GIMP (the GNU Image Manipulation Program) does amazing work. This versatile application is powerful, has a consistently helpful community of users, and is FREE. In fact, GIMP has been free from the beginning. Rather than moping about Adobe CS2. Download and install GIMP and get started making and editing graphics with the satisfaction of knowing you can do it without spending a cent.
Today, Hayao Miyazaki, director, animator extraordinaire, and beloved guardian of imagination, celebrates 72 years of making the world a happier place. His works and the colorful characters that populate them are absolutely endearing. Watching a Miyazaki movie is like being allowed to step outside of (if only briefly) the chaotic reality where we usually reside. Our respite takes us to an alternate universe where beauty reigns supreme. During our visit in Miyazaki’s constructed world, we generally meet a strong female protagonist and explore themes such as the wonder of flight, the importance of nature, and the transition from childhood to maturity, and the power of kindness.
Miyazaki’s stunning works of cinematic art include:
Up until now, I’ve been steering my students to Aviary and its rich assortment of tools. I am eager to see what they make of Picozu. I’m always on the lookout for tools and resources that don’t lock my learners into one way of doing things. Today’s students shouldn’t be dependent on vendor-specific plugins (like Flash) or tied to a particular machine.
Wandering around Project Gutenberg when everyone else is asleep is like having an entire library to explore. It’s a guilty pleasure I abandon myself to without the least bit of remorse. The last time I was nosing around, I found Myths of the Norsemen From the Eddas and Sagas (published in 1909) by the noted British historian H. A. Guerber. The book contains stirring accounts of the intrigues among the Norse gods, denizens of a universe they were doomed to destroy in a tragic last battle. Along with stories, readers will delight in fascinating images like the one below: a wondrous depiction of a giant with a flaming sword by John Charles Dollman, an English painter and illustrator.
If you really a few hours to while away, try this: make a logoswipe and look at the resulting URL, something like http://logoswipe.com/logo/1702. Change the number at the end. Type a lower number–for example, in this case something like 1602–in its place and you’ll see logos that others have made. Fonterrific!
While others may be trying to get rid of any number of six-legged critters, artist Mike Libby is busily constructing them. His site, Insect Lab Studio, hosts images of mechanical creations that fascinate and evoke thoughts of science-fiction steeped in steampunk fauna. The cog and mainspring creepy-crawlies Libby assembles are beautiful and and instructive. His quasi-robotic works make viewers want to know more about their real-world counterparts. Fly over to Insect Lab Studio and see what the buzz is all about.
Truly committed readers of the author’s works belong to and avidly support the venerable Dickens Fellowship. I do and I can barely contain my excitement each time my copy of the Fellowship’s journal, The Dickensian, arrives.
…you need to explore Christopher Jobson’s beautiful art, design, and physical craft blog, Colossal. Why? The blog provides a banquet for minds that hunger for inspiration expressed beyond the digital realm. Although Jobson’s subjects and discoveries focus upon tactile works, they inspire sumptuous insights. I can’t wait to drop by each week to see what’s on the menu. Jobson, a writer for Wired Magazine and contributor to designboom, gives visitors to his blog a rich serving of thought-provoking images. I get so many ideas after digesting a helping of his fabulous fare! Sample a bit yourself and you’ll soon develop a taste for creativity.