Archive for the Art & Design Stuff Category

My Good Deed For The Day (or maybe month…)

Posted in Art & Design Stuff with tags , , , , , , , , on October 16, 2013 by Bekka

I do in fact perform Good Deeds on occasion. For the next 10 days I am loaning one of my t-shirt designs to the terrific geeky folks at Not Dead Yet Games to use for a fundraiser to order prototypes for reviewers and advertising for their upcoming board game Kickstarter. It will be back in Evil Bekka’s Shop after that at its usual (higher!) price.

So if you like this design, getting good deals, and supporting awesome indie board games, go order one (or five)!!

keep calm and carry shirt image

at http://www.tfund.com/HostileTakeover

And do a good deed once in a while… It feels all warm and fuzzy… Like my insides are full of happy kittens…

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Competant Designers Finish Last

Posted in Airing of Grievances, Art & Design Stuff with tags , , , , , , on July 1, 2013 by Bekka

Dear Ass-Face Person in Pakistan Who Underbid Me on that Laying Out a Book Job:

I understand that your cost of living is lower. That’s cool. I understand that you *know* how to use Photoshop and stock images. Also cool. You are entitled to make a living with your skills just like me.

But DO NOT frakking bid to lay out a 100 page book (for Printing, not Web publishing), and then DO IT IN PHOTOSHOP at 150 dpi! Because you know what happens? The client comes back to me (who did custom illustrations and gave them an actual print-ready file) and asks if I can format your mess into something their printer won’t laugh at.

So much RAGE.

Oh, I also noticed that your “slick formatting” removed a bunch of the spaces between words, some actual words, and a paragraph or two so that you know, the book is unreadable in places. I’m enjoying going through it and adding those spaces/words/paragraphs back in. NOT. (ok, actually I am enjoying it a little because I really do like editing and correcting writing and grammar. It’s a Lawful thing.)

Now, I’m happy for me that the client is a super person who wants to pay me more for cleaning up your mess, but I am angry with you for wasting his money and time with your no doubt well-meant but ignorant shenanigans when I could have done the whole job right to begin with in the first place. You probably also wasted a substantial amount of your own time, too — each page number is its own text layer for shit’s sake!

And don’t get me started on why you shouldn’t do two-page spreads as your final files… unless you’ve already paginated them the way they need to be to print. Which you didn’t. Because that would be insanity with a document this size. Have you ever done anything for physical printing? Maybe you’ve done some newspapers, since that’s about all the resolution in your files is good for. I’m waiting to see if the client does actually get the hi-res image files from you for me to use… or if you just pilfered stuff off the internet illegally and I’ll get to redo all those as well… Update: yes.

Bottom line: if you’re going to try to steal my jobs, at least attempt to be better at them than I am. But no, really, thanks… I needed more work last week, so your crappy job is my clean-up windfall.

Also, I hate you and your ass-face.

Sincerely,

Evil Bekka

How Am I Not Running This Planet Yet?

Posted in Airing of Grievances, Art & Design Stuff with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2012 by Bekka

OK, I just got utterly flummoxed by one of my design clients. This lady is not tech-literate, so I am usually very understanding and careful to explain. I emailed her a dropbox link to the files she needed to give the printer. She’d also requested last year’s design and one other project too, so the link went straight to 3 zipped files that you could click on to download. She burns up my phone this morning (while I’m sleeping, so yeah… I didn’t answer) with calls, emails, and text messages because she’s at the printer and they see 3 files and don’t know what to do. It’s good I didn’t answer the phone because my filter is off in the morning and my “help” would have gone something like this:

Me: OK, can you read?

Her: yes, but —

Me: Do you see the file named “2012 project”?

Her: yes

Me: Guess what?! That’s your project for 2012!!! Click that one!

Yes, it was literally named what it was. And I had told her the file name she wanted in the email I sent with the link because as I said, she is a special client and I knew that the whole dropbox thing was beyond her experience, so I’m not entirely surprised that her mind got in the way of her brain in this instance. The printer now. That blows my mind. Are you really working in a business that requires you to deal with computers and files every day and this is your level of problem solving? There are three files. One is named the thing the client wants you to print. The others are not. So you ask the client which one it is? And when the client doesn’t know herself, you don’t just click on all of them so she can see them and identify the correct one?

