Sunday, December 30

Something Awful and Something New

Bad news for me: my old computer was totally broken a couple of days ago! Good news for all: I bought another one through lots of muss and fuss! Can't believe such a tragedy happened to me, and I still have old stuff on my old hard disc to save, but thanks God! All my babes are safe and sound, who are all wide awake and waiting for the right time to make some noise. The 2nd release of my Free 2008 Calendar: Army of Energetic Babes is available now, including No.14, No.93 and No.90 (from March to May). Just follow the link on the image bellow to download the file.

layout of 2nd release of 2008 calendar: Army of Energetic BabesI have a couple of new ideas for the future projects, but I'm preparing for a local art fair and I don't have too much time to execute my plan. Some limited edition of my prints may be sold so you have better hurry up before they are all gone with the wind. My shop is always open, and my babes will be very happy to greet you at the door in case I'm not around! :)

BTW, a new, stable version (2.4) of GIMP is available. Download link for Linux: http://gimp.org/downloads/. As for Windows: http://gimp-win.sourceforge.net/stable.html

Sunday, December 16

A Change Will Do Me Good: Something New for My Website

Since I have created a new page on my website (click on the image above to get there :D), just to keep my daily baby sitting job easier, I guess some of you would like to know a bit of tale behind all this. If some of ideas work for you, that's even better!

1. Related Blog Post:
I have thought about creating a single page for individual image, but then I might have to give up my fabulous layout altogether! No good!! Instead, I just wrote a few words for each work, and in case I feel the urge to explain or do some promotion, I will comment on it on my blog, and then add the links on the page of my website.

2. Installment of Lightbox2:
This is my favorite innovation this time, thanks to this fancy, super-convenient javascrip by Lokesh Dhakar. After installing this lovely script, you can add a bunch of images for any links on your sites. The image will fade in with dark background, and if you have related images, you simply group them together by including a group name.

3. Detailed looks:
Like what I have told you above, it is really easy to put additional images for each link, so I thought a detailed look is not only welcome, but satisfies the curiosity of some visitors.

4. AddThis! Widget:
From Digg, Del.icio.us, Furl, to Diigo, Facebook, and StumbleUpon, you name it, this widget got it! Saving a bookmark has never made one feel so good! :P

5. Reader Art Submission:
Some of you might have heard of my lousy event I call O'Range is Hot, it's a dumb idea, but I'm still taking your response very seriously! Everyone can submit his/her the most fantastic orange work, and after a bit of consideration and arrangement, it might have a chance of coming into my kindergarten and have some fun with my "kids" for some time. I promise there won't be any kicking or bruises happening! :P

Energetic Baby No.93: The One and Only, I Mean Daily-Deviationally

Energetic Baby No.93 by Ian YangIt's always a big deal - at least for lots of deviants - of getting a DD, abbr. of Daily Deviation. It almost feels like I was overwhelmed by a storm made up by the wind and the rains of visits, faves and comments, the scale of which is so enormous that it's impossibly for me to visit each deviant's profile just to say "Thanks for the +fave" by endless pasting. To make this event BIGGER, I'm obliged to introduce, officially, right here and right now, the little fellow of my called Energetic Baby No.93 1 that caused this sweet surprise!

The following is the remark from the administrator, Sophquest:
Check out...Energetic Baby No.93 by ~mitrm. With it's zany looking gears, this seemingly mechanized fractal, might be something we'd see inside Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory! The Suggestor writes: "I am just blown away by this render. The textures and shading are just fabulous, as is the gradient. It's definitely a full-view piece!"

Never have I watched the movie, but the word "mechanized" is certainly one key element. The outline of this work is very clean and sharp, which has its appeal but I always managed to put something else into my work according to my mood and the flow of my own.. let's just say "artist's instinct." To create the illusion of "dimensions," a lot of darkness naturally were applied with the brighter colors, as usual. The contrast is also quite obvious that directs a viewer's attention and imagination around the image. A observant guy might notice the curved, oddly-looking shades - I need those to imply the tension of the graphic. There are a couple of secrets I hide inside this work, but I would rather you take the trouble of searching for them. After all, art isn't something that should keep a distinctive shape that required not a second look. :P


Note:

1 In case you're interested in the detailed look of this work, please refer to the 3rd page my official website. Thanks.

Tuesday, December 11

Free 2008 Calendar?! No Kidding!

3D look of the vertical calendarYes, I'm in a giving mood, for Christmas's sake, and thanks to the generosity of my Babes, the first release, i.e., from January to March, showcasing Baby No.44, 9 and 59, is now available solely for your pleasure! Just click on the image to download my 2008 Calendar: Army of Energetic Babes, and please use A4 size of paper, and set your printer as recommended to get the best result:
  • Print Type: borderless printing (I have set 2% bleed edge!)
  • Print Quality: high (or 100dpi to 150 dpi)
  • Media Type: photo paper matte
At first I did want to arrange the images according to the theme of 4 seasons, but then I sort of got lazy! Stay tuned 'cause more are coming real SOON! Before I forget, don't use glue but tape which can prevent your paper from deforming and discoloring. The sharp angle of triangle scare ya?! You can just make a cylinder instead of a triangular prism. ;)

Saturday, November 24

Interview with Graphic Arts

Energetic Baby No.88 by Ian YangI show you the above image for a reason: a couple of weeks ago, the group moderator, mimobase, of Graphics Arts on Redbubble sent me a request for an interview, that's quite an honor, and definitely a first for me! I talked about my work Energetic Baby No.88 (as you see on the top!) in my interview, which goes as follows:

GA | Interview

This weeks GA interview is with a digital artist from Taiwan – Mitrm

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your artistic background?
I’m just another ordinary guy who claims that being a self-trained artist is something admirable and enviable.
Seriously, that’s not true, I’m just another lad who enjoys making digital graphics ‘cause he never had (or rather, gave himself) a chance to do something beyond his imagination and capability. I always love making stuff since I was a little kid. I enjoy the whole process of creativeness, from the first sparkle of an crazy idea to the very end – good or bad – and most of time, it’s the process, challenge and the experience that help me progress and give me the sense of fulfillment. About an year ago I started learning graphic design programs by sheer chance, after a few embarrassing attempts in the beginning (we all have been there!), I know better where my comfort zone is so I can fool some into believing I’m really good.

