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It’s time for my second weekly update, as decreed by my own art school syllabus.
I only had a 1-day weekend this week, so I’m using that as my excuse for not getting more done this week. Of course, it doesn’t help that I didn’t do anything on any of the evenings after work either. I could make a lot of excuses, but that won’t get any art done. I’ll just have to try to be better next week.
A Rainbow in my Phone
Let’s start with the silly accomplishment of the week. You may not believe this, but I organized my iPhone apps. By color.
Yes, that’s right. I took them all out of their little category submenus. I abandoned the attempt to have my most frequently used apps on the first screen (which basically just meant the apps I most obsessively opened to check on over and over for no reason). And I organized them into a pretty little rainbow.
Where would someone get such a crazy idea, you ask? Well, I’m glad you asked, because it lets me talk about one of my favorite things in the history of the world. If you like to do anything crafty and you haven’t tried Creativebug, you need to sign up for a free trial immediately. You have nothing to lose, and a whole load of creative inspiration and learning to gain.
I have many wonderful things to say about Creativebug, and I will someday. For now, just know that putting your apps in order by color was one of the creative challenges they shared this month. At first, I thought it was the dumbest idea ever. How frivolous and inefficient would it be to have my apps in order by color? I mean, I’m a librarian! There’s a reason we don’t put the books in order by color! But after watching the quick tutorial, I just had to try it. and now I love it.
First, it’s forced me to look at apps that I’ve had on my phone forever but never use. So I’ve deleted some of them, and I’m using others.
Second, it’s easier than I thought it would be to find the app I need. My brain apparently knows what color the app icons are, so I can usually flip right to the correct page. When that doesn’t work, there’s the handy search feature to save me.
Third, it’s so pretty! For some reason, the arrangement of the color spectrum in a rainbow makes me happy. Maybe it’s because I studied color vision in a past life. Maybe it’s because I live in the Seattle area. Maybe it’s because I’m secretly gay. Who knows. What I do know is that I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to the rainbow. (If that doesn’t cheer up your eyeballs, I don’t know what will). For some reason, scrolling through page after page of apps is much more pleasant when they create a lovely rainbow in the process. That alone is worth the hassle of not always knowing where my apps are.
Pixels on my Screen
Once upon a time, I designed a million buttons (and other things, like greeting cards and gift tags). At the time, I had Photoshop, and I struggled up the steep learning to make it do (just barely) what I wanted it to do. That computer has long since died, the program discs have mysteriously vanished after several moves, and now Photoshop is an online monthly fee thing. My internet is beyond spotty, so I’m reluctant to spend the money on a program that may not even work.
So, for the time being, I’m playing with PicMonkey, and it’s pretty great. If you haven’t heard of it, PicMonkey is an online graphic design and photo editing tool. It doesn’t have all the features and flexibility of Photoshop, but the learning curve is so much more friendly, and it has lots of shortcuts that make things easier than they would be in Photoshop. Best of all, it’s free! I do pay the 5 bucks a month for their “Royale” features, but that’s not really necessary, especially for a beginner. Plus, there are tons of great tutorials out there to make PicMonkey do all kinds of incredible things.
I love quotations and sayings that make me feel something, and I love art that has words in it. Maybe it’s the English teacher slash librarian in me. One of my favorite things to do is putting pleasing phrases together in pleasing arrangements on a page. When I do this digitally, it somehow bypasses all of the anxiety that normally accompanies a creative endeavor – maybe because I know I can keep working with it until it looks right. I have a good eye for design, but only when I can see it on the page. My mind’s eye is far less clear and not so helpful when I’m trying to plan out something pretty.
I’ll be making many more these types of things as I experiment with different PicMonkey features. I’m starting with quotes and saying that need to remember myself. I should print them out and hang them where I can see them every day.
My Nose in a Book
I took some time to catch up on my reading this week. First, I re-read the fantastic Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon. I even have a post extolling its virtues in the works.
I also started reading Running on Empty by Jonice Webb, which is helping me understand and overcome some of my inner demons. It’s a follow up to another very helpful book I read this summer called If You Had Controlling Parents by Dan Neuharth. Wonder what that one’s all about, right?
I spent some time gazing loving at Intuitive Painting Workshop by Alena Hennessy. Hopefully, I’ll soon gather the courage to attempt a project from this lovely book.
And finally, I checked out two books from the library that I am super excited to start reading: Life without Envy by Camille DeAngelis and Creative Strength Training by Jane Dunnewold. Is it ironic that I’m super envious of whoever made the book cover for Life Without Envy? I mean, look at it:
And while you’re at it, look at the cover of Intuitive Painting Workshop too.
I love pretty book covers. Maybe I should start a Pinterest board of beautiful book covers. Okay. That’s done. And with that I will bid you adieu. I think I spent more time on this blog post than I spent on art this week.