My digital watercolor painting

What’s been going on this week

This week has been busy! I can’t believe it’s Friday already. Last weekend we celebrated my husband’s birthday with both sides of the family and then rented X-Men Days of Future Past. We both really enjoyed it.xmen_days_of_future_pastI always enjoy X-men movies though. I don’t know a lot about the comic background, I enjoy comic I just have not spent much time reading them. My husband on the other hand, usually knows the comics quite well. =) One of my favorite parts of movies like this is the special effects. I love visual effects in movies. Sometimes so much so that I forget to pay attention to whats actually happening and start thinking about how the effects were made. The hubby isn’t too found of this, since I end up asking him to pause the movie and catch me up haha. Video and 3D animation were my first love in the digital design world. When I started my associate’s degree I wanted to work in either of those fields. I didn’t stay on that career path though, I eventually realized there is not a large job market in my area of Ohio for that. I still think it’s really interesting though and someday I hope to dabble in it more for some personal projects.

At work this week I’ve been going through some additional training on how our screen printing process works with different inks, what kind of defects do we commonly find, and some in-depth looks at how the machines actually work. I really wanted to take some photos of the process and write a blog about it, but because such a large portion of our work is done with licensed art, I wasn’t able to do that. I learned about how different gears in our machines effect pattern lengths though. We went out to the factory and saw how the tooling tech chooses and sets up the gears for the glassware. The different size gears effect how the glass rotates around on the machine for the paint to go down which allows them to achieve printing designs that wrap all the way around the glass.  We also got to stretch our algebra chops with some math problems to learn how to correctly adjust pattern lengths for different gears. Our engineering department has set up specific equations for us to help calculate this because we have several different machines that do not take the same kinds of gears. When scheduling puts an order on a different machine than we had set up the art for, we can plug numbers into this nifty equation to find the appropriate gear and pattern length for the new machine. I think I would have enjoyed that more had it not been 430AM though. 😉

I’ve also been working on creating some training tutorials for work this week. I really enjoyed this. It’s odd, I know, but I like writing SOPs, outlining training, and teaching people. I’m always told I have a knack for it. I have a handful of other videos on my list to create. I may take some of the videos and create some public tutorials to share as well for some of the topics that are not specific to what we do here.

For example, the first video I created covered how to create a script for Illustrator that allows you to select all open paths. At work, many of our senior artists have worked here for years (my supervisor has been here 21 years now) and they have only used Corel Draw. Over the past year we have been transitioning into Illustrator. For the handful of the team fairly fresh out of school, it’s no problem, we know Illustrator like it’s the back of our hand, but the majority of our team has not worked much in it until now. Since we work heavily with art that was submitted by our customers, we don’t often know when a shape isn’t closed, but our trapping program gets angry when this happens (to say the least lol). Finding a way to identify these shapes quickly is something that others have been asking for, so I spent a bit of time on the Adobe forum to find what I needed to help them. It’s a quick bit of JavaScript and it solves a big problem for the other artists. Today I worked on a video showing how to make a training video using QuickTime and Imovie. Both of these videos are pretty simple tasks, but very helpful tutorials for some of our team.

Lastly, I’ve been working on wrapping up that digital watercolor painting I started a while back. It’s not frame-worthy by any means, but it was a fun project. I’d never ventured into digital painting before so this project was more about trying something new and different. Using a mouse instead of a drawing tablet was a challenge as well. Eventually I’ll have to invest in one of those but for now I just made do with the tools at hand. I’m still not entirely sure I’m finished. I may go back and work on blending a bit more, but I’ll share it with you all.

Reference Image

Reference Image

My digital watercolor painting

My Digital Watercolor Painting

It was a fun experiment, and I’ll probably go back and work on it a bit more eventually. Don’t judge it too harshly for a first attempt with a mouse! =)

I’ve got some other unfinished projects I’m ready to pick back up now though(like working on the portfolio page on the site here for one thing). Remember how I talked about designer ADD? My goal is to take that random and sometimes short attention span and utilize it in a more productive manner. I think if I can rein it in a tad, it could actually help me stay inspired and focused while working on multiple projects at once.

How do you stay inspired? Do you work on a single project at a time or are you more like me and prefer to bounce from project to project? I’ve been thinking about workflow quite a bit this year, listening to a lot of podcasts and reading lots of blogs on the topic in hopes of improving mine. Creative workflow seems to be such a personal thing it’s really interesting to find out what works well for others.

As always, thanks for stopping in to read the Pink Glasses blog! Don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe!



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