June 5, 2024

Vector drawing of an indigenous man


This drawing was made in the vector drawing program Affinity Designer. I used the Gradient Fill tool with which bitmap images can be inserted into shapes. These images are scalable and can be rotated. I used them directly or as an overlay above duplicated shapes. This allows to apply all sorts of FX-effects to either of the images, as well as changing the hue and saturation, contrast, making shapes and or images brighter or darker and changing appearance with the Curves Tool. It is the first type of colourful drawing I made and most likely an addition to the way I create digital work. It also is the new header image of my website.

Click on the images to see a larger version of them in Google's Lightbox. Turning the mouse wheel allows to scroll the the images if you are on a PC or Mac.

The rendered image

The vector outline of the drawing

Stage 4

Stage 3

Stage 2

Stage 1

The inspiration

May 22, 2024

Native American Dakota nation chief quote

This work I started as an analog airbrush with a physical airbrush gun and real paint on a T-shirt, that I photographed and edited extensively (adding plenty detail) in Affinity Photo many years later. I appreciate the Ctrl+Z and History of digital tools to get things closer to where the image is in my mind (without getting my fingers covered in paint). Digital art creation in my view is in no respect inferior to the traditional analog way of conceiving. It takes effort to reach the point where artists want to be, the tools they use are just different.

In the early 90's of the previous century I discovered CorelDRAW as an amazing tool. Later I fiddled with Inkscape, after which I worked with Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign on a professional basis. When Adobe started their ridiculously costly subscription model, I discovered Affinity suite and switched to those programs. Most recently I ran into the magnificent VectorStyler, so I guess I evolve along with the tools that become available to artists that are continuously looking for tools that help them express what is in their mind.

Click the image to see a larger version in Google's Lightbox

Halfway the 80's of the previous century I happened to run into a Native American lady of the Comanche nation, who lived on the edge of an Indian reservation, who told me a lot of her culture and what life is like in her area. It is nowhere near to the fake representation that the Hollywood moguls prefer to offer to the public. To unassuming people that live in a comfortable place in the West, it is bizarre and mind boggling what life is like in such a part of the world. Even to those, like me, who live in a way that sets them apart from the common people in their area. In spite of the difficulties that minorities are forced to deal with, the spiritual wisdom of their ancestors remains to linger in the minds and hearts of their offspring.

May 2, 2024

Custom guitar skin wrap

Customizing guitars by analog airbrushing (with real paint) is quite expensive and time consuming. If the image is damaged, the musician is facing the same high cost and lengthy separation of his or her instrument.But there are ways to avoid this. I was thinking of hydro dipping first, but skin wrapping a guitar allows a more precise positioning of the image onto the body, requires less time than the other two options to make, while repairing is cheaper and faster. Replacing the original image with a new one or the same is possible - for which the time to create (print) the image necessary, although it is an option.

I have posted several designs and there are more to come, so stay tuned. A number of the designs is interchangeable between guitars of different brands. I will probably tinker with all designs over time, since time is the cradle of creative impulse in an illusionary realm. Some will lead to improvement, others to regret, such is the nature of hampered development. Below the images are the guitar brand and model and the title of the image.

Gibson Les Paul - Jimi Hendrix

Gibson Les Paul - Jaguar

Fender Stratocaster - The Witcher

Gibson Les Paul - Assassin's creed

Gibson Les Paul - Comanche chief Quanah Parker

Selmer Maccaferri Gypsy Jazz - Gypsy caravan with horses

Fender Stratocaster - Cat with gun

Fender Stratocaster - Smoke

Fender Stratocaster - Smoke 2

Fender Stratocaster - Visitors

Gibson Les Paul - Hieroglyphs 1

Fender Stratocaster - Red silk

Gibson Les Paul - Fractal 1

April 20, 2024

Is there a future for graphic designers?


Since the rise of AI and its heir AGI becoming more mature within approximately a decade, according Nvidia's CEO Jensen Huang and Google's AI boss Demis Hassabis, coders will no longer be necessary, because everyone will be able to create programs by using natural language. Barely a day goes by today in which a new development in the AI field is published by the media; Chat GPT, Bard, Gemini and soon Gemma in the Google sphere alone within one year and countless other systems that generate a plethora of applications artificially, many of which have a focus on graphic environment. What effect will these emergences have on people that work in the illustration business, logo design, animation and even movie creators?

Already now many laypeople use online AI-systems to create all sorts of graphic design stills and animations, that in many cases would have required a professional to create. This inherently leads to the thought: Why pay a pro when I can let AI do the job for me for close to nothing? I've seen several predictions saying that the graphic industry will grow with 10% or more up to 2030, but nowhere did I see on which grounds this supposed growth was based. Also nowhere was it said that this increase means that professional graphic artists would have a profitable income to prevent poverty or starvation. As AI probably is going to be involved more and more in graphic design, it is most likely that laypeople are going to ne included in the increase. Question is: will professional designers - those that do manual work and those that also use AI - be able to avert an abhorring existence or not?

