Tag Archives: Samsung

Samsung tablet art morning…


Lovely tablet art morning with 5-12 year olds.

Every so often, more and more frequently in fact, I’m asked to teach people how to draw and paint on tablets. Depending on who’s asking it can be a range of age groups. At the Ben Uri gallery I work with adults, on a St Peter’s craft morning its children.

Lovely tablet art morning with 5-12 year olds.

In as much as each group brings something new to the table there’s little difference (actually that’s not true… Nine times out of ten adults are far more scared to start than children are). But each group is certainly fun to run.

Lovely tablet art morning with 5-12 year olds.

This morning it was the turn of the 5-12 year olds and it was a lovely session. I could only fit 6 kids on my table and with 25 there it was a busy morning with lots of laughing and coo-ing over peoples shoulders (there were 3 other tables of other things to do on the hall that said so it’s not like people didn’t get the chance to play with something while they were waiting.

Lovely tablet art morning with 5-12 year olds.

I’d brought 6 loaned Samsung Notes with me, 3 Note 10.1s, 2 Note 3s and a Note Pro. Each are great machines and the kids loved drawing on photos of each others faces using the very wonderful ArtRage app.

Lovely tablet art morning with 5-12 year olds.

All in all – lovely fun. A huge shame the Samsungs have to go back this week, have thoroughly enjoyed working with them…

Unpacked Hijacked/Green Screen Envy.

Prepare for a Samsung Art-pocalypse…

(edit: updated the text in the colour scheme pic above. The lower one is the original picture).

I’ll admit I’ve been hugely envious of anyone and everyone who’s been at IFA this year much as I was last year. Hey ho, one day I’ll get there. It’s at EXACTLY the wrong time of year for me, the past two weeks being the horror of new student enrolment, but to read about the new screen releases and their various commentaries is maddening.

Similarly frustrating was the fact that I couldn’t watch the event as it was live streamed (as I’d hoped to do) because of the aforementioned enrolment. At the moment (I’m not paid holidays from my principle role) I’m only 11.5 hours a week yet, somehow, I still seem to have been in for nearly all of the past two weeks. That said: if you want a class set up properly for the year… best to make sure I’m involved and next year will be thoroughly interesting. Two classes for graphics for a start.

Anyhoo. I did get the chance to watch through the Verge videos on the Samsung* announcements which is as good a way to catch up as any. Love the Verge. Which is why I drew the top pic on my ageing – but very much loved Galaxy 8.9 (it’s Samsung’s first tablet in fact) using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro after a much needed day of chill out in London today.

One of the things that surprised me was that I’d expected to go in wanting to draw on a Note 4 and walked out REALLY wanting to draw on an Edge. The side flow seems perfectly attuned to an art app UI and I would love to see what that could deliver. The in built S Note app seemed to have the UI on the side and that makes me want to pick up a stylus and twirl it in the air in hungry doodley anticipation.

Hurrah, etc. Hope one of my students comes in with a Note or Edge soon so I can confiscate it and (if they say yes) draw on it 🙂

*”Hey whoa, wait, what? Drawing on a Samsung? It’s all about the iPad, right?” Well, since you asked, nope. I’m very much as keen to draw on a Galaxy S4:

a Galaxy tab 7:

a Note 1:


a Note 2:

a Galaxy 10.1:

a Galaxy 10.1 (2014 version):

Touch screen Samsung ultrabooks:

…and of course the Samsung tablet that started it all (both their tablet evolution and this blog post): the Galaxy 8.9.

((I REALLY wanted to draw on one of the Ativs but I never found one in a demo situation when I had time to draw or when they had art apps installed)).

(((AND on that subject I think drawing on Samsung hardware may dwindle now as the recent demo units I’ve seen has no S-Note app installed. Will see how it pans out)).

And so on… (I’ve got a picture drawn on a Galaxy Pro somewhere… One on a Note 3 and a Note 8 – which I liked a lot – and so on). I really like Samsung tablets and phones, just only get to play with them if I confiscate them from students or use them in shops…

But basically? Not all about Apple. Not even remotely.

