31 March 2012


So I was looking at my old stack of business cards for inspiration and just had to shake my head at all the pager numbers and stray hotmail addresses. Only 1 had a website, and it wasn't for a personally registered site.

Laughable, really, how old they all are.

I got a coupon code for a free set, so I've been working on it. Mostly I find that I don't want to be that reachable. Don't really want it to be for myself so much as for Rocklawn Arts. Still haven't decided if my name should be on top or not or what, if anything, I should call myself.

Hmm. Best get back to it though as the code expires tonight.

Two years ago on TTaT: Light It Up, vol. 1

30 March 2012

Life of Art SitRep #112 Gimme some skins

So I watched day 1 of the Lightroom 4 Fundamentals with Laura Shoe on Creative Live. The day 1 rerun is on now, and if you read this on Friday or Saturday, it's probably up live or re-airing that day's course. I'm fairly convinced that I would find Lightroom 4 really helpful. Its cataloging capabilities are pretty fantastic. Definitely worth putting on my all-too-far-away birthday list at the very least.

So last week I mentioned that with every new design I'm now adding 52 products to my store. Guess what though. This week Zazzle introduced 270 new products. All skins for a myriad (not technically a myriad, I suppose) of electronic devices: a whole slew of phones, gaming consoles, e-readers, hard drives, and I don't really know what else. I'm overwhelmed by the magnitude of it and am mulling over which things I should add. All 270 seems a bit impractical as it's already taking quite a bit longer to go through all of my templates verifying placement of designs as it is. It would also overwhelm my store with skins making it less easy to find other items.

If you have a minute, take a look at the custom skins available and let me know what strikes your fancy. I'd love your input. (Scroll down the page for the whole list.)

Personally, I kind of hate that they call them "skins." I mean, I get it, but it seems kind of gross. I've never even liked my surname, just conjures a gruesome occupation.


I added a few more skateboards to my shop and a new Red, White, and Blue Chevrons design:
Red, White, and Blue Chevrons
©2012 Claire E. Skinner, All rights reserved.

Click through to take a look if you get a chance. I also posted a few products and some more info here.

For more information on products and sales, follow @RocklawnArts and Rocklawn Arts blog.

Two years ago on TTaT: ROY flowers

24 March 2012

Global Snaps: 500 Photographs from 7 Continents

Global Snaps: 500 Photographs from 7 Continents19. Global Snaps: 500 Photographs from 7 Continents by Michael Clinton

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A collection of snapshots taken all over the world aimed more to an audience of travelers or armchair travelers than to photographers. Very few images made me pause as I paged through the book, but it was a nice quick view of a lot of different places.

Two years ago on TTaT: Creek, exhibits C

23 March 2012

Life of Art SitRep #111 Evolution

So… 110 weeks down and here we are at 111. Time to rejigger a bit. I still track my own efforts (and in greater detail) but how much of it really matters to you anyway? Not much, I'm thinking. Let's see what happens now.

Last weekend I watched Bambi Cantrell's Posing Masterclass on Creative Live. It was pretty great despite the fact that I'm not particularly interested in photographing people. She encouraged photographers to keep an open mind regarding subjects which did resonate with me. I'm not going to set up a wedding or portrait studio any time soon, but I may play more with what I've learned.

I shot 100 photographs. Love that it added up that way.

By taking the time to make another folder of templates, I've made my life a bit easier. I haven't earned back that initial time investment yet, but I've started by adding Purple and White Chevrons, a series of alternating purple and white V shapes which converge in a bold graphic design, to my shop.

With each new design, I'm now adding 52 products to my store, several available in multiple styles. This is a far cry from my early days when it was around 20 and an even further cry from my pre-template days.

Where does the saying "a far cry" come from? That's pretty odd.

Anyway, the digital design Purple and White Chevrons is now available in my shop on a variety of customizable gift items: prints/posters, cards, postcards, return address labels, stamps, puzzles, plaques, iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad cases, BlackBerry and Android cases, iPad/laptop sleeves, mugs, mini speakers, binders, notebooks, folios, t-shirts, messenger bags, tote bags, magnets, flexible magnets, coasters, buttons, stickers, keychains, mouse pads, gel mouse pads, ornaments, necklaces, tiles, gift boxes, water bottles, plates, napkins, placemats, kitchen towels, and throw pillows.

Crazy, right? Super cool, actually. I never would have guessed that I would be able to offer my photographs and designs on a such a varied group of items. And that doesn't even include everything Zazzle offers.

Check out the complete collection of Purple and White Chevrons products.

Related designs by Rocklawn Arts:
Red and White Chevrons Black and White Chevrons Rainbow Chevrons

For more information on products and sales*, follow @RocklawnArts and Rocklawn Arts blog.

