Happy 2020! This time last year, my job was so terrible I was losing vision in one eye from the stress. Now I have a new job, and the creative juices have been flowering (plus I can see again). I hope to get back into the habit of sharing my work from time to time.
This seems like the time and place to lay out some creative goals for the year. I’m sure I’ll have more ideas, but it helps to have an anchor in the sea of short attention span.
Complete 100 illustrations for the 100 views of Vironevaeh series. After 6 years, I have 90 illustrations. I can do this!
Create a decorative version of the Vironevaehn block font for use with the 100 views series.
Digitize my Vironevaehn archive.
Start the digital organization process for the archive—either with a database, Mathematica, Python, or some combination.
Make a logo for the New Mexico Masters water polo team.
Make a suit design for the New Mexico Masters team.
Produce a crazy design for my summer team =)
Create a pop-up design which includes some electronic element, like a blinking light.
Produce a two color woodcut design.
Design and bind a rough draft with all 100 views of Vironevaeh illustrations.
Document and organize my list of artists whose work I admire.
Play with new media—specifically water colors and block printing inks. Try making a circuit using metallic block printing ink, with an eye toward a smart pop-up.
Engage with the local arts community. Attend at least 10 events throughout the year where I meet people and talk about art.
Over the years, I have posted a few water polo posters and designs. This year, I finally decided to print some tshirts with the designs. Check out my designs at my Etsy shop, ViroBooks.
All profits will go to supporting the University of New Mexico women’s water polo team, whom I coach. UNM has a lot of talented players, but travel in this part of the country is truly taxing; our closest opponents are five hours away and we have frequently faced snow storms and car trouble.
I hope that ViroBooks will inspire my water polo designs going forward and inspire design in the water polo community.
My favorite two this week are “whale” and “clock”.
I was struggling for inspiration on whale until I heard BackStory podcast’s episode last Friday about whaling. In 1880, some businessmen shipped a whale carcass around the midwest on a train as a tourist attraction. AMAZING. Here’s an article about it. I always liked the whaleziac episode of South Park, so I guess it’s whaleziac old school.
Here are my drawings for the week. Day 5, chicken, I started on my iPad in AutoDesk Graphic, and finished later in Adobe illustrator. The vector tools in Graphic made importing the started work a lot easier than the Adobe vector tool for iPad. The tools can be a little cumbersome, and don’t feel natively designed for a tablet, but if I want to use work from the iPad later, Graphic is better than its Adobe equivalent. This is mostly because I love Bezier curves. All the other drawings were done in Adobe Sketch.
And for Day 10: flow, I decided to learn one of Adobe’s animation programs, Adobe Animate. I’m still a bit clunky with it, but not bad for a first stab! I made my own Gif!
Four days into Inktober! It’s been a great way to motivate myself to try drawing apps on my iPad. I normally work entirely on my laptop, but there are a lot of times when I don’t want to be around town with it.
So far: I’m really disappointed how Adobe’s vector-based iPad program, Adobe Illustrator Draw, has no pen tool function. This means that, although I form every object with a stroke of the pencil, I have very unwieldy blob brush paths when I import into Illustrator. My workflow on the laptop is all path based, not blob brush. Adobe’s pixel based program (Sketch) is more fun, and it’s where I’ve done all four drawings so far. But I do prefer to work in vectors.
I just downloaded Autodesk’s Graphic for iPad. It can do Bezier Curves (which I adore) and can export as a fully organized document to Illustrator. It’s not as effortless as the Adobe programs.
For both Graphic and Adobe mobile apps–the online help resources are extremely annoying. Googling puzzles about the Adobe apps will turn up threads from 2015 which are now incorrect due to rapid changes in functionality. Googling about Graphic turns up the desktop program by the same name. Trying to draw a circle took 5 minutes because I could only find the desktop recommendation–hold shift.
Happy inking! I hope to explore Graphic more this weekend!
It’s funny how loss lands in different ways even within the same lifetime. I bought my first DSLR camera less than a month after my brother’s death. Maybe I felt like I had to make records of the uncomfortably ephemeral. On the other hand, I didn’t feel like documentation after my father’s illness and death eight months ago, and I’ve only posted on this blog a couple of times since then. Stresses have strange ways of adding and multiplying, and, for a while, the stress of committing to posting (even for this humblest of blogs) was something I didn’t need. I might be ready to re-commit to this little journal of my wonders. We’ll see!
I’m back with Inktober 2018. Every day is a new prompt for a new drawing. My personal goals are to learn to use Adobe’s iPad apps better and to share some silly drawings of probably mostly cats with my friends. Happy drawing!
I’ve used Adobe Illustrator for years, but I didn’t use brushes very much. This weekend I watch the Lynda.com course “Creating Custom Brushes”. My library gives me free access to Lynda.com through their website; yours might too so check it out.
In my zeal, I created a few science-themed custom pattern brushes. Two of them are created from real experimental data. You can see them drawn onto paths below. If you like them, you can download the .ai files through my Creative Cloud presence at the following link: https://adobe.ly/2GpnK9Y.
If you use the files, please satisfy my curiosity, and either comment here or mention my twitter handle @Vironevaeh. I hope they are as fun to use as they were to make!
What are the paths? (counting from the top)
The top path is loosely based on the body-centered cubic crystal (BCC) structure. A real BCC crystal has atoms in the middle of every cube, rather than every other. It also extends in all three dimensions. Iron and chromium form BCC crystals.
This path is real experimental data from coupled Colpitts oscillators. A Colpitts oscillator is a simple electronic oscillator made from resistors, inductors, capacitors, and a transistor. Without coupling, the oscillations are simpler; the interactions cause them to make this interesting pattern.
This path is the “skeletal formula” for a random organic molecule. Next time I will make some polymers, but this one was for play.
A cubic molecule.
More real experimental data, this time from an electrochemical experiment. This is the current produced from the dissolution of nickel oxide in acid. Here, six oscillators are locked in a pattern. (Note that this path has a lot of anchors so it’s a little slow. Maybe this one was more for my fun.)