Sunday 2 August 2009


Computer Transitions
Immediately after logging out of Blogger on last week's Art Monday, our Compaq Presario R3000 with the busted screen froze and restarted with an error we may not be able to fix. Thanks to a couple of helpful bloggers, (Thanks ScottE and Lousy Canuck!) I may be able to rescue the family photos we were still in the process of backing up. My artwork is relatively safe on an external hard drive and USB key and my iPod Touch. Back-up your files, kids!

At the moment, I'm working from a loaner pc my wife's mom lent us: Thanks bunches, S! I was hoping to budget a new inexpensive pc for my return to my undergrad this September. Innumerable people have suggested I invest in a Mac, but I'm not sure that's in the budgetary cards right now. At any rate, even an inexpensive Acer or equivalent will seem like
a dream after what I've been using since starting The Flying Trilobite.

Our laptop had a number of problems. We bought it lovingly used from a friend and it was great. After one cold night walk outside to a friend's place, the top right of the screen lost half of its pixels. You could kind of bend it and they'd snap back on for a few seconds. A few months ago, our old Photoshop CS stopped working, due to the software licence number not being registered - I was sure the copy we purchased with the laptop was legit, but at any rate, the operator's recommendation was to sink $700 into Photoshop CS4. I'd love to. For the moment though, I downloaded GIMP free software, and I have been eyeing Artrage for the new computer when we get it. My Wacom Intuos 3 came with some nifty software I'll load onto it as well.

And that's something important that needs to be said to all the aspiring artists who m
ight read this, or colleagues who fall on hard times. Your tools only carry you so far. If you think the art I produce has any degree of technical ability at all, keep in mind I've been using a 5+ year old laptop with a busted screen that takes 15 minutes to log onto DSL connected internet. I'll say it again: your tools only carry you so far. The rest is practice practice practice. Do what you are good at. Expand your skill set by experimenting a bit at a time, pace yourself at integrating new lessons.

School Transitions
I'm a student again. This is a weird feeling, but in a few weeks I'll be headed back to York University to complete an undergrad I left incomplete about 12 years ago. My wife and I met shortly after I left school, so she doesn't know what I'm lik
e as a single-minded obsessed art student. Oh dear.

It seems like a fool's hope that I will go beyond the undergrad, what with working, food near a table, roof in the vicinity of heads etc., but I admit I've begun to think about it. What I'd really love to do is illustrate full-time. I think my personal life is gonna be busy this year.

Blog+Art Transitions
I think this blog is slowly expanding into some new areas beyond the art. I'm commenting more on the nature of being an atheist today, and being
a tad more personal.

Art-wise, expect to see some new themes as well. It'll always be Art in Awe of Science, I'm simply adding more things to the mix. I aim to do some pop-nerd culture drawings for the August Art Mondays. 'Cuz why not?

I have loads of artwork I'd like to wrap up in this month before school starts, and I've bought my supplies (except that pesky new computer). Always willing to let a contract interrupt though! I promised myself I'd stop announcing artwork I haven't completed but here's a list of things on my slate to be checked off when I can. (There, that's nice and vague.)

-New Diatom Fairy piece. Sketch here and at right. Diatom Fairies are basically my wife Michelle who doesn't like looking at herself in paintings. Which is weird because she's gorgeous.
-My submission to the Coyne/Benson/Myers/Haubrich/etc accommodationist-Vs-atheist in science debate. Almost done. Involves science-chess pieces.
-Three new t-shirt ideas. Camouflage flying trilobite insignia, albino squirrel doing tai-chi, and a butterfly-winged trilobite. These'll probably have to wait until I'm settled into a new computer.
-A mysterious planned image for The Beagle Project. Got the wood panel ready, and prelim drawings done.
-A number of Lord of the Rings drawings, Marvel comic characters and a new image of my Trilobot Transformer to complete for the next few art Mondays.

You know when you have that feeling? Like, where will I be in one year's time? Everything feels in flux right now, and in a good way. Even with the toasted-'puter.

- - - - - - - -

Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow
under Creative Commons Licence.

Flying Trilobite Gallery *** Flying Trilobite Reproduction Shop ***


Mike Haubrich said...

Back to school? Good on ya, Glendon! (And I have to say that I am more than a little tickled that you listed me with such giants as PZ, Jerry and Ophelia.)

Glendon Mellow said...

Your comments on the issues were at least as well-said and lucid as the other three.

And your inclusion of my little tweet in your quote section led to me thinking about painting the tweet. You make my brain work so there.

Glendon Mellow said...

Thanks about school too. Nervous about my behaviour in crit.

Jason Thibeault said...

I hope GIMP works out for you! I haven't tried it with my fiancee's tablet yet, but I saw in one of the latest versions they have all the pressure sensitivity stuff available. I actually don't know how long it's been, since I mostly only use it to resize and make transparent gifs, but I do know at least a few years back it was something that Serious Artists were complaining about. I don't know if you require CMYK separation, but I understand it's only available through a third-party plugin.

Oh, and if you need any assistance with ripping apart the laptop, do let me know. Tech's what I do for a living, and helping out cool people I meet on the interwebs is a hobby. :)

Glendon Mellow said...

Gimp is alright. Pressure sensitivity is not bad at all. Once I'm off the loaner computer in a few weeks, I'll likely load Gimp along with Artrage onto whatever new magic box I pick up.

Thanks again for your immense help, Jason. A good friend of mine is having a look, and there's something wrong with the c drive too. The chkdisk function is working very slowly, but working. So it's spending the night at his place.

I assume you're in Canada - out east? It'd be a pleasure to grab a cup of coffee with you some time.

Jason Thibeault said...

It most assuredly would be a pleasure. If you're ever in Nova Scotia, especially near the Annapolis Valley, drop me an e-mail, and I'm sure coffee can be arranged!

I'd do the same if ever I'm back in TO, but there's not a lot drawing me there, save for my best friend who's teaching in the area. And having lived in Etobicoke and working in Mississauga for about two years, I'm afraid I have had my fill of Big City Life.

Glendon Mellow said...

Etobicoke and 'Sauga are hardly big city - though that's close enough I know what you mean.

I'd love to get out east. Never been further thn Montreal, but everyone raves about it.

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