Sunday, October 30, 2016

I'm now on RedBubble



After a lot of  procrastination, I'm finally moving my fan art/pop culture tee shirt designs from Cafepress to RedBubble. I have over a decade of designs to shift through, so it's going to be a lengthy transition. I'm looking to close up shop at CafePress sometime after Christmas. To be honest, the platform change is long overdue.

I won't be transferring all my designs to my new portfolio. Just the ones that I'm still in love with. Which will be mostly from collections featuring Movie and Television references and quotes, as well as the fictional pubs & taverns. I'll also be including collections featuring designs inspired by filmmaking and filmmakers.

  If you're in love with my designs inspired by writing and whiskey, you don't have to worry, I'll be opening a portfolio on another platform that will connect to my Coquette & Scotch Blog, which should also be up and running soon, assuming that I get done coding the damn thing.

If you want to view my Cafepress Portfolio before I deactivate it, you can do so here: http://www.cafepress.com/profile/dancingfraxinus

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Adobe Muse and the New FantasyCon Website.


The Adobe Creative Cloud is one of my favorite things. I always have at least one of the programs open on my laptop on any given time (usually Photoshop). So it's not really surprising when I was asked to build a website for FantasyCon, that I decided to use Adobe Muse.  If you are a graphic designer and unfamiliar with Muse, it is a fairly easy, visually based web design program that I was able to figure out in under fifteen minutes. If you are comfortable using Photoshop chances are your luck will be more or less the same. If you prefer to design in a visual medium as opposed to coding (although some coding will be involved with more complicated elements, obviously.) you and Muse will get along quite swimmingly.

Before coming to my decision, I did a little "Dreamweaver vs. Muse" research. The winning factor ended up being what would work best for the FantasyCon team after the site was launched. Best being Muses In-browser editing, which lets them update the elements of the site without needing any coding knowledge. 

Here is the screenshot of the final product: 



So, if you couldn't tell, I do graphic web design.

 I design web page layouts (obviously), Mock-ups, and design elements (Banners, headers, social media buttons, backgrounds, etc).  I can create a unique website/blog for your personal, promotional, or business use... and if you're really nice, you might convince me to attack your Cafepress Storefront and integrate it with your website. You can hire me through Freelancer.com
More information coming soon..

 If you are looking for web programming, however, you would have better luck going through someone like my friend Lee, who I have to thank for helping me on this project. He is kinda sorta awesome at 0's and 1's.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Adventures in Digital Media Essentials (aka Photoshop)

This last semester (Spring 2013) I took a Digital Media Essentials class that is a requirement for my Film Production Technician degree. I assumed that I might be learning Adobe After Effects or some other form of digital media in unknown territory that would be helpful in the film industry. Instead I spent the entire semester playing around in Photoshop. I held a love/hate relationship with the class, as I didn't really learn anything useful for my degree (hate) and I had an excuse to play around a program I've long been addicted to (love). 

One thing the class did do was make me wonder if I shouldn't be going into some form of graphic design/advertising. It appears that I'm not too bad when it comes to what I guess you would call "commissioned" designs. For the first time since, well- as long as I can remember- I found my school work not to be a struggle, or even remotely feel like school work. Maybe I got lucky and inherited my Papas talent? (He owned Dalton Media Studios, a production and advertising company in Fresno, California, up until the early 2000s.) I can only hope I was that lucky. 

Anyway, I thought I would share some of the designs, since I'm rather proud of how they turned out. You can click on the pictures to see them in full size/lightbox. 

THE FINAL PROJECT: PHOTOSHOP MAGAZINE ADVERTISEMENT
Yes that is a cat in a hot air balloon. He was a finishing touch at 4:30 in the morning after pretty much three days straight of little to no sleep. Isn't it amazing what you come up with when sleep deprivation starts to slip in? If I had more time I probably would have added some faded graffiti of some sort on the wall.





INTERNET BANNER ADS:
The basic instructions were three banner ads in three different dimensions: Skyscraper, Leaderboard, and square. Two of the Ads had to be for specific products: Infinity line from Oil of Olay, and the F 800 GS Adventure from BMW. The third was our choice of a consumer product (I picked the Nexus 4 by Google) My favorite overall was the Oil of Olay Skyscraper, which is kind of surprising as it was also the hardest to configure a layout for. 








CIVIL WAR DOCUMENTARY DVD MENUS: 
The assignment was to design two distinctly different DVD menus of a DVD entitled "The Greatest Generals of the Civil War."and I didn't realize that we needed two until the day the assignment was due. I spent several days on the design made to look like a mid 19th century war recruitment poster, and I spent under two hours on the other, merging flags and generals design. Can you tell?








Monday, June 27, 2011

My Favorite Photoshop Effects

I love playing around on Photoshop. In truth you could say that I'm a little addicted to it. Most of the time I'm making graphic designs for my tee shirt shop. But sometimes I just like playing around with effects on photos just for the fun of it. Here are my top 4 favorite Photoshop effects that I've learned so far: 

Tattooed Roses on my chest

 1. ADD A TATTOO

This one actually fooled quite a few of my friends on Facebook. I even tagged the tattoo as PHOTOSHOP, but they still didn't catch it. XD It's also a good way to test out the way a tattoo would look on you if your contemplating on getting one. Here is where I found the instructions. It takes a little bit of patience, but overall it is a pretty simple effect to pull off. The tattoo is the only effect I did to this one. However I am considering maybe getting these in real life (If I ever can come up with the moolah that is XD)




This one is fun because it gives you a good idea how much work photographers have to put into the photos they take of 'the stars' in Hollywood, while making you look like one. The maker of this effect calls it "old style". There are a lot of layers to this one (literally). This tutorial pretty much consists of changing settings around to exactly what it tells you to. This one is very very simple if you know your way around Photoshop. If you don't you might spend a little bit of time trying to find where some of the settings are as they don't specify how to find all of them. You can find the tutorial I followed to create this one right here.



This is the first Photshop effect I ever tried, thus the hardest. I did it back in 2007, so I was quite surprised how easy it was to find the tutorial again. The dialog is inspired by a line in the musical Chicago. Looking back I really wish I would have put something in there brightly colored like they do in Sin City. So I'll probably be making another one of these quite soon. I think I did fairly well considering I was a newbie to Photoshop at the time.


I've been playing around with this one since I was a kid cutting and pasting photos on Microsoft Paint...and it's still one of my favorites. It's so basic I had a hard time finding a tutorial for it, but here it is. It's perfect for beginners just learning their way around Photoshop, or for people will goal/vision boards who want a picture of themselves in a place that they want to be/go. The most complicated part is making the cut outs blend with the background. THAT can take some time. I tried to find a tutorial that showed you how to do that, but it seems like a no go.
Here is what I did: Use the smudge tool to smudge the outline of the cutout, making it less noticeable. Play with around with the images>adjustments panel on both the cut out and then the background if needed to see if you can meet the two in the middle. And finally, cut out other parts of the picture too and play with their settings to make it look like it's supposed to be that way. It doesn't look as real as I want it to, but there you go..