So much creative energy, and then..

I was so excited to start this week with a bang as every other week. And then, I hit the bed. I got hit with a lot of stomach pain I had not seen coming. It made me feel very ill. And even if I still am not feeling great, I still wanted to share a new article. 

Over the past week I’ve been very focused on creating a lot of videos for Pixelversity.  PixelVersity is a platform I’m building to accompany this website. It’s a platform on which I created to teach people like you and me how to create your own graphics as well as website elements and art. Mainly meant for people who wish to learn. It will be a very open platform with loads of space for community building as well as learning.

To get a small taste, here are three videos in which I explain or show how certain things are made. The first two are made directly from my iPad. 

I’ve been thinking about what I can offer these days with the holidays coming up. So I started to design Christmas elements to put on different Christmas graphics or art pieces. This was one of them. A nice little Christmas ball. In the video, I show you how the Christmas ball was made in Adobe Illustrator for iPad.

The starting soon video was more of a showcase as well as a real tutorial video on how to edit and how I made a simple starting soon screen for myself. Often at times when I design them, I create the text in Illustrator or Photoshop and then export it into a PNG to be imported into Premiere Pro to then be edited. It’s one of my favorite things to do. I used Photoshop to create the gradient effect which you cannot do in Premiere Pro.

With these videos I also wanted to show the different styles of videos I will offer on PixelVersity. From simple step by step towards drawings from overviews to quick videos. It’s a wide variety which hopefully is liked by each and everyone of you who will join this journey with me. 

And as seen in the video I also went on  and designed an intro and a branding for PixelVersity which I’m extremely proud of. Next on my list I plan to design the champagne parts of the branding and the e-books. I actually have a new free e-book coming up later this week so keep an eye out for that one. 

Special greetings from the warmth of my bed,

Simone 

Should you buy an iPad for Procreate or other apps.

When being part of procreate / adobe groups, one thing I saw was that a lot of people don’t know if their iPad works with Procreate. If you need an answer go that question. I got some answers to that. 

I myself use an iPad ( 7th gen ) 2018. The normal one, but even my 4 year old iPad mini 2 can run Procreate ( pocket only ). But not the normal version, only an old one that cannot be updated. So, for which model can you use Procreate, let’s check the website:

As you can read Procreate is available for a lot of iPads. 

The current version of Procreate is supported on the following iPad models:
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation)
  • 11-inch iPad Pro (1st and 2nd generation)
  • 12.5-inch iPad Pro
  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro
  • iPad (8th generation)
  • iPad (7th generation)
  • iPad (6th generation)
  • iPad (5th generation)
  • iPad mini (5th generation)
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad Air (4th generation)
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • iPad Air 2

Now I checked with Adobe what is their requirements for their apps. Such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator / Adobe Fresco and Capture and all their other apps. Below is a screenshot of their website:

As you can see it’s the same requirements for their apps and the same systems supported. 

Now Procreate also has an iPhone version named Pocket. Now Pocket is a whole different story. As that app can be installed on most easy devices. The downside, no use of the pen/Apple Pencil. 

Are there alternative apps?

Over the past few months i’ve been playing with several different apps. 

If you’re into painting ArtRage is a great app. It’s a painting app with several different types of brushes. It exports into PNG / JPEG and ptg. The last one is native to the app and can be used to get back into it if your painting is not finished or if you own the app on your Macbook or Windows, you can open the file on your Macbook. How to save: click the logo of Artrage on the bottom of the screen and press – export image. 

Another cool app is Realistic Paint Studio . It’s a painting app that as the name suggests is as if you’re painting with realistic brushes. The brushes feel a lot like how oil and acrylic is supposed to feel. You kind of forget that it’s just an app. Exporting is something I do want to point out. It’s not easy to do that. To export the file you’re file comes with a scene. So basically as if you’re painting is in a museum or on an easel. Which in one end does make it realistic. To export you click a small icon on the left side to export to an image.

More into Vector? One app I recommend is Vectornator. It’s a small vector based app which lets you freely create and paint vector images. It has the ability to export to several different types of files. From Send to Illustrator to continue in Adobe Illustrator, to jpeg / png / svg / pdf / AI and VN. Or you can simply save it as an image on your iPad or print it straight away. The last option is AR. Which if you wanna play with things, try it out. 

