Monthly Archives: September 2015
Featured Artist Of The Week – Octavi Navarro
Pixels Hu by Octavi Navarro features fun designs that drew me in because of the artist’s unique ability to draw from video games, and bring that inspiration to life in digital applicable art. I had a chance to connect with him over the last few days and allowed me share some insights into his work and life as an artist.
What is the main inspiration behind your art?
I don’t think I can point out just one source of inspiration. The ideas behind my works always come in a very natural way, sometimes while watching a movie, playing a video game or reading a book. It’s really important for me to tell an interesting story in my illustrations, something that feels touching to me in some way, so these kind of sources are always useful.
What are the techniques you use and why?
I try to get as close as possible to the classic pixel art feeling of the early 90’s video games, but mixed with my own painting techniques. I’m pretty obsessed with lighting and shadows so I use the techniques that allow me to achieve the effects I want, even if it moves away from the “purist” idea of pixel art.
This charming technique is actually one of the aspects that drew me to your art in the first place, so I think you succeeded with your mission. So, how did you get started as an Artist?
As far as I remember I’ve been drawing and painting all my life. I was a very shy kid so I always used my drawings as a way to express myself. While working as a graphic designer in a technology company, I started looking for illustration clients and that’s how I started my career as a freelance children’s books illustrator. I had lots of fun those years but at one point I wanted to make something more personal. Something that really talked about my personality and my feelings. Pixel art was the best medium I could think of to make that possible.
How can people get in contact with you?
I can be contacted from wy website: www.pixelshuh.com
Also, I try to be pretty active on the social networks too, so people can find me on Twitter (@pixelshuh), Facebook (www.facebook.com/pixelshuh), Behance (www.behance.net/onavarro), Dribbble (dribbble.com/pixelshuh), DeviantArt (octavinavarro.deviantart.com), Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/octavinavarro), and of course Redbubble (www.redbubble.com/people/pixelshuh).
Those who like my work can also support it on Patreon: www.patreon.com/pixelshuh
Thank you for taking the time to sit down with me today!
As always, please remember to support independent artists. Independent artists create a unique variety of creative art pieces, that are always worth a second look. You can find something for every taste and in every style. Thank you!
Best Of Zazzle – Halloween Edition #1
Quick, Fun And Entertaining – “His Stubborn Lover” by Leslie North
Title: His Stubborn Lover
Author: Leslie North
Publication Date: Sept. 24, 2015
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance
Rating: 4/5 Stars
A very quick, fun read, that could have been turned into a little longer novel, but it was perfect for a lazy Saturday afternoon (while I was waiting for my computer to be fixed). The characters – Brock and Keira are charming, and their connection steamy. I would not recommend this book for anyone who is looking for something rated PG 13, but if you don’t mind the physical, is cute.
I am surprised to have not found this to be a Harlequin book, considering that it fits perfectly into what that publisher offers, so if you read their books, you will like this one.
I am planning on reading the next installment of what is promising an action filled, quick entertaining read.
The only downfall of this book was that the title does not fit it very well. It makes it sound a lot cheaper and less thought-through than it actually is. I almost did not read it, because of that, but like I stated above, I was unable to work and needed something to read, so I gave this book a shot and was glad I did.
P.S. This book was provided to me free via NetGalley, in return for an honest review.
Want to be a book reviewer? Need a website? Go to SiteRubix right now for two free websites! What are you waiting for?
Let me tell you about this dog… – A Weekend Coffee Share Post
If we were having coffee this weekend, I would welcome you, and tell you that I am relieved that my friend’s dog is okay. I was worried about the puppy all day yesterday because she is still so little (and cute), but she seems to be fine now. I would also use this as the major excuse, why I did not get as much work done yesterday, as I had planned to.
I would then make you a coffee in my new French Press. Never owned one before, always went for the traditional machines or the espresso machines, but I decided to try it anyway. Can you taste the difference between this one and a standard coffee machine? I am sorry I can’t. But they take away less space, so when I send my daughter off to college, she will get one of those.
We are having chocolate oatmeal cranberry cookies today (vegan). I am hungry, haven’t had much of a chance to eat, because I had to catch up on yesterday’s slacking, so excuse my manners if I shove a few extra cookies into my mouth. I hope you don’t mind. No worries, there are plenty, I made extra. The apple pie in the fridge (also vegan) is not for us, though, it is for the above-mentioned friend, who could really use a treat right now – and can’t bake worth a darn. Sorry, but being a friend means you know their strength and their weaknesses, and embrace them both.
I would tell you, that I would have three things on my agenda today that are a must:
1. Visit the blogs on my list I did not get to read yesterday
2. Write as much as content for the two holiday projects I have coming up (they are kind of secret, so I have to show you, but I can not let the cat out of the bag over the internet yet)
3. Write the outline for the script I have in my head. It isn’t a complicated script, but it was originally a story idea, that just would translate better on screen than it would in a book. Simply because it has a lot of physical action.
