Your home for everything artistic

It was a little more than a year back when I found Simbi via a post on a friend’s Facebook profile. After taking a few minutes to poke around the site, I was hooked. Now, “what is Simbi?” you might ask. Well, the most basic way to explain it would be a social network and community that is focused on the growing interest in a barter economy.

Sure, you can find all sorts of people looking for and offering a service or product related to almost any need whatsoever. But, since this is an arts-related blog, I have to say there are plenty of things on here sure to pull in the artists among us.

First, you can easily trade Simbi (the currency of the site) or do a even swap for anything from drawings to clothing. This is great from people who don’t have a lot of cash but could benefit from the work of someone like a cartoonist or logo designer.

Second, it’s a great opportunity for networking. There are groups on the platform in which people can discuss items related to their interests. I belong to a few including “Writer’s Club” and “Design Hub.” If there is not a group that fits what you want, you can start one.

Third, it can be a great testing ground to find out how people will respond to services you might be considering putting out there as a freelance gig.

Basically, Simbi is pretty awesome. Check it out for yourself and I bet you’ll agree.

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As a member of a number of groups geared toward the art of photography on Facebook and Google Plus, I’ve come to find that there truly are varying levels of professionalism among the ranks.

First off, let me state what may be obvious to some but not so much to others regarding the concept of being a professional. While some may think that the essence of professionalism is getting paid for the work you do, that in and of itself does not make one professional.

For example, if your cousin shoot shoots wedding pictures for you as a favor and you pay him $250, that dos not make him a professional any more than Michael Phelps was technically an “armature” swimmer during the Olympics. It’s so much more than this and these are the keys in my opinion.

Pros should have these qualities:

1. Carry on appropriate relationships with any collaborators

2. Get their work done in a timely manner

3. Do not consistently show late for events

4. Do not cancel without good reasons or at the last minute or simply don’t show up.

5. Responsive when people try to contact you by phone email.

If you don’t know Thomas Blancard yet, you’ll want to after seeing this incredible piece of video. He’s a talented film director that has even had his work featured in a commercial for the latest iPhone!

What happens when you mix paint, oil and liquid soap? This video shows the wonderfully stunning result.

Even though it would be nice, the reality is that many people who are interested in photography do not have the financial means to purchase expensive software to edit or retouch their pictures. And in some cases, they don’t have the time to do some of the necessary but tedious tasks without the help of automation.

These three FREE web-based tools can be a big help.

Editor: Pixlr

Can’t afford Photoshop or similar applications? Don’t want to have to deal with downloading big programs like GIMP? The Pixlr tool allows you to do all the basics and a lot more in your browser. It’s powerful and relatively easy to use with a professional feel layout.

Effects: LunaPic

Even though LunaPic is a bit less user-friendly, it’s still fairly easy to work with and gives people the ability to make all sort of filter adjustments and more. It’s like some of the filtering apps available for your phone but generally less generic and more powerful.

Resizer: Bulk Resize Photos

There are a bunch of reasons why you might need to resize photos to make the smaller. After all, if you all posting them online it’s not always a brilliant idea to have them in full resolution.  You can use this to quickly resize any number of pictures.

Unforgotten – A Poem

Your truth echos
In the ever gentle breeze
With each September Recurring
Preserving what is free

Your names etched
Deep into hardened stone
Saving lives of many
In sacrificing your own

Now who could ask for more?
Love truly crushing hate
With colors flying proudly
As they accepted fate

We owe you so much
A debt we cannot repay
For the selfless acts of courage
On that late summer day

If you have’t heard of this young lady, you really need to discover her talent. This video will show you just what she does:

The Plagiarism Paradox

Being a passionate fan of the written word, there are few things that tick me off more than plagiarism. It is essentially theft and the lowest of the low in terms of academic dishonestly. But with that being said, there is one big problem that by it’s very nature keeps growing with each and every paper written.

People can and do accidentally plagiarize.

It’s been stated that there are really no original ideas just original was of stating them. So, as much as some people may try, there is bound to be some overlap between content on occasion. And, with more and more content coming out each year, the chances for overlap increases.

My view is to always use your own words and if somehow they overlap, the differences in the majority of the writing will be obvious enough that any reasonable individual will realize it was not intentional and thus not plagiarism.

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