Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Leaping Linux lemmings Batman!

Don't try this at home, I'm a professional distro jumper. I was standing by the fence preparing to make a controlled jump and they came in a wave. I tried to stop them and incite some reason. They leaped past me into the wind and vanished from view. Countless numbers over the edge. Dang!

You've been to Distrowatch.com, they are fleeing Ubuntu in droves, going for the greener grass of Mint. Let me say this before the rest of you go flying into oblivion. Mint ain't nuttin but tweaked-n-green Ubuntu. It is made from Ubuntu. It doesn't have Canonical's Unity but has Gnome Shell or XFCE or KDE or Mate, whatever. Yeah, OK, it's very nice and better to some, but it's a short hop to Mint compared to Fedora. I am back to Ubuntu but have installed Gnome Shell, this laptop can handle it, it runs great.

They vanished from view because the grass is tall (needs cuttin), though it does look kind of cool (special grass?). I was jumping to test if there was improvement in video performance between Fedora, Mint and Ubuntu, there is not. From the looks of it the Dell M90 video card takes a lickin then quits tickin, doesn't matter the OS. There is a big graphics chip and a huge honking heatsink on top of it. Heat must be a problem. Seems most pronounced during web browser use. I get weird cursor action while trying to type this blog and also while trying to select a site in a search. And page overlapping when you scroll!?! If I set back it corrects itself but who is patient among us, click click aaagh! If I stop using the browsers, actually, Chrome works better than Firefox on this machine. No stampedes please, but Chrome does work better (rumble rumble rumble).

Printing is what it is. If you got one of those 4 ink printers like me then realize that it is harder to mix the 4 to get all the colors you see on the screen. A printer that sports 6, 8, 12 inks will get better color results when mixing inks. I do love my printer as most of my work is simple and it can do photos but the results are limited. But this is art and not photography, so there. My Epson Workforce 1100 prints 13" wide and up to 42" long if coaxed. I took a drawing file to OfficeMax, they have a 24" wide Canon with 8 inks. A 16" x 20" print on photo quality matte paper cost $12. The print quality is excellent and a 16 x 20 frame is reasonable also. A couple of tricks, make a bitmapped drawing at least 150 to 300 dots per inch depending on detail. Then print to file as a PDF. With vector work you don't have to worry about resolution, just print to file as a PDF. This works for me until something better comes along. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

but don't mash it

I was getting all settled into Fedora 16 on my laptop, the graphics card seems to produce screen glitches especially when using the menus in Firefox and a few other apps. This appears to indicate that overlapping windows and menus are a problem. Reluctantly I hosed Fedora and installed Mint. Mint runs a tad slower but without glitches. Mint has the same Gnome Shell but I noticed like I said before Debian application repositories have all the popular apps and supplies the video codecs that Fedora doesn't. I think Fedora supplies a Nvidia equivalent video card driver that is not as good as the real Nvidia drivers in Mint.

I partitioned the hard drive so that I can install another Linux without blinking. The home directory in it's own partition, the OS in it's own. I just reformat the OS partition when needed. The optimal thing would be a big USB flash drive for personal files. Then I could move the flash around to different Pc's. The secret is that the hidden files with your personal settings and configurations are in your home directory. If the new installation has the same applications it starts up already configured. This is handy for browser bookmarks, email addresses and multimedia codecs.

I am hedging about drawing, guess I'm not in the mood. So I have a Java app called SweetHome 3D. This app allows you to draw a floor plan in a 2D view while it draws the wall elevations in 3D in another view. Then you can add furniture and textures assignments in the 2D to appear in the 3D. The constructed views are not too good but if you run them through rendering software they become more photo realistic. I plan to model the art gallery space and come up with display ideas.

When you utilize used hardware you never know how much wear-n-tear you've inherited. I have many 'oh darn it' moments. Save your pennies, plan for the long haul and buy good stuff brand new when the opportunity hits. Back at the art gallery we are going to take some old PC's, set up a PC arts teaching platform and then begin to replace them with new hardware as monies are available. The point is that we start now, not wait. Why wait till we can get top shelf when the lower rungs are available. Yeah, we want Macs but PC's will do fine. I was in a company when it switched from pen-n-ink drafting to CAD on workstations. Then another company that transitioned through 2 upgrades of CAD systems. Waiting to pay for the best is overrated when used PC's and free Open Source art software is available now. Build your skills, transition if you must, get down tonite, get down tonite!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

squeezing the tube

I still don't draw on command, especially after not drawing for a while. My equipment is fine, it's me. I start the process by reviewing my collection of sketches and reference pictures. The perfect program for this is called Picasa by Google. If you find Picasa formatted for your version of Linux you are good to go. Another program I discovered is called Fotoxx, this is what I have now. Both of these apps allow you to view a whole directory of pictures. Real cool if you want to compare and manipulate. Photo management yeah, but digital pictures are like digital photos. Most photo management software organize by time stamps and tags, not directories and folders. Directories and folders work better for me.

