Archive for the ‘Digital Design’ Category

Artist Trading Card Animated Zine

August 22, 2014 3 comments




Share artist trading cards with the world! Here is a zine I made as an animation you can link to, email, tweet and send any way you want. Share the idea of artist trading cards with as many people as you can. Short link to this post:

Basic Hand Drawn Animation

April 12, 2014 8 comments



400 x 400 pixels

Here is the finished little “What’s in your mailbox?” animated GIF someone requested for a mail art group. It’s cute and it was fun to make. Too bad the GIF format pixelates color gradients. The animation looks better in the program because the glowing light and clouds are smooth. I have no idea why there is not an animated JPG format; only a programmer could explain why.

I put a lot of time into the second round of this little seven second animation. I forgot to save the original Photoshop file where I matched and laid out the layers of the rough pencil sketches. I just did a screen capture of the GIF I put online, dropped each screen capture as a layer for the new Photoshop file and up-sampled the roughs to 144 dpi.

I was going batty from slamming layers in Photoshop all day. Sal, my Hockey Blogger Boyfriend, insisted I find the Beavis and Butthead “Animation Sucks” episode, which further proves that Mike Judge is both brilliant and hilarious in describing reality. Animation is pretty exhausting. It helps to try and not do it all at once. You really need to take breaks when working on an animation project. It also helps to remind yourself that the professional grade work is done by huge teams of people using better software and hardware!


Small 250 x 250 pixels

Roughs for an animation in progress…

March 31, 2014 1 comment



I have been fascinated with animated GIFs lately. The ones I have made thus far have been photography based. Animated GIFs are a nice, compact way to show many images in one section of a webpage, like when I mushed over 100 of my artist trading cards into one GIF. Then I made pages of a zine I drew into a GIF. It was only a matter of time before I tried to make a hand drawn animated GIF. My mail art and swapping friend Lou wants some kind of nice graphic for a mail art trading group. I was thinking about a cute country mail box done as a digital cartoon.

This is the (very) rough animation so far. I have puffy clouds, grass and daisies to work in with the animation. My main idea is to have a country mailbox that opens up to reveal many envelopes and sparkles. It’s just a little 400 px square 144 dpi graphic. I am not going for a lot of detail, just something more interesting than a static image. I should able to make the door open more smoothly with the rotate tool in Photoshop and adding more layers for more frames. This is one of those unpaid type jobs that I am playing with for fun. I think if I do not use any black outlines -or just minimize black outlines- and use a lot of digital painting style it will look interesting.

Nature, Only More Indoors…

March 8, 2014 1 comment


I spent yesterday at the Garfield Park Conservatory and took a lot of reference photos which I uploaded to my MorgueFile account. is a great resource for free high resolution photography and digital image resources. It was good to be around the plants for a few hours and pretend there was not massive amounts of snow all around the greenhouse. I took photos, did some drawings and wrote letters. I can’t wait for actual spring to arrive. Here are a few unmodified photos that I added to MorgueFile stocks. Free photos get approval from admins and the rest will be live for downloading in 24 – 48 hours on the site. Here are four favorite shots.


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Call for Entry: Chicago Dictionary Collaborative Zine for March Zine Month 2014

January 23, 2014 Leave a comment

Self Publishers of Chicago has a call for entry for people to submit their own dictionary definitions for a collaborative zine. The deadline is soon and submissions need to be sent in via email by midnight on 2/26/2014. 

The call for entry is here:


I am getting the impression that some of the entries they will be getting are going to be super funny. One example made me remember Sniglets from the 1980s. I went in for humor and the satire at the same time. I hope they pick my submission. Meanwhile, I may try to think of another one if there is time.

bandwagon fan poster 8x10

Tile Images for a Series

October 29, 2013 5 comments

I did a few series of artist trading cards and wound up grouping them together in one .jpg for display. I like to put my work online but a series is a lot of images to scroll through one by one. Having them separate dos not demonstrate the series as a coherent group very well. I went back to the old art school trick where students put related works together on one slide, usually for PowerPoint. If the professor told you  you could show 12 slides, we figured out that did not necessarily mean 12 works of art, only 12 images with whatever art we wanted put in each one. I usually go with some shade of gray for the background. White and black backgrounds are really stark and done too often. I just drop a layer in Photoshop and bucket tool the whole thing. I went with a bluish-red with the Dia de los Muertos series to make it more interesting. I cheated with that one and just put a red piece of paper behind the cards on the scanner, which is why the art in the other images are a lot straighter.