Once I wrote the outline, I will be able to define it better, and present you a short synopsis. Still working out all of the plot holes in my head, which are the size of a Florida sinkhole at the moment.
What are your plans for the day, the weekend? Any special projects you have in place, or something that did not go as planned, but worked out at the end? Why not add your thoughts and plans to the linky right here. (Via Part Time Monster)
I hope you enjoyed your stay, and will join in again next weekend. I am always baking something – I can’t help myself – so always come hungry!
Gratitude Post – Hug Edition
As I am sitting here this morning, trying to think of what I am grateful for, I must admit, I was taken out of the momentum, by losing my connection and having to crash my computer. It was easy to practice gratitude from the point of preparation, but moving through the unexpected occurrences and annoyances of living here, and dealing with issues I would not have to deal with, where we still living in Tampa, undid the state of mind, I so carefully constructed for myself.
But is that not a part of life, wanting to stay in the moment of gratitude and appreciation, staying upbeat and following the laws that govern us to be happy in the now, even when life happens?
Within the moments of disruption is a chance to practice our vibrational alignment to gratitude, a fact alone that we should be grateful for. The lesson within is important – no matter what the perceived reality is bringing toward us, we can stay in a constant stream of appreciation.
In that sense, that is what I am – this week, this morning grateful for – the chance to practice my alignment to gratitude and through that to what I seek.
– What are you grateful for this week? Why not share it with our blog hop and connect with us via our wonderful host Lexa Cain! We are looking forward to hearing from you!
The Beginning Of An Experiment
I am volunteering myself for an experiment.
No, not what you are thinking, there are no taking weird pills, or sacrificing some part of my dignity (okay, that might not be entirely possible to avoid). I am talking about reading some books, doing what they say, and giving you the results.
To be more specific, I am speaking about inexpensive ebooks specifically written to increase blog traffic. I am not doing this out of entirely selfish and obvious reasons – what blogger does not want more traffic, right? – but I am also doing this because I want to dissect the following:
1. Do those quickly written Kindle e-books actually provide real information (more about that subject, and the people that are trying to sell us writer’s, bloggers and internet marketers write about as possible and profitable)?
2. Can they translate to real valuable information for the marketing purposes of writers, artists, print on demand/product on demand designers, and other creatives ( so basically YOU)?
3. Are they all saying the same thing, or do they differentiate in content, so that it makes sense to purchase more than one of them?
4. Should you disregard them completely as humbug?
The 5 books that I am going working through – one a month, beginning Oct. 1st, are:
1. Traffic Building Basics; 50 Ways to Increase Your Website Traffic and Explode Your Business Today! (web design, web marketing, marketing) – by Online Business Buddy
2. BLOG TRAFFIC: How to Double Your Blogging Traffic in a Month by Susan Beth
3. BLOG MARKETING: 26 Top Marketing Ideas for Your Blog (Business Blogging Series Book 5) by Kaye Dennan
4. Pinterest for Food Bloggers: How to Grow Your Following and Increase Blog Traffic (markets itself to be useful for any blogger) by Mary Loudermilk
5. How To Promote Your Blog – 101 Free Ways To Increase Your Website Traffic Today by Richard Adams
In that exact order.
How this will work:
I will read through the book during the assigned month, putting in practice the advice given, unless it sounds like something I do not agree with, and I will tell you the results. Of course, I can not give you all of the details of the advice that each book gives – you got to buy (or rent for free) the book for that, that would not be fair to the Author, but I can and will give you the answers to the 4 questions I stated above. All reviews and thoughts will be posted no later than the 2nd of the following month, so the review dates are:
Book one: review posted on Nov. 2nd
Book two: review posted on Dec. 2nd
Book three…. well you get the idea.
I hope you will join me, and we will all learn something from this experiment. I sure hope that they do what they promise. Looking forward to sharing that with you.
Featured Artist Of The Week: Artification
I ran across Artification (aka Fliss) in my quest of looking for an addition to my growing designer Mug collection, and was immediately drawn to the vivid colors of this artist’s creation. I knew I had to share her creative talent with you. Her work is exceptionally detailed, and very inviting. Let me introduce her to you:
Hi Fliss, thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer a few questions. As I mentioned already to my readers, I was drawn to your colorful art from the moment I saw it. What is the main inspiration behind your art?
I love looking at vintage and retro designs or old fashioned kids picture books and always find myself inspired by them. I must say though that every time I go shopping I find myself taking mental notes on what sort of thing is trending so that I can try and keep current and with the times. You will see from my stores, that I tend to favor retro patterned graphics and cute fun whimsy kids stuff.
What are the techniques you use and why?
