Tag Archives: and another thing

Stylus t. Frog and the Weapons of Mass Construction…

Working title. I may go with ScreenPainter instead but this title always makes me smile. Stylus t. and I have shared quite a journey over the past few months.

The other thing I’m working on at the moment is a book. So, yes, another of those then. This one’s different though, in as much as it’s an art book almost solely about my travels with a variety of Apple devices: iPod touch through to iPhone 4S.

It’s a 100 pages long, contains over 150 pictures, photos and all sorts and chats over which is the best stylus, which art apps make the grade and some of the large scale art events I’ve run over the past couple of years.

Not sure how much it’ll be when it hits the iTunes store (I’m thinking around the Β£4.49 mark?) but hopefully it’ll be worth that at least πŸ™‚ I’ve made it in iBooks Author and that’s been a lot of fun to work my way through with only the occasional incidence of teeth grinding frustration.

Bit of luck it’ll be released on or around March the 1st.

First talk on the book 8 accidental tour will be at the London Mac User Group this Monday.

Last pic for a few days I think…

Tonight is installation of new vicar (yay, she seems like a good fit for our place) and tomorrow is youth group. Saturday is seeing off nephew number 2 to the other side of the world for a year out and so on… So it’s going to be hectic the next few days. Add to that a boat load of marking πŸ™ and the writing of a pitch which I’m very keen on – and therefore more nervous of getting wrong – Β and it’s going to be a busy time of it all.

Did this yesterday in a low hour. Had a meeting/chat with a young person who is seriously ill and who has little chance of recovery so went home, cracked open a diet coke (seemed the better choice) and finished this off Β because my mind was so restless. Being on the sidelines as someone fights serious illness is pretty wretched although, obviously, not as painful as fighting the illness itself.

I’ve been loading up and not finishing the picture below for a couple of days but last night it just seemed to click and found itself completed fairly easily. It didn’t improve my mood too greatly -feeling fairly unimportant in the grand scheme of things – nor did the fact that the latest iteration of the Brushes viewer has a bug which is stopping it from upscaling imagery until there’s a patch released. (That said this in a year of hammering it this is the first bug I’ve encountered in the software to any great extent – it was just a matter of timing that’s all…)

So, final pic for a half week or so I think. Done in Brushes on the iPad over three days. It shows the battle between the Black Mite and good King Marty. May herald a slight shift of style for me – I certainly enjoyed the doing of it and it reminded me of something I wanted to try out a while ago and may shift onto sometime in the near future… We’ll see. For now it’s onwards to marking πŸ™ With a few other things on my mind.

It’s complicated(s).

So life is fun, full and crazy at the moment. Loads to do, loads being done. Yet more Sylver background stuff prior to however it’s taken up from when released and occasional Wombat doodling as well.

Which leads me to this, which has nothing to do with anything. The idea just sprung to mind so I drew it out while having a half hour chill out.

Brushes as ever and may make no sense to anyone not in the UK maybe…

I live in hope…

… dashed, to complete the sentence.

Or at least, to complete the story: I’d hoped to do a lot of things really, one of which was to have a storyteller tell the tale of the Big Book Draw at a day for the people who helped. And I asked a few people, one of whom I’ve been a huge fan of since… well, way back when. And then one by one each request came back as a no, very polite no’s that said, and each one I lived in hope that the next one wouldn’t be as upsetting as the last. Every letter I send out, whether it be a request for a quote for Sylver or sending off an ashcan of Wombat or request for a storyteller for Big Book Draw, I said to myself ‘expect a “no” and then it won’t be as demoralising as it is when the no comes in’. But no matter how much practise I get each no comes as a fresh slice of upset upon the last. The last person to get back to me coming in today as the cherry on the top of a hurricane of turbulence.

