At the #DigitalRevolution exhibition at the Barbican Centre.

Just under two years ago the students and I had the very wonderful opportunity to draw at the Barbican.

 All sorts of fun it was too. I’ve been to the Barbican a few times but the space lends itself to exploration and the opportunity to spend two long days in there was a fabulous thing.

I’ve been back a few times since but last week I was demo-ing iPad artwork in Brent Cross so decided to head up early to take in the technology and art exhibition which had recently opened. As always some parts seemed to be geared towards me drawing on tablet which led me to photograph and paint a Next Cube (which was well and truly on my bucket list of machines to draw on. Sadly it worked but had no art software to utilise).

 

The stars of the show, for me, were either the mechanical tentacles or the interactive light beams. Both had a hypnotic quality which I thoroughly enjoyed. Hence a mash up painting drawn on iPad on the tube heading to the next part of the evening…

And the(occasionally) obligatory process video animation:

Happy end of one era….


For between 18 – 20 years (hard to tell it’s been so long) my wife and I have led a youth group for kids aged 10 – 14 in a church hall on a council estate. We led our final group last week and did a sort of semi-official hand over to the new worker in charge (because the group will carry on, which is the loveliest thing of all) and then, this Friday, we had a social night for the youth group leaders and the kids who had been at the group longest and were leaving this year.


It’s been, basically, emotional. A little. For the past year especially I’ve been shattered before I start each night (although it’s never hard to raise the energy levels for a game of football or chat to the kids who attend) and it’s the right time, for a number of reasons, to stop.

We thought Friday night had been the finale but were ambushed by everyone in the church with a range of gifts and a meal as a thank you. All of it was a lovely surprise; there were a number of rounds of applause as kids said thank you for various things we’d done over the years and almost everyone said thank you for working so hard.

Basically – and we’re keeping the tickets to the Shard (one of the presents) in a safe place so no returns… But it wasn’t work. Sitting down and chatting to kids, seeing how they are and encouraging  the best out of them, has never been work and, though we’ve been tired through what life has thrown our way for the past few years, running the youth group has always been a pleasure. Sometimes the nights were trickier to navigate than others but always we felt like we were in the right place at the right time.

Now it’s time to rest though, for a while…

The Madness of Marques Brownlee.


Because of my advancing age (43. Blimey) I’m more into podcasts than I am into YouTube vodcasts (which is where my daughter, for example, is more in her natural affinity). I tend to listen to podcasts as I walk to and from work then any free time after that is given to drawing on screens rather than watching them…

So it was from podcasts like TWiT, British Tech, CNET UK and so on that I heard about the sapphire display video from @MKBHD. That probably helped, in the mental formulation of this picture, in as much as it was an audio thing rather than a visual thing.


The only thing I had in mind with the picture, at the beginning, is that I wanted an iPad screen covered in Samphire… The text came last as I was considering how the picture had fallen onto the screen and how it looked. Hopefully people won’t take it seriously and have Marques booted from YouTube.

Regardless. Today started off with some horrible news hit me for six and then some (a youth group connection with the crashed plan  yesterday) so I sat in my shed and painted the above image on an iPad 3 using the very fabulous ArtRage app and a Pogo Sketch Pro stylus. Took my mind off the world which was exactly the intention.

Of course if the screen IS made from Samphire I’ll want this video to hit at least 100 million views and to be called a tech guru for the rest of my life.

Process video:

ArtRage is lovely in many ways, especially as (if you remember) it remembers what you’ve done and with a gentle amount of effort you can create a video of your picture coming to be. Hence the video above, gently soundtracked by the very awesome Duke Special.

Performing Spripple Monkey.

I don’t often bring it up but my son is autistic. Which means certain formats and actions are followed or fallen into and become, in odd ways, routine and ordinary.

Most nights, for example, I’m asked to draw between 10 and 30 cards with Mario faces on. The cards have to be a set size (or they risk being folded up neatly and, if we’re lucky, thrown into the bin but more often that not are put in his mouth or thrown on the floor). They have to look as close as they can to the set cards given (or they run the risk of… well… you know) and they have to be uncreased, unsmudged etc. (or they etc again).

Tonight I drew these while son boy and I sat in the shed of skulls*.


Directly after drawing them he demanded one more and I snapped and said ‘you are a fascist tyrant and I am not a performing scribble monkey’. It’s the sort of thing we all say at each other in the family, fairly frequently.

So he drew me this:


Which I love and will keep somewhere forever. So, of course, I drew him one more card to add to the set and, for the sake of the blog, we put all of the cards together for a group photo. I seem to have drawn quite a few, and suspect I’ll draw more, until the next routine shows itself.

* ‘cos, y’know, having a shed of skulls is perfectly normal and ordinary. I have no odd moments, honest.

London Adobe #CreateNow: This is EXACTLY how the event went…


So it’s been a HECK of a month (and we’re still only 10 days into it…)


It started with the end of year graphics exhibition. Well. Exhibitions. One at the Bar Des Arts in Guildford, courtesy of the very amazing Kath Jones’ organisational excellence, followed, three days later by the graphics takeover of the Creative Corridor from my good self, Aidan, Beth, Gio, Alex and Kath again.

