Happy 2014 with a Free Wallpaper

wallpaper_promo_christmas2014Happy New Year Everyone! May it shine bright and be filled with lots love, laughter, and learning. I’m going into my fifth year of blogging (I don’t count that one random post from August 08′) and it’s fun to look back on my posts. My design skills have definitely grown and I’ve come across some stellar artists. I’m looking forward to another year. It seems like it’s my tradition to post my goals for the next 365 days, so here it goes!

  • Be happy as much of the time as possible. Read The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor
  • Be grateful – find 3-5 things to be thankful for each morning
  • Get a shirt design printed on Threadless
  • Work 40 hours a week (freelance or full-time) and have fun doing it
  • Post once every two weeks (or more)
  • Pick up at least one new technique a week
  • Become a whiz at coding (html, css, js, wordpress etc.)
  • Finish Tomb Raider – Hardcore gamers don’t laugh, I don’t play that often and when I do it’s for about an hour and a half and I progress by 2%
  • Take more photos
  • Sketch more

and of course design stuff that kicks butt!

beadstutorialSpeaking of designs, here’s my wallpaper celebrating 2014. It was inspired by this Illustrator tutorial: Create a Mosaic BBC Inspired Text Art Effect. It’s said to take 1hr 45 mins. It took me longer because I had some issues and deviated a bit. Here are some tips. I messed up a few times by going to the Offset Path in the Object panel, instead of the Effects panel. Also I don’t know if this is because of the version of Illustrator that I’m using, but in Section 2 – Step 2 you may have to drag the Offset Path into the correct fill in the Appearance panel (see image in that section). I also didn’t use the provided build-a-font method. I chose the font Bauserif and filled in its shape. I also broke up the shadow effects into different sections based on my placement of the number and my light source. Again Happy New Year and Enjoy!

PrintA special thanks goes out to my cousin Cara, who always gives great feedback. My background was originally purple, which she was not too fond of (surprising since it’s her favorite color). I made some adjustments and voila!

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Have A Merry Christmas & A Free Wallpaper

wallpaper_christmas2013_stripSeason’s greetings everyone! I hope you have a great Christmas and to celebrate I have created a Christmas wallpaper for your desktop’s pleasure. It’s actually an adaptation from my specialized Christmas cards going out to my clients.swirl It was inspired by an Illustrator Quick Tip: Create Decorative Swirls in Minutes Using the Width Tool. Never using the width tool before, I thought this would give me the chance to practice and create a pretty distinct Christmas tree. I opted against swirls though, adjusting curved lines of different line weights. I created one half of the tree then reflected it. Then I added a few more lines to break up the symmetry. I kept the lines on one layer, not really caring which line rested on top of each other. In the end this actually worked in my favor adding depth when I randomly changed the color of some of the lines.

poster_mockup_christmas13

Thank you to moo.com for my beautifully printed cards.

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Printed Christmas Cards

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Printed Christmas Cards – Personalized Message per Client

This month I’ve been plagued with shipping issues. Some items arrive early (which is great), but most have arrived late or I’m still waiting on them. Now I’m just going with the flow. Lesson learned: start in November. This is another item I’m waiting on, to pair with my Christmas cards.
mockup_busnisscard_yourock2013

Here is the actual wallpaper. Enjoy!
wallpaper_christmas2013

Also here’s another Christmas treat for you. The folks at fotolia have made all their Ten Collection PSDs available to download for free for the next 24 hours starting 10am (in your time zone) December 24, 2013. Check out their Facebook page to learn more.
christmas_ten_collection

Free Wallpaper: Simplicity

I keep a list on my phone’s Quick Notes App of wallpaper ideas. Sometimes I know exactly what I want to create and other times the concept remains hazy. Simplicity fell into the unclear category. It was inspired by a fortune cookie. I have long since given up on fortune cookies giving me an actual prediction, however this “fortune” struck a chord. It said “Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.” How true. Minimalism is often related to sophistication. (I would have provided a picture of this fortune however I put it in a safe place, so safe that I now can’t find it.)

I have this great quote, but what do I do with it? I thought about opposites, maybe creating an absurdly complicated piece or making it as simple as it gets, black type on a white background. Unsure, adding Simplicity to my list, I knew inspiration would come one day. Yesterday it arrived in a photograph taken by Jon DeBoer labeled Superstar (seen below).

Photograph by Jon DeBoer

DeBoer’s photo is stark, powerful, full of contrast and attitude, and simple. It was my answer. I studied it, creating Simplicity to mimic its style while adding in little extras, like the seating. I’m quite pleased with the results and it was completed in approximately four hours in Photoshop. Enjoy and of course feedback is welcome. I may even make this into a tutorial considering Photoshop is refusing to open my original file. Would anyone be interested?

simplicity_wallpaper simplicity_wallpaper_close1 simplicity_wallpaper_close2

Here are some  sources I used:

Font: Foglihten No. 04

auditorium2 woodfloorHere is another “fortune” that I kept and could actually find.

fortune

Free Wallpaper! Silence

Silence stripI feel like my mind races at 120 mph ninety-five percent of the time, but before it gets in gear, I try to find some peace and quiet. This means as soon as I get up I try to isolate myself. I close the door and avoid family ( I have a big one). It helps me prepare for the day ahead. I get some meditative reading done, put things in perspective, affirm what I’m grateful for, and review my tasks for the day. One day this past week, it hit me, even if surround myself with silence, it’s still not quiet. I can still hear myself breathe and feel my heart beat. Yay for being alive! So that inspired me to create this wallpaper I call Silence. It took approximately 3 hours in Photoshop. Enjoy! Feedback is welcome.

 
silence_wallpaper_1920x1080


This source image was taken by Belovodchenko Anton aka african_fi from sxc.hu.

silence_imagesource

The main brushes I used are a part of a Bittbox Freebie: 5 Abstract Porous Brushes.

2013 Free Wallpaper & the Best of 2012

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Happy New Year Everyone! I’m excited for the year 2013 and I hope you are too. Thanks goes out to my new subscribers and to the ones that have stuck with me for the past 3 years. 2012 was a major year for me filled with highs and some powerful lows, but I’ve learned that it’s how you respond to those lows that makes a difference. I accomplished some of my goals from last year and some will be a continuous effort, like blogging more (at least once a week) and producing a monthly wallpaper. Here’s my design for the month of January celebrating the new year. I wanted something strong and dark, but at the same time pops. I also wanted something that both genders could appreciate. My wallpapers so far have leaned toward the feminine. The font I used was Old English Text MT and the outlines were constructed in Illustrator and brought into Photoshop.

2013 Free Wallpaper 1920 x 1080

2013 Free Wallpaper 1920 x 1080

Whether it’s due to color profiles, some system setup, or the fact that I’m working at different scales, the image in my psd file is slightly different from the final result. I’ve included a screenshot. I like the stronger red tones.

2013wallpaper_screenshot

A new year triggers a review of the previous in a culmination of “Best of” lists. Here are a few “Best of 2012” from some blogs I follow:

From up North – Best of Digital Art & Typography
bestof2012_fundigitalbestof2012_funtypography

Line25 – Best Web Designs of 2012
bestof2012_line25

Good.is – The Best Smart Products of 2012
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Architnect’s Top 12 for 2012
bestof2012_archinect

Blogspoon Graphics – Greatest Tutorial Hits of 2012
bestof2012_spoon

Digital Arts – Best Creative Tech for 2012

JUST Creative – Popular Posts of 2012

Wising Everyone a Bright
and Prosperous New Year!!!

 

 

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