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  • App Review: Aviary

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    We’ve all experienced “Apptimidation” at some point. Apptimidation? Yes, friends, apptimiation. That ever-so-slight feeling of uneasiness or frustration you get when realizing that the app you just downloaded is somewhat out of your handling ability. The bells and whistles are disrespectfully complex, the features are utterly confusing and you’re left feeling...incompetent. Ok maybe that's a bit dramatic but the app I'll be reviewing today seems to be totally free from any intimidating factors. Two words to describe the app's interface: smooth and simple. Let’s check out how the photo editing app, Aviary works.

    When you first download the app, it opens automatically with the option of capturing a picture or grabbing one from your photo stream. As usual, I scrolled a bit through my stream for pictures and this time, I found a photo I took of a friend! Here's what we'll be working on.

    aviary photo editor app 3

    Aviary smoothly delivers your basic editing options such as One-tap auto enhance, color balance, cropping and alignment tools, and Sharpen/Blur. Auto enhance is pretty innovative in that it has one tap presets for effects such as Hi-Def and night. It’s even got one tap presets for Food for all the foodie instagramers. Pretty cool! To me, the enhancers were a little on the heavy handed side so I opted out of using them. Nevertheless, here’s the portrait effect applied for preview purposes.

    aviary photo editor enhance

    The app also provides frames for you to add. Some clean and modern some grungy and vintage. Now, I’m not much of a frames fanatic but just for demonstration purposes, lets slap on the grit frame.

    aviary photo editor frames grit

    And now, for the main course, the meat of this interview, we have the Filters. The tab offers a large mixture of black and white, sepia and vintage filters. These filters did a decent job in making my photo resemble a vintage print. While Aviary has 12 free filters available, what the app has in numbers, it falls a bit short in quality. Like the one tap auto enhancers, the filters could stand to be a bit more sophisticated. They are however, totally adjustable to what you see fit.

    aviary photo editor effects haas

     

     

    aviary photo editor effects Cruz

    Where this app gets much more creative is in its supplies tab which rests at the beginning of each creative feature such as Effects, Frames, Overlays and Stickers. In this tab, there a plethora of creative features for you to download free with an adobe membership or buy for about 99 cents a pop! I decided to download the Wanderlust package which gave me 7 more filters to choose from. This clean natural filter was right up my alley so I went with it.

    aviary photo editor app effects

    New filter in hand, I moved on to the Overlays tab to see what the tab had to offer. This creative feature gets right to the point by fitting your image into a square composition. In overlays, you’ve got your basic overlay shapes like circle, Hexagon, Square etc. Again if you’re looking for a bit more creative freedom you can head over to supplies tab for more overlays to add to your photo. I kind of went on a shopping spree here. While they may not be suitable for this specific picture a lot of the overlays were pretty neat. So I'll be keeping them for more landscape pictures.

    aviary photo editor app overlays polkadots

     

    aviary photo editor app overlays

    One thing that sets Aviary a step ahead of the other basic photo editing apps is the array of cosmetic tools. Wanting that million-dollar smile? You can brighten it up with the tooth-whitening tool. You can also take care of red eye problems, and fix up pesky zits with the blemish tool. While these tools get the job done, you probably shouldn’t expect Photoshop CS6 Quality retouching. The tooth-whitening tool, however, did a great job of brightening the model’s smile without giving of off a glow in the dark grin. Check out those pearly whites!

    aviary photo editor app picture

    I dabbled around a bit more with a few other features I generally might not need but found neat! The Draw tool was a nice touch, having a wide array off colors and brush sizes to choose from. I opted for a variation of both to show off my UH-mazing doodling skills.

    aviary photo editor app doodle

    The stickers tool was pretty fun to play with as well. You’ve got a bunch of options to choose from here. Crazy hats, silly masks and loads more.

    aviary photo editor app

    I think I might have gotten a bit carried away so I decided to tone things down and take it back to my wanderlust filter, tweaked the warmth and color tool a bit, added a downloaded frame, "Delicato," and voila! a masterpiece!

    aviary app photo final

    Once your project's complete, you can share the image to mediums like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or have it printed on wood like I have here. Here's the end result printed on natural gloss finish!

