Learning to paint (or draw) well takes years of practice, and on the way it’s not uncommon to get stuck in a rut where you feel like you’re no longer improving, but you still aren’t happy with where you’re at. While some might throw in the towel here and declare that they’re just “not talented enough” there are a few relatively simple steps to break out of your box and figure out a new approach that can further develop your skills.
Before you can really make stylistic choices about your own work, you need to be able to know which assumptions you (and others) are making when you’re painting. Draw a very rough sketch of a person. You’ll probably end up with some kind of oval for a head, and a series of oblong roundish things outlining the rest of the body. Why should a head be an oval? Why not some other shape?
Picasso used square heads; cartoon characters sometimes don’t even have a real head (think Spongebob), but we still think of them as recognizably anthropomorphic. Think about all of the other things that you make unconscious, and really very arbitrary assumptions about. How do you think about trees, clouds, houses, animals, or flowers? What if it were different? What about colors? Is the sun really yellow or the sky actually blue all the time? Does it even matter how it is in real life? What If you decided to change it?
Once you’ve removed some of the constraints you didn’t know you were setting for yourself you can set new ones. One of my favorite examples is South Park. If you were on Myspace or early Facebook in the early to mid 2000s you’ll remember a south park character builder that went around at some point encouraging people to make south park avatars for themselves or their friends. This is a great example of a highly constrained medium. Everything is limited, from the shape of head and bodies, to clothing, to hair, to facial expressions. While it’s not exactly fine art and I wouldn’t necessarily constrain myself to such an extent, it’s very distinctive and recognizable while still remaining functional.
Safwat Saleem is a graphic designer, filmmaker, artist, and the creative director at Arizona State University. When he isn’t working, he spends most of his free time creating satirical art. He recently published a series of prints depicting complicated relationships between two or more objects. The prints are clean, beautiful, simple, and best of all smart. All illustrations listed below are available for purchase on Society6.com.
Urban Zoom is a series of abstract long-exposure photos from big cities all over the world. These beautiful images were captured by German photographer Jakob Wagner. Jakob lives in Duesseldorf, where he works as a freelance photographer, image editor, and photo assistant. He’s very blessed to have a job that allows him to visit different countries around the world. When not working on an assignment, Wagner devotes his time to personal photography projects. Some of his previous clients include Audi, Wired, Jim Beam, Emirater, and many more. We hope you’ll enjoy his beautiful photos!
Even if you’re a web developer, designer, or an artist, there will be times in your life when you need legal representation. If you were bitten by a neighbor’s dog, hit by another vehicle on the road or mistreated when you were admitted to a hospital, you’ll want to hire a lawyer.
You’ll also need an attorney when buying a new home or planning out your will. Don’t go into your search for a lawyer blind. Learn how to find the right lawyer who can help you with whatever crossroads you’ve reached.
3 Top Tips for Hiring a Lawyer
1. Don’t rely solely on a Google search. If an attorney’s website isn’t yet ranked, you could miss out on a great lawyer. Contact your state’s bar association to find lawyers who specialize in the type of representation you need.
2. Be wary of flashy advertising. The best lawyers get plenty of work by word-of-mouth advertising alone. If they have to spend a ton of money on various promotional materials, it could be a sign of desperation, not prosperity. Some advertising is normal, but it could be a red flag if they seem to be begging for new clients.
3. Check out the lawyer’s credentials, including where they studied, their work history and current involvement in professional organizations.
4. Interview your prospective attorney. It’s not just about the facts. What’s your rapport like with the lawyer? Do you feel supported and understood? Your legal representative is working for you, and while he or she has important expertise that you need, you’re still the client. Make sure you’re going to receive the kind of service that suits you.
Your friend has worked with a great, reliable, affordable lawyer in the past, and she’s encouraging you to hire him. The only problem is that his offices are located several counties away. As a savvy adult, you know that it’s always best to hire a local attorney.
Read the rest here: Inspirationfeed.com
Have you ever wanted to start a website like KickStarter or Indiegogo? If so, then you’ve come to the right place! For people who might be out of the loop, Kickstarter and Indiegogo provides an easy platform to raise money for your projects. Project creators set a funding goal and a deadline for their project. If other backers like the project, they can pledge a certain amount of money to the overall goal and receive various incentives/rewards.
We’ve come to a point in time, where creatives can help other creatives pursue their passions. If you feel that a specific project is reasonable and beneficial, you have the ability to vote with your money. Because of your help, an idea turns into reality. Plus, depending on how much you pledge, you’ll receive an early copy or special edition of the work. That’s a very powerful concept.
Now that you’ve got the basic idea, let’s discuss why you should create your own crowd funding website. If you’re the entrepreneur type, I’m sure you probably have thousands of ideas floating in your head right now. The following themes will allow large groups, online communities, and other organizations fund project they’re most passionate about. You don’t necessarily have to compete with Kickstarter or Indiegogo. I mean you can try, however if I was in your shoes I would tackle a specific niche.
Let’s use the design community as an example. What if you were to start a crowd funding website for designers? Think about all of the possibilities. Other fellow designers could help fund each others projects like icon sets, logo designs, posters, calendars, vector graphics, themes, printed materials, and much more. You could potentially start your own business helping others seek their passions.
