Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

The ability to customize your keyboard shortcuts is essential because every Artist’s workflow is different. If the software you’re using doesn’t give you the option to customize or it’s limited in its ability to customize, then consider these apps (both are free):

I have used AutoHotkey back when I was on Windows, and all I can say is that it’s a powerful scripting language for getting things done on Windows. I would say a lot more powerful than Karabiner! Examples: Detecting pixels on screen, working with files etc… At the moment I don’t know of an equivalent for Mac.

If you’re on Mac and all you want to do is customize keyboard shortcuts then Karabiner is all you need (look into AppleScript if you want to go beyond keyboard customization). It’ll take a bit of reading and once you understand the file’s format/structure you can easily customize keyboard shortcuts for ANY application.

You have a lot to learn about typography

One of the other most common challenges for designers stems from a question we get asked constantly — how do I grow my eye for great type? What makes one font work with another, what makes one font better than another? How do I approach this in a systematic process beyond subjective whims, like “I really like this font”, with a more in-depth understanding of type? (Link to Article)

Step by step

I have always struggled with English Grammar (English is my second langauge in case you’re wondering), and in some way I still do. When it comes to visual art, I find that I am more at home with it, and this is true for a lot of us when it comes to learning. There are area of studies where we easily excel and then there are subjects that make us just want to pull our hair out of frustation for not getting it. On and off I have tried to better my understanding of grammar so that I can communicate better—both in writing and in art—and it has been a frustrating experience, but now I’m slowly getting it because I see a parallel with art. Looking back I can now see that I was impatient, forgetting that the key to learning anything new and foreign is patience and perseverance.

“To know ten thousand things, know one well.” — Miyamoto Musashi

If you know one thing, and just one thing, then know it well. That one thing that you know so well will help you to move on to the next—it will unlock new information and open your mind to see with more clarity. You see, intead of just focusing on Nouns and Pronouns, I was all over the places reading stuff on adjectives, verbs etc… Basically, I was trying to take in more than I could handle and confused myself in the process. Not to mention that there were missing links that made it hard to understand more advanced concepts. Now I take it step by step and I don’t frustrate myself with advanced concepts. I want to know Nouns, both its form and usage, and I want to know them well before I move on to the next on the list of The Eight Parts of Speech.

Friends, you who are struggling with art, be patient. Stay focused on the basics and fundamentals. Don’t skip them. Study them and know them well.

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who had practiced one kick 10,000 times.” — Bruce Lee

Calibrating Stylus Pressure

I didn’t know anything about calibrating your stylus pressure until I read this article that I came across today. I used to press hard on my tablet but thanks to Krita’s built-in curve editor that is now a thing of the past. Now my hand can really relax! You should check out these two articles if you want to learn more:

http://www.davidrevoy.com/article182/calibrating-wacom-stylus-pressure-on-krita
http://polycount.com/discussion/77043/wacom-pressure-curves-suck

Copying What You See is a Skill

Back in the old days, I started off by copying other images/photos and it was a time consuming process (eye / hand coordination) because I didn’t know any method or technique to help me with (I was all on my own), so it was a trial and error thing. As I got older I didn’t like the idea of copying. I wanted to be able to draw things from my imagination and so I practiced a bit more and got to a point where I can improvise (somewhat). However, I now come to see that observational drawing is a skill that needs to be learned. Even if copying a photograph is not your thing, it is still a very useful skill to have! Something I’m currently trying to grow in.

On the positive side of thing, even though I didn’t learn proper observational skill for drawing, my eye and hand coordination that I practiced back then now helps me with 3d modelling!

Here’s the thing: We all have strengths and weaknesses. My weakness right now is in copying a photography. I could do it, but it’s very time-consuming because I didn’t start off with proper methodologies. For some of you, your strength might be in copying a photography, but have a hard time doing things without it.