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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Disney's Inner Workings

"Star Wars - The Force Awakens", broke all the records for weekend box office (248 Million) but Disney stock is a bit down. Why is that? Here is a link that shows the breakdown of Disney's operation. A very interesting article on how Disney generates revenue. Check it out:


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Best Cintiq Alternative - Amazon Fire with apps!

My previous post about a Cintiq alternative was a bit too Rube Goldberg-ish. However with this one, you can't beat ease of use and the price point. If you act now you can get a Amazon Fire tablet this holiday season for only $49.99 and free shipping. Wow!

Beautiful 7" IPS display (171 ppi / 1024 x 600) and fast 1.3 GHz quad-core processor. Rear and front-facing cameras. 8 GB of internal storage. Free unlimited cloud storage for all Amazon content and photos taken with Fire devices. Add a microSD card for up to 128 GB of additional storage.

There are some cool free and low cost art  / drawing apps you can acquire for this device that will do the trick. Here are some with high marks:


Sketchbook (free)

You can't go wrong with an Autodesk product. This is the poor man's version of Sketchbook Pro. This got higher marks than the $4.99 Sketchbook Ink also from Autodesk

Art Flow - Sketch, paint & draw (free)

RoughAnimator - $4.99

Design Creator (Free)


Sketch Guru - Handy Sketch Pad (free)

Animation Desk
(free, but may have ad pop up's)
Cool onion skinning.

Lapse It Pro

Can do stop motion and time lapse with this app.
For fine details use a stylus with these programs. Check the specs to see what files types they output. Some allow direct uploading to Dropbox or offloading in PNG / PSD format.
That means cross-platforming folks!!

Android Apps on PC / Mac
Bluestacks software allows you to run Android apps on your PC / Mac and the download is free.
Check it out:   http://www.bluestacks.com/ 

Check out our two prior posts on apps for artists:



Enjoy and Happy Holiday's!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

New Year, New Beginnings.

As I glance over my room I see my trusty light table in the corner. I handmade the desk with the help of some friends but the times of using it are over. It  brings back good memories. I can't help but reflect back over this year. Here are several useful lessons I have learned.

  • When the chips are down you truly find out who your friends are.  Nurture those relationships.
  • Always be open to learn new things and be ready to reinvent yourself at least every two years. Technology changes so rapidly, if you are not in the know,  you be severely left behind.
  • Be thankful for what you have. It could always be worse, and if possible help others.

  • As long as you have friends and family in your corner you can never go wrong. Having at least one or more voices supporting you can make all the difference in the world.
  • Out with the old and in with meaningfully new. How you use your time, apply your new skills and learning is very  important, but so is your end game. Make it count.
  • Karma can be your best friend or worse enemy. What you put out there really does come back at you tenfold.

I miss the days of working in the studio with fellow artist sharing thoughts and ideas. Change is inevitable however especially now thanks to new technology and the economy. Keeping pace and being adaptable is key.

Having to switch to teaching 10 years ago made me more conscious of the possibilities of the future, technology and people in general. Switching gears from college to high school teaching for the last year and a half has been a total mind blower. I'm on the front line with the millennials who were born into the technology and possibly take it for granted.

The younger folks may not realize how good they have it now.  If they are creative, innovative and make the right moves, they can impact an audience much more quickly and directly. You must be diligent, be ready to work even harder these days and not give up so easy. The sky is the limit if you can make that connection to your fellow human beings.

I guess it is time to say so long to the old light table (hello Ebay). We must embrace some new methods, be productive and hopefully begin a new chapter. Let's see where this road takes you. It's sure to be an adventure.

Happy holiday's and may peace be with you.