Thanks to the efforts of great designers & developers, launching your own crowd funding websites on WordPress has become a reality. Today we’ve collected the absolute best crowd funding WordPress themes for you to consider. You can publish your own campaigns or build a community where people can submit campaigns to your site. Enjoy!
Campaignify – $55
Creating a crowd funding site has never been easier with Campaignify – the best theme for single campaign fundraising currently available. Imagine taking the very best of a Kickstarter campaign and leaving the frustrating parts behind.
You won’t be told what you can or can’t raise funds for – because it’s your own site.
You won’t have any part of your funds raised for your cause or project taken from you.
You won’t have any other campaigns draw your viewers attention away from your project.
Like everyone else, your prospects carry their phones with them everywhere they go. Now they can participate in your fundraising campaign without waiting until they’re at a computer. Campaignify is mobile-friendly with a responsive theme and allows users to create pledges easily from their phone.
CrowdPress is a crowd funding WordPress theme created bu Justin Scheetz. This responsive theme lets you create your own crowd-funding site in minutes. It provides multiple features like layouts, fonts, styling, colors, custom widgets, page customizer, and much more. This theme does require two plugins to run properly. Both of them are free: Easy Digital Downloads & Crowdfunding by Astoundify.
Fundify is a WordPress theme that lets you create your own crowd funding website. Raising money has never been easier. Tell people what you are doing and inspire them to contribute to your campaign. Offer creative rewards and perks for your backers. Submitted campaigns will be “pending” until approved by the site administrator.
Fundify isn’t just an amazing WordPress theme for crowd funding, it is a complete WordPress theme for business and blogging too! Fundify is coded with a responsive design which means it will look great no matter how you view the site. This makes your campaigns and your blog easily accessible to mobile devices, tablets, and desktops alike.
Read the rest here: http://inspirationfeed.com
Everyone would like to get a universal means to get quality music for free and without much hassle. In the era of the Internet and digital audio, there are dozens of tricky ways to save free music onto PC. One may convert YouTube music videos to MP3 format, download music albums from torrents or music hosting websites, find free audio tracks on iTunes and Amazon, etc. Leaving aside the legal issues of these methods, I’d like to show you the most efficient ways how to download music off the Internet absolutely free of charge.
Last.fm is one of the largest music websites with millions of songs to choose from. It lets you listen to your favorite artists/bands and also download their songs for offline collection. Many tracks are available for free download on the website itself. Moreover, there are several utilities which assist with MP3 ripping from Last.fm, e.g. Free MusicZilla. The download method is simple: just run the tool, sign in at Last.fm and play the audio tracks you want to save, then choose the grabbed music and click “Download” button. Recommended for music fans who spend countless hours at Last.fm.
2. Free MP3jam
MP3jam is a new software for Windows which lets users to download music from YouTube free and fast. The main pleasure of this tool is that it has built-in search, so you don’t need to go to YouTube and copy-paste the links. Just type the title of a song, artist, album and download free music. There’s also a nice option of music sharing on Facebook and Twitter – just click the button and your friends will know about your music tastes.
Sketching holds an important role in the design process. Even if you’re not good at it, you should still force yourself to sit down and allow you ideas to flow through your pencil. Why? Because you shouldn’t invest massive amounts of time in Photoshop or Illustrator before you have a solid understanding of the desired results. By brainstorming on paper, basic concepts will soon turn into refined/detailed sketches. Seeing the end will help you begin.
Sergey Shapiro is an independent graphic designer from Moscow, Russia. He specializes in calligraphy, custom lettering, logotypes, typography, t-shirt designs and much more. His amazing work is heavily influenced by modern freestyle techniques, a wide range of writing tools, and a strong passion for clean expressive style. His work is bound to inspire any graphic designer who appreciates minimalism.Enjoy!
Finding the right Tumblr theme can be a challenging task. If you constantly find yourself photo blogging, then a grid based theme is for you. To give you an idea, a grid based layout could be easily compared to Pinterest’s dynamic grid layout. Thanks to Pinterest’s popularity, there has been a growing demand for grid based Tumblr themes. Not only do grid based themes provide a fun experience, but they also attract more traffic than regular themes.
Every piece matters!
When you work with a larger company, you can use that company’s reputation to build up your own. Surely, since that company is amazing, you must be amazing too, right?
At the same time, when you contract through a company (or work as an employee), you have the luxury of being able to create some distance should the company do something to embarrass itself or if some potentially harmful material surfaces. You can take a step away. Yes, the marketing department’s graphics on that campaign are disturbing, but you had no control over that—you just wrote the copy placed over the image! It might not win you any friends, but it is possible.
When you freelance, all you have is yourself. Everything you do matters. Everything you say has the potential to influence a potential client’s decision to work with you (or not). There is no cushion. There is no buffer.
This is why internet reputation management is important! The last thing you need is to be caught by surprise if something embarrassing or potentially damaging turns up.
Monitoring your reputation is important for the following reasons:
Nowhere is this truer than the Internet. And because the Internet is widely un-policed, people can say pretty much whatever they want with very little fear of repercussions. What are they saying about you? Is what people are saying true? Is someone spreading false rumors about you?
