Need inspiration? Make an Art Screen Saver!


(Turtle artwork by Guy Francis)

Like a lot of artists, I get challenged and inspired by drooling over the work of other artists (like the ones listed to the right, for example). One of the best ways for me to keep that inspiration going is to create a screen saver from the work of other artists. That way, any time I need an inspirational kick all I have to do is look up from my drawing board and watch my computer screen for a few minutes.

Here’s how to create your own screen saver on a Mac with Safari. It’s super-simple:
1. Create a folder (anywhere on your computer) to store all the images. I named mine “Other Artists”. (Within the folder I have the artwork organized into more folders by artist’s name, but you don’t have to get that detailed.)
2. In Safari’s Preferences, click on the “Save Downloaded Files to” drop-down menu and select the “Other Artists” folder.
3. When you find a super-cool piece of art, control-click and select ‘Save Image to “Other Artists'”.
4. To set up the screen saver, open System Preferences and click on “Desktop & Screen Saver”.
5. Click on the Screen Saver tab.
6. Under the “screen savers” list at left, scroll down and select “Choose Folder”.
7. Select the “Other Artists” folder.
8. Adjust your other screen saver settings to your liking, then quit System Preferences.

That’s all there is to it! I hope I’m not violating any copyright laws by downloading other people’s work, but I figure if someone posts their art online for me to view on my personal computer, it must be ok for me to use that art elsewhere on my personal computer…as long as it stays on my private computer screen. But if I’m mistaken on that, I’d welcome anyone correcting me.

"Media Artist Secrets" Podcast

Here’s a terrific artist resource: Media Artist Secrets. With a blog, podcast, and message board, Franklin MacMahon has built one of the most informative and encouraging sites I’ve come across for creative professionals (despite the cheezy clouds). As his homepage reads, “Media Artist Secrets is dedicated to helping you dramatically advance your creative career – Welcome to The Business of Being Creative”. Whether you are an artist, designer, photographer, animator, or have anything to do with visual media, your bound to find some rich nuggets of advice and encouragement from MacMahon. If you have iTunes you can even subscribe to his award-winning podcast for free so that the latest edition is automatically downloaded to your computer. Give it a listen, you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

Once Upon a Time

Last night Jennie (my fiance) had her first wedding shower. She had a great time and brought home a lot of neat gifts. But my favorite was a book written and illustrated by my goddaughter, Carsen Wetzel. It’s a creative and charming re-telling of our lives, how we met and got married. Pretty impressive stuff from a third grader. I couldn’t resist posting a few pages. (Click on the images to see a larger version). My favorite part is the marriage proposal, where Carsen drew us parachuting down to the lake!

You can view the entire book as a slideshow HERE.