Dear Indie | I Didn’t Know I Could Do That! (Free resource post)

Hi Indies!

Did you know you could make your own vectors AND remove the backgrounds from any image for FREE –without using Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, or Gimp?

I didn’t! Not until I was determined to combine one of my drawings with a photo. Normally, I would purposely set out to find two images with the same color background, so I can use the “arrangement” feature to lay one on top of the other…

Um…

Since that obviously wasn’t going to work having different color backgrounds, I tried using the transparent filter to make one bleed through the other, but it was way too faint…

Yikes!

Frustrated that I wasn’t getting the effect I was looking for, I thought about my last couple of resource posts and how I’d run across that site with a free SVG editor and got the idea that maybe if I could turn my drawing into a vector, instead, then I might be able to give it a transparent background.

I found this free site: PNG or JPG to SVG Converter. It took some messing around with the palettes to get the colors just right, but the nice thing is that you don’t have to download anything until you’re happy. You do, however, have to re-generate your SVG image if you don’t like the end result because it will only let you change each palette color one time, as you can see here:

In this screen shot, I’ve already changed the first two colors on my vector, if I get done and decide the second one isn’t dark/light enough, I have to click “Generate” under the original image on the left and start all over again.

Once I was really happy with the colors and downloaded my new vector, I went back to the site: Public Domain Vectors and used their free editor to turn my SVG file into a PNG. Unfortunately, this did not automatically make the background transparent the way I thought it would.

So, I went back to Google and found this awesome and super handy site that I foresee myself using A LOT in the future, called: Online PNG Tools. If you’re just wanting to remove the background of a picture, of course you would just start here and skip the whole SVG vector creation part. Scroll to the bottom of the site’s page to see all of their available tools. I haven’t checked them out yet, but I didn’t notice any SVG tools, so I will still have to hop around a few different sites to complete one image from my artwork, but it’s better than not being able to do it at all – or worse, having to pay someone else to do it for me!

And so, with my newly created clip art, I was finally able to create the graphic I was hoping for. Truthfully, it was just for a blog post, but hey, at least now I know how to do this for marketing purposes! 😀

❤ Until next time, Indies!

Legal: The artwork depicted in this post is copyrighted by me and may not be used for any reason. Thank you!

Meet The Character | The Last Descendant

Everyone knows my story. It was a fucking blockbuster hit. But, they say truth is stranger than fiction. In my case, it’s just more depressing. No one would be applauding if they really knew all the things I’ve done; the accomplishments I let burn, and lives I destroyed when my own was in chaos. Fire may have been the start, orphaning me as a man, after I’d already been orphaned as a newborn. I was a rising star in the art world, a successful painter with a wealthy patron and my own gallery on the Cornish Coast.

I’ve also been a thief from early on, honing my skills on the streets of London. Hobbies are a healthy break from the monotony, any expert will tell you that.

But, I went mental to the point of utter detachment, returning to lucidity with no recollection. I lost days, possibly weeks all in one go, painting nightmarish portraits of evil, obscene landscapes of blood and depravity. I lived on whiskey and a will that wasn’t my own; a marionette caught in the twisted strings of my feverish mind.

Therapy was a last, desperate attempt to claw my way out. Instead, I was pushed beyond the brink of madness and that’s where I found clarity. It can happen. You can go so crazy you come out sane again on the other side. But, it’s a different kind of sane. It’s the irrevocable death of your former self. I was reborn scarred, changed, unable to return to the life I’d known. I closed my gallery, packed all of my possessions into storage, and abandoned the only family I had left. A clean break. I can’t hurt the ones I love if I’m not there, if they don’t have to hear my voice over the phone reminding them of the damage already wrought.

Across the pond, I kept my skills honed in Vegas, while learning new, highly pleasurable ones and working as a strip-club bouncer. That’s where they found me, all the ones who would turn my life into something only ever seen in movies, setting me on the path to becoming a vampire, and a prince.

Albeit, a prince of Hollywood, but for Americans that’s the closest thing they’ve got to royalty. So, I walk the red carpet same as I’ve done for three years now. I smile for the cameras, as every flashing bulb hurls me back to a rainy afternoon in a London cemetery–and I hate every fucking minute of their repetitive questions.

They want to know if I’ll make another movie, if I’ll play the same role the way my costars have, and the answer is always, agonizingly yes. Legend Studios has a running series and we’re all contracted to fulfill our character obligations. Whatever Evelyn wants, Evelyn gets. She rules our existence; controls our fates. If she wants the vampire, the last descendant of the Order of the Dragon, then she gets him.

When I left England, it was never with the intention of forging kinships again, but the running joke of my life has cast two new brothers for me. Much like this version of sanity, my bond with them is different. My siblings back home were family without blood because we came up together. With Trystan and Dorian, it’s the brotherhood of soldiers fighting the same war, suffering the same tragedies and injustices. We have a common enemy, and she’s drug us across the fucking country to scout a new filming location.