Sunset on Samsung Premier event night…

Was a bit sad to not be able to get to the Samsung Premier launch on Thursday night, especially as it was one of the unusual nights that I was free from work or so on. The day after was the EV for my A level graphics guys so it’s not as if I would have gone with nothing on my mind… But as it was the EV seems to have gone as well as I could have hoped for (I’m not counting chickens ’til the Fat Colonel has heated the oil yet though. More on that in a future blog post, the EV, not the Colonel’s secret oil temperature*).

I did watch it on the event on the live stream but having been to a good old line up of product launches this year it was one I would have been especially keen to get to, especially as the Ativ Q and Galaxy Zoom look like a lot of fun to use.

That said: I saw this sunset while I was putting the bins out (exciting peek into the world of tablet art there) which I would have missed otherwise (silver linings eh 🙂 ) so whipped out my trusty old (but beginning to show its age) Galaxy 8.9 and drew as quick as I could (brackets distraction brackets). Photoshop Touch runs very well on the machine, apart from the odd moment of catching up with itself, but the main miss for me is the SPen which the tablet I own predates by quite a margin… I fell in love with the SPen on the Notes and 10.1s the college borrowed to do the Barbican and MCM projects from last year (as well as drawing the off cup of coffee) and the brief play I had with the Note 8 at the Gadget Show Live seemed to indicate it was as well implemented on that tablet if not better.

Anyhow: lovely sunset it was, didn’t last that long at all though so I was lucky to have caught it… The moment I finished I had to put son boy to bed so it was very much a ‘catch the moment’ picture.

*An EV is where someone from the awarding body comes to the College I work at and checks my marking (and, by implication, teaching). I’m always a bit nervous on such dates as art and graphics are such subjective courses but, for the most part, the only criticism I’ve ever received is that I’m ‘Tolerably Generous’ which I liked so much I could have had framed 🙂

This year was different though, in as much as the students and I had gone much more tablet art and events centric – not to mention the fact that one class had a quarter ASD students which made it an unusual and, more often than not, brilliantly strange place to be. One student who is the highest on the ASD spectrum that we’ve ever taken through mainstream education should be recieving, as long as the grade boundaries don’t change, a C grade in A level graphics which has been a lot of work and will be wonderful reward.

More to come when the grades are given, mid August, which I’ll be there for, hopefully celebrating with the students.

The Frog, The Flamingo and the Gadget Show Live. Behind the scenes and initial thanks.

Oh my golly, oh my goodness.

It’s been a week. I fully intended to blog throughout but… Well, we’ll get to that. This is NOT the blog about the show. That’s to come.

A few short weeks ago, in the middle of February, the idea was mooted that the event co-ordination we did for the World Skills Festival could be replicated at the Gadget Show live. It seemed a HUGE amount of work at one of the busiest times of year (academically) but one that would be far too cool to turn down.

So I did. Exams and time and pressure and money won. But fortunately for me (and, hopefully, others) the Gadget Show Live team were persistent and somehow we managed to find a happy middle ground that saw me saying yes to 64 square m of space in one of the coolest tech hubs in Europe.

So far so good. Stop me if you’ve heard this before.

Then, at one point, we were ROYALLY done over by Travelodge (quoted just under £3k final bill nearly £5k. Long post about that to come) and, despite support from Microsoft, SMART board, Autodesk, ArtRage, Sampli, Wise and others it all seemed like it would all come crashing down. On one of the planning days – the worst planning day – I managed to catch a glorious 3 hours sleep – mainly because I fell asleep within ten seconds of sitting at the laptop with a coffee perched in my hand. Fortunately I didn’t move I was so deep asleep and the coffee was removed from my hand as soon as my wife realised I was solid gone. This has been a month of 18 hour days and, ironically, it told during the Gadget Show week itself, although hopefully no-one but me noticed…

Somewhere along the line (I’m looking at you Sally) I received an email that, I quote, asked us to take on a “small bump” in space. From 64 sq m to 84 sq m. And then, somehow, it turned into 119 sq m. I should learn to say no. But my inner egozilla believes I can do anything so I didn’t.