Is this a sample of the general population? Is this standard logical thinking for professional humans in a developed civilization? If so, HOW AM I NOT RUNNING THIS PLANET YET?

Fortunately, the text message that did wake me up was “Sorry for the panic. We figured it out.” I really couldn’t resist sending back, “oh good. It was named “2012 project.” Sorry that was so hard…”

Squids, Lasers, and Cupcakes on the Moon

Posted in Art & Design Stuff, In Real Life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2012 by Bekka

Having been subjected to many annoying conversations that begin with, “last night I dreamed…”, I try not to share my dreams that often. But this one was a doozy and led to interesting results, so I’m going to share today. So the dream I had last night was very vivid and realistic. In it a large, glowing Squid-Being was slowly and insidiously siphoning away the vitality of our planet because that was evidently just what it did. In order to stop it (conventional weapons were useless) I had to devise a complex metaphysical method to carefully suck away its life force. I got that far but didn’t know how to return the energy to the planet, so I became supercharged with energy which was not only a great rush, but also gave me the power to fly and shoot purple lasers from my hands. And I don’t mean, like magical abilities either — I just understood how to do these equations that would translate the energy into different states — it was very Zen and Enlightened Math.

The Squid-Being was not pleased with this development, so there was an epic interplanetary chase scene where I eventually drained away enough energy that the squid turned into a well-put-together, perky, blonde, twenty-something human woman who was then open for negotiations on the whole Planet Devouring Question. It helped that I had all the Force Lightning now. It turned out that really, she just wanted to be an entrepreneur and succeed at a small business venture involving her secret passion for baking. I offered to use my new god-like powers to help her start up a bakery on the moon. We discussed names, product and inventory and decided against a Bakery and Deli because fresh meat and cheese was hard to get on the moon, but definitely added coffee to the menu because, “The people on the moon need their coffee just like the rest of us.” Plus she could then hire some snobby baristas…

I woke up wanting to have a cupcake and mug of coffee while watching the Earth rise over the horizon. So while I had my not-moon-brewed decaf coffee with peanut butter toast this morning, I went over to check out what the folks at Mach 30 are up to — any moon colonies or laser guns yet? Sadly, not yet, but I did catch up on their other recent progress. Those of you who follow me on Facebook (and if you don’t, you should — I’m occasionally hilarious and never spammy) have noticed that I will sometimes share cool space-related news in an effort to make our civilization more like the worlds of Star Wars, Star Trek, and Firefly (without the Reavers, please) and Mach 30 is where I get some of those items as their mission and goals are pretty much that too, except they have actual plans, projects and rocket scientists instead of squid dreams and crazy space collages. Anyway, see the cool new graphic badge in the upper right of the sidebar on my home page? That’s right, I’m helping! No rocket science required — which I could totally do if I remembered the Enlightened Math Formulas from my dream, alas. But I volunteered to do some creative writing or design and illustration for them if they need it.

If you are intrigued by this, bored, or jealous of my pretty web badge, click on it to find out what the Catalyst Club is and see if you can help too. Because even though an organization looks like they are awesome, tentacly, and unstoppable, inside they are sometimes just a hopeful girl with bakery dreams who needs some purple lasers to the face in order to use her powers for good. Be the laser with me.

OK, so that last paragraph really sounds like one of The Tick’s closing monologues, but the point is that dreams are cool, the human imagination is powerful, and if we all come together as a community to realize our dreams, we can have cupcakes and coffee on the moon.

How Geeky Are You?

Posted in Art & Design Stuff with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2011 by Bekka

Have you ever wished that there was a way to measure your friends and your own geekiness? Facebook quizzes just aren’t accurate… Surely there must be another way, a way so complex and peppered with so many obscure references that non-geeks would give up in despair (and then pretend they are too cool to care about such things anyway). Well, wish and wonder no longer… BEHOLD! THE GEEKOMETER! (you’ll need to click on it and zoom in to truly appreciate it).

Originally conceived and calibrated by a friend of mine, it was illustrated by me and has undergone some revisions as we’ve added new games to our repertoire and new careers to our circle of friends. Yes, I have played many of the games listed.

