art, beauty, books, creative, creative process, creativity, illustration, photographs, pictures, technology

Beautiful: Creating Photos and Art with The Book of GIMP

bookofgimpIt’s more than a book; it’s a tome. Through No Starch Press, Olivier Lecarme and Karine Delvare just published The Book of GIMP, a complete and comprehensive guide on GIMP, a free open-source software program that successfully rivals pricey options like Adobe Photoshop. Visual design software can be intimidating because it has so many bells and whistles, as well as its own vocabulary that is foreign to people just getting started in design. Lecarme and Delvare demystify GIMP without dumbing it down in any way.

The book begins with a 24-page quick start guide that orients new users to GIMP. If you’re already familiar with the software and need help with specific functionality, skip to any one of the well-organized chapters to get in-depth knowledge on photo retouching, drawing and illustration, logo creation, composite photography, animation, and web design.

This book takes you through each area progressing from basics to advanced functionality, providing descriptive screenshots and step-by-step guidance. The mini-lessons and exercises in each chapter build upon one another so they are ideal for someone who just wants to complete a quick task or for someone who wants to know all of the ins and outs of GIMP’s many capabilities.

The reference section and appendices go into deep detail on settings and tools that are available to hone your masterpieces. It even has a chapter on the physiology of vision! And if that’s not enough for you, there’s always the section of additional readings, tutorials, related projects, and connections to the global GIMP user community.

Whether you’re just getting started in visual design or are a seasoned expert, The Book of GIMP is the best creative companion for all of your efforts to Make Something Beautiful.

art, child, children, illustration, illustrator

Charley Harper: Illustrator

This weekend on CBS Sunday Morning, I saw a clip about the illustrator Charley Harper and fell in love with his work. He creates animals and natural settings from a variety of every day geometric shapes. To watch him work was to see a technical artist at play.

Todd Oldham, an LA-based designer, re-doscovered Harper’s work by a sheer act of serendipity, and spent years archiving Harper’s illustrations as well as getting to know him personally. Oldham has compiled his findings in a new book published by AMMO. A quick flip through the pages, and you’re bound to find a picture that takes your imagination to the next level. Even better, Charley Harper’s work will help you see nature with a new found respect for its magnificent sense of design and order.

You can take a peak at the book through AMMO’s site:

The picture above can be found at