If I don't rework an old idea I usually see something new to try. Of late, I've been more enthralled by how a picture is mounted. I'll buy some picture mounting hardware and figure out what to put in it. Yeah, I know, this is backward. Sometimes if you change one element of the finished picture before it's done......LOL! I change the frame, it's an architectural thing. If you are not careful the project becomes very big. Scaling it down and or scaling back is painful on the mind. For me also when I am thinking big or needing scale, I get stopped by how to get the drawing big. You can get a service to print it big for you but I can't guarantee print quality or the material to be printed on. What goes through the printer can't snag and that limits the kinds of material you can use. This may mean projecting your image, tracing it and inking/painting by hand. And you thought digital art was less work. It's that label thing, you call something something so that others can get a handle on it. I preface labels with 'sort of-kind of like' but ultimately 'mixed-media' graphics. I say that with great exasperation because it doesn't describe my stuff the way the word 'oil painting' does. Oooh, how does she do that with oils? Oh (only one 'o'), digital graphics, that's interesting! Hey, I want more o's when you see my work. This is why digital artist go overboard to dazzle and amaze. They think you only helped the computer do that. I pushed the mouse the same as she pushed that brush. I constrained the great and endless potential of the computer so that it will do what I want it to do. Do you think it's easy plowing a field with a race horse?

We had a boss that paraded with his cronies through the new CAD department. "Click, click, click and it's done!" Next week he hired two desktop publishing guys that we were supposed to train to work with us. They had no drafting experience or electrical knowledge. We trained and complained, they were let go. Art knowledge and skill applied with oil paint and brush, art knowledge and skill applied with a computer and printer. Not equal but different media and process. Us mixed-media graphic artist of the digital persuasion find the fine arts a mine field of varied acceptance. Publications, ads, web pages, no sweat, bill boards, no sweat. Fine art.........."computers can do a lot!" I guess the antidote is to sign the print by hand.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

nerdvana, I feel it

I went to the penthouse/mancave/art studio. Dust bunnies scurrying about, PS/2 mice strewn about, PC carcasses stacked haphazardly and boxes of papers. The huge honking hard drive on my main machine sputtering and spitting out ancient code. My new printer under Linux can't reset itself with new cartridges installed. Like I said a new strategy is needed. Under the shelf piled with junk I found the XP disc I had lost. I couldn't sleep, my mind turning this new plan. I had to do this.

First, reformat the hard drive of the old desktop to rid it of the mangled XP that was on it. Then install a fresh XP. Darn the Service Pack2 disc wouldn't read. Good thing it's still on the net. This machine will run the printers because drivers are easy to get for Microsoft systems. The Linux printing system works but mileage will vary depending on the printers. An Epson Workforce 1100 is awkward.

Second replace the sputtering huge honking hard drive with a 60gig one. Lesson learned is that Ubuntu will not run well and whistle with 1gig of RAM. So, install Xubuntu with XFCE and be happy. I do all this, I'm happy.

I moved the two support cabinets left of the desk and put the shelves across them. Put the 17” CRT on the XP machine because when tweaking for printouts it a good screen. The 15” CRT which XP can't handle well works great on the Linux machine. I revise all the power cables, put the big printer on a stand next to the shelf on the left side of the desk.

My laptop is my roving art center, I can even take it to the library because the battery works. This is totally sweet. I can work where ever. Next is to communicate between PCs, install the printers and reference materials. I need a couple of tool boxes for my car tools, my computer tools and my art tools. The mancave is a former upstairs kitchen, the cupboards and countertop are supposed to help organize, they don't. Too too many small parts and cables. I have an old tall dresser for paper and print supplies. I will cap off the water supply and remove the sink but that is later.

I don't like to leave my stuff running all day, the meter is running. It's the accumulated stuff running in a house that will shoot your wallet, run lean is my motto. I think this setup will work better than what I had. I even restacked the spent PC cases and junk boxes. I am starting to get the urge to draw............see ya!