What is the inspiration behind your works?
You, but it’s not YOU. Without hardly any artist background, I need to see a lot of artwork to get inspired, to know that’s the trend, what others have done and what else could I achieve. So I carefully avoid the most powerful works I have seen, but borrow (if not steal) the strong impression they give me or the key element and blend it into my own work. At times the softwares inspire me as well. You know a slight change of a variable can make a whole lot of difference when it comes to making digital arts. It can be an obstacle but that’s what sharpens my vision as well: only through constant work I can keep focusing on ME, who is actually being creative and “creating” but making graphics that already exist in the setting of the programs.

What is your personal favourite of all your works on redbubble today and why, and if you will explain a little on how it was created?
I would say it’s Energetic Baby No.88 , which obviously wasn’t one of those that I spent the most time and labour on but I love it nevertheless. It’s one of my most catchy and cheerful works though (at least the work fits the title), and you can see plenty of my other babes are the implicit imitators of it. Basically it’s all about circles, which create the funky and pleasing pattern, and the cute, ragged polka dots that bring extra movement along with fresh palette and the shades. The strategy is quite simple, but it proves that through some basic elements one can create a good graphic/visual work, even for an amateur like me.
By the way, the most funny comment I got on this work is “it’s warm and homey, maybe because it reminds me of place settings at a table.”

Which other redbubble artist do you admire?
Mel Brackstone , LostBoy1 , Paul Ruiz and artstruggle .

Tell us what are you doing in your free time?
Reading, writing, baby-sitting, walking my dog, playing tennis and breathing.

Tuesday, November 20

Art.In.General: Edward Hopper

The image on the left is entitled Nighthawks, which gave me a very strong impression the first time I saw it on a wordpress blog last week and fortunately I saw it again yesterday in a bookstore. Do you see how sharp the light and the building are? and are you just like me, feeling your heart beat faster and faster by the empty but disturbing atmosphere in the painting. If your anwers can't be more positive, it's about time for you to meet another master like Edward Hopper who can teach you some lessons you probably can't learn from anyone else.

For more incredible art, check out my bookmark group - Art.In.General.

Energetic Baby No.9

Energetic Baby No.9 by Ian YangDo you see the "shadow" of Baby No.59 in this? Yup, I admit that I was a bit carried away, but hey, life might be really boring without the company of shadow, right?! ;)

In this new work (not that new actually, which I finished 3 weeks ago), I tried to emphasize the contrast of colors, and certainly the composition plays a major role one this one: it seems like I sort of offer 2 options for myself (and viewers as well), one is naturally going deep deep down into the abyss, or one can choose to travel along the smooth cures and jump on the petals by will. If you wonder why I have my favorite orange leaning against the right side, well, the truth is, I'm demonstrating for you how I build up my laws by breaking up my laws.

Sunday, November 4

What Do You Do With "AQUA"?

Well, you do with what other readers of blanket magazine do: submit a piece of work that reacts to it!! The deadline is November 25th, 2007, so you had better hurry up.

But what the heck is blanket magazine?! According to the staff, their mission is "to create an online magazine that will uncover new, emerging and established designers/artists/photographers, showcase their talent and give them a vehicle for self promotion. We aim to inspire through informative, functional and dynamic design and encourage designers, artists and photographers to contribute on many levels and build a strong network of creative's."

Believe it or not, my Energetic Baby No.76 is one of members of the family in the Good vs. Evil issue, release #4 (sound of clapping and Hooray!!! ^_^). Some great works you can find in this issue include:
Andre Gordon
Zamir Bermeo
Joe Penrod
Grant Barnhartand many many more. If you're one of those who needs others to recognize your genius and prides yourself for being side by side with your favorites artists, get your image ready ASAP. And good luck! ;)

Saturday, November 3

Roman Notes by Cy Twombly

I should have featured some artists selected from my Art.In.General., but after I saw this piece of Twombly in Art in America magazine (it provokes lots of thoughts naturally) I decided to mention it here, without giving you much viewpoints of mine which I take as quite unnecessary and naive since I never do any background research of Twombly, who is in charge of painting the vast white ceiling in the Salle des Bronzes next year, according to the article - The Louvre Now Accepts the Living - on New York Times. And this fancy work from this famous American artist is shown below:

Thursday, November 1

Don't Just Stumble Upon: Intro of My Bookmark Group

Some of you may not yet have the pleasure of knowing that I run a small, insignificant bookmark group exclusively for ARTS called Art.In.General., where I share a bunch of great links, with 7 other members (who barely share anything but their avatars), including references, news, designs, tutorials, art history and portfolio websites of artists. Since tastes differ (how I love this notion), my collections might seem a bit prejudicial and ignorant, so it would be really great to see your contribution of bookmarks for a change.