It was pride – my pride – that caused some of the issues we had in the final two weeks… I was so determined to make it not cost any money for the College I work at that I should have asked for money earlier. As it was I didn’t and tried all other avenues but time, by this point (far) less than a month away, and Travelodge seemed the enemy. Well. Travelodge mainly, but the clock was certainly ticking.

And then, somehow, despite all worries to the contrary, it all came together. The College I work at put in £2.5k which means, on a budget on less that £8k we managed to run, very successfully, the 10th largest stand at the show (if you exclude the speaking stages, 18th if you include them…) You can check out the floorplan here: http://www.gadgetshowlive.net/birmingham/files/gadget_show_final_201327.032.pdf

I absolutely could not have done it without the staff who helped on the stand and looked after the students as I did my thang: Dave, Kath, Helen, Terry (stand and minibus) and Chris (also a fabulous minibus driver who’s also a new dad, hurrah Team Chris).

Nikki was, of course, fabulous. She did all of the risk assessments as a: she’s one of those strange people that likes paperwork (sorry, still doesn’t compute) and had an interest in doing so as 5 of the students we took were Aspergers or Autistic and she is the ASD specialist in the college. She was on the stand every day an ASD student was in need of her skills but also ran everything brilliantly as I ran from one side of the NEC to the other when we needed a camera or similar.

Nick Thatcher was, of course, (cue the A Team soundtrack) the person behind the Tablet Eye Stand, the easel security system and much more and, sadly, the only thanks I could give him was a 15 sq m stand for him to show off his AMAZING one wheeled Raptor arduino controlled “Segway” like device. He is amazing, you should check him out.

The visiting artists were brilliant: Kyle Lambert rocked every screen he came into contact with and Stefan Marjoram – who I found out a couple of years ago that I went to college with – was as awesome as he is modest. It turns out I was also at college with is wife who is as lovely and generous as Stefan is. They’re a good match.

Paul A was a brilliant in house film maker and I can’t wait to see what he puts together of the week.

Fiona from (cough: the Marmaraiti :cough) was a brilliant visitor as was Ewen Rankin from the British Tech Network.

Sally, Helen and Anne were fantasticaly helpful, patient and kind. I spoke to some of the other exhibitors and their teams, and their 10 x my paltry budget, were, I’m sure, far less bother than I was. But we all managed to come together with something magical in the heart of the show and loads of people started their questions to me with ‘yes, but what are you selling…?’

We were joined brilliantly by the lovely Lumilyon. If you don’t know her name you should – she is one of, if not the, most prominent and fabulous phone photographers I can think of. No-one shoots more diverse images and cleverness than she does and integrating her into the mix was one of my dreams come true. And, of course, when you have a world famous Phoneographer in the house, a Lumen Prize Finalist, a world exhibited artisan of high regard, you can’t not have her on the stage, so, on the Saturday and the Sunday, without fanfare or prior notice, hundreds of people were given an explanation of her artwork and working process. Lucky people! I was so busy I only caught a quarter of an hour of the two 45 min sessions 🙁 But if I could afford her for every event I would do so – she is a star and, in this case, I was lucky.

But the biggest thanks goes to the students. Without them it would not have worked. 40 of them spent 3 – 7 days holed up in a Travelodge (more on that later*) and the Birmingham NEC without complaint, without pause, without hassle.

DO NOT DISS STUDENTS. Some can be, yes, moany alcohol fuelled brats I’m sure. We all were weren’t we? But  I took 40 to the Gadget Show for a week and they were awe inspiringly amazing. I shall write more of them later I think. But to spend a weeks residential, working 12 -15 hour days, walking around 8 miles a day or so, showing them off as possible work experience stars? Never anything less than a pleasure. I like my students a HUGE amount and if you need digitally literate IT or graphics work exp kids give me a shout..

Only at one point did I have to tell anyone off for noise past the 11pm curfew and, it turned out that it was a non-College Travelodge user. Still, after I gave him my patented death stare

Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. But… not just yet ok? I’ve honestly never been so tired.

More to come – pics, vids etc… but for the moment – that was the College at the Gadget Show Live 🙂