Monday, December 19, 2011

same curtains different house

I'm in the new digs and it is different, sort of, kind of. Ubuntu has one philosophy and Red Hat has another. Ubuntu has become the base for many versions of the Linux OS to meet the criteria of different user/development groups. Including a Linux version that has all free software. For sure this is the philosophy of Red Hat concerning Fedora OS. What does mean to the user? Some very handy programs are not free in terms of license, or are free yet owned by a company, that is not open source. Some are propriety and are lent or donated by agreements. Some restrictions include political boundaries of countries. So Ubuntu tries to give you access to every program even the non-free commercial ones. Fedora sticks to the free open source policy. What this means is that certain things are not offered but available via third parties. The most obvious are media codecs and device drivers.

On my Fedora machine to get flash video and movies to play I did the Google search for codecs. I stumbled upon 'rpmfusion.org'. This site has some things to read and click to install and BAM, I had You Tube videos and could play other formats. This process is way better than previous. So dealing with all open source software and finding some extras outside of the Fedora standard repositories is the difference between Fedora and Ubuntu. Once educated, you know, you know!

The Dell M90 machine is smooth running and quiet. There are a few video glitches running Linux. This machine has Nvidia Quadro FX2500m video card and not a Linux specific driver. Linux is still a bad word around hardware manufactures. They don't do retro and are vexed to do new stuff. Being only MS Windows compatible makes them the bucks but Linux demand is not going away. A few annoyances, a few complaints but a good solid feel. Ooh yeah did I mention, this has the first finger-pad that works decently for me and that old Wacom Graphire2 works really well also? Better machine, better all over experience.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

dude, you gotta let it go

Well I'm finally going to give up the Gateway ghost. I thought remorse was bad when we lost a cat. But a good friend of mine, an IT specialist, recycled toward me a used laptop in a business upgrade. A Dell with descent specs and 4 gig of ram from the XP era 2007. Yeah it is not spanking brand new but descent is the keyword. As per agreement I reformatted the drive to remove XP and company data, installed Fedora 16, even while we speak, er a write or type. I feel all fuzzy and excited.

The first thing was to Google 'Linux on laptops' to get the opinion of many who have had experience with Linux on this make of laptop, a Dell M90. There were some video concerns but no real gotchas so far. We just gone from the bargain basement to the upper mid levels as this is a workstation. Red Hat has been a staple in the engineering field for years. Fedora is the cutting-edge for Red Hat but does not stray from the rock solid reputation. This visit is to reacquaint myself with Fedora and to get experience with another style of Linux. Actually the only reason I went to the Debian camp was because they had all the applications I wanted without hassles. Part of the whole user friendlier scene is to make application finding and installing better. I think Red Hat lagged on that front for a long time, now it's up to snuff.

I can't make a fair comparison between my old laptop and the new because the old laptop had a 1024x768 screen. The newer one 1920x1200 and the new Ubuntu and Fedora takes advantage of the expanded real estate. For instance in GIMP, overlapping windows on the old 1924 wide screen, descent size work space and dialog boxes on the 1920 wide screen. Then the amount of system RAM, 512mb vs 4gig, and also the larger video RAM makes for better performance. And best of all is my old Wacom Graphire2 tablet which jittered on the old, is rock steady on the new. 

So now in the works is a new studio work strategy, if this new laptop proves it's worth. My desktop has Xubuntu 11.10 and the laptop Fedora 16 with Gnome Shell. All is sweetness and light here in the Linuxville Guide Chateau and the Glad new car smell candle is in the air. Now if I can use the wireless without effecting the TV in the livingroom my wife won't have to call me down from the mancave.

I give you the lowdown like this because many of us creative types can't wait to get all the latest new hardware and professional software. Making art while making due is what we often have to do. When and if we make the cut..........but until then, let's get on with it, now. Stay tuned.

new neighborhood

With every new combination of hardware and software a new experience and/or a new set of problems emerges. My old Gateway laptop has develop some problems that won't let it complete the booting process. I reinstalled Ubuntu 10.11, then Xubuntu 11.10 and the same problem stopped the boot. Could be the used 20 gig hard drive or just that the Gateway is old and can't handle the latest and greatest Linux.