Besides that lovely comment tag for members, here are a couple of things I love about Diigo groups:

Preview and About Page: certainly everyone grasps a quick idea about a website based on tags, and you don't have to open a new window to take a peek on a Diigo Group. As for the About page, it's for those who are interested in the info of Google, Yahoo, Technorati and Digg links and score.Email Alert and Bookmark feeds: there are only a few clicks away for you to get the updated on whatever frequency that suit you best.
With that said, hopefully I will see some new bookmarks showing up in my group, instead of new, fresh and flashing avatars. God forbid!! :P

Sunday, October 21

The Lady with Good Tips for Gardening

It's not necessary (I'm not saying odd or ridiculous) that an visual artist finds his creativeness on the bookshelf gathering works of Cervantes, William Faulkner and Turgenev, but at times a helping hand and a bit of sympathy from the dead gone but not forgotten is more than welcome. Today, my angel of mercy shows up in the form of Virginia Woolf, who could be one of the most friendliest writers you could ask for if you chance to relax for a while in the Saturday afternoon and hear her talking temperately and eloquently as a life-time companion who is always within reach. I select a couple of paragraphs below from The Patron and The Crocus -- a thought-provoking, short essay teaching you not how to make a fortune but to communicate with your audience and develop yourself as an artist. If you wanna download the original essay 1 that I modified a bit so the texts would be more readable on an A4 sheet, please click this link.
...for whom should we write? For the present supply of patrons is of unexampled and bewildering variety. There is the daily Press, the weekly Press, the monthly Press; the English public and the American public; the bestseller public and the worst-seller public; the highbrow public and the red-blood public; all now organised self-conscious entities capable through their various mouthpieces of making their needs known and their approval or displeasure felt. Thus the writer who has been moved by the sight of the first crocus in Kensington Gardens has, before he sets pen to paper, to choose from a crowd of competitors the particular patron who suits him best. It is futile to say, “Dismiss them all; think only of your crocus”, because writing is a method of communication; and the crocus is an imperfect crocus until it has been shared. The first man or the last may write for himself alone, but he is an exception and an unenviable one at that, and the gulls are welcome to his works if the gulls can read them.
and
Granted, then, that every writer has some public or other at the end of his pen, the high-minded will say that it should be a submissive public, accepting obediently whatever he likes to give it. Plausible as the theory sounds, great risks are attached to it. For in that case the writer remains conscious of his public, yet is superior to it—an uncomfortable and unfortunate combination, as the works of Samuel Butler, George Meredith, and Henry James may be taken to prove. Each despised the public; each desired a public; each failed to attain a public; and each wreaked his failure upon the public by a succession, gradually increasing in intensity, of angularities, obscurities, and affectations which no writer whose patron was his equal and friend would have thought it necessary to inflict.


Note:

1 THE PATRON AND THE CROCUS is from The Common Reader, First Series (1925). You can read or download Woolf's works on Ebooks@Adelaide.

Friday, October 19

Reader Art: Orange & Green by Patrick Morand

Orange & Green by Patrick MorandI'm really happy to announce that I received the first submission real soon from a fellow blogger, Patrick Morand, who is really good at capturing the variety of lives and themes of nature - a great reminder when global warming becomes the one of the hottest topics after Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize.

I'm a french photographer living in Provence doing mostly nature and landscapes photographs.
I love natural areas, vivid colors and nice contrast. I share with Ian the Orange passion.

This photograph was taken in a wild provence place : The "Rocher de Roquebrune".
It's a protected area with bush, trees, rocks and canyons.
I took the photo in a springtime morning when the sun rays where just illuminating one of the canyon's wall.
I love the intense orange and the popping greens.

Patrick Morand
BlogEtsy Shop :: French Landscapes

Note: Wanna submit your most orange work as Patrick? Check out this post for more details. ;)

Thursday, October 18

The Tale of Baby No.59's Life and Adventure

Energetic Baby No.59I rarely analyze my works or deliver lecture on my blog (yup that sounds odd!) for I always imagine that explanation could lessen the strength of a work, kind of like one imagines he has mastered Shakespeare after reading Samuel Johnson's marvelous critiques, but thanks to Josh Spear (name of the blog and the modertor), who kindly showcase Energetic Baby No.59 and says that "it looks like this stone this sweetheart of a guy randomly gave me once (sappy, I know), or maybe it’s the retro 60’s plywood furniture feel it has to it," it draws more attentions than it should have.


This work was done and finished when I was having this nagging depression thing, consequently, even though it still got the basic palette of Energetic Baby series, the hue had been darken a bit and the "strategies" which I refer to as "silent media" were emphasized more directly and intensely. For me, structure (i.e., composition) plays the most important rule of how an abstract stands or falls, whether it tends to diverge or converge, especially when you employ only basic elements to communicate, create or deconstruct: it is either the predominant object or the indicator that directs the motion of eyesight 1. As you see in the thumbnail, there are 3 lines that separate the image, the main indicator is certainly the black inclined gap splitting the image. On the top and bottom the graphics appear as heavy blocks collapsing towards one anther, but the inclination of divergence is reinforced again through the similarity of these separated twin.

What I break down above is just one strategy for this work. Like Karen Walker in Will & Grace said: a magician, like a prostitute, never reveals her secrets. ;) Well, I'm no magician and I would love to share more personal study and experience if I need to.


Note:

1 Of course those words are completely my personal viewpoint and theory, which may seem incomprehensible & amateurish for art academics & professional artists.

Wednesday, October 17

Followup of O'Range Is Hot!

TBeen a while since I published the news, but unfortunately I still haven't received enough of entries to get things started. I'm like a fish out of water when it comes to PR, so I owe you guys an apology. For those guys who thinks juried contests are cheesy and this whole idea is a marketing gimmick, I'm gonna do things in a different approach: submit your best orange piece of work then I will showcase it for ya! Please submit it in low res jpeg (72 dpi), with 400 pixels wide and height less than 640 pixels, including the title, a brief description about your work or yourself and links to your websites. If this plan B sounds fair enough for you, well, go hit me with an email! BTW, since I can't handle with all the submissions, I might have to choose the works closer based on my personal tastes.

