Female artist in well-lit home studio

Creative Space Ideas For Professional Artists

Working as a paid artist is hard work and like any other freelancer most of your time will be spent trying to get your work noticed and pick up commissions. The rest of the time will hopefully be channelled into actually creating your next masterpiece.

Unlike most freelancers however, an artist requires a little more equipment and space than a desk and a computer.  A good art studio is expensive to rent and is often difficult to find locally.  There are options of renting shared spaces with other artists, but if you really want to create the ideal space to inspire your creativity then why not consider building your own home art studio. If you have a garden, even better, if you have a spare room, either way, the following tips will still prove helpful:

Step 1.  If you don’t have a suitable building or space to convert into an art studio you can build your own using a prefab steel building. These are cost-effective and quick to install and will give you a blank canvas to create your ideal studio.

Step 2.  Look for clever storage ideas. One of the key elements to a good home art studio is making sure you have storage options for all of the many art materials you will need. Storage can be as elaborate as fitted cupboards and bespoke shelving or as simple as empty jam jars and biscuit containers to store brushes and paper safely.

Table filled with a variety of art brushes
Image Credit: Pexels

Step 3.  Decorate it. Whilst you don’t want your new art studio to be so busy that it draws your attention away from your creative projects, you do want the space to feel warm, welcoming and inspiring so decorate your space to your own personal taste making plenty of room on the walls for sketches and pictures that you will accumulate along the way.

Step 4.  Even in the summer, if you find yourself working through the night you will need some protection from the cold (assuming you’re not in the tropics).  Not all art materials perform well when the temperature drops below a comfortable level so install a heater to turn up the temperature on your creative ideas. Portable space heaters are also an affordable option.

Step 5.  Furnish your studio.  Although you will probably spend most of your time on your feet in your home studio, it is handy to have a comfortable seating area to allow you to take a step back and consider your direction. Try an old sofa or bean bags for a more relaxed working environment. You will also need a table and shelves to store paints, brushes, boxes, and other materials. If you are also going to be using a computer then you will need a sturdy desk. One important must-have is a sink with running water for your dedicated clean up station ensuring art tools like brushes and cups are kept clean after use.

Whimsical garden studio with big glass windows
Image Credit: Pexels

Step 6.  Plenty of light. Make sure when you are creating your space, decorating it and filling it with all your necessary materials that you leave plenty of room for good light.  Natural light is always best so make sure there are adequate windows.  If windows are a premium, try adding artificial lighting in strategic positions to flood light onto your creative processes.

Step 7.  Finally all that’s left to do is move in.  Once your studio is ready you can move in and create your new creative future.

Artist in studio painting colourful pieces
Image Credit: Pexels

The Amazing World of 3D Creativity

You like to draw, to design, to create. But you’re a little sick of working in two dimensions. You still feel the thrill of putting pen to paper, but you definitely need something more. You want your designs to pop out at you, to be tangible and interactive.

Well, my friend – it sounds like you might enjoy 3D modeling and design!

The term ‘3D’ has become something of a buzzword in recent years. It probably has something to do with some of those awful 3D movies Hollywood keeps releasing. (You guys better not mess up Beauty and the Beast!) But 3D still deserves to carry around a feeling of excitement. If you know how to harness its creative power, you can do so many amazing things with it.

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Image Credit: Pixabay

So how exactly does one get into working with 3D modeling and design? This article will show you some of the best ways to get started.

What do you want to work with?

Admittedly, ‘working with 3D’ is a pretty vague phrase. It could really mean so many things. This is why you need to decide what exactly it is you want to do. This will depend heavily on what sort of industry you can see yourself working in.

So what is it you see yourself creating? Do you want to make special effects for TV shows and movies? Do you want to create games? Do you want to work in manufacturing and product design? Getting some formal training is one of the best ways to get an introduction to any of these pursuits. For example, those wanting to work in industry modeling can look into injection molding seminars.

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Image Credit: Flickr
Picking the right software

No matter what pursuit you’re going for, you’ll have to work with software. You need to know your way around a computer. Even something like injection molding will require you to use software to create the required designs. Thankfully, you have a lot of choice when it comes to software. Getting started with some practice here is pretty simple.

In fact, the amount of choice you have is almost a problem! At the end of the day, you need to assess your options and see which one works best for you. Some of them are completely free, but may not be suitable for your purposes. Let’s look at something like Blender. It’s free and works incredibly well if you want to make games in a program like Unity. But it might not work quite as well for something like 3D printing or molding.

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Image Credit: Pixabay
Experience and feedback

The best thing you can do is get started now. 3D design is an incredible pursuit, but it’s a very involved one. Practice as much as you can with whatever software and physical tools you have at your disposal. Get into an education or training program to hone your skills.

One of the best things you can do is join an online community of 3D designers. They’ll be able to give you suggestions for your own pursuits. More importantly, they’ll be able to give you feedback on any work you present them with.

Justice League Synopsis and New Logo Revealed for Upcoming Warner Bros. Film

Warner Bros. has announced that filming has began on its upcoming sequel to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Justice League unveiling the logo in the process (less than impressive). The next installment builds on the previous and introduces most of the original members of the Justice League like The Flash and Aquaman.

