Saturday, April 21, 2012

Happy Earth Day Everyone!

Who knew today was Earth Day?
Come on. Don't be shy. Raise your hands if you did!

I didn't.
Until I went on Google and noticed their doodle.
I clicked on it and there you go.
Today is Earth Day.

I looked it up on Wikipedia to find a little more about this day.
I was surprised to discover that it exists since 1970.

There's a Earth Day Logo/Flag and even a Earth Day Anthem.
I looked for the Official Earth Day International website but didn't find it very useful. Mainly because you have to be in the USA to take action.

They do have a page where you can create a day event or sign a petition but that's no much use if you are based in Ireland.

So I looked for a similar Website/Organisation in Ireland.

I found VOICE Ireland, an Irish non-governmental Charity established in 1997.
They don't even have a petition to sign.
And only 269 followers on Twitter.
Except for a list of actions to follow, I couldn't find a suggestion to let's say use Facebook as a way to spread the word and raise concern.

However I found another website which name was confusing. I mean they chose "friend of earth" acronym for their website and it is turning to FOE.IE
So it feels you need to be a Foe to be a Friend of earth.
Their website is a little better and they have more followers. 1900 followers. Not a lot for a 4 million inhabitants country. But I guess that's a start.

I guess what I meant to say is give a hug to Earth and wish Everyone you know a Happy Earth Day!

Have you heard about this event? Do you know someone who's doing something for this cause? Do you think a day is enough to raise concern?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

5 Things I hate about Adobe Illustrator

If Blogs were soil, mine would be seriously decaying.
The number of visits hasn't been as low since the time I began to write this blog. Ouch.

Where to start?
In this era where creativity must meet with technology, I decided to do a training on how to use Adobe Illustrator.
After many hours of attempt at using the tool and in order to save you time and money, here is what I retain of the software.
This tool is seriously evil.
In theory, it seems a great concept. Adobe Illustrator is a vector graphics editor allowing to draw, create geometrical shapes, symmetrical curves and even make a vector copy of your photos. Developed and marketed by Adobe Systems you would think that it is bound to be perfected and user-friendly with its latest version (Illustrator CS5) the fifteenth generation in the product line by now. But you would be wrong.
Instead of making a list of what the tool brought me, I began to make a list in my head of what the tool took away from me.

Here is this list:

1) It'll take the creativity out of you.
The tool is so illogical and unintuitive, it's frankly ridiculous.
The guy who created this software must have the artistic mindset of a dinosaur. In fact it has probably killed a lot of artists' spirits over the years. A simple task of creating a shadow on an apple will require you to do 4 or 5 actions. None of them are easy to guess. I have used more often the CTRL+Z (undo task) than I have done "stuff."

2) It'll take the fun out of you.
Those damn Layers.
I can see how one morning that guy who created this software decided to be clever by creating the notion of layers making hundred of us suffer for it.
In his perfectly organised life, where Order made perfect sense, from the inside of his fridge to his shirts neatly ironed, this guy decided that layers were the key to design and without it, well nothing really would work. If by inadvertence, you've just clicked on the wrong layer, you can't edit nothing. Same pb if you forgot to unlock a layer or view a layer. Every layer has to be named. One layer above or below another layer will change the complete outlook of your design. All in all, if you don't have discipline, Adobe Illustrator will grind this quality into you, layer by layer.

3) It'll take forever to open. 
About 2 minutes which is crazy and that's because it's a heavy tool. It uses a massive amount of memory from your pc.

 4)It'll take money out of your wallet.
That's right. 600 $ ( not cheap) You can use the trial for free for 30 days. But why would you pay that when you can have a similar tool for free?  Inkscape is an Open Source vector graphics editor which works similarly to Adobe Illustrator. At least if you get a headache, you'll have a headache for free.

5) It'll take every ounce of patience you have.
A simple drawing, let's say the drawing of a pig with nice eyes and a nice little curly tail, will take 4 or 5 hours.
If you don't believe me, here's a link to a guy's website who did a humming bird.
In appearance, it seem a very simple design to make. Only it took him 6 hours to do it.


So there you go. Adobe Terminator, I mean, Illustrator will l take everything from you and will give you nothing back. Except maybe a headache. Or a few. Depending on how serious you are about learning how to use the tool.

Was it worth it?

Would I do it again?
Only because there's no escaping from it if you want to know how designing graphics works.

Was the course interesting?

Would I design a better tool if I was a genius?

Would I unleash my frustration on the designer of that tool if he was in front of me?

Any comments on that tool? Have you ever used it? Do you like it? Dislike it?
Here and now is the time to tell the world about it.