Archive for July, 2009

South Waterfront artist-in-residence to present an assessment of current visual culture

Michael A. Salter, current South Waterfront artist-in-residence, who considers himself an obsessive observer of contemporary visual culture, where graphics and corporate identities, signage and symbols, are used to communicate the culture of commerce, and these images wield tremendous power in the visual landscape we occupy.

Thursday, July 23, 6 p.m. at the University of Oregon Portland, 70 NW Couch St.

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July 22, 2009 at 9:15 pm Leave a comment

Happy Caturday

download SVG
download SVG (line drawing only)
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

July 18, 2009 at 8:07 am Leave a comment

matter of running an artistic business

Although I still see myself as a somewhat principled person, I have over years learned to be pragmatic. Fortunately, I am now (finally) living my youthful dream of being a professional visual artist/graphic designer, after many years of detour. Often a prevailing popular misconception is that one cannot make a living out of arts. (Partially true, it is definitely a challenge.) But we live in the middle of someone’s artwork — somebody, somewhere designs your clothes, plates on your table, patterns on your wallpaper. Without art, we would be living in a plain, solid white world where everything is efficient and utilitarian but also very sterile. Think of a typical American jail cell and that would be your world (one of many ways to reduce prison violence and inmate mental health catastrophe is to really think of this issue; commissioning artists and implement some type of percentage-for-art program at every correctional construction would be a good investment that will in a long run save a lot of money and troubles).

Yesterday I was at the monthly Art Spark and got into a conversation. A certain individual talked how, in a totalitarian or Stalinist country artists do not have freedom to express themselves outside the official party ideology.

Whether communist ideology is conducive or destructive to art is up for a debate, and frankly I think it is a fallacy — or at least a red herring. In a supposedly uber-capitalist country such as so-called United States of America (supposedly, although I know otherwise — Americans and their businesses are probably a lot more heavily regulated by their government than people in many other countries) it is also true that artists do not have unconditional freedom. In a free market economy, what can be sold and what appeals to the customer is what would be made. This means in America, an economically thriving artist must be able to produce what pleases the commercial interest of her paying clients (this also holds true with fine arts that are financed by foundation grants and fellowships). Unless all what I do is doodle some nonsensical “art” in my own bedroom and then post it inside my own little closet (oh, what a joy of freedom!), that is, if I would like to be seen and recognized as an artist, then a certain degree of pragmatism is a must, and so is a business savvy.

July 17, 2009 at 8:40 pm Leave a comment

a big white fluffy cat.

drawing-a-cat

Inkscape 0.46

Download this image (Scalable Vector Graphic format)

Turn your cat picture into a vector file clip art — there are hundreds of uses for it. Now for $40 for one picture, or $100 for three. Contact Sarah for details.

July 17, 2009 at 11:33 am Leave a comment

Contact information changed

To reach me at Iridia Creative Productions use the new phone number, (503) icp8-Amy, or 503-427-8269.

* Amy is my middle name. In the past there was a bus driver who (without knowing this fact) kept thinking my name was Amy. I told her one day, “My name is Amy only in bed.” (She blushed. Cute.)

To send me a fax, continue using (206) 338-0417.

July 12, 2009 at 9:39 am Leave a comment

Must-have Linux software

The beauty of today’s Linux is the ease of obtaining software you need, as long as you are connected to the Internet. Unlike Windows, almost anything can be easily downloaded and installed with just a little line of text in the command prompt, or if you are graphically oriented, from Synaptic.

To install any of these simply open up the “Terminal” and type
sudo apt-get install nameofthesoftware

“nameofthesoftware” is the standard UNIX name for the software programs, as listed below.

Graphic design tools
* scribus = desktop publishing and layout
* gimp = photo and image editing (often comes preinstalled)
* inkscape = drawing
* xaralx = easier drawing, nice effects, has difficulty saving as a vector file; excellent if you are only making PNG files for websites.

Internet tools
* drivel = write in your blogs even if you are offline
* FireFTP (an Add-On inside Firefox) = file transfer protocol, install from Firefox tools > add-ons
* webhttrack = copies contents of websites for offline archiving and viewing, including all images and media; great if you travel and need ready access to certain online resources

Productivity/Office
* abiword = fast word processing alternative to OpenOffice Writer
* evolution = calendar, addressbook, task list and offline email reader in one (I like this better than Thunderbird)

Media
* songbird = kind of like iTunes, except for iTunes Store function

Other neat stuff I found

*stardict = an amazing multilingual dictionary that supports many languages. While it is on, you can highlight on any word and dictionary definitions/translations will pop up. Dictionary data files are available at http://stardict.sourceforge.net/ .

* aiksaurus = this is a text-line based thesaurus. To use simply enter “aiksaurus wordofyourchoice” in the terminal prompt.
* display-dhammapada = a saying of Sakyamuni Buddha. To use simply enter “display-dhammapada” in the terminal prompt.
* pyching = throw coins and read I Ching.
* bibletime = not just bible but also comes with e-book versions of classics like John Calvin’s Institute and St. Augustine’s Confession. The Bible in many languages and versions of your choice.

July 12, 2009 at 9:31 am 1 comment

Testing Drivel

Drivel is an offline blogging editor for Linux that works under GNOME.

To install Drivel (the last letter is lower-case ell, not one) open terminal (bash or shell of your choice) and type
sudo apt-get install drivel

or from root
apt-get install drivel

To use WordPress

Use your WordPress username for login (not the name of your blog)
Enter password
Select “Movable Type” (do not panick if you don’t see WordPress)
Enter blog server address as http://yourblogsname.wordpress.com/xmlrpc.php
Of course yourblogsname is the first part of your WordPress.

July 12, 2009 at 9:14 am Leave a comment

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