All told it’s been not the best of days: the class I taught this morning was… reticent to be assisted. They’re determined to go down their own path, which is fine, it’s just not a path which will lead to a positive outcome – too much stuff has been left to the last minute and a list of measures to stem the tide have been ignored one by one over the past week. The I went off to visit a possible secondary school for son boy which, while wonderful, always leaves me… pensive about the future at the very least. I remember meeting a parent of an autistic child at a book fest and she excitedly told me about the book she had written that the film rights had just been sold for… the proceeds of which paid for special education provision for her son for a year. Whereas I’m just worried about getting any sort of specialised provision for my son at all because, lets face it, any place at all requires a fight.

Then, to cap the day, had an education meet at the end of the day which then ended with what should have been a meet up between media teachers who I’m fond of and a sharing or ideas and ideals. You can possibly guess how that went. The spilling of the olives was, possibly, the highlight.

So, a day of no’s and worse. As an email friend of mine was wont to attest, unrelated to anything above, ‘we don’t get what we deserve’ (WWMT version). I probably do get what I deserve, in the end. Sometimes I guess I just hope for more… Hey ho. Time to sleep. Tomorrow may be a better day. Hopefully.

New Apple device naval gazing…


OK so it’s rare to see me without the iPod touch nearby, or not next to my Mac mini or Macbook… Or plugged into my iPod classic… Or teaching computer arts from a Mac Pro or iMac…

So it’s fair to say that I do fit nicely into the Apple fanboy* bracket.

And, like most of us, I’m as intrigued and interested to hear what’s coming next Wednesday as the next Appleite and thought I’d play the guessing game, just in case I’m RIGHT and then can TELL EVERYONE I was right πŸ™‚

So: the Tablet? My predictions?

A: it won’t be called the Tablet. It has a medicinal ring to it, although it’s the better of the ones I’ve heard suggested that said. Personally I think it may well be called the Apple Canvas. Not the Slate, nor the iPad. Maybe the Aaple? Canvas is my first guess and Tablet the next. If not those then something completely new and unexpected: the Zoltron Uber Twelve for example.

B: I think the key USP will be in the creative industries. Yes I know that the invite alludes to that but a couple of things make me more convinced than most: Jobs is a famous aesthete, Hockney is said to be using the platform to create artworks, Brushes grabs the cover of the New Yorker etc and Wacom tablets have barely changed at all over the past few years (yes I know you can do pen and touch at the moment. In comparison to the iPod touch the implementation is far less instant and gratifying). Personally I create almost all of my artwork in Brushes now and hope to only dilute that fact by adding an Apple Canvas to the mix.

C: This is TOTALLY speculative and most likely factually incorrect but the makers of Pixelmator, a Photoshop style art package which is cheap on price and high on value and features, have had a three month break following the release of their last update, which may likely be 100% true… but what if they had a three month break to work on something else? Possible, unlikely, and more to do with what I wish more than what I know in any way but a touch screen device with large working space and Pixelmator and (I hope) Brushes built in? Day one purchase for me. Full stop. iWork is lacking an art app and Pixelmator is the obvious solution to the issue.

D: look, it just should be, alright? Creativity rules πŸ™‚

Roll on next week. I’ll be there, in spirit, and on the internet pressing refresh on the Engadget site throughout. Hopefully it’ll be a game changer, rather than just another new set of iPod colours but, if it is I hope there’s at least an orange iPod touch somewhere in the mix.

*Not to say they don’t wind me up a wall on occasion. I’m still waiting for my ed rebate despite chasing and chasing but hey ho, they are a company after all…


… beautiful images captured by the Hubble space telescope on www.boston.com/bigpicture at the moment. Well worth a look and a peruse (and a gander if you so wish). It’s an advent calendar so I’ll be checking in often to see what else is added but, 13 pictures in so far, it’s stunning stuff. Can’t image what the image will be on the 24th…. (well, I can actually as there are a couple of pics which would seem to have a suitable naming/interest but we’ll see).

I do find it strange, on that subject, that Mr Dawkins and the followers of his religion can look at the pictures and say they prove there is no God while I can look at them and feel theopposite but hey ho: in the eye of the beholder and all that.