Zenbrush is another app which I recommend if you got a passion for Ink work. When using the brushes it feels like you are drawing with inks that true feeling with bleeds and strokes is completely there. The app only works with 2 color sessions but that’s only in ZenBrush 2. 

zenbrush
realistic painting app procreate competition

But what if you can’t afford an iPad, what’s there to use? 

Well I personally own a Huion 13 inch Kamvas. I use it as a second monitor. If you can look into a tablet like that. If not, a normal basic Wacom tablet also does the trick. 

Next week we deep dive into more creative apps like Flamepainter

This all in prep for my biggest launch ever! So stay tuned!

 

Why Livestreaming is important to show your business in these times 2020

Livestreaming has become more important now during this year of 2020. Since people can’t come to your business due to having to close it down by the rules, such as people in restaurants, or in the entertainment industry. So being visible has become way more important now than before. But how do we become more visible and how do we show ourselves and show our brand the best way possible. Well, one way for that is live streaming. 

Going live as your business shows people what you do these days. Either show your work on what you’re working on Or just talk about your business and what you plan to do now. This sets interesting factors. If for example you own a restaurant and you got a new recipe,  via a live stream you can make people excited to go and buy it, or order it from your restaurant.

 

But what instead you are a, for example, an entertainer, One way of what you can do is stream., go live and do a live show, make music, dance. Live streaming can be used for anything you like. I personally am a huge fan of watching people on live streams to know about their business. 

Webinair – Livestream designNow does it work for every platform that’s out there? 

Sadly, not every single one. You can use it however on Facebook / Twitch or Youtube. Soon there will be Behance as well. ( I’m currently testing out Behance myself. ) There is a way to do it with Instagram but it’s not very stable. 

Instagram on PC

Instagram has historically always been a mobile-only platform, and that includes limitations on their streaming. As of right now, as near as I can tell, there are only two ways to broadcast to Instagram via a PC. One is to use their official cross-compatible app that only works in Windows 10. The other is to emulate the app using a phone emulator like Bluestacks. Or use OBS with Airserver to stream your Phone to your laptop. 

What do you need:

  • OBS
  • A mic ( headphones with mics work )
  • Headphones ( if you don’t want other sounds )
  • Livetsream overlays ( soon on the website )
  • Streamkey ( The websites you use will give this to you when you go live)

What can be used as extra?

  • Airserver
  • Alerts
  • Emotes ( if you are affiliate on Twitch this can benefit you, Users pay for the use of your emotes )
  • Discord ( if you stream with multiple people, smart for podcasts )
  • A professional Mic 
  • Epidemic Sounds ( copyright free music )
  • Epoc Cam Pro ( iPhone app to simulate a webcam for OBS )

As you can see, you don’t need a lot to get started. . It’s very much up to you. 

I hope this post has been helpful. The product launch will be live soon with plenty of colors and ideas to choose from. But if you prefer to get started now, send me a message and I’ll get to work now.

Do you as a streamer need your own website?

Having a website as a streamer may seem very far away or something you are not thinking about right now. But I can tell you that having your own website might actually be very brave and personally a good thing to have. Why? Well, you can have all your social media accounts In one place, you can share your personal story, your numbers, and a blog post. And even have your stream on your website. 

Now let’s be serious, why is a website a benefit for anyone in a creative or content creation environment. In my eyes, it’s multiple things. Having a website to present yourself to the world can free yourself in the sense that when a business asks for your information, you can show them your professional website and show of exactly who you are. But you can also tell someone to check out your stream and just link only your stream. 

 

But what if you sell the example above. You sell merch. Do you order them online and send them from your own comfort of your home, maybe smart then to open your own store on your website, instead of having to search the internet for it or let it be sold by another company and you then lose part of the money you earn. I know of a few websites that take 5/10 % of your purchase. Now, who wants that?

But what if like me, you design the emotes above, and you are stuck because you can only do it with Paypal. Here is where Woocommerce comes in. A plugin that you can install on your website in just a few mouse clicks which will then give you a whole shop for you to work in. Very simple right. If you look above in the menu bar, that’s actually a shop done with Woocommerce as well. 

The above is an example of that. My own store item

But okay, I get it.. You want a website, maybe you want it made by me. But the pricetag of 300 is a little too much, or even the 450 deal with webshop. Well here’s the deal.  For you as a streamer I’m giving you a special Black Friday deal next month! If you order your own website  with me before the 27th of November. at midnight, you get your website for 99 dollars. But, that’s without the hosting. That’s all of what you need to get done yourself, but for the 99 dollars you get an entire website done with what you need for your brand. How does that sound?