    Aviary photo editor app photo on wood

    It’s easy to see why Aviary appeals to so many, its super user friendly and has a wide array of creative options. It’s simple without being boring and complex without being confusing. So, if you’ve out-grown simpler photo editing apps- brighten, saturate, add text but aren’t quite ready to graduate into professional-level functions, Aviary would be a great app for you. The cosmetics tools definitely set it apart from a number of its competitors. One thing I would have like to see is more sophisticated filters. This app however ran smoothly with no problems with bugs or crashes. With that being said I’d give this app three logs!

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    For more information on Aviary, please visit: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/photo-editor-by-aviary/

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Chopping Block: Buffy Kaufman

    As a kid, I had knack for painting on EVERYTHING. Paper, walls, myself, my little sister's face, you name it, it was my canvas. Nothing was safe from my grubby finger-paint covered hands. I realize now that my poor parents didn’t know what to do with my excess “creative energy.” While researching the work of today's artist, Buffy Kaufman, I was happy to see an artist who not only creates captivating artwork, but has established a place for kids with just as much creative energy to express themselves freely. The self-taught Californian artist uses intriguing color choices and delicate technique to create endearing pieces that draw you in. Intrigued by her talent for the arts and interest in cultivating the same in children, I talked a bit with Buffy and learned a lot about the drive behind her works of art.

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    POW: You've just launched your portfolio on our website. Out of all the artworks you’re constantly creating, how do you know which pieces are the exact ones you want featured?

    Kaufman: The featured pieces are ones that have gotten a response from the audience and taken on a life of their own. Many people reach out explaining a childhood memory associated with the artwork, or a memorial aspect, reminding them of a lost loved one, or a more generalized response such as feeling happy when they view the artwork.

    Trick or Treat by Buffy KaufmanTrick or Treat by Buffy Kaufman

    POW: You mentioned that you felt a call to action a few years back and began focusing on your art. Could you tell us a bit about this jolt of inspiration? How were things before it and how would you say your life has changed since then?

    Kaufman: In prayer I felt a call to paint the Lord. The entire painting was done in one sitting, wet paint onto wet paper. I was amazed how so much of His image fell into place without me intending it to. I truly believe The Lord guided my hand on this painting and it was such a blessing to witness it all come together. In that moment I felt a pulling at my soul that I should share my art with the world, and give God all the glory for my artwork. This painting taught me the difference between painting in my own strength and painting in prayer. I had a calling and it is so hard to put into words. My life changed forever that day. I found a peace and joy in my art, it is my ministry, my refuge.

    wonder sense by buffy kaufman

    Wonder Sense by Buffy Kaufman

    POW:  I read in your art story that you also have an interest in creative writing. Do the two activities ever cross paths for certain projects?

    Kaufman: Yes, I enjoy creating back stories for the illustrations I prepare for the children. I am currently working on my first book, upon completion of the artwork I will embark on embellishing it with words. My hope is the artwork will be the focus and the story telling to be secondary. I also enjoy illustrating for album covers and other peoples books. I enjoy collaborating with other creatives and trying to bring their vision to fruition.

    The Desolate King by Buffy Kaufman

    The Desolate King by Buffy Kaufman

    POW:  Telling by the programs on your website such as Art Club, there’s a lot of emphasis on encouraging children to create and keep creating. What ignited your interest to start up these programs?

