I’ve been working with graphics software for a while now. In prepress, I get files created by all sorts of people, in all sorts of ways, from all sorts of packages. Lots of people choose software packages and defend their choices vigorously, much like folks defend their politics. They have all sorts of reasons for why theirs is the best, but in the end it’s simply the package that they are familiar with, and have shelled out for. But it really doesn’t matter. I’ve seen people create amazing things with the worst software, and absolute crap with the best. It’s a tool, not a lifestyle.

That’s why I became interested in the GIMP, and Inkscape. These are free, open source graphics software packages. GIMP handles raster graphics, Inkscape works with vector. I simply do not want to shell out for Creative Suite, or the machine I would need to run it. I run Ubuntu on an old single core P4. I dislike Microsoft’s products and practices, and dislike Apple’s prices and practices (I hate Wacom’s patent b.s. too, but have had trouble getting competing products to work under linux, and I hate having heavy batteries in my stylus).

Both GIMP and Inkscape have met my needs so far. I haven’t pushed them too hard yet, but I’m getting there. The biggest problem is unfamiliarity with the interface. But this is a problem with switching software regardless of the price you paid for it. It’s a bit like trying to find a spoon in an unfamiliar kitchen. Lots of drawers, which one do they keep them in? A little determination, time and a helpfile and you can get past that.

How Does Your Garden Grow?

This one I made last spring, for my sister’s birthday. She’s been cultivating a garden that has become quite impressive. I’m considering the same, we’ve got some space here in the yard that might be useful for vegetable production. This is a pencil drawing colored in the GIMP, which I’ve been experimenting with quite a bit lately. So far it’s met all of my needs. I’m using a Wacom Bamboo tablet, which is the sort of econo-model that wacom offers. It doesn’t have tilt functionality, but it’s sensitivity and resolution are just fine.

Anagrams are fun

Where have I been? Right here. Too busy to update the site, obviously. Well, not all that busy. Most of my free time’s spent playing Team Fortress 2. Maybe my priorities are a little outta whack. I have been working, though, and will have a couple of updates about that soon. For now, have a look at this quick illustration I did this morning. Inked in real life, colored hastily in the GIMP, and about one of the oldest cliches in horror movies.