  • Only applies to the recently ordered website starting Oktober 22th and lasts until November 27th. DM for details. With too complex websites a small fee may be applied depending on if plugins need to be ordered or not. These are not included.

How I create animated overlays for streamer? [ Photoshop ]

A few months ago I was asked by the people over at GetWetSports, one of the partners of my website if I could create some GFX classes introducing people on how to create their own graphics or videos for their stream. One of the main topics was on how to create an overlay. In this article, I’ll explain more of my thought progress and show you the videos on how I made the animation effect.

For animating you don’t need more than simple Photoshop. A few years ago you did, but ever since Photoshop added the Timeline feature things like animation can be done within the program itself. An example of this is the creation of making small videos even within it. I personally only use it for small animations. A recent overlay created for Xinksly  was done within Photoshop using the timeline feature. 

To create the blicking effect and add the smoke I worked with layers. Each layer is a layer in the Timeline. So if you want to create multiple colors for the effect, the best way to do this is to change the text / icon color with a new one. To quickly do this is to double click on the layer to enter the effects panel. Here you will find the option to add several different things. The options I used in this example / banner above is the option to do colors and gradients. The little icons for that I used the color overlay. If you want the icons, you can download my product which contain all the different types of icons in different styles. 

Also if your interested in the color gradient. I used the light and dark variations of it from my own gradient pack

Now how do you set your layers in the timeline? 

layers

Of course these two screenshots don’t show you everything. So if you prefer a more in dept look. Check out my video below or read my e-book on how I create overlays

See you in the next blog! 

— JustSimy

Fonts make or break

When it comes to designing, the font is very important. The good one, that is.  Without a good font, your design can fully fall apart and into the trash. But what is good design and what isn’t? That’s something you might be wondering day in day out.

To start with. When designing something, keep the number of fonts to a minimum. Not more than 3 fonts on a page, is something I always keep in mind when I look at a page that needs to be designed. Especially for a flyer or poster. Because that was the critique I always got was that It was never good enough on the fonts.

Over time I learned and learned what is good, what does fit, and how that would come across. Some of my favorites are:

  • Futura
  • Helvetica
  • Akzidenz-Grotesk
  • Clarendon
  • Gill Sans
  • Verdana
  • Uni Sans
  • Open Sans ( Web )

I always check to see if these fit within my work.  Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.

But what makes a good Font? Because even though they can look vastly different from each other, the best typefaces have a lot of the same things in common:

  • Even kerning
  • Consistency
  • Balance
  • Legibility

What is kerning?

Kerning is the space between two characters. Too little space and the font is unreadable because the letters are smushed together. Too much space, and it’s hard to tell whether the space is meant to separate letters or words.

What is consistency?

Consistency means all the letters, numbers, and any other characters used to maintain the same look. If a font’s letter “A” has serifs, we expect its B to have serifs too, and so on from there.

What is a balanced font?

A balanced blend of thick and thin, heavy and light, is an important component of a good font.

What’re legible fonts?

And lastly, a font must be legible. A font you can’t read is like an image that’s so busy you can’t tell what it’s supposed to be a picture of. Always check by writing a variety of words in the fonts, making sure you use every letter and a bunch of different letter combinations. Scale it up, then scale it down to see if there’s a size at which it becomes difficult to read.  Make test texts. see if it works with reading. For this reason, I write out fake texts.

This is what is usually used, Lorum Ipsum


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Can you make your own fonts?

You can for sure. But I would rather use it for small things like your own quotes or for a logo if you want it. In this video below I made my own fonts using IFontMaker on my iPad.

 

I hope this article helped you think about fonts and are you going to create your own? If so, please send me a tweet and show your own made font.

Ps. the below font is home made.

Guess what Guess what..

In one of my recent posts I shared an article on some of my journey heroes to get where I am now. And last week, the following video was published by Gareth David. Yep.. the guy I mentioned before who kept me going though some of the hard ships when I first started as a designer. He shared my question. How to overcome a creative block. As some may of seen I’ve been creatively locked up. A lot was on my mind as in, worries, restless and just having no idea anymore where to start. So I asked him what he thinks when he said he was allowing people to answer questions. This is his answer to my question

And yes I agree with what he mentioned. Also the drawing is super cute. 

 

I was overworking myself.. I wasn’t focused on research anymore. I was just worried and felt the need to push new stuff out without actually looking around if I needed to do them. I was blocking myself with that and even had to take a day off. Working 75 hours a day can crush you. Not taking the weekend off and just constantly thinking about how do I improve my content, how can I improve on what I do. 

