different.  That’s because I’ve changed how I make the fancy titles on my posts.  Instead of using an older plugin which relied on TrueType fonts and good, old PHP programming to generate titles on the fly, I’ve moved to a much newer plugin that relies on FontBurner fonts, which are Flash-based.  There are a couple of reasons for this, actually, but the main one is that my webhost has had server utilization issues with my blog since I’ve been with them and after digging through log files, some signs point toward that older plugin being the issue.  But, what you all haven’t seen is the horror of trying to find an appropriate font that is readable and still conveys the sense of technical whimsy that I think represents this blog well.  It hasn’t been easy.

Now, I understand that not all my readers will share my quiet obsession with typography, but for those who do, I think you’ll enjoy the link I’m bringing you this week.  Have you ever tried to explain to people what the different parts of a font really are?  Or maybe wanted to know yourself?  Ever wonder why “kerning” is so important to that crazy web designer you hired to do your site?  Well, you may still wonder about that last one, but for almost all your other questions about what goes into a typeface and what it’s all called, go check out Typography Deconstructed.
They bill themselves as a single, central location to find as much high-quality information on type and typography as you could want.  And, I really think they have done it!  There are two main sections to this site; Anatomy of Type and Type Glossary.  They both show you what the different parts of a typeface are and what the different parts are called, just in two slightly different formats.

Also, for you typography fanatics, or teachers, there are posters for download or purchase that do a great, graphical, job of showing and explaining just what goes into type.

Whether you’re into typography or not, this site is worth a look, just to understand how type works and get some idea of how deeply it effects our daily life.  After all, without type and typography, you couldn’t have read this blog!


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