Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dabbling and doodling with Linux.

There is a lot of stigma surrounding using Linux. This is why some never get past comparing Linux applications to Microsoft and Mac applications. Does which one is best matter if they both do the job? If you use Microsoft, try this, if Linux try this. Why ask can I run Microsoft stuff on Linux? If you want Microsoft, stay with Microsoft. Any advantage to using Linux is somewhat lost running Microsoft stuff on it. It is extra work to do this kind of stuff. And that word compatibility is thrown around so often folks don't know compatible with what. So, in that light, it is simpler not to mix platforms, but if you don't mind the mess, it's your computer.

I fancy myself an artist dabbler. There ought to be a Linux graphics understanding to deal with the Microsoft platform graphics application bias.

1) It is OK to use GIMP even though it is not Photoshop. There are lots of graphic apps that run on the Microsoft platform (including GIMP) some free, some not. Using the industry standard is good if you need to use it. If you don't you are free to use whatever avails.

2) CMYK is not necessary if one does not need it (mostly required for offset printing). If a software does not have it, use one that does, if you need it. GIMP does not have it but can get it. In any case, GIMP handles RGB used in displays and inkjet printers quite well and is all most people ever use.

3) Linux graphics applications work well on computers with lower resources, no need to buy top shelf. To need pro tools but hold off doing digital art until you can get them is insane. If you can do it at lower cost, why not? Skills are transferable. Being able to handle the technology today with what we have available to us is better than pirating a pro-ware copy or waiting for someday when we turn pro and get on the job training (after hours).

4) We Linux graphics users (especially us dabblers and doodlers) can use any tools we want. If we manage to get professional results it is a testament to our skill and artistry.

5) It don't have to be the so-called best, it just has to work, do the job.

6) Dabblers and doodlers don't require lots of power, we don't need to have commercial pro-ware to do what we do. (we can wing-dang-doodle all nite long!)

7) Using Linux graphics does not alienate us from the rest of the graphics world. We expand it, make it better. We are making room for ourselves.

I bring up the movies Tron and Star Wars. When they started the computer and camera technology needed to produce them scarcely existed. Much of it was invented during the production. We have given in to ready made products forgetting how short a time they have been with us. We Linux users have to invent our own technology when necessary.

So, if you are a digital artist and especially if you use Linux and open source software to do it, flaunt it loudly (not made with Photoshop!), (this picture contains no Adobe made content!).
Actually, I don't care what you use to make your digital art, but this is Linuxville, you know.
Art is art, there is no state of the art, cutting edge what ever. Folks are still using oils and brushes and cotton canvas. But we do have an opportunity to explore this new digital media and make it just as viable as the old school traditional medias.

Getting back to stigma in digital art, we value a watercolor or an oil painting and when you want a reproduction (a copy), chances are it will be photographed, scanned into a computer and printed out. But a digitally created image also printed out is treated with less respect than the repro. Digital art is not new, in fact art was envisioned as soon as displays could show what software and programmers could do. We do a lot of art on computers today and there are all kinds of professional work, web design, cartoons, movies, etc, etc, etc, except one area.........., the kind of art that gets fastened to your livingroom wall or your diningroom wall. That casual art we can live with, a popular art, art drawn by computer art dabblers and doodlers.


Anonymous said...

COMMENT TO POST TITLED >> It shreds, it blends, it makes jullian fries.
not exactly what your talking about but i've been wanting a "ThinkPad W700ds" for an artist it has some great features but it comes a cost. I'm not sure how linux would run on it.

rno said...

I almost want one too, but every time something for digital artist comes out it has a great cost. Yes some artist are professional and the toys are meant for them. The rest of us will just have to draw with a mouse or a cheapo graphics pen pad. Wacom tablets are the only ones that Linux drivers exists for.