*15% Off Everything at Rocklawn Arts!

Two years ago on TTaT: Creek, exhibits B

22 March 2012

Dance Dare: a brilliant idea in action

"Kristin Chenoweth Gets Dance Dared" on Ellen made me laugh so hard, I had to share it. Enjoy!

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Seriously, bonus points for the people in front of her who are not busting out laughing at the dance moves transpiring behind her. Also, way to go, Dancers!

Two years ago on TTaT: Creek, exhibits A (AKA winter)

20 March 2012

Queen & Country, Volume 1: Broken Ground

Queen & Country Volume 1: Broken Ground18. Queen & Country Volume 1: Broken Ground by Greg Rucka

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A compelling and plausible look inside the Special Operations section of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service in a post 9/11 world. This is not James Bond but the more realistic grey world of spies without clear cut enemies.

Rolston's art is black and white with strong, expressive lines.

If you like spy stories and political/inter-departmental intrigue, I'd recommend this.

Two years ago on TTaT: Snowprints 2, the sequel <-A more typical year. Today it got up to 75F!

16 March 2012

Life of Art SitRep #110 It felt like more...

Every week, I work towards creating a life of art for myself. This is the zigzag filled journey.

Play along in the comments with your own pursuits if you'd like. (That's where I'll cheer you on.)
This week, I

  • Shot 139 photographs.

  • Picked which version of Rainbow Chevrons design I liked best and created a new product line.
    Rainbow Chevrons
    Check out the complete collection of Rainbow Chevrons products.

  • RA blogged New Rainbow Chevrons design.

  • Renamed photo files in 6 folders.

  • Tweeted and FB'd some sales and a new design.

  • Posted 55 products to promotional blogs.

  • Watched "Installing and Using Photoshop Actions" tutorial on MCP Actions site. Also downloaded a bunch of free actions and installed them.

  • Watched "Understanding The Saturation Tool(s) In Photoshop"
    and "Perspective Cropping In Photoshop."

  • Finished reading Feb. 2012 Popular Photography issue.

  • *******
    How are your pursuits going?

    A year ago on TTaT:

    14 March 2012


    Courtesy of XKCD via a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.

    I love this comic because it takes me back to elementary school, 3rd grade I think, when I taught our music teacher Mrs. Strassler how to draw a 5 point star rather than the 6 pointed kind made from 2 triangles.

    Man, I loved going on a Bear Walk* and the days I got to play the biggest wood xylophone we had. She was awesome, and it made me happy to teach her something in return.

    *So it turns out I misremembered the title of this song in a way I prefer. It's actually We're Going on a Bear Hunt. No bears actually get killed so it's not so bad. I don't think that ever crossed my mind at the time.

    A year ago on TTaT: Happy π Day!

    13 March 2012

    Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

    Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)17. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    For me, this book is a mix of "Yes! I know precisely what that's like" and "Wow, other people's lives are really different from mine." Either way, I was very entertained.

    For the record, I don't watch The Office but that in no way hindered my enjoyment of the book. Kaling writes about working there some but she also writes a great deal about her life before and outside of that context. Also she gave me another reason to love Amy Poehler, how cool is that?

    Thank you, Cheryl, for reviewing this book! I might not have known about it otherwise. (I realize you reviewed it ages ago, but it took about 3 months to get my reserved copy from the library. Popular! And rightly so.)

    Two years ago on TTaT: Sketchbook, page 11

    09 March 2012

    Life of Art SitRep #109 Sucked in

    Every week, I work towards creating a life of art for myself. This is the zigzag filled journey.

    Play along in the comments with your own pursuits if you'd like. (That's where I'll cheer you on.)
    Didn't do many, possibly any, big picture things this week since I let adding new products to my existing catalog of images consume a lot of my time. But I finished, so there's next week to zig in a more balanced direction.

    This week, I

  • Shot 58 photographs.

  • Created Navy and Grey Rectangles design, wrote description, and made product line:
    Navy and Grey Rectangles rickshawflapsleeve
    Navy and Grey Rectangles by RocklawnArts
    Browse other MacBook sleeve designs on Zazzle.
    Check out the complete collection of Navy and Grey Rectangles products.

  • RA blogged New design, Navy and Grey Rectangles.

  • Made Yellow and Black Chevrons skateboard.

  • Finished adding over 50 more Throw Pillows, Placemats, Napkins, Kitchen Towels to my shop. Huzzah!

  • Changed top picks in store. Also moved winter shots down and spring/flower shots up.

  • Posted 58 products to promotional blogs.

  • Tweeted, FB'd Navy and Grey Rectangles link.