The pictures and the “you might be into…” sections are mainly for giggles and some inside jokes. The way to calculate your Geek Score is as follows:

1) Get together with your friends for some marathon gaming. Keep a score sheet of each game played, its geekometer rating, who played it and who won.

2) At the end of the event, each person should tally the geekometer ratings of all the games they played, multiplying the game’s rating by 2 for games they won. Divide that number by total number of games played by that person (include repetitions of the same game).

The result will be the person’s Geek Rating, so then you can find that number on the Geekometer and see if their career choices and hobbies match up to the chart. It’s kind of scarily accurate in my experience.

This is also a good way to evaluate new friends and acquaintances and to discuss people who aren’t in the know right in front of them, “She’s really a 2.4, but game-name-drops like she’s a 3.5;” “He’s a complete 4.1, but will still play 3.1 level games…”

Do you have a way to rate your own or other people’s nerd-quotient? Do you have brilliant suggestions for recalibrating the geekometer (warning: recalibrating the geekometer is a 3.9 level activity; be sure you are qualified before attempting)? Tell me about it in the comments and have an awesome weekend! Go play some games!

Naughty Librarians FTW

Posted in Art & Design Stuff with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 2, 2011 by Bekka

I recently acquired some new drawing pencils and to break them in I did this drawing of my character from the Call of C’thulhu RPG which I haven’t played in a long time, but drawing tentacles is always fun. I tend to get in a Lovecraft mood as the summer starts to die, the wind gusts fitfully and the crows call from the pine trees…

My character is a naughty librarian who runs a speak-easy in the library basement after hours.

 If you should need a character (or most anything else for that matter) illustrated, contact me — my rates are reasonable! 🙂

I hope everyone has a quiet, Elder-God-Free September!

“Autumn… The year’s last, lovliest smile.”

~ John Howard Bryant, Poet Politician

All Your Cats Are Belong To George Lucas

Posted in Airing of Grievances, Art & Design Stuff with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 11, 2011 by Bekka

George, honey — can I  call you George? no? I can call you honey though; I’m from the South and we just get sweeter the madder we are… Love your heart. It has come to my attention that Zazzle.com thinks you own the Intellectual Property rights to pictures of my mom’s cat. What in heaven’s name gave them that impression? Here is what they emailed me:

“Reason Not Approved: Content Partner – Design contains content that violates the intellectual property rights of Zazzle’s brand partners. For a comprehensive list of Zazzle’ s brand partners, please visit: http://www.zazzle.com/brands ”

When I tried to upload this:

Hilarious, no?

This is an image I photoshopped from a picture I took of my mom’s cat, Plumpy, and a photo of a cave taken by talldude07 which was under a creative commons license. I am referencing the Star Wars Universe  as a satire in the style of the lolcats meme. I have misspelled all trademarked names (in the style of the lolcats who have horrible spelling) and refrained from tagging the image or product with any trademarked names or phrases (such as ‘star wars’).

So explain to me why someone else would own the IP rights to this??

Here is what Copyright Law thinks about that:

“the fair dealing exceptions under the Copyright Act 1968 are a limited set of circumstances under which copyrighted material can be legally copied or adapted without the copyright holder’s consent. Fair dealing uses are research and study; review and critique; parody and satire; news reportage and the giving of professional advice (i.e. legal advice).” [emphasis mine]

Now, that would make it OK for me to use someone else’s copyrighted image, art, or text in this context — WHICH I AM NOT EVEN DOING.  Because nothing in this image has been copyrighted by anyone. Except for me, damn it; I declare copyright on it since I created it and thought of it. So There.

The upshot is zazzle.com is erring on the side of extreme caution. They are prohibiting anything that references, parodies, or satirizes ANYTHING that ANYONE thought of EVER. Which they have every right to do, but should explain in their guidelines (which I would link to if I wasn’t in such a blind rage that I have forgotten my log in info). I am going to tell them so in their little feedback survey once I calm down.

Cafepress, however, has no such paranoid hangups :p so you can buy a Jobba the Catt shirt there. F U, zazzle. F. U.

You see, George honey, I’m not really even mad at you. I know you had nothing to do with this and I adore your creative little mind… but Han DID shoot first and nothing you can digitally edit and remaster will ever convince me otherwise… love your heart.