2014 in retrospect

So 2014 is over! Looking back, a lot happened this year but there’s still a lot that needs to be finished, as well. Since the two of us are a team, it would follow that we should do a post together to wrap up the year, so that’s what we are doing! ♥ (more…)

Creative Growth and Feedback

Hi again everyone!

Today I want to talk about creative growth, specifically focused on the role feedback plays in that growth. The reason I wanted to tackle this subject is because I think we often approach it, not exactly incorrectly altogether, but definitely in a way that doesn’t always take into account that you are talking to a human, not a robot.

The arts (I’m going to focus on visual arts but I’m sure this applies to other creative fields as well) have a well established culture of feedback and critique. It plays an important role in creative growth. That outside perspective and more experienced opinion goes a long way in guiding people to become really good at their field of choice. It can also be destructive and negative. This culture currently exists in a form where the feedback can be harsh and the artist needs to take it otherwise they are ‘unprofessional’ and will ‘never improve’. The person giving the feedback is often absolved of what they are saying and the burden is placed on the artist to just get better. Otherwise they ‘just can’t hack it’ and are therefore weak. I’m not just talking about technical critique, but also critique on what an artist chooses to draw and how. We have all had a good laugh at the people that choose to draw recoloured versions of characters from their favourite series. My point is that we are ignoring the fact that learning art is a process.


Design 101: GUI Design

Hello everyone and welcome to the final Design 101 blog post!

Today I will be talking about GUI design. I will point out now that this is purely about design and I will not being going into anything about programming. I can not help you there. However, some of these tutorials may be helpful to get you started: one two three

When I first started looking into GUI I was totally confused. Professionally I am a print designer so the world of screen graphics was pretty foreign. How was I meant to set things up? What were the rules? How the hell do those slidey bar things work??? What helped me a lot to get started was to actually look through some PSDs of GUI. It gave me an idea of how to lay things out and what would and would not work. So in that field of thought I’m providing some of my own PSDs to give people an idea of how I personally lay things out. This isn’t the one and only way, just the way I happened to do it this particular time. If something works better for you then that is the way you should go. Please note that these are for reference only and you may not use any of the elements in your own work.

In this blog I will be covering specific aspects of design including why you should do custom GUI, different aspects of GUI, design process and actually mocking up the GUI that can then be taken and used to program the GUI. To be clear, I can’t give you a walkthrough on how to design. It’s not one of those things that can be done through paint by numbers. Design is often about following your instincts on what is and isn’t good design. To hone your instincts you need to have good taste. Taste, like skill, is something you can gain through observation. The more you look at good designs and acquaint yourself with how things work, the better your taste will get and the better you will be at being able to make judgement calls.