One the wine had worn off from the open evenings it was back on the road to the #CreateNow event hosted by Adobe all over the world. I had a ticket to waddle up to the London leg of the journey and, while there it was… well… This was the first picture I drew, in Adobe Sketch on the tube from Waterloo:


Which set the tone, I think.

Adobe had, a long few months ago, announced the Project Mighty (a fascinating looking connected stylus) and Napoleon (a connected ruler). Shortly before the Create Now events they had also launched a series of free iOS apps (Sketch, Line, Photoshop Mix, Voice) with the first two working more than happily with the Ink and Slide (as Mighty and Napoleon had been renamed).

And I knew they would be there. Which is why I was too :)

The excellent @BeatleJase lent me his Slide ruler (see what they did there?) from the get go, which is why I went easy on him when drawing:

(to be fair this was drawn at the end of the day and we were all a bit punchy)

The first pic I drew with Slide was this:


Took a bit of getting used to, and I don’t think I’m the target market for it, but it’s a very nicely constructed piece of kit. Beautifully so. It feels too light to be a working unit and then, when you lay it on the screen, it… to borrow a phrase, just works.

So after the brickwork I drew this:


… and, again, I was impressed with how effortlessly the ruler was a part of the screen.

Now… the problem with an Adobe Create Now event is that, really and truly, I would love to be just listening and catching up on what’s being said and the new functions that are being teased. But I felt like I should be drawing, so, with only half of my attention on the stage I’m pretty sure this actually happened:


Eventually the effortlessly cool @Mchaize and @Rufusd finished their product demos and I held Rufus up with a water pistol filled with indelible purple ink. One of us was coming out of the stand off inked.


Fortunately for both of us the water pistol was whisked away by the Adobe magicians to be turned into the next big input device*. And I had an Ink stylus to play with for an hour…

*Copyright me. A water pistol screen input was always going to happen I’m astounded no-one came up with it before me.


The problem was – Rufus happily told me once the ink/water pistol had been whisked away – that the Ink stylus only works (currently) with iPad 4 and up. And me, being a part time teacher with an understanding – but equally part time teacher – wife, am still on my trusty 3.

Help was at hand and I hooked up with another show attendee who was happy to share her iPad 4 with the Ink stylus. I didn’t mind sharing… much… :) The combination of not my stylus and not my iPad led to this:







…and a few other pics that you can see on my Flickr Feed.

Incidentally the final pic above was an excellent talk, as was the talk which preceded him about Hollywood special effects but by that point I was happy to just let things happen. All in all the day completely delivered on its remit of showcasing awesome aspects of creativity and made me want to play with desktop software which is not always the case as I’m far more at home with a tablet (or several tablets).

Sadly once Rufus worked out that I’d swapped his stylus for a banana I had to get the heck of (colour) Dodge:


and all of that art and exercise led to Stylus T. and I being tired little screen painting partners on the way home:


Although somewhere along the line I think I dreamt that I carried on with my Frog and Blueteeth picture which since the Inky addition has now had a Jot Touch PixelPoint added to it too.


And that is that, I think. ’twas an excellent day, as the Adobe shows always are. Loved being able to sit and draw in it. All of the above pics, natch, were drawn with Adobe Line (free), Sketch (free) and Photoshop Touch (not free but worth every penny) on an iPad 3, iPad 4 or Tesco Hudl. Hope you like.


On the Jot Touch PP score… I’d love to play with the Ink and Jot next to each other. I’ve got some things I want to say about the Touch but I want to play with the Ink at the same time to see if my thoughts are still fair…

‘Til the next time :)

Share Screening in PC World, Guildford. Frogs, Marmites and Snails.

Y’know PC World should pay me to do a drawing tour of all of their shops. That would be fun :)

Anyhow, finished work today (this year has been a doozey) and popped into the shop to draw on some screens. The problem with a hundred tablets out there that I want to draw on is that if I were to buy 100 tablets I’d have a huge amount of difficulty trying to explain that to people around me.

So instead we screen share. Well we Share Screen anyhow. The staff and I all get on well, chat holidays while I’m drawing and we chat about apps and styli used and they keep an eye on my pictures as they fall on the screen.

Today I had an hour and a half but, since I’d had a lot of pent up doodling stuck inside of me that let to four pictures drawn. Well, five, but I’ll explain the fifth later.

(Marmite; because it’s one of – if not my favourite – British icons. Sony Vaio laptop and Stylus Sock and MS Paint as Sony don’t include Fresh Paint in their demo software). 

(Stylus T. Frog; because he’s stuck by me through thick and thin. Sony Tap 11, Sony Pen and MS Paint). 

(Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 and Webchemy online app). 

 

(MS Surface Pro 2, Stylus Sock and Fresh Paint app). 

… and this one wasn’t planned, just happened. I was asked how I draw a picture if I don’t know what I’m going to draw (a rejig of the ‘where do you get your ideas from’ sort of queston). If in doubt I take a line for a walk and see where it goes. It’s the plan that’s given me a depressed Godzilla, a drunk grandma being sick in the street, a snowboarding penguin and a hundred things equally unexpected. So I did a quick scribble and that led to the picture above which I didn’t really have the time to finish as I was supposed to have been gone after 60 minutes of drawing and left after 90 minutes.