My artwork is all produced digitally; I love to play about and experiment with different styles/effects and mix them up until I find something which is pleasing to the eye. I would have loved to be a proper artist painting and drawing freehand, but this is the next best thing for me.
How did you get started, as an Artist?
I am not sure I would call myself an artist but I got started about 4 years ago quite my accident when my partner brought me some software to edit his photographs so that I could try and sell them on-line. I started to play about with the software learning all sorts of things and soon found myself uploading my own designs to sell on-line instead of editing his photos; although I do still put a few of his photos on as well. I love designing and although I know I am not the best by far I think I have come on leaps and bounds since I first started and I am learning more and more all the time.
What do you like about placing your art on RedBubble?
I love how easy it is on Redbubble to put an image on all the products in one go only having to put the tags and description in once, it saves so much time and leaves more free time for designing.
Are you on any other Product on Demand site?
My main Product on Demand site is Zazzle where I have been selling for just over three years and I am happy there but have recently started to place my designs on more sites; as well as Redbubble I have stores on PAOM (Print All Over Me), live Heroes, Woven Monkey, Grab Your Design and Art Of Where.
How can people get in contact with you?
via my Blog
via my FaceBook
and via my Zazzle Store
Thank you for this insightful interview.
I hope you enjoyed this interview as much as I have. Please remember to support independent artists with your purchasing choices. YOU make a difference.
P.S. The above interview contains affiliate links.
Writing Challenges: Why We Love WritingChallenge.org And Why You Should Too
Are you a writer? Then, you – most likely – know how hard it is to carve time away from life to dedicate to your craft. Commitment to your dream conflicts with your responsibilities, and sometimes a little extra motivation could be beneficial to move from wanting to write that book, to actually writing that book.
This is where writingchallenge.org comes in – a Twitter-based accountability group for writers, that asks for a small daily commitment of just 500 words or 1 hour of editing, while providing encouragement and support.
I could tell you the many benefits of joining this wonderful group of people, but I decided it would be more effective to allow them to tell you.
Aura Eadon wrote:
Join a community that creates accountability and a support network through positive influence and total lack of shaming. Zero is as good as 500 and that is as good as 5000
Ryan Macayden stated:
There are lots of people who want to write a book someday but the writers are the ones who actually sit down and do it, one word at a time. It truly is that easy and that hard.
Like the best of characters, we’re all flawed. We don’t always make writing a priority. We might not even write every day. Heck, we sometimes allow life and our own self-doubt to sabotage our creative endeavors but it doesn’t have to be that way. That’s where writing challenges like WritingChallenge.org can help.
Not writing every day? The challenge pushes participates to write 500 words daily and forces them to make writing a priority. For some, that might seem daunting at first but by the end of the month, most will find the words come faster and faster the more they do it. You might even have developed a writing habit by then!
Self-doubt getting you down? The community surrounding the challenge are made of up writers just like you. Chances are high we’ve been right where you are and can help you get through it. We’re a pretty supportive bunch and want to see you succeed, no matter what. Need a writing sprint? Need to bounce around some ideas? Or just having a hard day? We’re here for you.
Writing might be a solitary endeavor but that doesn’t mean you’re alone. Join us!
Erin Cochran wrote:
I think the strong suit here is accountability and encouragement plus we get bits and pieces of writing advice as we need it.
Andrew McQueen answered:
The idea of this group is to give other writers a chance to tell the story they want to tell. And all genres are welcome.
Harmony Williams wrote:
I love this challenge because it motivates me and keeps me on track. On days I don’t meet my goals, the supportive challengers remind me that my progress is important, however small. The challenge motivates me to meet an achievable minimum but doesn’t bar me from doing more. And I’ve made many invaluable friends!
Christina Patterson Quesada stated:
No one understands the struggle of being a writer better than a writer. Without this group of writers and their support, I don’t know if I’d be in the editing process right now. The reasons Ryan gave for joining are exactly why I joined the writing challenge
Beverly Lee wanted you to know:
The challenge works because it’s attainable. 500 words isn’t a huge amount. It’s enough to see progress but not enough to be daunting. The same for the hour editing. This can be broken up into little bits if time is an issue too. Gradually you see your dreams unfolding. You get the incredible support of like minded people, who will cheer you on or lift you up on those days when the words all freeze together. Without the challenge I wouldn’t have completed my first novel. Now I’m on my second. That’s why you should join!
As you can see from the participant’s responses, there are many benefits to being a part of WritingChallenge.org .Joining is easy, all you have to do is follow this link, and add your name to the participation log, then jump over to Twitter and connect with us via our monthly hashtag – currently we are using #SeptWritingChallenge for the month of September.
We are looking forward to welcoming you into our group!
Blessings and Happy Writing!
P.S. Are you writing an Ebook? Not sure how? Check out this course: “How to Write And Publish An EBook” today!