ATC Snowy Egret Series

ATC Dia de los Muertos 300

Gateway SX2110-UB25 PC, Windows 8, Best Buy ALL Totally Suck

October 28, 2013 2 comments


If you are reading this because you are trying to learn something about a Gateway SX2110-UB25 PC, put that thing back in the box and return it to where you bought it right now! This PC and Windows 8 are garbage. The Gateway Gateway SX2110-UB25 Windows 8 PC does not have wireless internet. (It has a port for an ethernet cable. How very 1990s!) I spent many hours trying to help someone access the internet since her service is wireless and she bought this computer.

Even better, Windows 8 was not working with various USB wireless adaptors (aftermarket devices sold separately) and kept kicking the USB wifi offline.  Windows 8 would not, no matter what I did, recognize the PCI Express card I installed internally. Best Buy was a total misery, refusing to take back the PC because it was 2 days past the 15 days allowable for the return, a screw was missing from the back of the tower and there was a small dent in the bar between the break-out sections for the slots including the slot for PCI Express wireless card that did not work. The manager was a real dick about our complaints regarding the system’s problems and the bottom line is that Best Buy takes your money, only takes your money, and will only take your money. I personally would neither give any money to either Gateway or Best Buy myself, and sadly the person I was helping who only wanted an affordable PC is now stuck with this lemon.

Categories: Digital Design, Rant

Laser Etching Leather

June 5, 2013 2 comments


Laser etched leather looks beautiful and it is easy to do.  I am so excited with today’s results for a book cover.  Here are some tips on how to get good results.  I had a photo album that was cheaply made and fell apart to recycle.  The leather was nice but the glue holding the plastic pages inside was really weak and the whole interior ripped out.  I saved it to re-purpose as an art book using scans of 17th Century art reproduced inside of the old printed Yale “blue books” set of Shakespeare.  This book cover will go back to Pam Batista to bind and hold printed copies of the Hamlet cosplay, public performance and social media art piece she created.  I think it will work well as an art book with accordion folded pages cut from a larger sheet and joined together for as many pages as is needed.

I took antique art work from two different pages from the Yale volume and fit them together in Photoshop for the size and shape of the cover.   Etching was done on an Epilog 30W Mini 24 at raster setting: 100% speed and 45% power because the tan suede is very thin.  I also took a safety step to prevent the book cover from slipping inside of the laser printer by taping down the edges with packing tape.  I also cheated on the digital image design, taking a 300 dpi .jpg saved from Photoshop and dropping into Corel Draw 6 which allows me etch the image without having laser etch from a vector graphic.  (Photoshop = fast.  Vector drawing = slowww.)  I am just thrilled with the results.  Here is the .jpgs of the art I etched and the source material for you to enjoy; they are cleaned up to high contrast black and white images and 300 dpi.

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Drawing With Conductive Paint


Robot Peacock by Shellie Lewis; marker, watercolour, battery, LED and conductive paint on paper, 11″ x 17″.

I joined a group building project at Pumping Station: One to make circuits on paper using conductive paint.  I wanted my paper circuit board to be a drawing, so I combined media to make it an art work.  Bare Paint conductive paint pulls the simple circuit together; the positive and negative paths wrap around the neck and wings of the bird.  Bare Paint handles a lot fabric puff paint from a squeeze tube.  I will probably do this drawing over again since I was rushing to get things pulled together in the class.  My favourite part is the LED which switches colours.

Drone Cameras: The Next Step in Video

OMCOPTER – Ninja shoot with Epic from omstudios on Vimeo.

From nature documentaries, including the pending USA release of Winged Planet, to the action sequence above, drones are the new hotness in video.  Drone cameras have far more mobility than boom cameras of the past, the footage is very stable, average people are buying and renting them.  Some companies and factory farms are getting busted for a major environmental violations when they get caught on camera dumping waste or polluting water sources.

Winged Planet: Spy Cameras Film Flamingos


Example of the general design: multiple copter arms and a RC movable camera.

The OMCOPTER gives wings to the Red Epic from omstudios on Vimeo.

Categories: Digital Design, Video

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