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Coming Soon, my new e-book – Tools For Your Creative Side

Over the years I have needed to find ways to do things online for creative purposes and on a budget.  Many times, I find that the easier the tool is to use, the better. With that in mind, I have compiled a large number of resources to help anyone with a little tech ability and desire to be creative to do just that.

This listing will be the theme of my fourth e-book which I hope to have out later this year with the current title of  Tools For Your Creative Side.

It will provide sources to help with anything from animation, to audio, to photo editing and file converting. More to come later.

cover

 

The color green

Across various cultures, time frames, societies and groups, colors have always been known to hold certain connotations. Considering it is March and all, I thought I’d take a moment to delve into the symbolism associated with the color green.

Like many colors, if not even all of them, green can suggest concepts with both positive and negative connotations. Here are just a few I could think of right off the bat.

green

Positive

Green is often associated with nature or the environment. After all, don’t we frequently consider things green is they are deemed to be good for the Earth?

Green is frequently a color mentioned with the concept of luck. One simple and timely example is that of the Leprechaun.

Negative

Have you ever heard someone say the phase “green with envy?” I bet you have. And we all know that envy isn’t a flattering quality to have.

At times, when someone is young and inexperienced, he or she may be refereed to as green. For example, someone new to a business or job might fit the idea here.

I bet you might have been a bit green yourself when it comes to thinking about all the associations of such a simple color.

 

Wordles

For years, graphic designers have be providing interesting and creative graphic services that literally make words into a form of visual art. You need not look further than a few different print ad campaigns or text-based company logos to realize that this is the case.

However, in a recent random trip through cyberspace, I came across a very cool site that instantly creates a visual piece of art from any phrase or content or the text on just about any website.

The official name of these digital creations are wordles and you can create your own, in seconds and for free at http://www.wordle.net.

Check out this colorful example direct from the website.

Consitution of the United States

A Few Tips For Photographing Food

Within the art of photography, there are many sub-categories.

Most of us can probably come up with some of the more common ones without giving it much thought – portraits, landscapes, wildlife… But one of the ones that has a huge industry onto itself that may not necessarily rank high on your list is food photography.

Think about it, many major restaurants, grocery stores and other similar businesses use images in their advertising. And just like is the case with any other form of photography, a well shot, well edited image is essential.

bad food phgotography

Example of bad food photography:

Notice how the color is bland, the image is washed out and it is actually quite hard to even know what the item may be.

good food photography

Example of bad food photography:

This image blurs out background distractions, features nice and even light and really captures the texture of the meal.

Here are a few tips that might just help anyone interested in delving into this sort of work.

1. Lighting and white balance

– Make sure you have an adequate amount of light for your shot but don’t do overboard. You don’t want to have hot spots in the image that can distract from the main focal point. Nor do you want to see harsh shadows.

2. Color and texture

– Do what you can to make the color as accurate and inciting as possible.  Same goes for texture. A few Photoshop tools that can help here are playing with the satiation and using the dodge and burn tools.

3. Remove distractions

– If there are any items near your image that might take away from the food itself, do what you can to remove them.

Good luck and have fun.

Simple but elegant thank you card

While the first think that probably comes to mind…

when you thing about a “thank you” card is something that a person sends after receiving a gift for a wedding, birthday or other occasion. However, not only is it polite but it can also be good business for small companies, community organizations or entrepreneurs.

Several years back when I was a young child, my other sold homemade baked goods to help with the family finances. Off and on since then, she has taken up the same activity on a smaller scale. Recently, she began working on it a but more seriously.

At her request, I created this graphic design piece as a thank you card for those who place orders for any of her amazing treats.

For any of you who have seen my work before, you may have gathered that I tend to be a bit of a minimalist and believe that in design, less can be more. With that in mind, this card is simple yet elegant and most importantly gets the point across to the customer.

thank you card

Graphic design project without all the special tools

When it comes to working with the graphic arts…

there are generally a few specific tools of the trade. Some that come to mind include Photoshop, Illustrator, In Design and those sort of programs and utilities. However, whether it be an issue of cost or just that we do not have access to a given program on the device we are working with, sometimes we have to use other applications to get the job done.

This was the case when a friend of mine asked if I could come up with an appealing and informative bifold for a major event she is involved with in the Pittsburgh area.

Using an MS Word template, a modified photo and some additional information she had provided, I came up with one that she has raved about many, many times. Here’s a snapshot of the front and back cover:

bifold

 

The lesson here is that while we would all love to have every tool possible available to us as providers of creative graphic services, if we really try, we can do a lot without them if necessary.

Tutorials and easy, affordable promotion

In a previous post…

that can be read here, I mentioned the idea of experimenting with creating a new membership resource for video tutorials on anything and everything related to photography, audio and video. Well, I’m happy to announce that this site is now a reality and will be going live on July 1, 2013.

Check out the image below for a screen shot and the one after that for specifics on how to join in on this really cool concept.

Image Aids

membership site details and info

Along the same lines, sort of, I’d like to offer our readers at Creative Dreamers or anyone else out there the chance to get involved with something mutually beneficial. 

As a small business person myself, I know that it can be hard at times to both make ends meet as well as find an affordable way to get your name out there. Well, this new venture can kill two birds with one stone.

What is it? – 

Permanent online ads (with backlinks) for as low as $5.00 total!

Here’s how it goes with pricing options ranging from high to low.

One of the site’s we work with called Twisted Angels will post ads for a monthly fee of either $10.00 (for a 300×300 ad) or $5.00 (for a 300×90 ad) on one of four of their publicly accessible pages. The site will also offer to design your ad and provide one revision for $15.00 or $10 respectively. See screen shot from the sight below:

ads

 

Then there’s the one-time only payment ads:

The costs are still $10.00 and $5.00 but while these ads will remain on the site, they will lose primary positioning and viability over time.

These will be posted on the following additional blogs that Creative Dreamer’s works with:

Life is Your Canvas 

Mad Hot and Artsy

And then there’s one more option:

In addition, larger ads (up to 600×600 pixels) or even video ads can be posted on the two blogs listed above. These will require a single payment of $25.00.

See the chart below for all the details:

ad chart

If interested, please let us know.

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