Instagram’s Drawback

June 30, 2011By jayapplications, art, miscelany, technology

What do I do with Instagram (IG) post-iPhone?
 

 

 

 

I can’t close my account from the webapp. (At least there is no easily recognizable way.) I can’t upload more images via my desktop. So, now I have this account that is floating—floating and unusable.

I understand building a solid app around the best smartphone. What I don’t understand is making it the only way to fully experience the app. I know that IG has an API, but that API doesn’t allow other apps to upload (not yet). So, for now and the foreseeable future—I have an IG account that I cannot do anything with. That is a drawback.

iPhone 4 vs. Cintiq

June 25, 2011By jayart, technology

I have made clear my preference for the iPhone 4. A few weeks ago, I gave up the use of my iPhone for a little Samsung clam shell phone. (I am working toward getting a Wacom Cintiq 12WX.) The cost of the iPhone adds up each month—it is money that can be used toward other things.

So, the goal for this move away from smart phone to stupid phone is to focus on my higher priorities.

I still think the iPhone is the best computer I have ever had. I prefer it even over my laptop—when I am on the move, but it is a costly device and one that in the long-term is too expensive.

I miss having it and using it.

There are so many times that I need to do a quick search and I am unable. There are so many times that I would make a call, but I no longer have my contacts readily available. I miss the maps. It is frustrating, but on the flip-side I read more often, draw more often, play more often, and other and overall more involved. I never realized I was wasting so much time on my iPhone—my wife knew.

So, in a smack-down between an iPhone and a Cintiq—the iPhone lost.

Brush Pens

June 22, 2011By jayart, miscelany, technology

As I have mentioned before, I am trying to more to creating more traditional art. My workflow is still in the process and I have taken some good hints from others. I began by purchasing a brush pen. I hadn’t ever used one before—though I have used a brush marker (it’s just not the same)—so I purchased the Pentel Color Brush black pen. I dig it a lot. It is fantastic. But, it is big. So, over Father’s day weekend, I ran across a Pentel Arts Pocket Brush Pen with Refills. And, I dig it even more! It is smaller, allows for smaller lines, and is very comfortable to use. But, now, I have read about the Kaimei Natural Hair Sumi Brush Pen and after seeing some of the results I am hoping to purchase one in the near future. Each has their place and I am happily inking—no command-z required.

The pens are amazing. Being able to walk around without a bottle of ink is incredible. I realize that I am a bit behind the times in this area, but I am truly thankful for the technology.

Yes, all of the links above link to Amazon. If you follow the link and purchase from there it helps me out a bit.

Creative Confidence pt2

June 21, 2011By jayart, love, miscelany, technology, Writing

In my last post, I wrote about the decisions that I had made that have brought me to this point in my life. In it I, also, wrote about the decisions that are being made that will redirect my (and my family’s) path for the coming future as well as the insecurities that I have/am facing as we make this recalibration.

Dealing with insecurities is a reality that most people have to deal with. We only overcome those insecurities through maturity. Maturity comes through growth.

Maturity has nothing to do with getting older. Maturity is simply more time spent on a task or topic, deeper experience and understanding, more depth.
[via] whowriteforyou.com

(I am not sure that maturity has nothing to do with getting older, but I agree whole-heartily with the rest.)

Part of that growth is daily use. I most often call this muscle. Muscles are strengthened, hardened, and better equipped the more we use them. Those that exercise often and increase the ability of their muscles are able to utilize them better/longer than those that don’t.

The same is true of writing, drawing, or any other trade that we engage ourselves in. (Yes, there are those that are just talented—the ones that seem to just be able to pick up a tool, what ever it may be, and do incredibly. They are often the excuses that the rest of us use to shy away from our given hopes and dreams.) The more we exercise our art/trade the more we mature it and ourselves. The more we mature, the more confidence we gain. The more confidence we gain, the more we grow in passionate for our trade. The more passion we gain, the more we perfect our art/trade.

When your skills, your understanding, become mature, you will find that although the work may still be difficult, that you make fewer mistakes, start down fewer blind alleys, and that your results are almost uniformly of the quality you seek.
[via] whowriteforyou.com

As I have stepped back into this role of artist/writer I have come up against several fears. Among them are the fears of my tools. This may sound silly, but it is a legit fear. For the past ten plus years, whenever I did decide to do some art work it was nearly always digital. Not one hundred percent but mostly. I would sketch it, scan it, and then paint it digitally. Command-Z was my friend. Now, that I have moved back into illustration I am trying to become more traditional—whiteout is my new best friend. I am inking my sketches and trying to learn watercolor. (Yes, I still do paint digitally while I am learning. Though, I doubt I will ever give it up 100%.) The tools are somewhat intimidating. But, I know that once I use them, strengthen myself with them, and become more confident I will look back at my fears as both silly and needed.

Silly, because it is just a pen. My fear comes from making mistakes and having to do it all over again—or from being seen as a terrible artist.

Needed, because it is pushing me to become more acquainted with my tools so that I can overcome the fear.

For the most part, I have applied all of the above to drawing. That is because I am more comfortable as a writer right now. But, many of the same fears apply. Even now as I write this, I am concerned that a better writer will see my flaws.

They will.

There are always better—whatevers—than ourselves. Seeing that, understanding it, and moving on toward my goal means that I am maturing. It is no longer stifling me and killing my desire or my passion.

More than that, you can relax. There’s work to do, but you know how to do it. There are problems to solve, but you’ve solved problems like them before. And if the problems are new, they are interesting, not frightening.
[via] whowritesforyou.com

Or as I tell my children:

Practice make stronger. Passion make perfect.

Creative Confidence

June 19, 2011By jayart, miscelany, technology, Writing

A little over fifteen years ago, I set out on a direction. It was a direction that changed my focus and job skills. I began to develop Flash websites and modules along side my illustrations.