    Kaufman: I loved art as a kid and it was my dream to pursue it, but life was very complicated and took some very hard turns. Unfortunately, I took a downward spiral in my teenage years. I became more and more depressed and my drawings became my escape. Because of this, I was encouraged to take art therapy with a man named Thomas. Thomas made a lasting impression on me and planted a seed of purpose.  He helped me realize that my issues and problems were not my identity. I was a prodigal and the world nearly swallowed me, but by the grace of God and the seeds planted at an early age I found my way and carried on. I believe in paying it forward, I share my art with at risk youth in the community and Art Club as a way of planting that seed of creativity in these kids as well. Art can be a refuge, a safe place, a reminder of the good inside of us. Life can strip us of so much, but knowing that we are loved and believed in, that can carry you through dark times. I pray that I can inspire children to express themselves through art and, like Thomas, plant a seed of purpose for them that they can pull on from years to come.

    Brownie by Buffy KaufmanBrownie by Buffy Kaufman

    POW:  One thing I found extremely unique while checking out the programs was the mentorship. For children who don’t simply “color inside the lines,” I think it’s awesome to identify an inclination for the arts at an early age and tap into it. What would you say a successful mentorship would entail?

    Kaufman: In 2009, while serving in the community as a child mentor, I began sketching for a girl named Abby. Art bridged a gap between Abby and I. It was a way for her to express herself. It gave her a voice. I believe it is not so much what you say or teach as how much you listen and lead by example. Children can sense when you care and when you are genuine. Art mentoring is a great way to pass on information and lessons you have learned. For example, you can save an up and coming artist a lot of time and effort by helping them sort out the basics of getting started, and setting up good work habits early on. But the same can be said in life lessons, creating a trusting relationship is key.

    Foxhole by Buffy Kaufman

    Foxhole by Buffy Kaufman

    POW:  Theo the Bear makes pretty frequent appearances on your Instagram page. How was he born into existence? Does the loveable character have a bit of a background story?

    Kaufman: Floating down the river with my husband, laying in the sun, listening to country music we dreamt up the idea to tell a good ole fashioned country love story. We thought teddy bears would be a cute and creative way to keep the love story sweet. We dreamt up Theo as a teddy bear that came to life in my art studio. He, Theo, was so lonely he prayed for a country girl to love. While waiting on the Lord, he met Violet and realized that timing is everything. Each illustration tells another part of their love story. My hope is to one day publish this story, but just like the moral of the story, “Timing is everything” so I pray and wait on the Lord.

    frozen by buffy kaufman

    Frozen by Buffy Kaufman

    POW:  Undoubtedly, many of your students are constantly learning from you. But in turn, is there anything you’ve learned from your students that you found interesting?

    Kaufman: To follow your dreams. Mine had been shelved too long. Life was busy, I had kids to raise, a 9-5 job and bills to pay. But thanks to these children I was inspired to reunite with the joy I had as a kid through art. These children constantly push me, encourage me, and inquire of me about my art and what I am doing with it. Their questions are limitless and have a no-holds-barred attitude, which I love. Their belief in me is outstanding and it pushes me past my own limits to reach out higher & farther than I would ever have done on my own. There is no way to quantify what they have taught me over the years, it is endless. Out of the mouth of babes come pure words, honest words, if only more people would bend down and listen.

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    For more information on Buffy Kaufman, please visit: http://www.buffykaufmanart.com/

  • Jeff Soto X Maxx242 Riverside Mural

    Viewing art in the city is something that can be done almost anywhere….but viewing art ON the city? Not quite! Sponsoring this event, we sought to bring a mural to our hometown of Riverside, CA, something that we hope to see more of again and again!

    Soto X Maxx242 Mural

    Before the fun could begin, we had to enlist the help of our local government to get the proper approval and documentation. Working hand-in-hand with the mayor of Riverside as well as the mayor’s staff (thanks Margie!), we were able to get the proper permits needed and a location to for Jeff and Maxx.

    Soto X Maxx242 Mural 1

    And now for the fun stuff!  Jeff Soto and his longtime friend and cohort, Maxx242, came ready to paint and their result was spectacular. These two have been doing graffiti together since high school and now they are doing murals all over the world in cities such as Berlin and Luxembourg. Other Soto murals can be found across the country and the world, cities include LA, Miami, Oakland, France and many others.

