Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Let's Make Some Cool Buttons!

There is nothing that I hate more than stock graphics, buttons, and templates that web pages offer as a part of a plan to get you to buy their services.  While using these stock items are great to get things up and running, many times no further thought is put into the design because the user has managed to make their quick creation appear in a web browser.  Let’s get away from using the same graphics and interfaces that everyone and their dog is using.
I start all my concepts on paper, a napkin, or any app that will mimic the traditional art work flow.  I personally like to use Sketchbook pro on my tablet (Microsoft Surface).  You could also use Photoshop or Illustrator to snap down some lines in a quick thumbnail mock up.

Before I go any further lets quickly review the basic items you have to make all shapes.
  1. Dot – Yup just a simple dab of ink or paint on your canvass.
  2. Line – This is simply a dot that decide to take a walk from point a to point be making a straight line.
  3. Arch – This a line that moves in a curve from point a to point b.
From this all other shapes are made.  I won’t bother you with a geometry lesson, because frankly I would be one of the only geeks that it is super excited about the math behind it.  Also I can save that discussion for when I talk about vector art.
So my next step is to start doodling some basic shapes and combinations shapes.  At this point it is just important to get your ideas down on paper.  I made the sheet below to show you some example.  Grab them as a quick template to work off of or doodlebug your own if you so choose.

As you can see it doesn’t take much to make an interesting graphic.  A few circles and a few squares. Maybe a line here or a line there.  The best part of it all is you don’t need to be an artist to come up with these quick little sketches.  If you deem yourself as a very unartistic person still doodlebug out and give them to your graphic designer.  I can almost guarantee that they will want to outdo your work and create something better. (I think one upping the next guy is something is injected into a creative person’s blood at birth)
All right take a break, grab a cup of coffee and Scribble On…


Monday, December 14, 2015

What do you use to create your art?

What do you use to create your art?

I frequently get asked how I create the various different pieces of artwork they see.  This is never an easy question for me to answer because people are rarely as specific as they need to be so I can give them an answer.  I create every thing from hand drawn cartoons to fine wood working in my shop.  So I have decided I will create a series of post dedicated to my process of creating digital art.

Alrighty then lets start off with the list of programs that I use on a frequent basis.

Autodesk Sketch Book Pro (there also is a tablet version of this that works very well)

I use this for almost all of my visual idea development.  It’s great for storyboarding, thumb nailing, doodling, coloring, and even some traditional style animation with its flipbook option.  The best part of it is that the subscription is very cheap at only a couple of buck a month or, if you are luck you can find the subscription at the right time of year for 50% off.  I got this year’s copy right around Thanks Giving for $15, normally it would have been $30.

Adobe CC

Adobes Creative Cloud subscription (The mother load of coolness)

Here is a quick list of the most common apps that I use out of this package.

Photoshop CC

Illustrator CC

Muse CC

Premiere Pro CC

After Effects CC

Flash Professional CC

Dreamweaver CC

InDesign CC

Plus there are a few cool other little apps that come with Adobe CC that are just fun to play with like Edge Animate CC, Adobe Character Animator, etc.

For $49.99 a month for the CC Adobe as made this subscription an absolute steal.  Furthermore, the subscription gives you the business catalyst feature which allows you to host up to 15 domain names on their servers, 1 gig of web space to host your site (which is a huge amount of space if you compress all your files right) and 30 gigs of bandwidth for those sites.

The hosting alongside of the CC subscription saves me the couple of dollars a month fee for hosting off the main web hosting sites such as godaddy.com or domain.com


What plat form do I use to create; simple answer is whatever I have in front of me.  I have four laptops, running Mac OSX, Windows 10, and Linux (Ubuntu).  Which is the best?  Well that is like asking someone what kind of pizza do they like, you will won’t get a clear answer if you ask on any given day.

To wrap this up quick there are other apps and services that I use but I am just a tinker when it comes to them.

Remember to Scribble On and have a nice day.


Sunday, December 13, 2015


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