The second part he wrote down was another one I was for sure struggling with. I was out of ideas. If no one likes what I post up on my website now and have around as products. What will they like and what can I improve. I spend days, hours just reading, watching videos and thinking, how can I improve. 

But Gareth was right.When he wrote that a good design has a meaning I kept thinking to myself.. how do I create a meaning, how do I create more valuable content, how do I keep people come back to my website. For this, and to buff my SEO I created my review of video games page. I love playing video games in my spare time. Creating and writing articles that can help fellow gamers will help me express myself. An example These two photo’s below were made as virtual photography images. 

 

These photo’s were both made in the two DLCs of Control. A game as you guys know that I adore and love. I took these during both games main campaign and side missions of both The Foundation and AWE ( Alan Wake DLC  / Altered World Events ) Both with the focus on light. Light from a gun, light from a lamp. Light from the surroundings. 

How did this get me back into the design flow?

From being blocked to being inspired came when I went to my site and looked at the many people who had read the article itself. Dang. That was what I wanted to see and it happened. Many of you loved seeing this, seeing the shots and read the article. It was a new drive that I found and a new focus I want to keep continuing. And I don’t hold back! I still create, I still design, I still think of a better poster I can create with what I make. And this is my most recent one. 99% minus the logo, made form virtual photography 

Conclusion after watching Gareth his video and reading this article he wrote with it.

  • I need to accept that I’m stuck.
  • Need to think about what I love to do and do that for a while to get my creative juice back.
  • Do research. Look at how others tackle this issue.
  • And learn more. Learn on how I can enhance what I already do, find back my passion and beat the creative blocks ass. 


What I wanted to achieve was to gain back my main passion. And I found it.

Thank you everyone. I hope this article inspires you! Now back to designing and writing. Follow your passion! Remember that!

 

JustSimy

Simone Van Galen

A little Update from me

Hey Everyone,

JustSimy here.  It’s been a while since I posted on here. But I decided I should come back and talk about what I’ve been up to. Over the last few days  I really got into creating more art. Been working on a fanaat of Control this week which was insane as I posted it and got RTed by the devs. Which is an amazing feeling. Other then that been making some other types of art and been working on video’s. Making new tutorials which can be found on my Youtube channel.

Below are more of my Redbubble art works.



And this is the artwork that I made for Control

 
and this is the tweet:

I love the game Control As you can see. Soon I will add an extra Twitter account with all of my Virtual Photography Shots.

 

Redbubble

Dutch

Naast het werk als grafisch designer doe ik ook hier en daar aan kunst. Ik maak vele soorten designs die geïnspireerd zijn op onder ander games, muziek en meer.  Om een goed voorbeeld te geven staan er nu 2 online. 2 designs waar ik met hard en ziel aan gewerkt heb.

Mijn plan is om dit over tijd uit te breiden. Meer designs. meer fanart en meer kunst. Ook voeg ik werk toe die al gemaakt was voor oudere projecten en wil ik dit met dit idee een boost geven.

 

Hier een paar voorbeelden wat er nu staat op Redbubble:

English

Beside my work as a graphic designer I also love exploring the world of art. I create all sorts of art / designs. Mainly inspired by video games music or other topics.  To give a good example I got two designs up for grabs now on Redbubble. Worked on these two designs with my heart and soul.

My plan is to expand this. Create more designs, more fanart and more art itself. I’ll also add some of my previous work in that I made a year ago during my study to share with you guys.

You never know what’s hiding in the universe : link

 

Jesse Faden – Control : link

 

Ander werk voor je portfolio / other work for my portfolio

English

When you first jump into the world of design as a person you will walk against many walls. Walls which you may need to break. To break them you need to learn. Learn how to break them. Learn how to create / research and send out the work correctly.. And if you need help with that I’m here for it. Helping is what I’m good at. It’s what I do each and every day.

Here are some of the resources I used when I first get started in my line of work:

When I was stuck on creating characters for a project I would always look at the work of Jazza ( Joshua Brooks ). One of the first videos I watched of his was the following video:


I loved the way he spoke on the video and how it was explained on how he worked that I get inspired to work like that as well.

Another person who inspired me was Gareth David. His course on Graphic design taught me about sketches, design, and just some extra tools while I had just started my journey as a graphic designer. This is not the first video I started with. The first one was about Illustrator. But it is one which I used as a inspiration later on to start my own courses and everything else.