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    Maxx242 took the left half and Jeff Soto took the right.

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    The wall of the mural is behind Pixels Bar in Riverside on University and Lemon Ave, right in the heart of Downtown Riverside!

    Soto X Maxx242 Mural 5

    It took these guys 3 long days but these two made a masterpiece. Thank you Jeff and Maxx as well as the City of Riverside and everyone else who helped! We couldn't be happier with the result!

    Soto X Maxx242 Mural 4

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  • App Review: Enlight

    Enlight App review

    I've come to realize and accept that I am...an app hoarder. Dozens of photo apps sit in boredom, collecting dust until its time perform a single task, then its back to the shelf for them. With this epiphany, I've set out to find the "Does It All" photo app, that would free my phone of storage space and me from my hoarding problem. From what I've heard about the new photo app, Enlight, I think I may have found it. Only one way to find out.

    If there’s one thing that I’m always on the look out for in a new app, it’s ease of use. Telling right away by its interface, Enlight is the most user-friendly photo app I’ve downloaded so far. Yes. THE most. Why? Well, for one, most apps, set multiple screens, long menus and blazing rings of fire to jump through in order to to get to the camera roll. Enlight conveniently places your photo stream right below the editing page so scrolling through photos is a breeze. Pleased with the option to easily select a saved image, I went with a quick picture I took while on a hiking trip.

    enlight app review starting image

    If you’d rather capture a new photo than scroll through your photo library, There’s an in app camera for you to use. The in-app camera is a bit limited when it comes to functionality.  Options like exposure adjustment aren’t featured but with the ability to edit the image later, I’m not too bothered.

    Once you have your photo, you can swipe right to reveal a menu of the categories; Canvas, Image, Filters, Tools, Artistic Brushes, Text, and Finalize. Each tab expands to a multitude of options when tapped.

    Enlight App Review options

    You’ve got your basic tools like exposure, color and tone adjustments and filters. And you've got creative tools like pens, brushes, and an urban tool that adds filters that that pretty much makes your photo completely unrecognizable.

    Enlight App Review filters

    One thing that's really abound in this app is variety. In addition to providing the ability to adjust filters to your liking, the app has a number of presets for any type of tone. for instance, there's a high key black and white filter, a low contrast one and much more. I found a number of the filters to be heavily saturated but again, they are adjustable.

    Enlight App review picture 2

    One of the features that causes Enlight to really break away from other apps is the “Refit” tool.  This allows the user to crop from inside the photo, bringing objects closer together without losing any detail. This may work best when you have a photo with actual subjects or focal points. I tried it on this landscape the tool simply flattened the photo.

    When you click the finalize button, there's even the option of creating a collage with photos from your stream. This is option something I haven't seen before and found pretty convenient. To finish off this app review I decided to go with a light filter, clarified the image a little and there it is, ready to be uploaded and become a wood print!

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    I'd give this app a rating of three wood logs. With a sleek, minimalistic style, Enlight allows for the photo to be the main focus sans distractions and tricks.

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    However, I found that there was one little distraction. Every tool  I clicked on to use began with a “how to” tutorial. This may just be my stubborn self-wanting to figure it out, without help or instructions. Needless to say, I buckled and found myself carefully perusing the directions for foreign tools such as “Refit.” Nevertheless, this app does get a thumbs up from me. Fairly priced at 3.99, Enlight could definitely act as a one stop shop for all your photo editing needs.