I've been a Ubuntu user since version 3. Ubuntu is Debian based, which means mostly the '.deb" software management system. There is more to it but that is the crux. Today I am loading Fedora 13. Fedora is Red Hat Linux and has RPM or the Red Hat Package Management system. The latest version is Fedora 16 but it kindly announced to me I don't have enough system memory for it. Fedora 13 is installing but since I haven't used Fedora in so long, I am weary of every thing on the screen. It is like moving to a new neighborhood that's really around the corner. Your friends say they will wait till you get settled in to see you and it all looks like a strange environment. Dag man, don't they get it? I need them to make me feel at home in my new digs.

It's just Linux, they are all the same, aren't they? So are cars and within the same brand name there is great variance, choice and options. My Chevy Impala comes in regular, sport, luxury, deluxe sport, luxury sport and bling to the max. Each development group that handles the various Linux has it's path. They chose a core set of values and parameters out of all the available choices. Linux continues to match both the user base and the hardware base while tightly wrapped around the core values. Add to this new innovations and improvements and that is Linux. So in the end, each distribution like Ubuntu and Fedora may handle the same operation slightly different, plus the apps that do the job may look different. If it looks new to you then you are weary of what's going on. They may use the same desktop but behind the scenes the plumbing is different.

How can it be different, well I had my Ubuntu spear and shield along with my street tux and sneakers. In this new hood they sport red Fedoras and look rather dignified cool and assured, no brag just fact. 'It does the same thing!', I go. Naw man, we is so hot we have to control it, else the ice will melt. Yeah, what ever. Anyway my old Gateway is on the way out and new technology is making it obsolete. I find it so amazing that I can still get it to work. That's the view from here, Linuxville, ya gotta love it.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

turning the 'cough' corner

I have drunk way too much water, tea, juice but the cold is finally starting to clear. I have done the distro shuffle on my main box, back to Ubuntu 11.10. I dislike Unity but it is not that bad. Just not handy enough or intuitive enough for me. Intuitive means it works akin to how I am wired so that it seems it was made for me. Otherwise you got to get used to a different way of thinking. This is why choice in Linux is so great. You can find what suits you or tweak to suit. Mint was great but again I don't have the resources to support Gnome Shell in comfort. Comfort means no glitches, hesitations or malfunctions due to low memory and/or older graphic card. All the newer stuff forces you to upgrade, you can't escape it. If you buy a new PC, also buy as much RAM memory as you can afford or will fill it. Sure as shootin someone will write software that demands it and your comfort level will drop. 2 gig of RAM on my desktop will make it run better and accommodate the present software.

Slowly wheels and wires are disappearing. Wireless mice and keyboards abound. I got a mouse with a finger rail instead of a mouse wheel, man did that take a while to get used to. If you invest, PC memory price is stable to the point that old memory cost the same as when first put on the shelf. High when new, high now that it's older and not restocked. Laptop memory is the same way. New memory for new PCs and laptops are a good bargain, cheaper than the old stuff, get it from the get.

My old Gateway 4026gz laptop is resurrected again. I got a used 20gig hard drive for $15. It does not boot from USB flash, darn it, has 512MB ram and has a missing keyboard key. Hey, your first hotrod still under the green tarp, at least mine is running. I put Xubuntu 11.10 on it and it is so cool. The battery needs replaced, the keyboard, I disconnected the fingerpad. I am going to take out the keyboard, put in a filler and buy a USB keyboard. I am not alone in driving my PCs into the ground. When I get stuff to recycle from others, there is not much left but a spent carcass and OT (old technology, what did you think?). I have 4 really old laptops and a half a dozen desktops, a trunk full.

I do have my eye on new or near new stuff. I am ready for a new Desktop and Laptop. I thought about the ipads and the screens are not big enough and the CPUs are not powerful enough for my work and horse play. I still like to install my own stuff and that cloud thing smacks of not controlling my own data. Cable PC anyone?
In any case if you don't need light dimming graphics for photography or 3D work or serious gaming, you could replace a desktop with a laptop. If they can boot from a flash drive then you don't have to worry about the size of the on board hard drive, but get that RAM. Still, make sure the graphics system is adequate.

old PC iss-CHOOOS!

Hi all, been ill lately, graphics not on my mind, I went into the dungeon here at the Linuxville Chateau. It's the realm below the knees, where stacks of stuff have lingered since the DOS days. I gathered some relics from friends to recycle parts. My sister emailed me about her MS PC and malware. I had not done malware removal since I started using Linux 10 or so years ago. Here's the lowdown.