Like you, I had high hopes for the last film, but it ended up being too depressing and too messy of an edit, having earned a 27% overall review on Rotten Tomatoes. Somehow it still ended up grossing $873 million at the worldwide box office, despite word of mouth of how bad it was to audiences. We can only hope that Snyder gets the ingredients right on this film.

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The character was created by writer-artist Jack Kirby and first appears in Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #134

Here’s the official film synopsis:

Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy.  Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat.  But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

This time, my movie villain prediction would be an appearance by Darkseid (pronounced “Darkside”), one of the most powerful beings in the DC universe. However, some other sites are indicating that the main villain will be Steppenwolf. With Director Zack Snyder you just never know what you’ll end up getting.

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Steppenwolf is the uncle of Darkseid and leader of the military of Apokolips

Justice League stars Henry Cavill (Clark Kent/Superman), Ben Affleck (Bruce Wayne/Batman), and Gal Gadot (Diana Prince/Wonder Woman), Jason Mamoa (Arthur Curry/Aquaman), Ray Fisher (Victor Stone/Cyborg), and Ezra Miller (Barry Allen/The Flash) with Willem Dafoe in a mystery role and J.K. Simmons (Commissioner Gordon).

The film directed by Zack Snyder is scheduled to be released in theatres on November 17, 2017.

Instagram Unveiled a Redesigned Logo That’s Just Horrible

So Instagram decided to change its logo. I can tell you this much, I am not a fan. It’s not as bad as the time ‪Uber‬ did a redesign, but its not that good either. ‪

Here’s what Instagram had to say for itself:

“Today we’re introducing a new look. You’ll see an updated icon and app design for Instagram. Inspired by the previous app icon, the new one represents a simpler camera and the rainbow lives on in gradient form. You’ll also see updated icons for our other creative apps: Layout, Boomerang and Hyperlapse.

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The updated icons for all of Instagram’s photo + video sharing and other creative apps

We’ve made improvements to how the Instagram app looks on the inside as well. The simpler design puts more focus on your photos and videos without changing how you navigate the app.

The Instagram community has evolved over the past five years from a place to share filtered photos to so much more — a global community of interests sharing more than 80 million photos and videos every day. Our updated look reflects how vibrant and diverse your storytelling has become…”

Insta pic

Okay, now let me jump in right here. While I agree that with the exceptional growth of any company (especially one that’s a social media and tech platform), your branding should also evolve to reflect said growth; but for all that is good in the world, do it RIGHT!

Here’s Instagram’s promotional video giving you a little feel for what went into the logo design process. It reminded me of Yahoo’s rebranding effort in 2013, which did not go so well either.

Looking at the new logo (icon) compared to the old classic design, you almost feel as though the design team got ridiculously frustrated and just hit the gradient tool and went with the first mix they could come up with. The design has been flattened and that’s okay, but at the very least, Instagram could have kept some of the personality and subtlety of the old logo.

The only upside to a flat design, is that it makes for better UI and UX. It’s also far easier to apply across various branding medium – smartphones, computers, merchandising, stationery, and so on.

Instagram
The previous logo (icon) had depth and dimension

Over to you, Instagram!

“…Thank you for giving this community its life and color. You make Instagram a place to discover the wonder in the world. Every photo and video — from the littlest things to the most epic — opens a window for people to broaden their experiences and connect in new ways.”

What do you think of Instagram’s new designs? Leave a comment below.

Rounding Out 2015 with My Top 10 Blog Posts

This year has been an awesome year for my blog! I started off 2015 with the goal of attracting 12,000 viewers and with the year coming to a close, I’ve already met that target. That’s 8,930 more viewers than 2014!

I wanted to deliver more original content to my blog followers and I was happy to report that by using Q & A format, I was able to do that. My series “How You Living?” featuring friends of mine living in cities abroad was a tremendous success.

Additionally, interviewing entrepreneurs in the tech, film, and fashion industries  was also a hit and those interviews have led me to other interesting personalities (entrepreneurs) and businesses. Thank you to everyone who participated in each Q & A interview. I’ll be doing a lot more in 2016, so look out for those.

So in closing off this epic year of 2015, I’ll be revealing my “Top 10” (technically 11) most viewed blog posts!

No. 10: Introducing One of My Favourite Filmmakers Casey Neistat – A talented filmmaker, entrepreneur and YouTube vlogger working out of NYC.

No. 9: Joeysalads’ Child Abduction ‘Prank’ Will Remind Parents to Warn Their Kids About Strangers – A YouTube prankster who addresses a serious topic in this feature that went viral.

No. 8: Meet SiteManager, the New Web Design Platform That Promises To Make Building Professional Websites Painless – An interview with a Belgian CEO and founder of a web design startup.

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The SiteManager team | Source: SiteManager

No. 7: Germany’s ‘EO Smart Connecting Car 2’ is the Future of Urban Driving – A close look at one of the smartest micro-smart cars to come out of Germany.

No. 6: 10 Questions with Fashion Designer Lubica Slovak – A quick Q &A with an incredibly talented Slovakian-Jamaican fashion designer.