Thursday, October 11

Article: An Artist's Grant That Even Pays for Glasses

An Artist's Grant That Even Pays for Glasses by STEPHANIE STROM
Published: October 10, 2007


The potter Sarah Jaeger is using some of her United States Artists grant for a studio and to study pottery in Spain.

Nearly a year ago 50 people around the country each received $50,000 fellowship awards from United States Artists, a new organization that argues that individual artists are generally shortchanged when it comes to arts patronage in America.

For more than 80 percent of the fellows, the money helped jump-start a new project. But interviews with the artists and a survey by the organization show that many used at least part of the funds left after taxes (yes, the gifts are taxed as ordinary income) simply to make ends meet or to pay for long-delayed health care.

“I went to the doctor,” said Lourdes Pérez, a singer and songwriter in San Antonio. “I had put off going for a while.”

Wesley McNair, a 68-year-old poet, had delayed buying a pair of glasses. “You need your eyes to be a writer, not only to see the words you’re writing but to observe the images that go into your poetry,” Mr. McNair said. “I figured the eyes were a crucial part of my work, which justified the use of part of this grant to get them,” he said of his new glasses.

All told, 26 percent of the artists reported spending part of their grants on health care. More than 60 percent spent a portion on art supplies, and 48 percent used some of the money to cover personal expenses like housing and meals... (more of An Artist's Grant That Even Pays for Glasses from The New York Time/Art & Design)


Note:
1 This is a good read which brings all the fancy thoughts related to ART to the reality. Knowing others' experience doesn't make us feel better or make our lives easier, at least a glimpse as this could keep us from ignorant and judgmental.
2 This article was on the list of ArtsJournal: Daily Arts News, a news feed I subscribe to.
3 Barney Davey has written a valuable article - Prosperity and Posterity in the Art World: Can Artists Have Both? - for Empty Easel, highly recommended for all the artists on the early stage of their career.

Sunday, October 7

Any Orange Fans Out There?! Attention Please!

UPDATE: Due to want of entries, I abstain from the notion of holding a contest. Sorry kids. :(

Orange is HOT!Orange is HOT! - visual art contest raised by Ian Yang, aka mitrmOr NOT?!

I was thinking about it for quite a while -- why not holding a contest on my blog/website for those who dig ORANGE as much as I do?! I even did some doodling for an exclusive, catchy logo of this contest when I was sipping a milkshake! My basic idea is that this is a competition exclusively for visual art, you choose the theme and subject but must employ orange as major color for your artwork, creepy painting or lovely photography, marvelous designs or ridiculous installments, new or old, blown or bellowed. After we have all the works from everyone after a month, a poll -- based on idea, execution and quality -- will be held for all the contestants (or my favorite artists who will volunteer as judges) and the final top 3 will receive my Energetic Babes prints as rewards. I will design a new page on my website as well to showcase all the entries so everyone can share your glory and get inspired. Sound fabulous, right?! But before that I need to hear your opinions & suggestions first 'cause not only it may take some time for me to manage all the details of this fair, but this whole idea could be a total failure without enough participations. If you feel tempted, leave a comment pronto so I can start this campaign as soon as possible.

Feeling like running out of steam? Don't worry 'cause I have got a bunch of marvelous works waiting for you:

Orange Is Hot! Collage Reference (thumbnail)
1 Dreaming 4 by *sinademiral (Photography, Urban)
2 Public Mutual AAN 2007 by ~yienkeat (Editorial Design)
3 chaos by *apricot8585 (Fantasy Drawings)
4 slow+steady by *H3AD3AD (Digital Abstract)
5 split. by ~gizmocrat (Photography)
6 1to10in35mm_complex by pr0jectz (Digital Paintings)
7 shun goku satsu by arnistotle (comics)
8 Deliquesce by Six3 (fractal)
9 Danton's Death - Part II by ~speedburger
10 Battle of Anghidingbums by Pergamon (Digital Painting)
11 Serpentine Soiree by 'jasinski (illustration)
12 The Party I Found Within A Pile of Leaves of by Niki Kelce (illustrations)



Note:
1 Please leave your comment HERE if you want to get involved for I have published this news on various places and it's easier for me to organize all the entries on a single page.
2 Credites: GIMP for banner design, finished in 2 hours, and an xcf file is availabe in case you need it; font entitled Prisma by Entworfen von Rudolf Koch.
3 That date thing is flexible, I haven't decided it yet.
4 The copyrights of the images belong to the artists/designers/creators. Do not use them for commercial purpose without permissions.

Saturday, October 6

Like A Virgin, Like A Dad...

Energetic Baby No.4 by Ian Yang, aka mitrm, 2007One of my entries, Energetic Baby No.4

A couple of days ago I finally sent my entry to the organization of a visual art contest -- my very first competition since I started learning digital graphic design. It's a baby step, and I'm as excited as a kid and anxious as a father (how hilarious that I submitted 3 pieces of my ENERGETIC BABY =D). The thrill of this enormous expectation is really killing me, and will keep killing me til October 25th when the final 20 is officially announced.

