Too Loose Nouveau for the 21st Century

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I’ve gone back to playing around with trying to develop clip art and icons derived from Art Nouveau and Edwardian themes and influence but with some unique twist bringing that genre into the 21st Century. Tonight’s offering are a couple of my latest experiments. (they go along with a couple of earlier posts: ‘IconDoIt Lautrec’ and ‘Sneak Preview’ ). I think some of these might work well either as enameled pins and other accessories and perhaps a series of greeting cards. Any thoughts?

Free Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). Create Commons license applies (see sidebar for details)

Too-Loose

“Too Loose to Trek”

Margaret

“Margaret Rose LaVie”

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This post will give you the Willies!

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This week was pretty heavy for me. Some research I’ve been doing for a friend has really put me to the test and I came face-to-face with the realization that I am probably never going to get rid of this “chemo brain” completely. While my friend has been gracious and seems quite pleased with the results of my efforts so far, he didn’t know me before I got sick and so has no way of knowing that the “old” me would’ve accomplished 5x as much and the depth and quality of my research and writing would have been far superior. I’ve heard some people say that being a perfectionist is a bad thing – but I’ve never understood that point of view, as long as I don’t expect others to be perfect (which I don’t). Of course, I’ve never been perfect but if I hadn’t expected it of myself, I would never have been able to learn and accomplish what I have in the past. I’m not neurotic about it. It’s that the efforts involved in trying to be perfect was just a challenge I really enjoyed and I really miss having the physical stamina and the mental ability to focus at the same level I used to.

sigh…

In any event, because of the strain of this week, I really needed to do something light and fun and playful. Since my brain was too shot to dredge up an original idea, I went searching for some kids coloring pages and found a delightful abundance of sites with just what I was looking for. The absolute best site I found (based on variety, originality, and just in general fun) was one coming out of France. You should check it out as it’s just a delight. http://www.coloriage-enfants.com/ – As to the character I selected, the website indicated his name is “Winni Windel”. I was unfamiliar with the character and so did a search and came up with literally hundreds of websites and blogs for Winni Windel coloring pages or animations but only one single website that is a likely candidate for originating this adorable “diaper baby”. The site is for Steffen Soulejman Janus, who is “an internationally interactive specialist. He was Co-Founder of foco design studios in Germany and Switzerland and acted as CEO, Senior Project Manager and Creative Director for the company. For the past ten years, he set new standards in nonlinear interface design, online communications, branding and sales….” And he’s got a hell of an impressive list of clients! As to Winni, under his projects page is posted an online design study for diaper character Winnie promotion” completed in 2001 that he created for Optipresent Media AG, Munich Germany. The finished project can be found at Windel Winni Reloaded. It’s in German so you may need to use a translation plug-in or just enjoy the pictures. According to this site (unlike the hundreds of others – but obviously more authoritative) the character is named “Windel Winni” and not the other way around.

Free Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). Create Commons license applies (see sidebar for details)

Winni Windel - Sleepy

Winni Windel - Glee

Winni Windel - Electrifying

Halloween Folk-Art Avatars

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Halloween has always had a special place in my heart: from the “Peter Pan” costume my Mom made for me, to sneaking out to go trick-or-treating on “Beggar’s Night” with my best friend, Janie; to meeting the man who I eventually married at a party given by a bunch of art school students who came into the drug store I worked at and on the spur of the moment, invited me (a total stranger); to making all kinds of fun costumes for our son when he was little. In our previous home, we used to get a hundred or more kids coming to the door. The 4-to-10 year old kids were always the most fun as they were just so enthusiastic. The last ten years we’ve lived on a street where only one family has school-aged children and there are no street lamps, so no one comes around. Costume parties with adults can be okay but it’s just not the same or as much fun as dressing up and dishing out goodies to a new generation of little ghosts, superheros, princesses and the like.

For your own Trick-or-Treat pleasure, I’ve created a new batch of spooky, fun avatars inspired by the folk-art styling popular in Mexico for their “Day of the Dead” celebrations, Kachina Dolls that are an important part of the Zuni and Hopi tribes; and West African tatoos. I arrived on these subjects in a very round-about way that is an interesting story in itself and what I learned was really fascinating and in many ways, quite unexpected. I’m not up to going into it now but promise to follow-up and share some of the highlights with you in a day or two. In the meantime, Enjoy!

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

The following image is a reduced size preview of the nine (9) separate 512 X 512px images in .png format included in the linked-to zipped file. To download the set, simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. As always, usage of any of the images offered in the “Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day” section are free for your personal use, subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for Terms of Use) For commercial or any other use, please contact me for directly.

If I Were A Zuni (preview of zipped file)
If I Were A Zuni (preview of .zip file)

Avatars March for Sylvan Rights!

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I don’t know if my attempts at diversity are exactly politically correct, but this assortment of avatar/icons that I dug out of my digital toy bin tonight are each proud of their heritage and hope to bring a smile to your face. If you choose to adopt them for your own, take them out for a walk in the woods once in a while and you’ll have a friend for life…

Hey, I’m sick and retired. I don’t gotta make sense all the time, do I? ;-)

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

The following images are reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on any of these four (4) previews to save a zipped file containing these images to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered in the “Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day” section are free for your personal use, subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for Terms of Use) For commercial or any other use, please contact me for directly.

Gooch_Preview
OliveEddie_Preview
SockMonkeys-Preview
Woodsmen-Preview

Who’s yer Avatar see in the mirror?