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    For more information on Enlight please visit:  http://www.enlightapp.com/

  • Chopping Block: Thomas Fuchs

    There are few things that pass up Oktoberfest in my list of things the US is entirely grateful to Germany for. The work of Thomas Fuchs is one of them. With illustrations appearing in most US publications such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, Time, Rolling Stone and many, MANY more, the illustrator and graphic designer has weathered the constant storm of trends and changes in the illustration industry. For his work, Fuchs has received numerous awards like The Society of Illustrators (Gold Medal), American Illustration, and the SPD award (to name a few) Currently residing in Berlin, Thomas Fuchs continues to create an array pieces that are both eye-catching and mentally stimulating.
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    POW: How did you get your start in illustration?

    FUCHS: Right after art school, I moved to New York and started shopping my portfolio around, mostly to magazines and newspapers. It’s fairly easy to get appointments with art directors there, as everybody is keen on discovering new artists. I guess I got lucky and scored a few assignments, which in turn got my work noticed and resulted in more assignments. It is of course a great motivator to move to the most expensive city on the planet with nothing but your work in your pocket…

    Civil Liberties by Thomas Fuchs for Boston Magazine

    POW:  You’ve done a lot of work for notable companies. What would you say your favorite type of commercial project is?

    FUCHS: My favorite type would probably be the really fast turnaround newspaper ones – where there’s just not enough time to do any kind of elaborate tryptich-type painting, so it’s mostly about coming up with a really tight concept, and then choose the style that best transports it.

     

    Heart Failure Through Emotional Stress by Thomas Fuchs for Time Magazine

     

    Heart Failure Through Emotional Stress by Thomas Fuchs for Time Magazine

    POW:  Were there any specific motives behind your delving into the 365 a day project?

    FUCHS: Not really, other than feeling a bit stuck in the daily routine of illustrating for clients.  While that is fun, it doesn’t really give you any room to evolve or improve, as under deadlines you rarely have time to venture out of the tried and true.  So projects like this give me you the opportunity to try new things and avoid standing still. And I’ve found the best stuff usually happens if the whole thing revolves around one topic.  It seems limiting at first, but invariably produces the best, weirdest or most unexpected results if you really dig your teeth into it.

    Autobiography by Thomas Fuchs
    Autobiography by Thomas Fuchs

    POW: If you could provide three golden rules for the aspiring artist to live by, what would they be?

    FUCHS:
    1. Work.
    2. Work.
    3. Work.
    Persistence is a much bigger talent than talent itself. The more work you produce, the more good things will happen – to the work itself and therefore to your career.

    Think Rat by Thomas Fuchs
    Think Rat by Thomas Fuchs

    POW: One might call you the world-renowned one-man band of illustration for your many focal areas such as paintings, portraits, digital works and logos. Is there one area you favor most?

    FUCHS: That is probably the thing I enjoy the most, and that I’ve worked rather hard on – not having to limit myself to one area. I find that utterly boring.
    There are so many artists out there who do the same image over and over again in red, or green, or sometimes blue, and call it a “style”. Most teachers will tell you of the importance of having a “look” and to never ever venture from it, as that will confuse people. While that has some truth to it, I’d like to think that style and recognizability can be just as much based on a way of thinking, a conceptual approach or the way an image is put together. And it's much more fun on a daily basis.

    http://www.printsonwood.com/artists/thomasfuchs/musical-healing-wood-print
    Musical Healing  by Thomas Fuchs for the New York Times

    POW: What are you currently working on that you might be able to give us a bit of info on?

    FUCHS: Apart from the regular, quick turnaround editorial gigs, one of the longer term projects I’ve been working on is a book project for Leica, the German camera manufacturer. It’s a compilation of sixty-four “rules" for their employees, representing the history, philosophy and future outlook of the company. Every one of these is illustrated, a little conceptual drawing incorporating Leica specific symbolism. I can’t say more than that, but it’s another one of those “one symbol, a thousand variations” kind of things. Right up my alley.

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    For more information on Thomas Fuchs please visit: http://www.thomasfuchs.com/

  • Woodlands Church - wood print collage

    Giving back is a huge aspect of being part of your community. Whether you are a profitable company donating money to local charities or just volunteering a few hours when you get the chance, giving back makes your community a better place. Some of the best communities to live in became what they are just from people of the community giving back in some shape or form. Your community can be your block, city, county, or the whole world….either way make the effort to give back to it in some way!