A new movie can only mean one thing: our family’s in danger of getting bigger. My mates and I are on guard, watching Evelyn to see who she’s watching. Keeping track of those she takes a keen interest to. So far, she only seems focused in the filming site. At her request, I seek out the man with the answer on whether or not she gets to use it.

I already know it will be a cold day in hell before Evelyn takes no for an answer, regardless of what the man says, but I do as I’m told like the good soldier I’ve never been. The sexy brunette that runs smack into me in the parking lot is a thrilling, unexpected distraction. I can’t recall the last time I’ve felt this kind of intense chemistry straight off. Discovering that she’s the one with the answer I need doesn’t deter me from pursuing more than just a business deal.

And it’s dangerous, I know. I’m losing sight of the mission, taking my attention off the enemy for the much better view of golden-green eyes and a mouth made for sin. But, I ca’t help it, her ignorance is just as enticing as her clever humor and gorgeous body. She’s never heard of Legend Studios before, isn’t familiar with any of their movies.

Kallie’s got to be the only woman on earth who has no idea about who or what I am. She’s never seen the vampire, the last Dracul, and I’m in no hurry to change that. To her, I’m just Luke, the infuriatingly quick-witted, silver-tongued Brit that can’t get enough of seeing her all flustered and blushing.

And when she threatens to douse me with mace if I get too cheeky, it’s a challenge I simply can’t turn away from. The feisty little Historian is about to learn that I am a man of many skills.

~ Lucien Alexander Drake

Click Image for Book Description

#ThrowbackThursday

 

 

Woe, Be the Spider

Woe, be the spider
Who sits down beside her
This warning I must give
Whispered words, a last lament
From the one who didn’t live:

“Little Miss, what a twist
Weaving lies to pass the day
Flaunt innocent virtue
To hide the real you;
Pander for your prey.

“Little Miss, ’twas one kiss
What a wicked trick to play!
Under deceiving label
The truth proved fatal;
Venom in thy whey.”

~ A.C.M.

originally published April 21, 2014.

NaNo Book Cover

Thief Of Dragons

Thanks to this helpful post over on queenofblank’s blog, I’ve spent the last 24 hours searching through the various Free stock photo sites and used Canva.com to create the book cover for my NaNoWriMo novel.  It doesn’t look anything like I’d envisioned, but I wasn’t going to pay for the photos I really wanted when the cover is just part of the fun for this annual challenge.

Canva.com is a great graphic generator, really easy to navigate and has all of the right options to help make whatever kind of graphic you need from e-book & Kindle covers to posters, banners, etc.  (I used their layering & transparency options to create my cover.)  Plus they have a ton of pictures and graphics either for Free or only $1/each.  So far it’s the best site I’ve come across for working on a tight budget!

Thanks to queenofblank for her post & hope this helps someone else out, too! (p.s. her cover is awesome, you should go check it out!)

Open Discussion: Digital Art & The Tablets That Make It

DigitalArt

image source: digitalartsonline.co.uk

Hi! I’m glad you stopped by. I wanted to discuss the ever-increasing popularity of using digital art as a preferred medium, because I’m seriously considering trying my hand at it. I don’t need one on a professional level, nor am I looking at becoming the next big thing on Deviant Art; I would just like to create more original works for my blog posts and About.me background.

Ever since I started blogging, I’ve grown more and more frustrated with the lack of finding ‘the right’ image for my posts that matches the idea in my head.  Instead, I end up settling for the one that’s simply ‘close enough’ and that’s after searching for many, many hours!  It turns blogging into a time-consuming chore most days.

I’ve watched a couple of YouTube videos and read some articles by digital artists on which graphic tablets they recommend.  Some even go as far as providing a full rundown on all of the tablets available. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems that it really just boils down to your budget and which method of art you prefer to use (i.e. painting vs. sketching)? The more expensive tablets, of course, have far more features and then there’s the debate on whether or not you need/prefer a stylus (or pen) that has an eraser.  It can get pretty mind-numbing reading through all of the specs, but why pay for something that’s not going to work for your style of art, right?

Wacom

image source: letrasetblog.com

If you were to look at the sketches I have under my Where Words & Art Collide page, you’d think that I’d only need a small, drawing tablet – but in all honesty, I would much rather have the ability to produce colorful, painted images. I think I’m leaning toward the Wacom Bamboo… or, the newer version called the Intuos.

Does anyone have a Graphics Tablet they prefer using? Any they’ve had bad experiences with?

The next step, I guess, would be to discern which software to use with the tablet once I do get it, but I haven’t done that research quite yet and might save that for a later post – unless anyone feels like commenting on it now – please, feel free if you do! I understand that most of my answers may only come from personal experience, but I do appreciate any and all pointers from those who have any.

Thanks everyone!  Happy Tuesday!