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Archive for May, 2015

A Redbubble Review and Free Wallpaper Art

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Warped Portrait of the Artist Damien Hirst
Warped Portrait of the Artist Damien Hirst

I set up an artist’s account on Redbubble a long time ago but confess to never having really used it. By chance I happened upon a link by an artist on Google+ to their Redbubble profile – at which time I decided to think critically about Redbubble as a selling platform and whether or not I should keep my account there. This led me to write up a review of Redbubble as a sales platform for artists. As a part of this review I thought it would be a good idea to upload some new artwork on the basis that this would help me with my review process. By coincidence I had just completed a new work of art using a 3D image painting program I had just finished writing. I decided to make that piece available as an open edition print on Redbubble as a part of my review process.

I originally intended to make my Redbubble review available here on my blog but judged it to be too long for a blog post. So I’m making it available as an article on my web site. You can find the review here:

Selling Art On Redbubble – A Review.

The review reflects my feelings about using Redbubble as a platform for monetizing my art. Spoiler Alert: my Redbubble review is a positive one. In fact the process of writing this review makes it more likely that I will become more active on Redbubble. My only negative issues were with regard to the profit potential for artists selling on Redbubble (addressed in the review) and that their web site is not mobile friendly.

Currently I have the following artworks for sale on Redbubble:

The Damien Hirst Illustration

I’ve illustrated this post with a small digital painting I just did of the artist Damien Hirst. I’m making a free wallpaper version available for anyone interested. Note that this is for personal, non-commercial use only.

Click here for the wallpaper version of Warped Portrait of the Artist Damien Hirst

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Enhanced Vision – Digital Video

Saturday, May 9th, 2015

Digits digital video image still
Image Still from the Digits digital video

I received an email the other day from ACM SIGGRAPH Digital Arts Community of which I am a member. The email alerted me to a new ACM SIGGRAPH (Association of Computing Machinery Special Interest Group-Graphics) project. Titled Enhanced Vision – Digital Video, it is billed as "an international survey of today’s most exciting and innovative digitally-enhanced video art works". The thirty videos included in this exhibition were curated by a committee of ten experts in the field.

The videos are supposed to tell a story – some worked, some didn’t. Be that as it may, my focus was on the imagery itself and the technical skills and imagination that went into their creation. On this level, a number of the videos did not my level of expectations.

While I watched all the videos, I have opted to comment only on certain ones. The list of videos and my comments follow.

  • 366
  • Apotheosis of Glasgow High-rises
  • Arcadia
  • A Small Fee
  • A Written Perspective – in black and white, it appears to have used thresholding and/or edge finding to process a standard video. While it has no soundtrack, this was one of the more visually interesting videos with its white on black outlines flickering across the screen.
  • City.Flow() – also visually interesting. Its use of multiple exposure video of urban activity made for an interesting visual effect that lent itself to the story the video was telling.
  • Composition Fukushima 2011
  • Deephorizon
  • Digits – visually the most interesting with varied image processing techniques applied to the video. Identified as a "video that refers to the symbolism of ten numbers", it featured a short individualized segment for each number.
  • Don’t Know Where To Point
  • Fashion To Die For – used no image processing or CGI (computer-generated imagery) but did have a very interesting opening with its use of video taken of machinery in a garment factory that was fascinating to watch with its spinning spindles of thread.
  • Filament
  • Grotesques
  • Horribile Pictu 1
  • Mudland #1 – a striking video, it is both visually surreal and bizarre – I like it. Its strength is its very imaginative use of compositing.
    Mudland #1 digital video image still
    Image Still from the Mudland #1 digital video.
  • My Meds, from the series Testament
  • necrolog of robin williams or the suicide of irony
  • Not To Scale At All
  • On China Sea – a visually interesting video of the motion of water in the wake of a ship.
  • Particle Daydreams
  • Printed Clothes DIY (4 my catcaller)
  • Raw Quinoa
  • Shatter/Flood/Mud/Houses
  • Simulacrum
  • Slip Away
  • Soft Pong Inari
  • Surveillance Siddhi
  • The Dust Machine Variation – probably the most sophisticated of the videos, it also easily had the most sonically interesting and imaginative sound track.
  • Water

If you are a maker of videos then you should give these a look. Each video comes with a brief description as well as a list of the software that was used in its creation. You may also want to contact a video’s creator(s) to learn more about how the created their work.

All the videos are accessible from the Enhanced Vision – Digital Video Collection

Happy Screening

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A Mobile Friendly Artsnova Blog

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Google Developers Mobile Friendly Test Page
Google Developer Says I’m Mobile Friendly

Last night I held my breath and swapped out my old blog theme files and CSS with the new responsive web design replacements I had just finished coding up. Why? Well, if you follow the news of the web then you are no doubt aware of the big change Google made last month (4/21 to be exact) to its search engine ranking algorithm. The heart of that change was to penalize web sites that are not mobile-friendly – or to put a positive spin on it – to reward web sites that are mobile friendly.

It was last September that I re-coded my main web site using the responsive web design paradigm to make my web site mobile friendly. You can read about that in my post Artsnova Digital Art Gallery – Mobile Friendly At Last. And in December when I launched my Jim Plaxco Photography web site, I did it as a mobile friendly web site from the start. It’s much easier to design a mobile friendly web site from scratch than it is to convert an existing web site!

Tackling my blog was another matter entirely, particularly since I had to first edit all of my previous blog entries to ready them for use with a responsive web design layout. That took time. Plus I had to insure that the responsive design theme I came up with for my blog provided the same look and feel as my separately managed web site. This extra challenge is a consequence of having created my web site first and only later adding a blog – for which I simply used a default theme at the time. With all the other items on my agenda, I really did not want to spend time making this design change but I viewed it as a necessity given Google’s actions. Note that mobile visits to my web site for the last month accounted for 16.9 percent of my traffic.

I’m happy to say that the implementation work is now done. I only have two more tasks. First I must revisit all my posts that contain embedded videos and determine how I will handle them as they use a fixed-width definition (just 425 pixels wide so not a big deal – I just need to create a CSS class for them). Second, I need to revisit every blog post using a combination of browsers and mobile devices to make sure that nothing broke in terms of the page layout. You could say that I’m doing my testing in a "live" environment. This is not considered good practice but given my time constraints, it is a better course of action for me to pursue.

If in the course of wandering around my blog you find something amiss, please contact me so that I can put things right. Thank you.

Happy Surfing!

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