Sunday, August 31

Art and stickiness

I've always wondered why people bought art. I mean, if they got the tools, materials and other resources, they could do something very similar to what they could buy and it would be their own soul-children adorning their walls. Only in the past month or so, browsing Etsy, has it begun to really, truly dawn on me. There's a story behind it. People like buying art from an artist, a poet, who deals with the daily grind of life and still uplifts yours. I found that the pages of items I visited which had only the product and delivery specs were less appealing, as compared to those in which the story or personality of the artist - or indeed, the art itself.

In the book Made to Stick, Chip and Dan Heath give great examples every chapter on how to improve your "Stickiness" with simple strategies. The most important being their coined,

"SUCCES" acronym:

S simple - don't lose your core message in a lot of pomp and circumstance

U unexpected - make your idea jump out and grab people's attention

C concrete - keep it easy to grasp vs. mind boggling statistics or huge numbers

C credible - is your idea believable?

E emotional - people react to emotion and it creates an empathetic bond

S stories - story telling is an age old form of communication

These kinds of strategies are useful to retain for anything you want to do, as it mostly consists of the best practices for sticking in the human mind.

Saturday, August 30


This picture was taken about a week ago and it's the first photo in a while that I wanted to be more than a snapshot.

Friday, August 29

Quest - first view

Just a couple of quick snapshots from my first day or so at Quest - they're keeping me busy right now so I'll keep you posted.

View from my balcony

Living room area

The view this morning on the way to breakfast at the cafeteria

My signature on the wall we all get to sign.

Sunday, August 24

Putting on a new hat

After seeing the beauty of desktop background style of Ether on DeviantART, I've remixed some of my pictures. (Read: edited never-before touched, sometimes cropping to fit my widescreen-flavoured laptop)

There are times I feel guilty for writing less in a post but today I remember that it takes the time to take the picture and edit it, choose the best result and decide what makes the cut. And now I have something of a model to point me in the direction I want. Or really, any direction at all... it's better than nothing.

I like getting in with the nice detail pictures and changing up the colours a bit, so they're realistic, but just slightly fantastic. It's a new style to work on.

Saturday, August 23

Existential Crisis du jour

What is a meaningful life? Who are you??

These questions remain my companions as I pack for the coast, for a new life. What shall I keep? Only that which I need. I am not sentimental about my possessions, rather I try to be pragmatic about what I will keep. Sometimes we have keepsakes whose value we only see once a year. Sometimes I find snippets I've written to myself, parts of me I'd completely forgotten.

On one hand, it's nice to keep those memories. You can see just by looking at a 'relic' of your past how you've changed or improved... On the other hand, you can only hold so much in your mind, in your image of self, at once. We should go forth confidently after shedding our skins, every day even!

Holding on to the past is safe and comfortable, but a safer bet yields smaller winnings.

Some Albertan themes: the fields, not always pancake flat, and a cloud triptych, because I am very enamored with clouds and with the new iPhoto technology!

Wednesday, August 20

Reverse blue

Here are pictures of things that are normally orange, but with the use of Paint's inverse color tool, are blue...

This is more a study on the colors than anything else!

Kind of random, I know... this one's an orange bell pepper.

This one is a streetlight on a night when it was raining..

This is a duvet cover from IKEA.

Tuesday, August 19

I'm back!

I haven't posted in a while, which both disappoints not only myself, but you. I'm positive of it, and I am sorry.

Here are some pictures of the latest: they've been edited with iPhoto on my new MacBook instead of Microsoft Office Photo Editor. It's like fumbling my way around in the dark, in a room I've never seen.... but I did manage to come up with a couple of different effects:

This one makes me think of a greeting card or some kind of graphic:

And the following: slightly antique, with some real texture. I like how dark it gets in places.

This was my experiment with water drops. I hope there will be more, and of better condition, in the future!

Getting this lightning image below wasn't as daunting as I thought it would be. All I need is a place with a better vantage point, like a lake maybe. Hmmm....

Monday, August 11


Makes me think of those wintery red berries...

Sweet image for backgrounds!!


Friday, August 8

TGIF - quick quips

TGIF: Think Green, It's Friday!

Fridays I will post something to do with the green theme, with a special focus on green + art. I also post finds to do with the three Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle), new policies in government or industry, eco-friendly appliances and vehicles... anything green!

This week I have three small things I bet you didn't know. (After the last TGIF, I thought it might be nice to take things in small bites)

Green book alert system

You can subscribe to the e-mail alerting service of newly published journal issues, books, and special issues via Elsevier Environment Science & Ecology program. (check for some links like the carbon calculator evaluator)

Photo contest: Ecotourism in action

Trail Canada is having a photo contest. Send in your picture of ecotourism or sustainable travel and you could win 500$ worth of VIA Rail travel certificates! Contest closes August 22, so there's still lots of time to submit an entry!

Humpback whales help reduce emissions?
Expect the blades of wind turbines to have a different look in the next few years. A biologist (Frank Fish) tested a (thankfully, deceased) beached whale's flipper in a wind tunnel and found it to be extremely aerodynamic. This surprised almost everyone, who thought the ridged flippers were a dragging setback for the humpback whales.

A Whalepower “Tubercle
Technology” turbine blade:

Thursday, August 7

Wallpaper: Artificial Intelligence

This week's desktop wallpaper focuses on the computer revolution that hasn't yet hit us...

To set this image as your background,

click the image,

then right-click and choose "Set as background"

Tuesday, August 5

What's behind door number 3?

I'm seeing more and more lately that life is all about choices.

Choose who to be, decide if your mistakes are worth fixing, whether you want to be good at many things or focus on one or two areas, whether you'll develop your natural talents or spend your time on something else...

How you live your life: quiet, eventful, extravagant, simple, colourful, careful... What do you decide is so important to you that you will not compromise? Live in an apartment, with others, in a house that costs more money, in which neighbourhood and which city, in what country? Is your home a place to relax and unwind or motivate and stimlate?

With whom will you spend your time. Many acquantances, fewer friends, living alone or having a family. Are your friendships mutually beneficial? Will your people be the leeches who demand your time, attention, pity, or money, or will they be uplifting you with their thoughtfulness? Do you have enough time for yourself and for your friends??

.....I think a lot is determined by your willingness to make it work, whatever you choose.....

Man, there are some times that I still feel so much more like a young person, ignorant of the ways of the world

Monday, August 4

Customize your walls

I have been reading a book I picked up by chance on painting murals (Mural Painting: Secrets for Success by Gary Lord). The author runs his own business painting murals, and decided to pass his knowledge onto whoever buys his book next (Out of the goodness of his heart - God bless him. The money is, of course, the burden he must carry, being successful and all)

The book is filled with examples from various artists with their own unique styles, each of them with something to offer you: from how to achieve a certain look to starting your own mural painting business, and including things like faux-finishing wood! Of course, since I have no walls of my own on which to paint I may have glossed over the actual instructions part, and therefore am unable to tell you how useful the directions actually are....

An alternative to actually painting the walls, I was thinking, would be to paint canvas and mount it - the benefit being that you can transport, remove, and change canvas without the extra work of having to repaint or re-sand walls. I think I would like to take this on as a project in the liminal state between this life and the next (work to school - what a strange transition).

My favourite was Zebo Studios, check it out!

And actually one of my favourite images was of an unfinished mural, with most a sketch in pencil still showing. How I love that look, more so than paint.....

Note: I would have loved to have shared a couple of images with you scanned from the book, but unfortunately image editing software eludes my computer. (I have a new laptop, a MacBook I have named Cupertino Effect - read here for the background scoop)