I open an old PC crypt, was immediately attacked by ferocious dust bunnies. I already had a head cold, you could imagine the sound of sneezing fits. My wife was ready to call 911. I got the vacuum cleaner and exorcised the little demons, from the PC, not me! Dust entrails on every device, wire and fans. A through cleaning and it was test ready. I plugged in all the perifs and booted. If I had my own original XP discs I wouldn't have faced this horror but it did give me a chance to practice Malware removal so I could report to my sister.

Being an old PC all the paid for anti-virus protection was done. I had to remove them via the Add-Remove software utility in XP. Then being an Open Source guy I whipped out my Open Disc. It is a collection of Open Source software for XP type PCs. I installed ClaimAV the virus scanner and ran it (takes for ever!). It identified the files of malware, trojans, trialware, games, ads, cookies that were bad and prepared a report in a text file. Then using the report I found the offending files via the file manager and deleted them. Then I obtained a free Registry Cleaner off the net and ran that (takes just shorter than for ever). Then I deleted all the personal data of the former master and all programs I weren't going to use. Finally I did the dreaded defrag (takes forever and a day!).

Well, now it runs well for an old XP machine. I normally would have reformatted and installed Linux, but XP is still useful for many things. I installed Open Source programs on it, free of course. MS Office and Explorer are gone, LibreOffice and Firefox are installed along with GIMP, Inkscape, Corel Painter Classic. The only thing that bothers me is the screen resolution and the CRT itself. The old HP monitor has had it's day and the videocard just doesn't adjust right in lower resolutions, all fuzzy. The highest res is sharp as a tack, but it's a 15" screen and I feel the rays if I get too close to read it. Hey. I'm an old guy. Blessed are they that have newer monitor, keyboard and mouse.

Yeah, I know iPads and smart-phones are the rage, but you can't run GIMP or Photoshop on that now can you, unless its cloudware? If your touchy screen can be the peripheral replacing the monitor, keyboard and mouse for the PC, that is cool. But it needs to be BIGGER for real work. Wacom already has devices like this, but they are hooked on art production and are toooooooo pricey for common folk, hummmmmmm! get your hack on!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

la de da and yada yada yada

Still in a seriously playful mood here. Once you got all the things about you ready to roll, think about what you want to do, how your art is to be applied. Note that you are not really in business until you got some customers. The same with art, you got to produce something for others to look at. That's the whole point, right? Yeah you can do it for your own amusement, but you put that much effort into it for your own enjoyment? Oh none will know about my secret life as an artist. No, you don't have to go commercial and all, but maybe a few close to you might appreciate a shot at seeing the inner workings of you whom they love or hang out with. Art isn't always about a job and to relax via art is very cool. But to hide it all away is a crime.

What is your art for, to decorate a home/office, make a statement in a museum or gallery, or be in magazines, or a web page, a comicbook or a greeting card or cubical workspace?

Art has a place and subject matter, it says something or nothing so much like an abstract design. When your art is in someone else's hands, who knows how it will be applied within their life, where it will fit. So make the jump into your art already.

When in school I lived to sketch. When I worked as a draftsman I had an epiphany. I was making prints of electrical drawings on various plotters, then it hit me. I was making little drawings into big prints, what if I did this to one of my sketches. I took a pen drawing, scanned it into a file at home and plotted it out big on vellum paper at work. I almost screamed with delight to see my little drawing so big. I did similar on my home printer and when I upgraded to one of those photo able printers that sealed it. A number of friends make artwork for web pages, but to make stuff meant for print like posters. I can't afford a big printer/plotter yet but there is Kinkos, OfficeMax and Staples stores that all have print facilities/services and can print posters.

How are prints received in the gallery where I display? Next to other media print sometimes appears to be a little hokie because that print could be a magazine page. What sets it apart is the material it's printed on and scale. Glossy photo paper, matte paper, card stock, canvas, all help make the print more than just a print. Printing is as much an art as drawing the art itself. Of course the better quality materials does help. And who's to stop you from altering/augmenting your print via traditional art medias? You can go on and on but I hope you know when to stop, frame it and display it.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

hoop-la la land

Welcome to hoop-la la land, the place where the rubber meets the road and get rubber melted all over it. No, it only looks like tar.

First thing is read the instructions for all the tools you use. A glancing look is OK until you got a question. Like that Abrams guy on "the yankee workshop" be sure to use the safety equipment, lol. Make adjustments to get things working right. Wait! GIMP and my Wacom Graphire2 won't play nice. I've got to dig deeper into that, I'll "Google" for help. In the meantime, my old Wacom does play well with MyPaint. For Inkscape the mouse is less stress. Hey, it's how I roll, you find what works for you.

