Say hello to Affinity

https://affinity.serif.com
https://affinity.serif.com
https://affinity.serif.com
https://affinity.serif.com

The cute sketch of Jasper I posted yesterday turned out to be the last project I will (probably) ever do in Photoshop. It’s a long story but the short version is that when I updated my Mac operating system a couple of weeks ago, my first update in six years, I lost the ability to use my Adobe software (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign). I had read somewhere that my software wouldn’t work properly if I didn’t uninstall and reinstall it and so that’s what I did. Silly me. Down the rabbit hole I went. Reinstalling them didn’t work. Backups didn’t work. My software was no longer recognised and all was lost. It was really quite upsetting but not entirely unexpected.

Now I’m not telling you this because I’m looking for sympathy. I’m also not looking for solutions or workarounds. I’m not even going to contact Adobe to try and sort it out. Really? Yep. It’s a done deal — I’ve been on borrowed time with my CS5 software for years. I knew this day was coming and, now that it’s here, I’ve decided to embrace change.

The short-term pain of losing CS5 has given way to the discovery of Affinity’s award-winning graphic design and photo editing software. Check out their product videos — they’re really impressive. I have now jumped ship and am learning how to navigate Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo. Thankfully, it’s fairly intuitive, the GUI looks and feels familiar, and there are lots of online video tutorials. I don’t have a replacement for InDesign yet but I am eagerly awaiting Affinity’s release of Publisher later this year. The Affinity software is also very reasonably priced (no subscription, which helped to seal the deal for me) and they are offering free updates.

If you’re a Mac user (sorry, it is Mac only*), I recommend having a look at Affinity. I think it’s awesome. I love that I can import my old psd, ai, and pdf files. I also love that I’m now using creative software that is current and not six years old (that’s the equivalent of about half a century in software years).

So I’m saying goodbye, Adobe. There will be no more tears. I have no regrets. It was fun while it lasted.

* Affinity have announced that they plan to launch Designer and Photo on Windows later in the year.

Mugshots (a collaboration)

Della's Pottery mugs waiting to be decorated
Della’s Pottery mugs waiting to be decorated

A couple of weeks ago, my talented friend Della made these fabulous mugs, handed me a ceramic glazing pencil, and told me that I could draw anything I wanted on them. What a brilliant opportunity to try something new (thank you, Della).

Because the mugs are so deliciously quirky, I decided that the designs had to be quirky too and opted to decorate them with some of my little ‘Thank You’ stick figures. I took photos of the mugs and played around with size and placement possibilities in Affinity Photo (yes, that’s right, NOT Photoshop… but that’s a story for another day) before committing to drawing on the mugs with the special glazing pencil (see below). I’ll post more photos of the mugs once Della has glazed and fired them again. I can’t wait to see how they turn out.

Mugshots (2)
Mugshots (2)
Mugshots (3)
Mugshots (3)

What colour is a blackbird?

Flinders Street Railway Station, Melbourne — ink and digital colour, 2016
Flinders Street Railway Station, Melbourne — ink and digital colour, 2016

“Drawing makes you look at the world more closely. It helps you to see what you’re looking at more clearly. Did you know that?”
I said nothing.
“What colour’s a blackbird?” she said.
“Black”
“Typical!”

David Almond

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Another year over…

Bamford (private commission) – acrylic on canvas, 150 x 305 mm, 2015
Bamford (private commission) – acrylic on canvas, 150 x 305 mm, 2015

This small canvas was my last commission of 2015 ~ and it was a wonderful way to end the year. When I was asked to paint this version of my little stick figure illustration, I had no idea how it would look (given that the original figures were ink drawings on paper). I needn’t have worried. This painting now has pride of place on my new Commissions page.

Wishing everyone a happy and creative 2016 : )