A Bumpy Road To Art

The perils of ancient software

I mentioned in my last post that I found some lovely tutorials on the internet for making mandalas with Illustrator.  There’s one catch – they’re all for much newer versions than I’m using.  While one might think that this wouldn’t be such a problem, oh yes, it turns out to be one.

You can even see it in the mudpie in that last post – there’s an unintentional overlap along the edges of the wedges where it repeats.

If it works, it’s not a trick

With the help of my favorite librarian, I was finally able to get that resolved and everything lining up properly.

Which means I’m on to creating the second one. :) Here’s a sample of it so far:

white background, black lines and dots making a geometric pattern

A small sample

Posted in I Made An Art | Tagged , | Leave a comment

A New Art Adventure

In Which I Get In A Rut

It turns out that having a small creature in your life makes it a lot harder to do art.  Everything’s fine as long as I’m up and moving about, but sitting down to do, well, anything, is an invitation to be climbed upon and generally interfered with.

… and Try to Get Back Out

After a few months of spending more time on social media than I should probably admit to and playing a lot more games than I want to admit to, because the phone doesn’t spark the same level of interference, I went looking for something different.  Something calming and mellow, not a game that would keep me looping over and over, something artistic but not seriously so.

In the end, I stumbled upon a decent, free app for making mandalas.

This was good, because I made a few ones I liked (I posted a few on The Social Medias).  This was also less good fairly quickly, because I rapidly discovered the boundaries of what I could do with it.

You Know Where This Is Going 

I’ve seen mandalas on RedBubble and suchlike, and I’ve seen tutorials for them on the internets, so surely they can’t be that hard!

Oh, I am so optimistic sometimes.

Trying to do them by hand proved … painfully bad.  Lopsided, awkward, lumpy.  I’m sure that, given a few years and maybe some polar coordinates paper (say, from Incompetech) and several more hours in the day of time to work, I might someday turn out adequate, mediocre mandalas by hand.

Instead, realizing how unlikely that was, I went hunting YouTube tutorials on doing them the easy way with Illustrator.

Here’s my first attempt:

a black and white circular repeating pattern (aka, mandala)

This is the mudpie of mandalas

Posted in I Made An Art | Tagged , | 1 Comment

An Open Letter to Past Me

Apparently, Past Me Hates Money

Dear Past Me,

Why do you hate making money so much?  It’s not enough that I found a tree design that never got posted to Zazzle, but I found a tree design that was entirely completely vectorized but never posted anywhere?

no love,
Current Me

Current Me Likes Money

Current Me doesn’t have much time to vectorize, but likes money and occasionally has time to wrangle with the PoD sites.

Finally available now is an adorable Tree Family which was only posted here in the original sketch version.  I seem to have done the vectorized version quite a while ago, but never posted it for prints, etc. on the PoD sites.  Here’s a thumbnail of the cleaned up version:


You can now get it at RedBubble and on Zazzle!

Posted in I Made An Art, Products | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on An Open Letter to Past Me

An exciting tiny milestone

RedBubble milestone reached!

A couple years ago, I got started on RedBubble with a focus on more artistic designs – tree sketches, photography, and a couple odd graphic-design items.  I had some hopes that RB would turn out to be a good match for me (instead of CafePress or Zazzle), but sales have been an occasional drip instead of the steady trickle that I get elsewhere.

Most interestingly, the things that have done best there have been the two oddball items I tossed up there.  That is, the two really obscure joke/pun designs.  That is, the two designs that get no love anywhere else.  That is:

This last week, I finally hit a tiny milestone of “enough sales to get them to pay me”.  It’s not going to pay the mortgage or anything, but I’m inordinately excited about it.  First payment this year, first payment from RedBubble, first post this year, and hopefully not the last of any of those.

Bonus Teapot!

As excited as I am about all that, mostly I wanted to share this link to Google’s teapot: https://www.google.com/teapot

Curious about the whole Teapot thing? I wrote about it a while ago here.

Posted in About the Me, Print On Demand, Spontaneous Bloggery | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on An exciting tiny milestone

My kind of princess designs

Not An ISO900 Princess

As one might have guessed, I’m not into your typical princess stories and not into the typical “all girls are princesses and so wear pink”.

Life’s been hectic, but here are two new designs I’ve finished and put up on RedBubble:

The Princess with the Pee


is at: http://www.redbubble.com/people/ninthcircle/works/11829812-princess-with-the-pee

Not All Princesses Wear Pink


is at: http://www.redbubble.com/people/ninthcircle/works/12603489-not-all-princesses-wear-pink

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on My kind of princess designs

How the story starts

For publication. Horror stories. Two sentences.

Someone on the Book of Face linked me to this one: 20 Terrifying Two-Sentence Horror Stories

As an occasional flash fiction writer, I found the concept intriguing, even though I’m not usually a fan or horror.  Most of them are a bit trite, but a couple give that frisson that heralds both a good story and good horror.  On reflection, I think these are the ones that read like the opening of a story … showing, not telling.

It could well be argued that most of my flash fiction is largely openings to stories … or at most hint at the shape of a story without actually wrapping it up.  The few that don’t (say “If This Were A Fairy Tale“) are, arguably, some of the better ones.

Or it could be argued that the open-endedness works really well for horror flash fiction (say “The Volunteer“).

As I was thinking about which of the two-sentence horror stories worked best, I found myself wondering about the possibility of writing science fiction stories in two sentences.  Would it even be possible to write a good one, without stumbling on the world-building (or universe-building) that comes with so much science fiction?

The idea is in the back of my mind lately, because I’ve been following The Ferrett’s current project of evaluating the opening chapters of 20 books to see how they integrate world-building.  These are all books he’s read before, and so the evaluation is in the context of knowing everything that comes after that opening chapter.  You can see the initial post at: How Can I Make These Opening Chapters Better? An Experiment and he’s posted the first three in the series so far.

Posted in Philosophy, Spontaneous Bloggery | Comments Off on How the story starts