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Monthly Archives: January 2014

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  • go, fetch it!

    Go, fetch it! That's sort of what a little piece of software inside the online shop of mine tells to a routine. The routine goes online, fetching a file provided by the European central bank with currency exchange rates. It brings the rates back and the software piece uses this information to present price estimates in $US and Euro on the product details page.

    My shop works in Swiss Francs only, but at least - on that single level- we can provide an estimate of how much the product costs.

    Go, fetch it! does not always work. On Sunday, there was a changed currency exchange rate file provided and a product that ususally costs 130 $ was suddenly seemingly super cheap, in the range of 20$. I had a few clients telling me that there seem something odd in this exchange rate. And I am grateful for these feedback messages.

    One client, however, believed the exchange rate. And was super happy first, and then super disappointed; for which I then was super sorry.

    Thinking about it for a while: on a very small scale, this little software feature illustrates how wonderful technology is and how helpful. And how dangerous it becomes if we start relying on it and its computations, without thinking ourselves. The intelligence of machines is not a problem, really. It is human's tendencies to believe and give up calculating.

    Thanks to the team of square.ch this little issue was fixed in a minute, but still: It makes me think.

    Today's picture: a "Go, fetch it!" sketch, done this morning. More sketching tomorrow: Creative Friday, I am soooo looking forward to you.

     

  • Today, we're smelling....

    ...pimenta officinalis!

  • surface texture

    Bakelite comes with a surface structure. Every morning, when turning the computer on, I see an empty pentagonal flacon with a bakelite top, in dim light and the surface looks a bit like skin, shiny skin. I was told, by the guy responsible for the production of my flacon bakelite tops, that they call it "orange peel". So there you go....

    This surface, with its structure, is part of what makes bakelite appear warmer, less artificial (in comparison to other polymers), and also a bit retro. And interestingly enough: It also feels warmer. I mentioned it before: I am in love with these bottle caps.

    Texture can make a big difference, and it is the imperfection that it brings, the irregularities that make objects appear warmer and a bit less artificial. The same is true for illustrations: today I share another water color illustration, of a chicory, below is a detail of the surface, emulated on photoshop, of course.

    detail of water color illustration, showing the paper surface and its texture

    The reason why there is an empty flacon, white glass, with a top cover on my desk: It sits there to remind me of a couple of projects and ideas. A memento mori, a litttle bit, and a memento that time is running. And it is running fast, and who knows how shaky my hand will be in a few years.

    There are a few uncertainties, still, in the planning of one of these projects. The project sits in the GANTT chart for 2014, at least. That's good. This year's GANTT chart got pretty detailed. I am looking forward talking about it, as soon as I got some feedback from a couple of third parties. One reason why I am looking forward to talking about it: Writing and reading comments helps setting priorities.

     

  • Jasmine, in watercolor, and starting 2014

    The past few days have seen me relaxing a bit. It was a great 2013, no complaints there, but it was also rather loaded with work and I missed downtime to sketch and play. I am not the kind of person who comes up with New Year's resolutions, really. Are you?

    Here's the thing: Life's too short to wait until early January to change whatever you feel should be changed. As a good friend of mine once told me, and it is true: If you want to change a particular habit like not brushing teeth long enough: Trust the plasticity of your brain and its sublime superpowers... just convince yourself doing it (like brushing every day at 10 pm for 3 minutes) for two weeks, and it will have become a new habit. And you will be doing it without even thinking about it.

    So you see: No New Year's resolutions here. But a few sketches over the holidays. And a book about Photoshop.

    That's what I did as good as I could these days, trying to understand Photoshop a touch better, and trying to advance a bit with watercolor on my cintiq, using photoshop. And yes, of course, you might ask ,why bothering  emulating when the real thing is the real thing and out there, too? Well.... I do it because!

    Photoshop is very forgiving, too. That helps.

    The object yesterday was a blooming jasmine twig that I cut from the jasmine bush, blooming in the basements, saved in November from the cold. Like every year: Amazing. So creamy and rich, yet delicate, and so far not overpowering, but this will change: Most buds are not open, yet.

    To paint something that is white with water colors on white paper is not easy. The result of my trials, in low resolution for the "featured image" section of this blog, is today's picture. I uploaded a higher resolution version to facebook.

    But now, the happy days of playing and fooling around are over. Heading back to the factory, filling up those empty shelves. I hope your start into 2014 was great! Welcome again to 2014: Let's hope for best...

Items 11 to 14 of 14 total

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