Like a normal parent looking forward to his first born child and managing to make his baby room as comfy and pinkish as possible, I have bought some frames from IKEA -- they call it CLIP, it's more like a big piece of glass with a board and you have those tiny pins attached on the rims -- and will have my prints got ready in a couple of days. This time I will take a chance on DeviantArt, and I pray that they are capable of making my works as brilliant as possible. You will see some photos after I receive them, including some close-up shots. Wish me good luck. ;)


Update:
I didn't make it to the final 25. I guess it's because no one has wished me good luck, including my mom. ;)

Monday, September 24

² Malevi4a: A Nice Blog that Needs a Bit of Attention

***
Too bad even the passion for Leo Tolstoy, Anton Chekhov and Fyodor Dostoevsky can't get strong enough to persuade me into learning Russian, a language spoken by a generous and kind artist -- Polyvyanyj Aleksey -- the host of ² Malevi4a who blogs all those fascinating stuff from guys all over the world about illustration, design, photography, art blah blah blah, and who is kind enough to feature my stuff as well. Of course he has great taste, just look at that collage at the top. Go say hello, and thank him for the good job. :P

Feed l About the Artist
Recommended Topics:
богиня тараканов l wallpapers from great illustrators for select flavor l absolut vodka wallpapers

Friday, September 21

Nonsense: From 1909 to Stardom

Ilike having fun with a bit of writing nonsense, and unfortunately, I don't care that much about making a fool out of myself. :P

Today I checked out my redbubble account and saw my portfolio page has 1909 views. I'm sure it's a pretty lame record for which I have a whole bag of excuses. It inspired me though to write something funny for I haven't done that for a while (you know i really work my butt off for those baby things ;)). And this is it:
One thousand, nine hundred and nine
Is the number of my views.
Without my own thousand and nine,
The number would be rather few.

Who's gonna give me ninety one,
To make up a perfect two thousands?
When pigs fly or the doomsday comes..
Or I earn the acknowledged stardom.
It's bad, I know, not like I've never done anything silly since I was born. :)

Saturday, September 15

Who Cares About My Birthday??

Apparently, the bots of Dynamic Drive Forums and Web Hosting Talk do, who sent me - almost at the same time, using exactly the same phrase - a note wishing me a happy birthday today. It is quite touching, honestly, considering none of my friends cares about me enough to call me up or send me gift vouchers. That's one the best qualities of the advanced, refined computering technology I live by and observe for all those years: showing a bit of the positive humane sides which some of the real human beings are not capable of expressing.

Giving a Critique - a Check List for Critiquers

Gettin'tired of singing praises? Yes, I am. :P This article is basically a guideline, submitted by Dana Design on WetCanvas, for all those guys who can't keep their mouth shut once they see something really bad, or really good -- well. you know, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. IMHO, they are not just for criticizing others, but perfect for making yourself a decent judge when it comes to value your masterpiece(s). I have copied the whole article here, and I hope you may learn a thing or 2 so maybe next time you feel like criticizing others' works, at least your comment will consist of some aesthetic value w/o making yourself look bad in the end. ;)


Giving a Critique - a Check List for Critiquers
Author: Henrik_Lindberg, Contributing Editor

Not quite sure how to give a critique? This article is an attempt to provide some advice.

There are two checklists: a positive list for the elements that contribute to a successful work; and a negative list that looks at flaws.

Finally, you will find advice on putting it all together including the frame of mind needed for providing a critique. I have tried to keep the lists compact and general while still aiming to explain what is, perhaps, not obvious. The lists should work for both realism and abstract art as they are not based on a set of rules such as "Don't put the horizon on the middle".


Positive Check List
  • Focus/impact area - An effective focus/impact area makes the difference between a picture and a work of art. The impact area gives the viewer direction and establishes a sense of priority for all the other elements. A focus/impact area means that the artist has been able to capture what in real life is selective seeing - we can only focus on one thing at a time, the rest is seen through peripheral vision. Does the work have such an area?
  • Mood/feeling - Does the work convey a mood? Decide if it is merely rendering of parts or if there is a sense of interpretation and feeling.
  • Creativity - What has been done better, or differently, from the ordinary? Was creativity used in the selection of subject and/or use of materials?
  • Composition - Design - Are there interesting shapes - both positive and negative? Is there a variety of shape sizes? Are the picture elements arranged in a dominant design scheme - for example with rectangular or diagonal emphasis? Is the design based on one or several geometric forms and, if several, do they work together? Does the design work with, or against, the subject? Does it attract attention to itself (i.e. the arrangement takes over the subject)? Is the composition balanced?
  • Composition - Counterpoint - Evaluate the complexity of the subject and the selection of shapes used. Look for a dominant element, subelements and repetition of elements. Is there variety/counterpoint? In general, the more complex the better - without going over the top. Remember the rule: ”Diversity within unity”.
  • Value - How has tonal value been used to convey mood, depth, dimension, and impact/focus? Look at the composition of general tonal areas.
  • Color - How has color been used to convey mood, harmony, and depth? Does the color scheme fit the subject? Has color been used to establish a focus/impact area? Check for the use of color fundamentals like complementary or analogous color.
  • Other fundamentals - Evaluate the use of other fundamentals (besides color and value) such as perspective, edges, and style. How does perspective help to convey depth? Is perspective used creatively? Are hard edges used to pull elements forward and soft edges used to integrate elements in the scene? How is style used to promote the intent/mood?
  • Unity - Unity is what holds all parts together. Has color, pattern or technique been used to establish unity?
  • Craftsmanship - This is where the technical skills such as drawing and the handling of materials are assessed.
  • Readability/flow - Can the viewer's eye move easily into the work? How has the artist used shape, line, value, color, perspective, etc to guide you to the focus/impact area, to/from sub-themes and away from exit areas?