  • Added tags to previous 2012 shoot folders.

  • Watched Sue Bryce Glamour photography workshop on Creative Live. Seriously great. If you want to photograph people, especially women, for a living, buy this workshop!

  • *******
    How are your pursuits going?

    Two years ago on TTaT: Far Out: A Space-Time Chronicle

    07 March 2012

    Batwoman: Elegy

    Batwoman: Elegy16. Batwoman: Elegy by Greg Rucka

    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    A lot of gorgeous art here and a compelling character in Kate Kane aka Batwoman. Though there is clearly a good deal of story background with the villains in earlier issues, I understood enough of it to follow along fine. It would've helped if I'd read the scene setting page of text first, but I mistakenly thought it was part of Rachel Maddow's introduction. (I prefer to read those after to avoid spoilers and to see what I think first before being offered another's opinion.)

    This collection of issues is more of a character story about Batwoman/Kate in any case which was what I found most appealing about it. Her origin story is also revealed, and it's pretty cool. As an additional perk, her character is gay but not a stereotype.

    Two years ago on TTaT: Sketchbook, page 9

    06 March 2012

    Like a Ninja

    Today I did something I never do, even usually hate.

    I wore all one color.

    I'm wearing black cargo pants, a black long sleeve tee, and I even had my black Reeboks on earlier though they do have white stripes.

    There's just a sliver of red peeking above my collar from my Spanish Inquisition t-shirt and now my blue and black striped knee-high toe socks are showing since my shoes are off. And OK, I have a maroon hoodie on at the moment.

    I think the only reason I don't mind wearing so much of one color today is because it's black and makes me feel like a ninja.

    One evening at twilight when I was around 11 or 12, I got to play ninjas with my brother and his friends. We all looked for dark jackets and sweatshirts to wear over our jeans. The darkest top I could find was a dark navy windbreaker that had an unbelievably bright white zipper on it. What can I say? It was the mid 80s.

    We each had a long cardboard tube, the sort that holds wrapping paper, to use as a sword. The four of us set out in opposing directions in the dark around our house in order to sneak up on each other for sword fights.

    It was dark enough to be spooky, moonlight shadows of trees covering much of the yard. I snuck around warily, not consciously thinking that 1 of them was 3 years older than me and the other two were 4 years older. Instead, I felt certain that they had established rules before I had joined them that I didn't know.

    I asked my brother before we went outside but only got a breezy answer in reply (no doubt the actual extent of their rules). I felt completely unsure.

    Then abruptly there was shouting coming from the side yard. Battle had commenced!

    I ran over with my cardboard sword held out in front of me at the ready. My brother and his best friend were in an epic sword fight, their cardboard tubes starting to break, when a figure came out of the shadows and attacked me from the side.

    We played until our tubes were flopping in half. Mine held up the longest because I wasn't quite so aggressive with it. I don't think I was very good at ninja sword fighting, but I remember the night fondly because I was happy to be included.

    Here's to doing something different!

    Two years ago on TTaT: Sketchbook, page 8

    04 March 2012

    The Guild

    The Guild, Vol. 115. The Guild, Vol. 1 by Felicia Day

    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    A prequel to Felicia Day's webseries The Guild. It reveals the origins of the group and lets you see more of the game world. I didn't expect to like the comic as much as I do, but I should have known better since it is Felicia's writing that I enjoy on her webseries.

    Highly recommended if you are a fan of the online show.

    A year ago on TTaT: Life of Art SitRep #56 More than it appears I hope

    02 March 2012

    Life of Art SitRep #108 Steady is the course

    Every week, I work towards creating a life of art for myself. This is the zigzag filled journey.

    Play along in the comments with your own pursuits if you'd like. (That's where I'll cheer you on.)
    So the more designs I add to my shop, the longer it takes me to add new products to them as they become available. S'aright. Becomes kind of a zen thing adding 4 products (more if I'm on a roll) at a time. I'll probably finish adding them next week.

    This week, I

  • Added 69 new Throw Pillows, Placemats, Napkins, Kitchen Towels to my shop.
    Red and White Chevrons kitchentowel
    Red and White Chevrons by RocklawnArts
    Browse Zazzle for a different kitchen towel.

  • Made a new design but am still mulling over some details.

  • Renamed photo files in 5 folders. Finished 2010, woo!

  • Posted 67 products to promotional blogs.

  • Tweeted and FB'd some sales.

  • Read March 2012 issue of Popular Photography.

  • Watched a bit (~20 min?) towards end of Chase Jarvis live Fashion Shoot with the Phantom Flex Camera (extreme slow mo camera).

  • *******
    How are your pursuits going?

    A year ago on TTaT: Claustrophobia tips, anyone?