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When you go to an online forum, chatroom, or read comments on blogs, you’ve probably noticed that some people use what appears to be their real name or perhaps the nickname they’re called by friends and family while many more use a screen name they reserve just for use online. Screen Names allow a person to have some level of anonymity which can offer a sense of emotional security, if not real security, and it’s that subtle sense of separateness from one’s “real world” self that often allows people to explore new sides of their personality, to speak their minds, to share their emotions without fear of retaliation, rejection, being laughed at, or ignored. The ways in which people go about selecting a screen name I’m sure varies a great deal and I’ve often found myself wondering where some of the names come from and why they were selected – did the user simply just like the sound of the syllables? Had they selected the name of a favorite character from a book, movie, or game? Were they trying to project a specific image of themselves that they believe will be attractive to certain people they’d like more attention from? Does the name reflect how they think of themselves – or how they’d like to think of themselves? Certainly, some people just randomly select a screen name because they are required to but I have a hunch that most people actually put some thought into it.

If I were a sociologist, I think it’d make a very interesting study, the choice of screen names, and of course along with that would be the Avatar that people select for themselves, as well. And does it say anything about the person who doesn’t have a personalized avatar? Does it mean they’re just not technically savvy enough to know how to go about it (whether in creating their own or finding one they like online and either registering it to a website like Gravatar so it gets automatically associated with their name when responding to blog posts or uploading it to their account at a specific forum) – or does it mean they’re anti-social or snobs – or just have no personality to begin with? Could be any or all of those reasons or some other reason entirely. Maybe I’m just nosy or have too much time on my hands, but I’m curious and think about things like this. It kinda goes along with my idea about creating as a new scientific field, forensic desktop reading. ;-)

If you’d like to have your own custom avatar but just haven’t found one you like yet, perhaps one of these will tickle your fancy.

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered in the “Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day” section are free for your personal use, subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for Terms of Use) For commercial or any other use, please contact me for directly.

Assistant 7….Ms. Assistant

Josephine

Donnell….Julioa

Sparky Picasso

pix….Sky Pilot

Face-in-Hand

Bouncer….Dudley

Lydia

The Democratization of Art

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While this may be no big revelation to trained art historians, as an untrained neophyte researcher, when I first began to look into Art Deco (beyond merely knowing I liked it) I had no idea it would lead me into such a vast array directions deep into the psycho-sociological history of humans, psychology of art, and factual history of 19th, 20th, and 21st Century politics, religion, science, industry, environment, aesthetics, war, peace, color theory, and more. It seems that the more I learn about Art Deco, the more I learn and understand about society itself and how we got to this point in time. Unlike any other art movement before it, the influences which form the genre exemplify diversity at its’ best as no single social class, religion, gender, political ideology, economy, geographical location, or culture seems to have been left out. All have contributed to it and all have been equally recognized by it. But also unlike any other art movement before it, Art Deco does not honor its’ influences in the manner of reverential exaltation but through whimsical parody, making and having fun with all we hold dear. It is perhaps because of this aspect that art snobs proclaimed Art Deco to be nothing more than a trivial fad that will quickly run its’ course, or in the words of Paul Greenhalgh, former-head of research for the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England,“Art Deco is a terribly easy movement to insult. It has maintained that most damning of all qualities — fun.” He further noted that, “The avant-garde has never really forgiven it for being successful.”

“Tropical Art Deco” is perhaps the most fun of all with its’ happy ice-cream colors, rounded “melting” edges, and playful, oversized forms. While certainly it has been heavily influenced by prominent, homosexual artists and associated in general with the Gay community, the glorification of the South Beach, Miami historic architectural district exemplified by the 1980’s television show “Miami Vice” and its’ overtly heterosexual star, Don Johnson’s fashionable, often pastel, wardrobe by designers Versace and Armani, Art Deco has transcended boundaries to be enjoyed by all.

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered in the “Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day” section are free for your personal use, subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for Terms of Use) For commercial or any other use, please contact me for directly.

Victor-Victoria

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The Constraints of WordPress.Com

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Well, my original mission has been scuttled to some extent due to my failure to discern the difference between WordPress.Com and WordPress.Org before getting started. To be honest, I hadn’t even realized that these were two separate entities! Silly me. But being a good little geek, once I start working on a project I’m not one to quit just because there will be a few more challenges than I expected. For those who aren’t aware, the primary difference between these two services that most concerns the interface designer is that a blog on WordPress.Com can only be customized with CSS (cascading style sheets), selecting from a limited number of widgets, and the text or images you add as content. You can’t add or modify using javascript, ajax, python, php or other languages nor can you modify the .html. While my first reaction upon realizing these constraints was to utter numerous expletives (newly invented just for this occasion) I decided to stick with this and explore just how far one can go with CSS. I suppose that’s one of the trademarks of being a card-carrying geekster in that I am stubborn as coffee stain on a favorite pair of white jeans when it comes to figuring things out just to be able to proudly say, “I done it from scratch”. Of course, no one (but a geek) really cares about such trifles as long as the content of the blog is interesting and the visuals aren’t annoying. Hard to explain why I get off on trying to reinvent the wheel but take my word for it, it’s the second most thrilling and satisfying thing I can think of.

Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day

The following images are either full or reduced size previews. Simply right-click (or control-click) on the preview to save the image(s) of your choice to your desktop. (Unless otherwise noted, downloads are 512px X 512px in .png format). As always, usage of any of the images offered in the “Free Clip-Art / Icons of the Day” section are free for your personal use, subject to the limitations of my Creative Commons Non-Commercial – Attribution – No Derivatives – Share Alike- 3.0 license. (See sidebar for Terms of Use) For commercial or any other use, please contact me for directly.

Catty-3Cat-man1

Catman-Dew

CatmanDewFRED-2