    Wood print collage

    Almost every company finds some way to give back, and a lot of companies are built around donating to the community. Warby Parker, for example, donates a pair of glasses to someone in the developing world for every pair purchased on their website, making a significant contribution to their community and improving the lives of over half a million people and counting. While larger companies can make larger contributions such as Warby Parker, giving back to your community in any magnitude makes a difference.

    The people at Woodlands Church have grasped this and have set up a mission program in order to give back to their community. Rather than just focusing on their immediate community, the mission program at Woodlands Church has local and global missions, giving back to both their direct and global communities. Some of the countries they have served in include Haiti, Honduras, India, Guatemala, Kenya, and the Dominican Republic. Our global community has received a great deal of help through the missions at Woodlands Church, and they wanted to show how their work contributes to our daily lives.

    coffee beans wood print collage

     

    With one of the coolest concepts I’ve personally ever seen for a custom print on wood, Woodlands Church created a collage of 5 pictures, showing the process of where we get our coffee and the source of the beans. Now, instead of this print being one piece of wood, it is paneled into 6 different pieces of wood, giving it an amazing visual effect. This print results in a collage of 5 pictures, split into 6 different wood prints. Complicated? Possibly….Brilliant? Undoubtedly. This print is a great, artistic representation showing where we get coffee from which is a reminder of the work done in our global communities by Woodlands Church.

     

  • Mother's Day Gift ideas

    It’s right around the corner! The day we honor the women who bathed us, who fed us, who wiped our poop until we could do it ourselves. Let’s be real, we owe our mothers a damn good Mother’s day present.  Now, this year, you could send flowers or take her to a nice Sunday brunch-y’know the usual.  But after all the years of Cheesecake Factory reservations and wilting flowers, a unique, timeless gift sounds pretty refreshing.

    Now, what might that gift be? Well, a custom made wood print of course! And I’ll show you why.

    To start, we are offering 30% off Create Your Own wood prints just for Mother's Day. Mothers-Day-2015What is Create Your Own wood prints?  It's a picture of anything you can think of printed on wood, BUT it has to be your picture.  (or a picture you have permission to print)

    If you don't have any pictures handy, try this "Fantastic Family Photo" by Cuddly Rigor Mortis.   An interesting work of art is never a miss.

    Fantastic Family Wood print by Cuddly Rigor Mortis Fantastic Family Photo by Cuddly Rigor Mortis

    Relive the first moment she laid eyes on you, something she will never forget.

    Baby print on woodShown in Natural Gloss Finish

    mom and baby print on wood

    Shown in Bright White Finish

    With a wood print, there wouldn’t be any doubt about her liking her gift. The simplicity and elegance of a wood print makes it the perfect gift, suitable to anyone’s taste. Whether in a cool and contemporary room or rugged and rustic space, a wood print can be placed, hung or mounted to complement EVERY sort of decoration.

    red bird on a branch wood print

    These are sure to be special because in each print, there’s a certain craftsmanship that can’t be paralleled by a paper photo slapped in an expensive frame.

    Falling in Love wood print by YetilandFalling in Love by Yetiland

    If you’re stuck on ideas of what to print, why not give her the gift of nostalgia with a print of her hometown.  Austin Texas by Jazzerberry Blue, perhaps?

    Austin city map wood print

    Or a cool cityscape of Philadelphia if she's from the City of Brotherly Love.

    Philadelphia skyline wood print

    Philadelphia Pennsylvania by Bribuckley

    Whatever the image may be, your wood print is sure to be an unconventional Mother's day gift. One that she won't have to water and one will she definitely cherish. Check out our current fine art wood prints or send your very own photo that you would like to gift as a personalized token of your love and appreciation for Mom.

