Archive for the 'ivan.retry' Category

The Union of User Generated Content Calls A Strike

In a statement released to blogs and YouTube today, the Chairuser of the Union of User Generated Content (UUGC) MastaMovie, said that Users were laying down their handicams and suspending their YouTube accounts until their demands for a share of Google AdSense was met. “There will be no more anime mashups with pop songs, no more cute puppy videos and definitely no more LolCats,” said the leader of the UUGC during a marathon 2 minute speech accompanied by video of his latest GTA exploits. “We’re the ones entertaining the masses and we demand our 5% share of the revenue stream.” Reports of severe content withdrawal are being reported from around the worl.d

Statement
MastaMovie slaughters bystanders while standing up for the rights of his Union.

You Can Never Leave Dripbook. Ever.

Dripbook
I’m updating this blog post after a few e-mails with Dripbook. They are a group of people trying very hard to make an excellent service. Most of my reasons for writing this post could have been dealt with better communication on their website. I suppose that’s been done by now.

Photographers, illustrators, hair stylists etc are typically a little crap at keeping their websites maintained, if they exist at all. I appreciate any efforts to help these busy creative people show their work to the world. Dripbook is one of those efforts. I found out about them through a comment in one of the Virb art groups and Mashable have written about them too. I’ll check anything out and it seemed like a good project. Easy portfolio tools combined with a social network aspect to help you connect and promote. So I sent them an application. I had to apply because… they’re pulling the exclusivity card as a marketing stunt really. I said I’m handsome and make nice work and sent them my portfolio site (ironically). Thank goodness I was let in or my street cred would have collapsed like an underfed model. The feature I wanted to explore was their ability to publish to third party sites. Widgets that create a bit of code that refers to your dynamically updated portfolio instead of you having to create the books on your own site. I use viewbook.com for a site I built for a photographer which does that exactly. Unfortunately I never did get to trying that feature.

Most of Dripbook is fine even if it’s a bit dull in the design stakes (a web 2.0 phenomenon apparently). The upload of images was easy enough, the networking idea is a good one. After I uploaded I found that my images came out looking soft. Which is odd considering they were sized down for web use and were sharp, black and white images when they left my desktop. Even that I could figure out given enough patience. My irritation is that the site is not recognizing that I have “published” a book of drawings. It says it’s published. But it’s not visible to anyone else it seems. I’ve tried every “publish” button three times and now I’m bored. If you can’t publish, you can’t promote and then the social network is useless.

Turns out that because I put a “Mature” marker on my book because it contained drawn nudity, I encountered a legal fix:

You followed the instructions exactly and did exactly what you were supposed to do. When a user goes to look at your book, he / she is asked whether he / she wants to look at mature content. Then a cookie is places on that user’s computer, and the warning does not show up again.

 A fact that would have been good to know a few days ago.
Not wanting to spend any more time on the site I figured that I’d cancel my hard won account and focus my efforts on other tasks, like my real job. Except I can’t find anywhere to cancel, suspend, deactivate, kill my account. Really. I’ve looked pretty hard. The FAQ neatly ignores the fact that anyone would be brazen enough to leave their services. I wonder what happens when you buy a premium account ($9 per month)?

Dripbook have informed me that they hadn’t got to that detail yet.  It’ll be done now.
Dripbook is in Beta phase which may excuse any screw ups and my decision to leave their site is based on a few personal impressions, not only some basic technical glitches. The site is slow, I don’t like their presentation options and I don’t like their design.

I‘d leave, but I can’t.

ps. Turns out that no one had ever asked to leave. I have that dubious honour. My apologies, Dripbook, for being that guy.

 I have been deleted. After the short e-mail chat with Dripbook I appreciate that I was rather harsh on their Beta site. I only wish they had been a bit more forthcoming with how Beta they were. I mean, who doesn’t have a delete account button?  If you think I was a putz let the comments fly.

Boundless (f)Art

Art Finder

Looking for a piece of art for your home, office or car? Simple! Select the colour you’d like. How much you’d prefer to spend. The dimensions of the space you have. And Ta Dah! Boundless will spit out a list of objet d’art that match your green curtains or lilac bed sheets.

It sounds like a good thing right? It gives minor artists exposure to a public that prefers to be told what to like. You can get a painting that matches your curtain pattern. It’s as easy and painless as only Web 2.0 can be.

Then why do I find this service quite horrible? Perhaps it’s too many years of liking art.

Link

The Superest Super-Something Ever

Superest

The Superest is a continually running game of My Team, Your Team. The rules are simple: Player 1 draws a character with a power. Player 2 then draws a character whose power cancels the power of that previous character. Repeat.”

Silliness abounds from Kevin Cornell & Matthew Sutter.

The Superest

(via Drawn!)

