Tag Archives: Art

Exploring Op Art

Op Art is a style developed in the 1960s that utilizes precise geometric figures and placement to create optical illusions.  The thing I find most fascinating about it is how changes in the color, saturation, or background of a piece can create a whole different vibe.

These are some recent Op Art experiments, created as tests for some posters I wanted in my Zazzle Store.

It’s actually the same base image (which took about an hour to create) so all of the differences you see are the result of changes in blending, color, and saturation.  I had SO MUCH FUN with these because the possible variations are endless.  It’s almost like the butterfly effect in art form.

Selling Art Online: Then and Now

My first ventures into online entrepreneurship were stationery and greeting cards. This was the early 2000’s, and the Internet was dotted with tiny webpages hosted by ISPs as an added “perk” for using their services. Free webhosts like Geocities and Webs.com were super popular for artsy types who were looking to connect with one another and share their ideas, design experiments, and free products.

When I first started learning to use photo editing software, there were a million places you could go online for free, detailed courses and tutorials. I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for the free information culture of the early Internet.

I learned how to create my own stationery and templates, how to build a website, how to manage payments and track online orders, and a lot more, all for free without ever having to enter my email address or give out any personal details. I went by the moniker “Lionchilde” for over a decade, and no one needed to know my name.

The difficult part back then was always making sure that your design work was print-ready, and then the upfront expenses of printing and shipping. Your ability to make money was heavily curtailed by how much money you had to spend upfront.

About half of internet users were still on dialup, so “best practices” for designing an image-heavy website involved creating lots and lots of tiny thumbnail galleries that linked to “preview” pages which had images not much bigger. Thumbnails had to be manually generated, either in your image program or with a special utility. (We’d probably call it an “app” today, though I don’t know if anyone would still need a thumbnail generator app. Image hosts generate thumbnails for us, as do WordPress and Blogger.)

WordPress’s thumbnail size.

I got out of selling pre-made art online for a while. Startup costs were high and returns weren’t reliable. I’ve still got a package of cardstock sitting in my house from ’06. This year, I decided to return to to selling premades–from cards to book covers and anything else I feel like. I’ve been exploring the “scene” for papercrafts and checking out various online marketplaces. I’ll report back with observations of a geeky nature as I have them. For now, here are my findings:

These days, there are print on demand stores for just about everything. You can offer digital downloads on Etsy, CreativeMarket, Evanto Marketplace and several others. Of course, that convenience means a considerable chunk of your profit.

You can probably find a lot of information about creating paper products or managing online sales by reading blogs, but if you want a detailed course in photo editing or business finance, you’ll have to pay for it with either your email address or your cash. (And if you “pay” with your email address, you’ll almost certainly be spammed with “added value” that leads to an upsell.)

You can still find plenty of Photoshop tutorials on YouTube, but there don’t seem to be as many for “alternative” software like GIMP or Paint Shop Pro.

The internet seems to be moving steadily, from a culture where information and free content are there to foster community and connection, to one in which information is currency and free content is a bribe for access to your email inbox or social media feeds. On the flip side, access is easier and more streamlined. Print on demand services make it simple and straightforward for designers and artists to earn cash without a great deal of overhead.

There’s been an explosion in processor speeds, hard drive capacity, internet speeds and modes of connectivity since I started selling my art online in the 00s. Internet use has grown exponentially as well. Overall, these advances are positive and have helped me find a way to make money without sucking all the pleasure out of creating things. I’ll keep an archive of free stuff online as long as I can, too.

If you like this card, hop on over to my Zazzle store where you can customize and print it for yourself, or my Creative Market shop where I have a zip file of pre-made ones.


Comparative Opinions – Stranger Things – Episode 25

Welcome to the Comparative Opinions podcast! Finally, hosts David and Holly finished Stranger Things, and are joined by Julia to talk about the show. More of a discussion of what worked in the show and made it so good and have such a wide appeal, which leads into a wider discussion about NetFlix and the original stories they are putting out there. Also, a longer discussion at the beginning about the book Heads in Beds and Julia’s spoiler-free thoughts on Rogue One!

Comparative Opinions is a weekly half-hour-ish podcast hosted on ComparativeGeeks.com. Subscribe for new episodes every Sunday!



Music is by Scott Gratton: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Scott_Gratton/Intros_and_Outros

Adulthood is a Myth!

I added that from URL… hope that’s okay… Hey! Folks! You should be reading Sarah’s Scribbles!

It’s an awesome webcomic full of life’s troubles. It’s like reality smacking you upside the head.

Since it’s slices of life from a young woman artist, the topic matter is – you guessed it – that of a young woman artist! Well, girl. Well, real girl.

From Adulthood is a Myth

From Adulthood is a Myth

That’s from her book, Adulthood is a Myth. There’s a lot of great content about growing up, often with imaginings of current problems/relationships carried on all the way into old age (and beyond). There’s a lot of great material about being a woman. There’s a lot of great material about being an introvert and social anxiety.adulthood-is-a-myth-coveradulthood-is-a-myth-cover

But I think the stuff that I like seeing the most is when she gets into talking about creating art. Wracked with self-doubt, as I find most writers in online writing communities are, she shares this feeling. While still living the dream, as it were – I mean, there’s a whole lot of people following her on Facebook (a good place to catch each new comic).

From Adulthood is a Myth

From Adulthood is a Myth

I just really appreciate seeing this perspective. And the feeling that you just have to keep creating. When I was first pitching doing my webcomic here on the site, I think that what people had in mind was something more like, say, Sarah’s Scribbles. Something funny. Full of one shots. That’s not what I’m doing… and for now, as long as I’m happy with it, I’m keeping with it.

But that leaves plenty of room for me to recommend a webcomic like Sarah’s Scribbles! Enjoy!

Meme Monday Episode 1: This is This!

Good day, everyone! Welcome to the first installment in what I hope will become my mainstay here at Comparative Geeks—my Meme Monday rundown. Today, I’ll expose all of you to a few of my favorite sources for memes on Facebook and provide some recent examples from them.

What, then, exactly is a meme? Running a basic Google search for the term returned two definitions, one regarding the passing on of culture or behavior among individuals through exposure, and the other simply being a funny bit of anything from the Internet shared among individuals. Let’s take the two together and complicate those definitions with this bit from one of my favorite pages on which to read random collections of thoughts, or even quasi-famous quotes, WordPorn:

And let that be our guiding light as we observe the absurd and find within it humor and a bit of mad genius.

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