Negative Check List

  • Technical inaccuracy - Does inaccurate drawing make elements work against the logic or intent of the composition? For example, shadows that fall in the wrong direction, a sloping horizon, errors in perspective for realistic art.
  • Lack of imagination - Poor selection of subject and approach. A dull subject rendered in a dull way.
  • Lack of originality - Presenting a trite subject that has been painted a thousand times before.
  • Content discrepancy – An element that is not in character with the logic or intent of the work. For example: the artist intends to make a realistic wildlife painting but shows the animal in the wrong environment.
  • Style discrepancy - Inconsistent styles within the same work, or the obvious influence of another artist’s style in parts.
  • Inconsistent quality - Landscape good, wildlife weak.
  • Easy way out – The artist has obviously positioned a subject to avoid difficult detail.
  • Plagiarism - The artist has copied another's work, or used someone else's photographs, and presented it as their own. (This also has legal implications.)
  • Lack of interpretation - The artist was controlled by the subject. For example, including the shadow of a photo flash, or rendering a subject's eyes with effect of photo flash; a pleine aire artist has included an ugly object which detracts from their landscape simply because it was there.
  • Poor presentation - How is the work presented? Is it free from the non-artistic use of coffee-stains, globs of paint, brush hairs stuck in dry paint, fingerprints, shoddy frame, poorly cut matte, sloppily painted edges of canvas, canvas shining through, poor/uneven varnishing, cracks, scratches, etc?
  • Empty - No mood, message or feeling conveyed.

Your critique should be divided into two sections: what has been done well and what could be improved. The focus should be on providing feedback that will help the artist - and onlookers - learn something.

What has been done well - select a few of the best things and say why you think they work.

What could be improved – select areas where the biggest improvements could be made and say why. Suggest ways the improvements could be made and give your reasons. Where appropriate, provide links to relevant examples or reference material. If the artist has chosen to allow digital alternations of their work you may like to provide an edited image to illustrate your points.

Don't
*let the checklists dictate the form of the critique - you shouldn't try to comment on every item. Use them to help you pinpoint and analyse what has been done well and what could be improved.
*overwhelm the artist by including too many suggestions or too much information.

Do
*critique in a positive, non-judgmental spirit.
*try to pitch your critique to the right level - you will not turn a beginner into an expert in a single step.
*try to be as objective as possible and set aside your own taste in art - the critique is about the artist's work, not about you.

Remember, the artist is seeking constructive feedback on how to improve - both in the work under critique and for their future development. Therefore, your suggested improvements do not have to be corrections that can be easily made. For example, it may not be possible to completely rearrange a watercolor but the artist can incorporate what is learned in future work.

When the artwork is exceptionally good, and you can not find any improvements you can instead elaborate on the analysis and point out in more detail what has been done well - this could be more for the benefit of the onlookers than for the artist.

Finally, when giving a critique, try to think of yourself as being hired by the artist as a mentor or teacher, or perhaps a defense attorney whose job is to make your client's work look its best in court (even if it is hideous). If you truly dislike something and really can’t think of anything that would help, it is best to refrain from posting. If the artist has specifically asked for your opinion, perhaps, instead of a critique, you could suggest some exercises, articles, other artwork or reference material to look at. Remember there are plenty of lessons, projects, library images and other material here at WetCanvas! to refer to.

Saturday, September 8

Somebody Is Speaking Italian?

Excuse my ignorance but I need a good translator here. Someone has left comments on my works but even Babel Fish Translation gives me no satisfactory answer. They are as follows:
  • J'aime vraiment beaucoup celle-ci. Bravo
  • Celle-ci aussi me plait beaucoup. Encore bravo
In case you can read them, please be kind enough to translate them for me, thanks. ;)

Wednesday, September 5

Another Good Find: Lightbox2 For Showing Off Your Pics as Overlay Images

Example Image:
Lightbox is a simple, unobtrusive script used to overlay images on the current page. It's a snap to setup and works on all modern browsers.

I have seen this thing before and always wanted it, thanks God I found it via the delicious del.icio.us. It's a javascript that let a smaller preview pic show up on the current page in a nice and show way. You can give it a try on the homepage of Lightbox2, just make sure beforehand that you enable javascripts on your browers. I also use pop-up images on my website for my works, with a little trick of CSS, whose drawback is that those images would be fetched at the same time when the page starts loading so it's more time-consuming. Since now I found this life-saver, I probably will spend some time rebuilding my site all over again. Speaking of rebuilding, I just updated my site this morning, adding a new gallery, thanks to Autoviewer, for my The Triple series, plus a work called No.45 which is probably my favorite of this series so far and is my special treat for you as well. ;)

One more thing: guess what, my diigo group, Art.In.General., has 7 members! Most of them are as quiet and dead as possible; well, if only they got enough beauty sleep! ;) I have added a couple of new bookmarks in the last few days, don't forget to drop by.

Monday, August 27

Thoughts, News & Whines

As you know, I have kept working on this Energetic Baby for a LONG while, it's about time I take a break, i.e., take another route & (re)discover something new for myself and others. That "break" probably will last about 3 weeks or a month, before that, I'm afraid I have nothing new to offer on all the communities I join. :(

Most of time, I look at others' works, especially those that overwhelm me, in a larger scale and I actually treat those artists I deeply admire as enemies in my heart-- I adore them and I hate them! A couple of months ago while I was sitting in front of the TV and watching this show about contemporary artists, an artist, who the host remarked that he is the only living artist who made it to the exhibition in the Forbidden City (one of the most famous architecture in China), has said: "If you want to be an artist, be a best one." Does that sound conceited or unpractical? Was he talking in metaphor?! I guess not. I take that as encouragement, a guideline and drive, though the word "best" appears as vague as it sounds, and I always had this ambiguous thought (before i started learning graphics designing programs) that artists can't or shouldn't be great and famous til they are so dead and gone!

In the next few posts, I will criticize and analyze my latest works -- from the viewpoint of a guy who has passion but no knowledge, write about some websites/artists introduced on my diigo group, plus something else, something like a paragraph or two from "What is Art?" by Leo Tolstoy. ;)

Monday, August 20

Don't Let A Fabulous 30" Apple Cinema Display Just Slip Away!

