Monday, December 28, 2015

imageshack disaster II

I like to look at it this way: I am not a wealthy artist, I'm more like a street artist. I prefer not to write on other people's buildings, but I write on websites wherever I can find them, and I take my pictures, store them as I can, and use them with my writing. Over time, I've become better at posterizing, or sharpening, or altering photos, but mostly I do it for effect and don't really consider myself a professional.

Ah but one of the problems associated with my style, pop art as a hobby, is that a site like imageshack can offer you indefinite free storage of photos, and then simply retract the offer. Who can blame them? I wouldn't offer anyone free storage of photos indefinitely, and have trouble even with the junk my kids store on my computer. But I also have to admit, I enjoyed having all those photos out where I could see them anytime I wanted.

I have a curious relationship with flickr: some of my best photos are there, but they stopped after a hundred or so, and I didn't want to compound the dependence with false or manufactured e-mails (I actually have a few anyway) - so my flickr site, I've left as it is. But I had three imageshack sites, and spent the holidays taking back the photos. Putting them in a dropbox. As a yuppie, and a professional at that, I do have a dropbox. Actually it's my wife's. But it doesn't seem to mind all these photos.

I'm beginning to adopt Andy Warhol's philosophy, or at least two of them. First, I am what I appear to be, I'm not hiding anything or giving you a subtle, hidden message. Second, everything I've got, it's out where you can see it. It's right in front of you. I plan to be out there, everywhere, recognizable. That's my modus operandi.

But, it's come down to a number of blogger ports; I don't do static webpages very easily anymore. The SIU personal webpage server blithely made it so you had to use dreamweaver to use it, as all webpages had to be encrypted, so I'm no longer able to change or update my pages there. Same with TTU, although I have a slightly better chance of taking lessons, learning dreamweaver, and getting back on my feet here. That's a long-range plan, though. for the moment, I have a number of blogger sites, and people seem to visit them regularly, but online click-through web traffic doesn't seem to be a lucrative trade. I keep up my pr campaign; I do the best I can. But what I need are bold images, and billboards on the major streets of major cities. That campaign, I guess, will be next.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Imageshack disaster

Disaster! Imageshack is revoking its free service, and it's all over the e-mail telling me to take my pictures off or else, the orelse being pay $3.99/mo. It's not that I don't have the money; in fact we invest in dropbox, and most of the pictures may already be in there in some form or another. It's more that I like them on the web where I can see them, and if they're not there, it's kind of like they don't exist.

I have three accounts, so I consider myself a heavy user. Some is pop, lots are personal. I'm packing my bags. Google seems to be ok although I'm exploring other options. Flickr is good but very limited. These blogs have been the most consistent, self-organizing thing I've been able to find, really. Guess I'll be moving soon...maybe what I should say is, keep the organization horizontal, don't bury them.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Long time, no write; what am I, a pop artist? These days I'm more of a fiddler and a standard book author. I see stuff; I see it all the time, but I haven't been making pop art out of it. It was hard to posterize there for a while; one had to go out of one's way to do it. So, I lost my drive, I lost my spirit, and I took a break.

But it was only a matter of time before posterize came back. What really got me this year was a very wet spring for Texas, and a veritable explosion in colors I had never seen. This one plant, Texas sage, seems to have all kinds of colors, with leaves the traditional sage kind of colors, and the flowers being any kind of pink or purple. Bluebonnets came out also, even in the neighborhoods where I walk; I wasn't sure what I was seeing at first, but it was an intense and beautiful color, and I was sure I loved it. The brilliant displays of color set me back to seeing things I hadn't seen before in the intense sun.

As the summer wore on, though, the sun got more intense, and I went back to deliberate blindness, hat bill pulled over my eyes, trying to keep that darn thing off me. I'm happy this posterize function has come back; by the way, it's a simple on-your-computer function, not as good as some of the ones I used in the past, but certainly good enough to get started again, get inspired. I need to play a while, see what I can come up with. I make all the covers for my own books and I need lots of covers. I have also lost the ability to upload a webpage easily; both the server at SIU, where I am retired, and TTU, where I now work, require encryption that can not be written in by hand. So a person has to learn Dreamweaver, or whatever, to proceed with uploading web pop art, which is what I'd like to do.

Thirty years ago, at my first ESL job, they moved a copy machine to the hallway outside of my office. I should have been overjoyed at the convenience of being so close to the machine, but it was early in my career, and I had to figure out how to make a lesson, sometimes three or four that I would teach on that very day. The sounds of other teachers coming by making ten, twenty, thirty copies at a time began to drive me to distraction. Finally, in desperation, I started making xerox art out of it. I'd slip in there, master the enlarge and shrink functions, and photoshop the pieces together with scotch tape. I say "photoshop" because it implies putting images together that ordinarily wouldn't be seen together, but basically, that was my start in the image business. I admit, I'm an amateur. I've gone years and not done much with it. But I'm still at it, and even if it, for the most part, has other functions in my life (maybe making memes?), it's worth maintaining. More important, for my spirit, than ever.

Check out the latest at the pop art gallerie