Phresh Interviews Jamaica’s Film Commissioner Carole Beckford – Get an inside look into Jamaica’s film industry and hear about its first-ever film festival.

Carole and actors
Actor Jeffrey Anderson-Gunter (left), Film Commissioner Carole Beckford (center), and Film Director Robert Townsend (right) at Los Angeles launch for the inaugural Jamaica Film Festival in March 2015

No. 5: Fighting Poaching With Offbeat Solutions from Silicon Valley Startup Pembient – CEO and founder of a biotech startup talks about “fake” rhino horns and attempting to topple the black market.

No. 4: Here’s A Quick Way to Name a Graphic Design Business or Any Other – A walk-through on coming up with the perfect business name using several phresh tips.

No. 3: 3 Tips to Improve Your Performance as a Freelance Graphic Designer – Written especially for freelance graphic designers, learn from my experiences on becoming better at what you do.

graphic designer 03
There’s no one template design for a time log, just create one that works for you

No. 2: Chinese Animated Short Hilariously Shows How Addicted We’ve Become to Our Smartphones – An accurate and funny depiction of our obsession with mobile devices created by animation student.

No. 1: Quiksilver Japan Designs a ‘True Wetsuit’ For Those Who Work Hard and Surf Harder – One of the biggest brands in surfwear creates an advert cleverly capturing the functionality of its latest wet-suit design coming out of Japan.

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Designers spent two months developing fabric samples

Thanks so much for following along each and every story I wrote about this year. I appreciated each and every share via social media. Have a Merry Christmas when it gets here. I’ll see you in the New Year!

The Walking Bread

I wanted to create something that was really silly and seeing that it was the day before Halloween, I figured why not take my inspiration from zombies.

Keeping the theme going, this is now the latest edition to my comic series, Jus’ Fa Laffs. Fans of “The Walking Dead” will appreciate this parody. This is what you’d get if your loaf recipe went “a rye”. Apologies for the pun.

Have a great time tonight. Happy Halloween!!

Jus'-fa-Laffs---walking-bre

Spend Some of Your Days Writing Accidental Poetry

This poem was purely accidental; as is always the case when inspiration finds us. I wrote it back in 2009 (a long time ago, I know) and published it via Facebook when everyone used “Notes”. I actually can’t recall the last time I wrote a poem and I really miss it. Perhaps this will be the inspiration to get me back to my traditional notepad and pen, like the good ol’ days. I hope you guys like it and if you don’t then tough break! [Kiddin’] Feel free to leave a comment, a like or just snap your fingers at the end.

Driftwood

A drift from reality
A daydream under the stars
A distraction needed
A journey afar
A place in time to call my own
A stumble in my imagination
A walk among the clouds
A melody of quiet
A peace deep within
A noise I can’t hear
A soul rides the wind
A relaxed me
A relaxed being
A relaxed ocean is what I’m seeing
A reality that draws near
A daydream now fades away
A reality that I shan’t fear
A daydream I must conjure up another day

Disney’s The Jungle Book Remake Looks Really Dark

The teaser trailer for Disney’s “The Jungle Book” is out. I’m not sure how I feel about it. Walt Disney Studios’ latest film production strategy seems to be dusting off old animated films such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Beauty and the Beast and transforming them into live-action/CGI films. 

Does the name “Baloo”, “King Louie”, or “Mowgli” ring any bells? How about a little track called “The Bare Necessities“? If none of the above is helping, you can just look at this picture below.

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The new live-action remake is a musical (Thank goodness! Phew!) adventure-fantasy film. It’s laden with CGI, but that was anticipated. I mean heck, there’s no such thing as a singing bear and you couldn’t have expected them to train animals to do that, now could you. It’s unethical.

The upcoming film is inspired by the animated film released in 1967 and the book written by Rudyard Kipling of the same name and is directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man 1 & 2). From the teaser trailer, all the characters are present and accounted for. The cast includes the voice talents of some Hollywood notable actors and actresses:

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This looks like a slightly darker and more haunting film, much closer to Kipling’s original book when compared to the Walt Disney’s 1960s animated family film aforementioned. Over the last few years we’ve seen The Walt Disney Studios release similar films like Alice in Wonderland (2010), Into The Woods (2014) and Maleficent (2014) with each film getting a rating of 51%, 71% and 49% respectively on Rotten Tomatoes. Not the best of films based on the mixed reviews, but collectively they generated Disney approximately $2 billion worldwide at the box office. These days it’s quantity over quality with filmmaking quickly evolving into a numbers game than a sustained visual art form.

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After talking to some friends, their initial reactions are mixed with some disliking the trailer and others thinking it’s just a reflection of society; a case of art imitating life (or vice versa), perhaps?

It’s set to be quite the 3D extravaganza! Could you detect the sarcasm? I mean it ought to be, when they’ve listed all this – Disney Digital 3D, RealD 3D and IMAX 3D. You can see Disney’s The Jungle Book in theatres April 15, 2016. Here’s to hoping it’ll be “wildly” successful. Anyway, watch for yourself and let me know your thoughts.

Fin!