Is your work being used only for the purposes for which it was originally intended? Or is it turning up in some surprising places? Is it turning up with someone else’s name on it? How will you know if you don’t take the time to monitor the situation?
Facial paralysis occurs when a person is no longer able to move some or all of the muscles on one side of the face. Apart from a stroke, facial paralysis is almost always caused by:
Damage or swelling of the facial nerve, which carries signals from the brain to the muscles of the face
Damage to the area of the brain that sends signals to the muscles of the face
For the past 3 years, photographer Sage Sohier has spent time in a facial nerve clinic in Massachusetts capturing portraits of people with facial paralysis. His intention has been to make portraits that are psychologically powerful, visually intriguing, and that challenge conventional notions of portraiture. When looking at someone with partial facial paralysis, we are in a sense seeing two versions of the same face at once, with each side conveying different emotions.
This ongoing project is titled “About Face.” It offers a fascinating view of two expressions at once, while honoring the courage required for one to cope with medical afflictions. Sage hopes these pictures bear witness to the incredible courage required to deal with medical afflictions, especially when they affect one’s primary appearance. Even minor facial problems challenge and potentially diminish a person’s sense of self; the poise and inner strength that it takes to deal with this, while at the same time presenting oneself to the world, is remarkable.
You are what you eat. This famous phrase comes to us from Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, from an essay titled Concerning Spiritualism and Materialism. Now don’t take it literally, but think about it symbolically. It simply means that the food one eats has a bearing on one’s state of mind and health. Our food consumption has a huge effect on our prosperity, and dictates our well being.
Have you ever pondered about the food consumption around the world? While I’m writing this, according to U.S. Census Bureau, we have over 7,084,999,000 people on Earth. Just take a moment and let that sink in. Think about how many mouths that is to feed. Think about all the daily meals and snacks being consumed as you read this. These kind of curious thoughts are always floating inside creative minds.
In order to better understand the human diet, photographer Peter Menzel and author-journalist Faith D’Alusio, decided to explore what culturally diverse families eat every week. This inspiring idea turned into an eye opening book, which contains a comparative photo-chronicle of their visits to 30 families in 24 countries for 600 meals. The book is called Hungry Planet: What the World Eats, and throughout you’ll find portraits of each family with a week’s worth of food purchases, weekly intake lists, costs, family recipes, and illuminating essays.
Many popular blogs, as well as big tech giants like Google and Microsoft, are employing a flat design scheme. Without a doubt, Flat UI is one of the biggest design trends in 2013. But don’t led the hype fool you, flat design existed long before it became a buzz word. The trend is receiving a huge push because it’s simple, beautiful, sharp, clean, and easier for developers to code. Some designers think this trend is overblown and receives too much attention. I think it’s here to stay. Today we collected a few prominent examples of well executed flat UI designs fro Dribbble.
Web 2.0 has become well established and infiltrated business, education, and the general public. The concept of interactive webbing is seen in social media, searching within websites, and collaborative work tools. Web 3.0 emphasizes new more efficient ways to retrieve information. More applications and data sources will become compatible for all devices accessing the Web. Data creation will become accomplished by all types of devices and machines.
What if anything does it have to do with blogging? For business, a blog is an advertising method to attract followers who hopefully will become clients. Web 3.0 technology plans on increasing the capability of easily finding unstructured information such as found inside a blog, tweet or other social medias. The technology formulates a meaning for the context in which the information is published making high quality, engaging content that has a voice receiving higher rankings.
Resources are correlated by common interest based on natural language processing searches which finds information that has something to say creatively and clearly. Data indexed will have interpretations attached to it and relationships established between contrasting elements based on user searching behaviors.
Changes in Search Queries
The plan is for search engines to add a feature that allows the use of a question. The search engine attempts to answer the question by looking for phrasing that answers it, but it is not based on key words. This means a specific search term may or may not appear in a page pulled up by the search engine. Any phrase having to do with the question becomes part of the search.
Data filtering and relevance will become much more important in delivering an accurate and relevant site. The focus becomes content quality not quantity. The concept addresses the problem of information overload and distraction. One gets a question answered from several perspectives with high quality content rising to the top giving a full meaning to the information sought.
Pixels are the building blocks of all the visual design. If you’re a designer, I’m sure you’ve heard of the term ‘pixel perfect.’ This phrase is used to describe visual perfection of every last pixel. Blurred edges and color mismatches are common mistakes made by newbies. These kind of errors distract the user, leaving them with a poor impression.
Ustwo is an independent digital design studio that serves clients across the globe. Showing endless love towards the design community, they produced the Pixel Perfect Precision Handbook. This handbook covers core Photoshop principles, disciplines, resources, tricks, shortcuts, tips, and much more.
The PDF was originally released back in March, and they recently released a second version. If you’re an upcoming designer, these informative handbooks will catapult your learning. The best part is that they’re 100% free. The first handbook is 106 pages, and the second one is 163. Don’t worry, this guide is image heavy and very simple to follow. The concise descriptions are short and straight to the point.