AI generated art (edited in Affinity Photo)

AI generated art (unedited)

It is probable that AI will affect any job in any trade to a huge extent, while the quality of the works will become better and done faster on average. Such is the worrying future that the entire work force on this planet will inevitably be facing, provided humanity and / or AI do not destroy life before any sort of progress will be made, in view of the fact that the threat of war anywhere seems to become stronger almost every day. The nature of this blog entry strongly suggests that there will be less skilled professional human input as the capability of AI systems increases, which confers with what Google's former product manager Mo Gawdat has stated, that AI is more dangerous that Climate Change and Elon Musk who said that AI is a greater threat than nuclear war. Those are claims that offer few reasons to be cheerful, but those that are destined to survive the longest, will be those that familiarize themselves with the possibilities that AI presents. Old school pro's that cling to traditional digital working methods will find themselves living in a trailer or in their car if Gawdat and Musk are correct.

I hope that this attempt to forecast a possible future for jobs in the graphic design trade does not destroy the tiny, worthless, depressing little life expectancy of designers that will perhaps find a way to earn money from creating NFT images, that are not particularly part of the graphic design market, but somewhat related to it, even though this segment will be flooded by AI creations as well. The key to get through these ominous developments unscathed, is to recognize lucrative trends swiftly and have really creative and appealing ideas.

What is an opportunity to live a proper life, probably is at the heart of the impending situation, which primarily is living outside of the clutches of the WEF influence that intends to monitor and control literally everything you do in life. WEF's credo is: You will own nothing and be happy. Imagine how that is possible. It nevertheless is a lot closer than most would care or dare to believe. If you don't know why I am writing these things in this rather specific way, you're probably on the brink of being too late to avoid being a totally controlled, powerless puppet of the illegal global power 'elite', for which this blog is not the place to explain how I arrived at this sadly not common enough viewpoint. Yet this gloomy prospect will soon be what threatens the quality of life in general, which will also affect graphic designers. So, take care of how to avoid being totally suppressed first and only after doing so, consider how to make a proper life for yourself in graphic design.

I am writing this in such a particular way, because when all your earnings are in total control by anyone other than you, it is impossible to maintain control of your own life. This exactly is the aim of the WEF; they want to control you. Totally. This means that your priority is to prevent that from happening before you must and can do anything else in your life. Cheers. Have a focused day. 

April 7, 2024

T-shirt design


Some people earn a comfortable living by making T-shirt designs. What strikes me is that most of the good selling designs are sort of corny - to stay polite - which means that corny is popular, which, reasoning further, must have been caused by the mindset of the buyers, which in turn is the result of the way in which they grew up and were educated (or not) if there is a relation between being plagued by a lack of education and buying apparel that tends to make those that wear it look like they have been raised in an environment that didn't offer proper support. But there still are designers that refuse to make corny stuff, as a result of which their sales are miles behind those that do not shy away from making corny rubble on T-shirts in which buyers look well....., corny. I would like to express to both the designers and apparel buyers of a garment style that obviously is not at the top of my preference list, to not take what I wrote here personal; I think every person is free to make or buy whatever bunk they like. 

However personally, I prefer to sell less non corny merchandise, because I do not wish to be involved in making designs that reflect the lack of taste or other disabilities that urge people to buy and assemble a wardrobe that a three year old finds appealing while already having reached an adult age. Of course fans of corny T-shirts would rather be found dead than wearing the fruits that erupts from my brain, but I would sooner pass away being considered a more or less ethical designer than to give in to the frenzies of the part of the market that isn't bothered by leaving the house not appearing properly dressed.

Below you find some of the designs that are appreciated by far less people than the common majority of clients of the T-shirt industry, even if it is not particularly helpful to properly replenish my bank account occasionally. I assume that most would prefer to call me weird or unassimilated, which in fact is true, but I don't necessarily consider generally accepted values to be a contribution to the evolution of humankind. So, from this it is safe to conclude that the market segment I intend to target consists of those that have a defiant mindset, that inspires them to care less about what the majority of people thinks of the products they create. In view of the misery today's world finds itself in, it can be assessed that majorities all too often cheer dubious decisions and trends, which are triggered by being easily misled as opposed to minorities that bunk or debunk what is presented to them before making choices. 

Click on the link below the images to visit my Red Bubble shop. Clicking on images will also show a larger version of them in Google's Lightbox, in which you can scroll through them or pick individual images to the thumbnail display at the bottom of the screen on a PC or Mac. Or just click on an enlarged image to move to the next. Mobile devices unfortunately do not offer these options.






I feel that I must warn you that more produce inspired by not choosing to create corny rubble may find its way into this blog entry in future, allowing you to mentally prepare for such an impending event and decide to visit again or stay the heck away.