SAW WAS

WAS SAW

Stephen Doyle is a graphic designer who sculpts words that mess with meaning. Design Observer have a fantastic write up about him with some beautiful examples of his work. His hand-built words toy with your brain in only the most fun and profound ways. He’ll have you looking for your exacto knife.

Design Observer

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

This is one of the finest book titles I’ve ever seen.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Link

IdeaFixa Treasure Trove

 IdeaFixa

Ideafixa.com is a cool publication. It’s an e-mag that publishes bimonthly on specific themes. Issue 8 is Self-Portraits. While that has all the hallmarks of student disaster, the quality of the work is very impressive. The depth of the collection is fantastic, you just keep turning page after page after page. A lot of the work comes from South America and it’s  refreshing to get exposed to the talent of the South. There is also a bio section for some of the artists which makes for some interesting reading. They work on a submission policy and the next theme is Food. So get out your pencils, camera, wacom, emo, etc and try and overwhelm the curators with your genius.

IdeaFixa

Sketchcast or Slothcast?

Slowcast

Yes, I’m probably being unfair. I bumped into Sketchcast’s offering and was intrigued. It is a really good idea. It’s also so remarkably basic that it’s doomed to failure I fear (Doomed! Doomed!). sigh. Anything that says I can draw a blog and post it sounds great. A simple tool to spice up our picture + words offering. Unfortunately it’s so slow. There is no option to double, triple or quadruple speed your drawing. It plays back at the speed that you made it. Which is slow. We write slowly if it’s going to legible with their chunky pen. It’s slow if you have make sure the line is processed smoothly and not like a heroine addict withdrawing while drawing. I couldn’t even be bothered sitting through the whole playback of my quick blog test video (see incomplete above).

And another thing, WordPress don’t support the embedding of their video! C’mon WordPress. Lighten up a bit. It’s not java. Or anything malicious. It’s just slow.

Play with it, discard it and then maybe the developers will make it better.

Sketchcast

ps. Don’t get me started on Virb’s slow poke development cycle!

A Quick Art Culture Catch Up

A friend asked to see some art that I reckon is fairly decent at the moment. Instead of hiding it in an e-mail, let me share with everyone. I’ve blogged about most of these people or sites before but there’s no substitute for an easy to click blog post to get motivated to look again. So, in no particular order, here’s some food for thought:

Serious Painting

Painting removed by artist’s request

John Copeland – Probably my favourite painter at the moment.

Slightly Different Painters

Woodring

Jim Woodring – A great contemporary Surrealist

Jeff Soto

Jeff Soto – Giant robots and rainbows never looked this good. Jeff’s work has been translated into a short film by 3 Legged Legs. It’s amazing to see this fine-art-street-type style in motion.

Ashley Wood

Ashley Wood – Famous for concept art, comic books and being a “little” brash at times. He paints on real boards and sells the original pieces to collectors. He qualifies as a real artist.

Interactive Media

Hoogerbrugge – A Netherlands artist who uses drawings of himself to lay waste to the repititions of modern culture. Or something like that. This music video is the quick sampler of his work but check out the website for classic focussed Hoogerbrugge.

Kooky

Frenzied Giraffe

Michel Gagne – This is his 6th book, Frenzied Fauna: From A to Z.

ICanHasCheezBurger -The meme called Lolcats is something that many would not consider to be art, but it has been accepted adopted by the masses and shares some of the traits of art: visual aesthetic, an underlying theory, self-imposed executional rules, a sense of history. Is it -ism or is it -crapism? Will people in 100 years time have retrospectives of Lolcats? And in case you think I’m writing total rubbish look up the definition of Art.

Where to find more

Artshole – A UK listing for art
Art Krush – The e-mail publication and this list will see you right.
Drawn! – All about Drawers!

Why Can’t Every Site Be Lateral?

 Lateral

Sometimes I despair of social networking sites. They have a promise of interesting connections and influences and then fall a bit short of the dream. Much like any kind of technology I guess. I’m thinking that Virb is not going to live up to it’s designer promise. The pages dedicated to Art, Photography and other creative output have not arrived, despite months of promises. I’m sure they’re busy and music is the easiest way into this business, but c’mon! Most of the people I chat with on the site are designers of some sort and how awesome would a chart of top illustrators on Virb be? Anyways, every now and then I’m surprised by someone that wants to be friendly and what they’re attached to.

The other day a guy called Franks contacts me on Virb. And it turns out he is the Head of Design (and a damn good drawer) at a company called Lateral, based in London. They’re an interactive type of agency who’ve done boat loads of work on Nintendo DS and Levis. While their portfolio is impressive, it’s their website that caught my attention. It’s a damn clever piece of information design. Slick, simple and fast. The expandable blocks provide excellent bite size pieces of information and the colour work is fun and intuitive. I think it’s built in Ajax.

It’s a lesson in how a single page can be an entire information architecture.

Lateral 


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