Links of Interest – May 26, 2013


Welcome back to another edition of Links of Interest. Sorry for the lack of activity over the past month. My schedule has been pretty wacky due to the day job. (And will seem to put me on the road more often.) Plus I started getting in more freelance work. To top that, I’ve been in a funk of sorts. So life kind of sucks at the moment. I’ve been trying to shake myself out it with some Three Stooges. (Yes, laughter is good medicine.)

The Three Stooges

Assuming I haven’t turned you off yet, I have some more golden nuggets from around the web:


Artistic Excellence Art Competition

From the people who bring you Artist’s Magazine. Southwest Art is running its 2013 Artistic Excellence Competition.  It is open to artists of all ages, and there are no restrictions on medium, subject matter, or geographic location. The big prize is $2,000 USD and an appearance in their December issue.


Create Colors in Harmony with Ease in Illustrator

I had to use Adobe Illustrator for a job recently. Shamefully, it’s been a while since I’ve done any serious work in the program. So I’ve been having to relearn Illustrator, and play catch-up with its latest features. (The last version of Illustrator I used was version 10.) I also had to do all of this on the job. This was a mental drag. Since getting Ai CS6, I’ve been digging around Adobe’s website to learn about features that I either had no clue existed, or didn’t know how to use.

This is kind of an older video tutorial, but it applies to both Adobe Illustrator CS5 and CS6. Adobe evangelist Terry White demonstrates one of those mystery features, llustrator’s Color Guide.


Here’s another video, this time from Mordy Golding, on a revolutionary feature in Adobe Illustrator, the Shape Builder tool. This is a flexible and more productive alternative to using the Path Finder palette/function.


Color Management in PhotoShop CS5

This brought me back to my days as a professional graphic designer. (I guess I’m one still.) The frustration and futility of obtaining consistent color from screen to screen, and from screen to print. I spent a ton of time learning about color management. (A digital meter is next on my big wish list.) Now that I’m working on print jobs again, I’m relearning it all over.

Ian Lyons has a great little article on color management and a break-down of all the parts to PhotoShop’s Color Settings window. This is good start for beginners on the subject.


Smashwords eBook Survey

Every now and then, being subscribed to someone’s mailing list proves useful. The Smashwords blog has just posted an interesting survey on ebook sells. This survey answers certain questions such as:

  • Do frequent price changes help authors sell more books?
  • Do longer or shorter book titles sell more books?
  • Do longer or shorter book descriptions sell more books?
  • How do sales develop over time at a retailer, and what factors might spark a breakout?
  • Do longer or shorter books sell better?

Wether you’re an author or an aspiring author, this article is worth a look.

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