For those regular visitors of my blog, i.e., my imaginary fans, sorry about the long long lag of update, it's my bad, so here comes a great news for those who happen to be drooling for a brand new monitor but can't afford it like me. There's a competition on Redbubble for all digital artists, based on a theme called "Infinite Future Chaos." I have got my entry finished, so you had better hurry up. The following is additional info you should know beforehand:

The challenge: create a high-res, jaw-dropping piece of digital art, based on the theme “Infinite Future Chaos”.
We’re giving away a stunning 30-inch Apple Cinema Display. It’s bloody huge, and has beautiful color reproduction. Photoshop never looked so good. Check out the specs:
  • dimensions: sit back a bit.. it just barely fits on your desk
  • refresh rate: 4000 times per picosecond
  • lovely: yes
  • max. resolution: 64 gazilla-pixels
  • awesome factor: 10
“But.. WTF is Infinite Future Chaos?”, we hear you ask. Fair question. To be honest, we don’t really know what it means. It’s possibly something to do with jetpacks... or perhaps trees taking over the city... or trees wearing jetpacks taking over the city with lasoos. Only time will tell.

The winners of the 30" Apple Cinema Display and the RedBubble voucher, plus four runners-up, will have their work published in the November issue of Photoshop Creative.

For more details, check out this link, the deadline is Oct. 1, 2007. May the best artists win! : ]

Sunday, June 24

Energetic Baby No.33

Energetic Baby No.33 by mitrm aka Ian Yang
Visitors' comments:
I like this as well. Has a feeling of a Japanese print to it, but more abstract, which I like because I feel I would be able to look at it many different times and see different things in it. - BitsOfNature on WetCanvas

Yep, blacks & warm colour striking though everything in its way!... well perhaps a bit aggressive, but heading towards deconstructing rather than constructing, so maybe sinister is a good description. -
Ellcott on Redbubble


A new work, and another occasion to explain myself through my work (oh how i hate that! :( ). Well, honestly I didn't devote myself to my art that much lately, depression, melancholy, or the hot atmosphere all get me down like a piece of cake. Anyway, remember that No.80 (sure you don't), No.33 was made to stand side by side with it, and I found myself a poor critic and judge to say which one is superior, I guess the little humble but proud artist inside my head tends to love his own works no matter what. I pulled lots of different techniques I'm familiar with together to make this, but my computer suffered badly for my nasty demands. The prints are available now on Imagekind, get them while they are cheap, for they will be worth thousands and thousands when I can't be more than dead. :]

Redbubble: Another Art Gallery for Ya!

First of all, let RB introduce itself a bit:
Name: RedBubble City: Fitzroy Country:Australia

RedBubble is an online art gallery + creative community. With a free membership you can:
  • Sell your artwork online in a hassle-free way
  • Connect with a vibrant community of creative folk
  • Buy great wall art + designer t-shirts

RedBubble has clean white background instead.

For me, it's kind of like flickr or terminus1525.ca but with bonus so you can sell wall art or T-shirts. You got almost everything you need to blow a bubble, such as an overview page, profile, portfolio, journal, watchlist and favorites (and I'm not saying it's a clone of DeviantArt : ]). So far it has about 4,000 members and most of them are Australian (Where is everyone From?), very fresh, user-friendly and inspiring. Check out my favorites to see some great stuff, or better yet, go get an account right away.



Note: Make sure you're images has proper tags for that's what make your works pop up (not the descriptions) in the search engine.

Saturday, June 16

Hot Topics on Foundmyself.com

There are a couple of interesting topics I found on foundmyself.com, which I just joined, including:
Some artists have very extraordinary viewpoints on these, and maybe you would like to have a say as well.

Saturday, June 9

Now It's Official... Good For Me! : ]

So after a whole month of all the muss and fuss, finally my very first portfolio website - A loft of my own - is online, it's offcial (well, no kidding), it's serious (well, not realy), it's a milestone for sure! It collects, for now at least, an almost complet collection of Energetic Babes and some important writing of mine, plus the very basic profile, some spotlight I got, and links of resouces that keep me attached to this ART THING. On the homepage you can find CREDITS on the bottom which I list a couple of links that help me through the painful process of webdesigning, about which I'm planning of writing additional info that you may be interested to learn and put on some special efftect to boost your works as well, such as floating document, drop-down tooltips, pop-up images, in the future; on the artwork section you get to read some of my visitors' remarks about each piece (I thank you all pals) -- basically that's all my website is about. Lots of works are still on my to-do list, so much to do but so tight the schedule (well, not really). I feel quite relieved after all, and also proud of myself for building a website on my own, I hope you all may enjoy a small amout of time you spend there and if you feel like it, use the shoutbox to introduce yourself and leave a brief note.

As for now, time to make more and more art and get some beauty sleep as well. Guten Abend. : ]
Note:
  1. It seems like my webpages work best on IE, as for Firefox, you better click F5 to refresh the pages; in Opera, the pop-up images totally fail no matter what and so far I simply have no solution. I apologize for the browser incompatibility thing,
  2. There is funny article on linesandcolors about how not to display your artwork on the web, you shouldn't miss this one if you host a portfolio website yourself.
  3. My baby No.80 got featured on blanketmagazine (issue Movement, 1st release), check it out!

Wednesday, May 16

First Glance

Too orange??
Click here for larger image.

This is what i get so far using the poor Office Frontpage 2003 to design a spanking new, the very first portfolio webpage of my own. The layout basically was inspired by the old Dwell magazine on my bookshelf so there's nothing original about it. With some rough knowledge about java & css i learned online, I would rather say I've done a decent job. I haven't put it online 'cause there're lots of details I have to handle with. In case you know some great resources I could catch up some fresh ideas from, please leave a comment, I would really appreciate it, thanks.