Almost ten years ago, I made a firmer decision in that direction and while it was the right one to make at the time—it was a tough one. Shortly after 911, all of my illustration freelance jobs dried up (I am sure that happened for many). What didn’t dry up, as much, was the need for a Flash developer. So, for the most part I refocused my skills and became a Flash desdev.

Fast-forward ten years, Flash isn’t on the high that it once entertained. It isn’t dead by a long-shot, but it isn’t the king of the hill either. As a matter of fact it has been thrown down and is having to fight, once again, the climb to the top against faster, younger, technologies.

In light of this, and other personal matters, I have been taking an inventory of my skills and making some hard, but necessary, choices. Almost ten years ago, I chose Flash over and against my illustrations. Now, it is the reverse. I have made the choice to regain skills that were left dormant (and somewhat neglected) and retrain my hand eye coordination and regain a creative confidence. It has been worth while. I have, also, began to focus more on writing. They, both, come loaded with insecurities and risks.

What if I am not good enough?

This is the question I have to seriously ask myself, on one hand, and, on the other, it is an insecurity that I (and many others, including experts, ask themselves) on a daily basis—in short it is a fear.

Do I have what it takes to reposition myself as an author/illustrator?

If I would have kept at it, ten years ago, I would have a much higher quality art and writing than I have now, but would my family have suffered due to the fact that I wasn’t a great artist, but was merely “ok”. It’s the whole 20/20 thing and in hindsight I would have done it the exact same way. The question is will my future self look back and heartily say:

I would do it that way again?

I do not know.

For now my family and I are going to navigate the waters of relearning and changing of skills to reposition ourselves for the next ten years and beyond. Each day that passes I am growing in confidence that I can stand out, in the field of excellent author/illustrators, and make a difference through my art/writing. We have challenges ahead of us, but this change has already been a good one for my family.

Got the Fever

June 17, 2011By jayapplications, miscelany, technology

I haven’t been neglectful in my disdain for Google’s privacy policies. I have slowly been working to rid myself of their googleness. One more step was hosting my own Reader where I can sync between devices.

To that end I have purchased Fever. I wrote about Fever last year. I have been using it for a while now and really like it. I haven’t figured out everything about it, but it is a great tool. I actually like it better than Google reader.

I use Chill Pill on my Mac and I am able to use the browser to view it as well. I don’t have any issues with Fever. I do have some small issues with Chill Pill. Primarily, I wish it was better integrated with Instapaper. When I get better acquainted with Fever I will write up thorough review. So far, I am sold on it being a great purchase.

I’d Love to be Perfect

June 17, 2011By jaylove, miscelany, religion

A week ago, a friend retweeted:

 

Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing ~ Harriet Braiker

Any discussion of perfection strikes a major cord with me. It does so specifically from a theological view. The Hebrew Bible uses the idea of perfection. But, it is never in a sense of flawlessness—well, outside of God. Humans are flawed. We have been since before Adam and Eve ate from the tree.

We were created that way.

It is called choice.

But, God is a coverer of wrong choices. We see His reaction to Adam and Chavah (Eve) in that He deliberately chose against His Law: the day/time you eat it you will die, and chose to cover over the flaw (choice to sin) of His creation.

God views perfection differently that we do. We have a very Latin/Greek way of thinking about it: undented, untarnished, flawless.

God’s view is: dented, tarnish, flawed—repentant—forgiven: perfect. In a few cases we see that God even forgives/covers over the unrepentant—especially when they have sinned through the influence of others.

Perfection can be something that we strive for when that perfection is wrapped up in repentance of sin and forgiveness.

The forgiveness comes from God the Father. Jesus, Christians believe, is the expression of God’s forgiveness covered in human form—God himself enmeshed in flesh. That he is “the lamb slain” from the founding of the world—to cover Adam and Eve—in other words, God’s mercy poured out.

Jesus said:

“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” ( Matt 5.48 NIV )

It’s a great sound bite, but it isn’t complete (Jesus is actually referring to other Scripture here.) because there is a context to these words. In the Book called Luke, Jesus is quoted as saying:

“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” ( Luke 6.36 NIV )

It is the exact same context, but two different words with two different ideas—when taken out of said context.

What is the overall context of the words of Jesus?

“If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?” ( Matt 5.46–47 NIV )

“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” ( Luke 6.35 NIV )

It can be summed up in one word: love. Throughout the Scriptures we see men and women, who are obviously not blameless/perfect being called blameless and perfect. What have they done to be labeled such?

They sought forgiveness for their flaws—and, they were wrapped in it.

They loved beyond their, and, often, others’, sins. That doesn’t mean that they allowed lawlessness or that God did—it means that they loved God with all of their heart, soul, and strength—yes, even with their bad parts.

One last thing, let’s look at the oft quoted, for marriages and weddings, 1 Corinthians 13.

“For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” ( 1 Cor 13.9–13 NIV )

For Paul, love is the perfection that comes. So, the unfortunate bumper sticker that says, “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven” is both fundamentally flawed and profound at the same time. Christians (and other) are perfected in forgiveness. We are a flawed force that is greatly loved by an immeasurable God.

Green Lantern (Panda)

June 16, 2011By jayart, humor

The movie Green Lantern is opening in USA theaters Friday, July 17th. It looks like it could be good. DC has stepped up to the plate with their Batman and Superman movies my hope is that they didn’t fall back into the mush that they are known for when it comes to their movies. I would love to see them build out the Hall of Justice (minus the Wonder Twins—well, unless they make them cooler) similar to the Avengers movie that will be releasing soon.

That said, I have made a panda—Green panda.
It was a quick sketch and paint.
Sketch/Ink on 9×12 90lb Water color paper.
Paints in Photoshop.