Thursday, April 30, 2015

Locust Bean Gum -- Hydrocolloid Series part 4

Hydrocolloids are wondrous substances that can be found in beans, fruits, seaweed, hooves, and the bladders of some fish. They wiggle and gel and can impart those properties on food, lotions, sauces, just about anything!

The fourth of my Hydrocolloid series is Locust Bean Gum, aka Carob Gum. Primarily grown in the Mediterranean, it's used in cream cheese, pastry fillings, ice cream, and lotion to impart a creamy texture. It also acts as a thickener in sauces, soups, pet food, and salad dressings. Ancient Egyptians used a resin made from the beans of this tree as an adhesive for mummy wrappings. Dried carob beans have such a uniform weight (0.015g) that they were used by gold merchants as a standard of measurement!

Here are the others of the series (click the links to visit the blog entries!):



-- Julia

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

My VIDA Shop is Live!

Exciting news! My VIDA Shop is up. Click here to see it! Use the code VIDAVOICES for 20% off!

VIDA is a Google Ventures backed platform that allows designers to sell ethically sourced products that are created per demand. Their scarves and tops are made in Pakistan, where they create literacy programs and maintain fair wages for their workers. 

Artists don't have to pay anything to have an online shop with them, and get 10% of  each sale. If three or more pre-orders are made within fifteen days of the items going up for sale, they're produced! Any fellow artists who want an invite to join up, email and mention my name! (If two peeps join up and create their own VIDA shop, I get a coupon code to buy my own products :P). 

VIDA has been very responsive whenever I had any questions or concerns. I read through their contract and wasn't 100% pleased with it so they worked with me to make it something everyone could agree on. It is a rare company that will do this, it's a wonderful find. I'm psyched to collaborate with them!

One thing I don't like is how low-res the previews of the designs are. Less than 1Mb! Hi-res files are used to produce the items of course, but I wish hi-res files were used throughout. 

I decided I wanted my products to be modal scarves. VIDA's modal is "MicroModal", made from beechwood processed in an eco-friendly factory in Austria, then woven in a factory in Pakistan. Modal feels awesome and has a great drape. Can't wait to see how they turn out!

Here's a look at my designs:

It feels great to work with a company that wants to the right thing, for everyone. And the right thing for the environment! Discover more of their story here.

-- Julia

Friday, April 3, 2015

16 Colours of Light

Click image to enlarge and see gorgeous pixeltude.

I love the classic 16-colour EGA palette. I don't know why, but making teeny checkerboard patterns out of two of the colours (aka dithering) to make a third colour gives me just about the tamest thrill imaginable.

I'm planning on having day/night cycles in my game. At first, I thought there'd be one "day" version and one "night" version of each background, but I got carried away playing with all the colourful little pixels and here are a bunch of attempts at creating different lighting conditions using EGA.

If this was boring ol' 256 colour VGA or whatever else the kids are using nowadays, all I'd do to make a scene lighter or darker would be to slap a transparent layer of that colour on top and call it a day. YAWN. Or maybe edit the actual light source if this was one of those terrifying 3D games.

I'm much happier picking away with my digital cross-stitching :P.

-- Julia

Here's my other game art.

Portfolio site

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Trying something new -- Patterns!

Here are a bunch of patterns I've made because it's good to try new things and also this makes gift-giving at xmas-time so much easier! I just order a bunch of stuff from Society6 and I'm all done :).

I'm also thinking of trying Print All Over Me. Maybe get a pretty summer dress made! Their terms of service look fair and the range of products they offer is terrific. Dresses, pants, bean bag chairs, rain coats... Exciting!

-- Julia