Regardless. Love drawing on screens as much as I ever did and always happy to mix it up on devices.

 

Art On The Street 2014.

((planning my AOTS space out on iPad using Adobe Ideas app)).

Long suffering readers might remember that I ran an Interactive Whiteboard art show for Promethean at Art On The Street 2012.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9V-8JiO1L4
((Video Evidence if you don’t believe me)).
(((Which, AGAIN, grr, won’t embed. No idea why not :( ))).

Excellent fun it was, but, at the (very) back of my mind was the thought that I was in work mode and didn’t get to either enjoy the art that surrounded me nor have a go at displaying anything of mine… I’ve been WAY too busy to contemplate doing something similar since but something in me said I should do this one coming up, and a space was available so…

This Saturday! Maidenhead Art On The Street! I’ll be standing around desperately hoping someone talks to me and buys something. It’s an extraordinary event which I’m very happy to be a part of, whether I sell anything or not really… But since I’ve said I’d buy the excellent Mr Nick Thatcher a burger to say thanks for helping me it’d be nice to cover that cost and the train fare at least :)

I’ve got a packed wall of loads of stuff (16 x pieces of art available in limited quantities* in A3 and A2 size for very affordable prices), a dozen hand made creatures available for charity donation to Disability Challengers and National Autistic Society and (postal service willing) a hundred styli that people can buy (again, for charity donation) and if anyone wants to chat apps and styli and so on and so forth I’ll be more than happy to answer questions about which is the best app and which is the best scribble stick**.

((possibly a smidge too much artwork. Working on what stays and what goes…))

I’ll also have 100 badges of Stylus T. Frog which will be on sale for some sort of pocket money price (still working on that one) so, hopefully, there’ll be something for everyone.


AND I’ve got a 2 x 4 ft banner which I REALLY hope I’ve got space for on the stand as it looks ace :)

 

 

So… a lot of work (which I’ve been juggling against the most complex triple whammy of most students to EV and two EQRs at work that I’ve ever co-ordinated…) but can’t wait. If you’re in Maidenhead pop over and say hallo. I’m on pitch 52, although TBH I’ve no idea where that is :) Follow me on Twitter at @kercal and hopefully I’ll post some sort of useful info through the day…

I haven ‘t blogged for a month???

Well. Maybe not much of a surprise. Has been a hugely busy and chaotic month.

Will blog more soon, so much to blather on about. Did my leg in then walked 15 miles, took 40 students to a small comic gathering over 3 days showing off tablet art techniques to 100,000 people (working a ninety hour week and walking 60 km in the process) as well.

Hmm. A theme gathering here, yet I still look like Jabba the Slug. Sigh.

ANYHOW! Busyness. To whit the next blog post. But before that I present a distracted paint iPad ArtRage doodle I did last night while watching the latest preposterous slice of 24.

What we done during Eurovision…

A few years ago wife and I were in a pub playing darts with a Swede and a Romanian. In the background was the Eurovision song contest, which was the first time I’d ever watched it.

Since then we always have, either with friends or relatives or just ourselves and the kids. Last night was fairly unusual (in as much as we’d not realised it was on until yesterday and hadn’t invited friends over) so we watched (to be honest half a dozen countries – including France which was my favourite – were robbed) and made things and ate and so on.

Wifey always makes a brilliant European picnic:

And this year she also made me a son to go with my Frog:

And I drew the acts as they happened:

All drawn on Hudl using Photoshop Touch and a New Trent Limir (or Arcadia can’t remember which one’s which) and a Nomad Compose. Hope you like. We enjoyed the evening, not always (in fact fairly rarely) for musical purposes :)

The Missing Link between Man and Jellyfish.

I was complimented by an attractive barmaid the other day who asked to see more of my iPad work (before getting told off for spending too much time talking to me).

… and it wasn’t a dream, honest. Anyhow as I walked off, saying that the next time she was in we could talk apps (oh I’m so smooth) she said ‘I wish I was as creative as you…’

The thing is I don’t always think I’m creative… Sometimes I just doodle. Certainly something I try to teach the kids in my classes – that sometimes art is about doing, rather than thinking and trying, desperately at times, to search for the muse.

Today, for example, I was out shopping with daughter with the intention of having lunch. She was a couple of minutes delayed getting to me so, as there was a Solutions Inc store next to the burger bar we were going to eat at I thought I’d pop in and have a quick draw.

Five minutes later she’d turned up and I’d drawn this:

…but was it creative? I just drew a line on the screen and it looked like a skull with Jellyfish tentacles… Which was fine but Penultimate is an app which doesn’t necessarily help with that having a very limited colour set. But I struggled on and this is what came out…

 

 

 

 

Regardless. Latest on the list of pictures I’ve drawn on borrowed screens from nearby shops.

I’d say more. Other pics and vids and stuff to go up soon but Eurovision is about to start so it’s time for screens to be swapped as I want to draw the singers as they happen like I did last year…