My first desire is to not do finished art, but to be able to sketch ideas the same as I've done it in my notebooks. Pictorial notes, storyboarding, sketching, they become a mental bookmark. When I review my sketches often I remember everything I thought about concerning the sketch, including the mood I was in, music associations if I was really into it. I even get a rush of desire as if the original inspiration were present. I can then pick up where I left off. I also save ideas to reuse them and combine them with other ideas, hybrids are all the rage.

Well I mainly use Inkscape because vector drawing is similar to CAD programs like AutoCad. Check out LibreCad, I did and It's cool. Bit-map or raster drawing makes me feel like a traditional artist. My cursor is not constrained. This freehand sketching loosens you up.

For precision tightness you need pen practice. Check out this  site http://clippingimages.blog.com/2010/06/20/graphic-tablet-exercises/  Now this is a tute by "Dusty Ghost" who's web site is down. The exercises will help you get a grip on your pen and mouse. Thanks to the folk on Clipping Images. Another inspirational and instructional site belongs to David Revoy http://www.davidrevoy.com/tutoriel.html ....he is awesome, dig deep, he's got some serious help for open source artist. And park your cursor over at http://linuxgraphicsusers.com/forum/ because we are drowning in the Adobe suite world and the little nation of open source artist needs an oasis, the forum is cool. No offense Adobe fans, what ever tools you have at is cool wid me!

OK, you got the hardware, the software, the gall, the time and the motive, all you need is the effort. Ain't nuttin to it but to do it. OOOh! There is this open source app called Tux Paint for kids. Don't let the kid thing fool you. It's got a few tricks of it's own and in the hands of a smart-aleck, unkid like magic can be made, lol, my grandkids hooked me up.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Play, grunt, serious play, that's art

In college I loved music. I went into an orchestra room by myself and a few things became apparent. I was not a trained musician, each instrument required it's own attention and listening required much less work than making the music. I played the saxophone by ear, in my imagination I wanted to play jazz like John Coltrane. It was all glory, I didn't really want to put in the basic music lessons. I did join a drum troupe, played conga and made Trane like noises. Most of the crowd ate it up, but they were as clueless of the "art" as I.

In my so-called art training, we surveyed several kinds of art activities, hands on. Macramé and appliqué, wire and clay sculpture, life drawing and creative drawing. Then my study as an architecture student. I had liked drawing houses before, my rendering won me a scholarship, but not having basic engineering math hindered me greatly. I covered a lot of not taught in class study while working at the campus library.

All things added together, be inspired by glory but get the basic work done, the rudiments, the rote, the fundamentals, the ABCs, then hack it, improvise. I improvised it all. That is not the way to go, lol. As fun as that was, it's also hard. In the end, an artist uses what he knows, both training and vision make the artist. Had I.....well I would be a different artist, if not a better one.

On the computer I became a draftsman before an artist. Luckily, that was my basic training. Working on a PC requires a certain level of procedure, how do you get there from here. You need to know so many UN-intuitive things. Sitting there with a drawing program before you, it has all the tools and possibilities. Like being in that room full of instruments. If you have background, there is much you have already dealt with.

I place a lot of value on play, you got to play with it. Roaming, doodling, making a cyber mess and erasing it, doing it again. Play helps get you to know what to expect and builds confidence. The next great step is the tutorial and the project. Tutorials and/or a teacher gets you to follow a path (procedure) to get a project done. There is a lot to think about from expectation, to setup, to executing, to finishing. Doing art is all about playing but new info/experience takes it to a new level each time.

Serious play/performance/production is the goal, the best of my ability, not someone else's. There are better and worst than me, but I'm an original. When all the elements come through me this is what you get, no brag, no shame. It was funny I went to the music institute to borrow a practice room. I made my Coltrane like noise, the students walking by looked in and smiled, waved and thumbed up. I was just making noise like I heard. The music is more than that. Eventually I put the horn down because I didn't have the basics to move beyond the noise I heard. I could fool a few people, I couldn't fool myself. I enjoy the music, without the training I couldn't really play it, just the sound of it. You can fool some, but you know. Can't draw, pick up a camera, but there is an art there too. It's not the tools, it's your eye. Everybody has eyes but photographers see more precisely. You can't escape doing the work. Play becomes work becomes serious play........eh, it's an art.