Monday, May 14

Tools l Compare Screen Type in No Time


Typetester is an online application for comparison of the fonts for the screen.

Webdesign for an amateur like me is such a pain that I'm always desperate to find the right tools to make my life easier, thankfully, Typetester fits the bill perfectly for those insensitive guys about which fonts are the perfect ones for their website. The GUI is quite self-explanatory: you choose the typeface, the size, dignment & color then compare your choices instantly, and better yet, the css can be grabbed with just a click. Remember to set your bast font size in the first place though, and the javascript must be enabled to make it work.

Wednesday, May 9

Topics l Most Influential Artist

This is a very hot and interesting topic on terminus1525.ca, some say Duchamp, Jens Karlsson, Van Gogh, others go for Charles Bukowski, Chuch Jones and Dali. One of my favorite comment is by redwing, he asked "has anyone been influenced by mothers,fathers,brothers,sisters,aunts,uncles,grandparents?" If you haven't heard of most of named mentioned there (well, I haven't), wiki all of them.

Most Influential Artist | terminus1525.ca Annotated

Tuesday, May 8

What A Photo of A Pot Looks Like?

Do you know what a photo of a pot with a bunch of lovely flowers on the top of it, printed on a 6.7"x10" glossy & shinning paper, looks like to the photographer himself?? well, it looks like 11,246.49 US DOLLARS. Seeing is believing, no kidding! I take it as a valuable lifetime lesson, what else could I say.

Sunday, April 29

Some Good News from ArtistRising/Sistino

Finally artistrising/sistino started working on something they should have done as hard as they could long long time ago -- PROMOTION! The following are summary from the latest newsletter I got:
Free Shipping Promotion on Sistino and Artist Rising
We’re always looking for ways to help you sell more artwork, so from now through July 31, we’re sweetening the deal for shoppers by offering free ground shipping for orders from Sistino and from your Artist Rising gallery.

Visit Sistino or Artist Rising and click on the “Free Shipping” badge on the top right corner for all the details. Pass the word on to your friends, family, buyers and collectors!

Visit Sistino or Artist Rising and click on the “Free Shipping” badge on the top right corner for all the details. Pass the word on to your friends, family, buyers and collectors!

Show More, Sell More on Sistino: Artwork Listings Increase
It’s true – if you show more, you’ll sell more. So to help that along, we’re increasing your Sistino image listings allowance for all accounts. Here’s the deal:


THEN
NOW

Open Studio 3 images 10 images

Select Studio 15 images 50 images

Premium Studio 40 images 200 images
A New Look for Sistino Sistino got a facelift!
In addition to its crisp, contemporary redesign, Sistino has added some cool features to make it easier than ever to discover new artworks and artists, including:
  • Featured Artist – A spotlight feature on some of our most popular artists on Sistino
  • A Recently Added feature on the front page, promoting the latest additions to the Sistino marketplace
  • Staff Picks – See what caught our eye and what we’d love to buy
  • Popular categories featured front and center, including:
  • Tag clouds – Shows off the most popular search terms to help buyers discover new artists and artworks
Now with some new add-ons provided by artistrising, you might take it a as a good opportunity to help selling your artwork a bit. Happy selling! :]

Friday, April 27

Poetry: A Couple

Of course I have totally forgot why I wrote this, but i do remember my initial thought was to compose a dialogue between a couple, whose story should be told in a poetic and picturesque way, so I split the poem in 2 parts to present the relationship that is united but diverging as well. I published this one on Deviantart already, but since i am slowly cutting myself away from there, I thought it would be nice to have some old works here as some sort of document/journal. This not only has quite an unique style that differs from my other writing but it's the first time i let someone "die" in my imaginary works; thankfully there actually is one guy who appreciated this, you can read his comment at the end of this post.

Today I came to see her again,
Knowing that she is standing still on the bank
Alone, facing toward the sea
A habit she gets used to eventually
Day by day and day after day.
They told me her beloved is what she expected
But never knew it was me
Who brought her here every single day.
She never changes her facial expression
As a doll bears no human emotions.
But today I witnessed a miracle
Vividly upon her face -- a smile.

And then she jumped into the sea…
A letter they found later goes like this:

"Everyday I come here for you alone
Knowing not if you’ll be home safe and sound.
The waves never cease beating
As my stubbornness the wind never stops mocking
Day by day and day after day.
I’ve known in the shade you always hid
But would never come back to me
Who brought you here every single day.
Why am I fooled by your indecision
As my heart is all ready to take its action?
My faith, as a pebble, I throw away
And my name -- I leave it on the sand."

Quite a moving piece, if ambiguous. The line "knowing you'll be home safe and sound" suggests to me the man is at war, and the woman is waiting. When he returns she finds he is different to the man who left her those years ago. Whether infidelity is a part of it or not I'm not sure, but if she jumps into the sea (a very dramatic gesture by anyone's standards) it might well have played a part. Otherwise she just realised how wasted and misplaced her affections had been. That's my interpretation anyway. Good job. -- by ~Faulky

Wednesday, April 25

An accident

Today as we were crossing the intersection, i ran into an accident and almost got my dog and myself both killed by a guy who didn't show a bit of decency by stopping his motorbike to check us out. Anyway, my right hand got injured and I have to stop doing my regular artwork for a while. This is not a first, and luckily i survive everytime.

Saturday, April 21

Photo of the Day l the day i was superman by Matthew Clark Photography


This is a very classic example of how to make an impressive photograph (in my own standard): having a nice title plus a great perspective.

Mr. Clark, who once was a superman of the day, has endless surprises waiting for you in his gallery, so go say hellos and pay a compliment.
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