Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Inkscape and Vector Art: Part 1

I have discovered Pomodoro. comprehension of Twitter remains unlocked.

So, as part of my artist-reboot misison, I'm learning vector graphics via the lovely open source program, Inkscape.

Yay it's Inkscape!

I'm methodical and Victorian about my life (like categorising and favourite-d books), so rather than carefully picking Inkscape apart and learning-by-doing, like so many masters have recommended, I have found this extremely tedious and quite boring list of tutorials to plod through one-by-one. Right now I'm working on this:

Look, it's a peacock.

I may or may not post up my finished copy, depending on how much awesome I will inevitably add to the original design.

I have encountered and taken in the basics behind a lot of Vector rules so far – paths, fill and stroke (which I love now), dragging nodes around and gradients (eh, they're flashy but bewilderingly complicated on execution). I'm still waiting for my visual mind to start seeing all the landscape, friends and family as nothing more than a collection of strategically layered objects plotted by many bezier curves.

I have manifested an absolute revulsion of layers over the years. I took the step up from MS Paint to Photoshop a few years ago, and toppled down that staircase booted by Layers himself. Beginning to add plumage to the peacock has definitely given me some enlightenment into the reasoning of Layers, but I feel like he has been smugly smugging at me for years, from atop the stairway of needlessly complicated achievement. And now it is almost within my carpel-tunnel mangled grasp.

I really need one of these. Never make digital art OR play Age of Empires without one.

The data limits are for my wireless 3 dongle are severe, so I need to watch my streaming and downloading digestion. Besides an insufferable shortage of Andrew W.K-spiration, I am unable to watch and learn further from all those very useful Youtube tutorials done by that 11 year-old image manipulation prodigy. I always learn better through videos. Although I'm pretty sure that those particular videos are for GIMP (or so I remember from attempting to design the Art Society magazine cover by myself one year, watching one of these tutorials, and crumpling into a big ball of editor-stress). Also yes, I need to learn GIMP. Soon. That will be my Everest. Or at least my Mont Blanc. Inkscape is my Magillacuddy.


Becoming competent in digital art has been one of those skills that has been languishing on my to do list for about six years. Growing more and more intimidating, as school, college and self-doubt kept getting in the way. Like learning French or German or getting fit. Happily, getting fit is something I'm doing right now. And I'm learning Polish instead, because it just sounds nice and fuck your educational linguistic imperialism.
I was too half-hearted, woefully unresourceful and far too dedicated to homework and school to give this my full attention. There was also a large self-esteem quotient that held back my art. One that was to grow paralytic.

Right now, as I sit before my Inkscape window, my cursor is quivering with frustration. I am crying for a pen and mathcopy paper. I feel like I'm learning to use a knife and fork, or like I'm spending a whole semester on shoe-lace tying to standardise the education of the whole class before we open our textsbooks on set jumping whilst been forced to sit in a stadium and watch the olympics. Yes, that is exactly how I feel.

My first completed original project on Inkscape will be to do something with this blog's design (yes I know it's currently rocking minimalism now but I do like a bit of kitsch and Laura Ashel chic so there will be at least a horrendously awkard logo). I should throw up doodles about that, okay that will come next.

In the mean time, check this out for the logos which I will one day compete with with my secretary. Romantic sigh.  

My first ever logo. Designed for my brother's friends band.


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