  • app review: photoblend

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    What’s better than one picture? The answer to that is two pictures, of course. Even better yet, two pictures in one. For this week’s app review, we decided to give photo blending a try with the help of Photoblender Pro, an app that lets you mix and match your photos with different overlays and even text. Lets see how it did….

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    The app itself is designed in a very simple fashion and is immediately very easy to navigate. The first screen you’ll see is that of a white canvas where you can start choosing your images. What’s helpful is that each icon will display a message that tells you where to start first. Initially, you’re prompted to select your bottom image. When you do this you’ll get several options such as camera roll, take a photo, quotes, and backgrounds. Because I usually use my own photos for app reviews, I decided to try something different and use one of their existing backgrounds, which were actually quite nice.

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    One thing you’ll notice is that the app lags a bit and is not as sensitive to touch as one might hope for, but just give it some time and little patience and it’ll be fine. I chose the image of a tree landscape as my bottom image and then went ahead and started looking for a top image. Again, you’re given the same options (overlays, quotes, camera roll, and take a photo). I chose the overlay option to see what was available and ended up choosing a geometric flower pattern to go on top of my image.

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    Once you’ve chosen both images you are then taken to the customization home page where you can make several adjustments including adding frames, filters, erase, pan and zoom and more. At this point the app will alert you about the ability to edit each layer individually at the top of the screen, with the first square and a bottom bar being the top image (overlay) and the second square with the top bar being the bottom image (trees).

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    The adjustments tab is a little tricky to work with but again, time and patience. There is also a filter option where you can choose whether or not to add a filter to both images of just one image. Once your satisfied with your image you can click the done button at the upper right hand corner, which will expand and let you share on social media, email, and save to your camera roll.

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    Once I saved it to my camera roll the next step was to upload it on the Create Your Own page to select the perfect size and finish for my print on wood.

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    I chose 6x6, 1/2" thick wood print with natural gloss finish, I really like how the wood grain shows through the light blue sky.

    In the end I would give this app an overall wood rating of two and half logs.

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    The app had decent tools and selections in overlays, backgrounds, etc, but it was slow and would often crash one me while I was working. At $2, it just didn't live up to my expectations.

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    For more information on Photoblend please visit: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/photoblend-app/

  • Exclusive release with nick walker

    Hailed from the infamous Bristol graffiti scene, Nick Walker, a self proclaimed "Vandal" whose work has become a "blueprint for hundreds of emerging artists" is stopping by our shop this week to sign his exclusive release of "Paint the Town Red/Hong Kong Street Scene Two".

    The fine art wood print is 30" x 40" (76.2 x 101.6 cm), printed with UV cured ink on 3/4" sustainable Birch wood with Bright White finish.  A limited edition of 25 prints, each will be signed, numbered and include a Certificate of Authenticity.

    Nick Walker signing print on wood

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    Make sure to set your clocks, the print will release on Friday, April 3rd around noon PST.  Don't worry if you live in Europe or Asia, we got you covered with international shipping.  But what we don't cover is the duties and taxes each country charges.  We don't charge these fees, the destination country does, so get mad at them not us please.

    Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 11.43.42 PM

    For more information on the print release or to see the cool countdown clock, click here.

  • Chopping Block: Dan May

    While browsing through the dreamlike work of this week’s artist, I couldn’t help but feel like I was pulled into one of the crazy, whimsical storybooks I used to read as a kid. Each painting possesses a unique and captivating story of its own. The painter of these tale-like images, Dan May, is in high demand around the world for his mysterious imagery and flowing style. Currently residing in Michigan with his wife, Kendal and son, Max, Dan continues to create paintings, many of which  feature gentle creatures exuding deep, mysterious emotion.  Intrigued by his original style and highly detailed technique, we had Dan tell us a bit about the process behind his creations.

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    POW: We’ve really been looking forward to the release of our first wood print with you, “April Showers.” Like a majority of your artwork, the painting features a creature and its encounter with nature.  Can you tell us more about the the symbolism behind this character, the leaf on his head and the rain drops coming down all around him?

