Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What I Use

Helllooo fellow bloggers and blog readers!

Not much has gone on in regards to upcoming projects except for a freelance consulting type gig the last few weeks.  I client I worked with recently is getting a novel published and needed help setting up some social media sites (facebook, twitter, blogger, etc) as well as looking around for website possibilities.  Its hard to just jump in and try to get all that stuff set up at once. I'm glad I could meet with her and help her out :)

What I wanted to write about today is some of the equipment I use in my mini "studio". (In all reality, it's more like Harry Potter's "cupboard under the stairs"). I would love to upgrade a lot of this stuff but it all works really well and until I have the money to change it, I'm glad I have what I have!

* First things first! I purchased a 15" Macbook Pro in 2006 and this baby is goin' strong! I'm so impressed with Apple computers and glad that I decided to go Mac.  I'm thinking my next computer will definitely be a desktop with a bigger hard drive. This is a laptop (albeit an amazing one!) and it unfortunately cannot hold all the programs, music, pictures, and giant art files I have on here. It's just not big enough. If all goes well, this laptop will still be the travel buddy after I get the desktop. For more info here's the link to the most current version of my Macbook Pro

*Next up is my printer. When I purchased my computer through the educational program Apple offered, I could add a printer onto it.  The lowest one was free but they had additional options I could pay a little extra for. I think this one was $50 more. I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure.  I have a Canon PIXMA MP600 That has been a GREAT All-in-one printer.  It's definitely worth the money I paid for it. There are some issues with printing lines if the image is very dark, but most of the things I use it for are light images, scanning, sketch printing, and document printing.  It suits what I need and the scanning quality is really really good. The ink can be expensive if you buy it all at once but it's not too bad and its readily available at any place that would have office supplies (including Walmart).

*Sticking with computer electronics, I went to costco and purchased a 750GB Maxtor external hard drive.  I believe it was around $100. Again, it was around 5 years ago so I could be wrong on that. Ive barely put a dent in the storage space with all the files I have on it. I've also transferred over my iTunes and my iPhoto because my laptop hard drive couldnt hold all of the photo/music files I have haha!

*The next one, I'm super happy to own.  Last year, I used some extra funds to purchase a Wacom Intuos tablet! It's so much fun to use! I actually need to get back into using it. Sometimes when I just want to get the sketch out, it can be pretty easy to set it aside and knock it out with a regular pencil.  I used Wacom tablets in school and they're amazing to use.  I'm so glad I invested in one myself.  (maybe next will be the Cintiq.... ;p)

* Last but not least, I have a couple cameras I use to document my work.  The first one is a Nikon Coolpix 12 megapixel point and shoot camera. This is pretty handy because it's light weight, has different settings, can get amazing detail, and it's fairly inexpensive when you consider how much $$ you can spend on a big ol' legit camera.
I also have access to a Nikon D60 that I've messed around with a few times.  I'm thinking that I need to experiment a little more regarding artwork photography but it has potential to be a great tool.  And I know that Nikon is a great brand of camera. 
Finally, believe it or not, I've been utilizing my iPhone4s to take a lot of pictures of my work.  I don't know how they did it, but photos from this phone are incredible.  Its portable, easy to use, has a flash, and I can even add video documentation. It a great thing to be able to use.

Well, that about wraps it up!  I'd be interested to know what anyone else uses or has used, or even if they have opinions about what I use. Hope you all have a wonderful rest of the week and I'll see ya in my next post!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Diagon Alley, could there be a better place on earth?

photo taken from here
Even if you're not a huge Harry Potter fan, you might recognize this place.  Maybe not for it's content but for the name itself.  "Diagon Alley" is literally a magical place within the world of Harry Potter where wizards go to buy all things magical.  Be it wands, spellbooks, potion ingredients, owls, quills, parchment paper, school robes etc.  Every young wizard visits Diagon Alley to gather their things together for a year at Hogwarts, the Wizarding school.

My cousin is a huge fan of Harry Potter and normally, for Christmas or birthdays, we'd exchange something that had to do with owls, I'm not sure how we got started on owls specifically haha but we've found some pretty good gifts between the two of us.  Anyway, this Christmas I discovered a similar gift as the one I'm about to show you and I died when I realized I could replicate for her BUT BETTER!

I made her an actual street sign of DIAGON ALLEY!
This is an in-progress shot with blue tape around the border to keep myself from smudging it.  I apparently got so excited to wrap it up that I didn't take a final finished shot *facepalm*
I had a real street sign sans letters from a previous freelance job and it was just sitting in my room. It was fate!  First I spray painted the whole side a flat matte white and then I used sharpie and acrylic black paint for the lettering. (Next time if I do this, I'm using decal sticker letters.  It would just be so much easier)
It was a completely white sign with black typography and a black border around the edges

She couldn't believe it when she opened it. It was unexpected and completely epic. I'm actually kind of jealous.

Hope you guys have a fantastic rest of your week!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Superheroes, Kangaroos, & Toms

Helllloooooo my friends!

Long time no talk! (or blog/read... whatever...) I have survived the month of December, which is a feat in itself. So busy and barely enough time to feed myself much less be able to do Christmas presents. I had to be pretty picky on who I was going to try to do homemade gifts for, I would so much rather make something for everyone but alas it just takes up soooo much time. And I definitely didn't have it this year in 2011. Here's to Dec 2012 being a homemade year! *thumbs up*
On a side note, I wish blogger had the same little icons my iPhone has - which by the way I'm blogging from!! Isn't that cool?!

Anyway, this is not the topic of this post! Come on, Annie, focus ...

I am so excited to show you this present which was a joint effort between me and one of my good friends. My friend has a sister who's in NY right now for graduate school and she wanted to do something for her for Christmas that was extra special. Little backstory: a few years ago we were all super bored and decided to recreate ourselves as intertwining alter egos. Both citizen and superhero. Who wouldn't want to be a super hero, amiright?? So, for this present my friend bought her sister a pair of white Toms and had them shipped to my house. I, in turn, created her alter ego and drew them on the shoes. They turned out sooooo fun!
she had a pet kangaroo lol
I wrote superhero sound effects all over the front
 I have to admit, I was a little nervous about doing these because I have never done anything in a comic style before. It not only had to resemble her but it also had to be in a genre I'm not completely familiar with.  However, I think they turned out super cute and she loved them!

all finished!
her alto ego is "Bindy Max"
I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday season! I'll be posting up another present I did for my cousin that's a quite a bit different but still just as nerdy haha! so stay tuned!! If you have any questions about the shoes or anything else just leave me a comment.