    May: Thanks! So happy to be working together on this release. While there is not any specific symbolism with this painting, I painted it as the snow is melting, uncovering leaves left behind from last fall. Thankfully, there are plenty of signs that spring is just around the corner. I would say that creatures tend to experience some of the things I see and feel!

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    April Showers by Dan May

    POW: I’ve found that some artists incorporate personal elements into their paintings, elements that aren’t easily recognizable to the viewer. Can you let us in on any discrete elements in your artwork that the average reader might not pick up on?

    May: While my work is not entirely autobiographical, I do use the world that I have created to convey issues that I have personally experienced as well as my observations of the world at large. I do like to keep a certain degree of ambiguity with the work, but I can say that some of my work deals with the loss of my father. I think that most of us have dealt with loss on some level. My hope is that although the images have a personal meaning, they will also transcend my interpretation and seep into the viewers mind, inspiring stories that they can connect with.

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    Where Time Beckons the Wicked by Dan May

    POW: Viewing your work, I can’t help but to be reminded of children’s books like Where The Wild Things Are and pretty much every Doctor Seuss book. Now that you have a young son, have you given thought to creating and/or illustrating a children’s book? one? Any Ideas for a storyline?

    May: Those were some of my favorite books as a child, I am certainly looking forward to sharing them with my son. I have a few stories in mind that I would love to turn into books at some point. I am enjoying watching my son grow, no doubt he will inspire plenty of stories/paintings in the years to come. Honestly, there are not enough hours in the day... I just really wish I could stop time so that I could write and illustrate a bunch of books!

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    POW: Speaking of books, you have a book of your art coming out this year, can you tell us more about it and when it will be available?

    May: Yes, my wife and I are collaborating on a book compiling the last few years of 'Gentle Creatures' paintings. The book will feature the paintings, sketches, short stories, etc. The birth of our son slowed down the process a bit, but we have been working on it whenever we find the time. We do not have an exact release date, but when we do you'll certainly hear about it!

    Dan May, ContemplationofJupiterRose

    POW:“The Imagination of Dan May”, is a closed Facebook page one of your devout fans created as “a safe place to enjoy the art of one of my favorite artists. His imagination and the emotion it brings out is fascinating to me and many others.”  What an incredible compliment to say the least, what does it feel like to have that kind of impact on people?

    May: This was very nice! The fact that people take time out of their day to enjoy an image that I created, share my work with friends and family, or invest their hard earned money to hang my art in their home is truly humbling to me. I am so grateful to have such amazing fans. As a child, I could not have even imagined that my work could have such an affect on others.

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    Wish You Were Here by Dan May

    POW: You offer an art subscription for your collectors which sounds like a great way to get an art collection started, how has the response been to the subscription?  Are there still spots available?

    May: Yes, we offered a subscription featuring this years Gentle Creatures prints along with a few other bonuses. Figured it would be a nice way for collectors to secure all of the prints, build their collection, and get a little discount for their loyalty. We offered 50 spots at the beginning of the year and we currently have 9 spots remaining. Once the spots are full we will close it out for the year.

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    Echoes of Existence by Dan May

    POW: This winter was particularly severe through the mid-west and east coast states.  Do you think the weather affected your work more than usual this year?  How does it affect, if at all, the characters and their surroundings in your paintings?

    May: Surprisingly, this year in Northern Michigan was not nearly as bad as last year, snow-wise. We had several days below zero, but there was plenty of sun. This was refreshing as anyone who has lived in an area that is grey and cold knows! The weather definitely affects my work and overall mood. It always has. Living in an area that has four distinct seasons (all very beautiful) it definitely seeps into my work. I love nature and outdoor activities and I'm constantly taking in my surroundings and making mental notes for future paintings.

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    For more information on Dan May, please visit: http://danmay.net/

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