Masked Bunny

Yes, I realize this bunny bears no mask. I drew him on a whim with my mouse as I was showing a friend about masking layers in Photoshop and how it can help her with a project she’s working on. Starting out, I said, “I’m going to draw something really lame now.” But as we worked on the colors, his little crooked self kind of grew on me. Anyway, thought I would share. :-)

Bunny

 

Masks are excellent shortcuts for coloring lined art. Make a separate layer for each color and brush it in. (Don’t forget to label them appropriately and group as well if you have a lot of elements on the same file.) Then magic wand the line art area on the line art layer. Switch to the color layer, click the mask icon and viola! Your colored splotch is now trimmed up.

Merlin Fan Art [Vector]

I’ve been working my way through the Merlin series (2008-2012, BBC) on Netflix and a particular image of Merlin caught my eye. Since I’ve been wanting to practice my vector art skills, I tried making a bit of fan art after a long evening of working on logos and flyers for clients. It was a fun experiment, and I rather like the way it turned out.

Merlin_2013

I could probably do a bit more to it, but when the time is 3 AM and one has to get up at 6:30 AM, then one must call it quits when the image is good enough to stop. After all, like many artists, I could fiddle all day with a project and never be satisfied.

 

Toxic Thoughts [Vector Art]

The editor at Blogos.org requested another graphic to go with an article on their site. The topic was “toxic thoughts”, so this is what I came up with. All images were drawn or created by hand in Adobe Illustrator. A dear friend loaned me her Bamboo tablet, which I used to draw the hand drawn images and scribbles–so much easier than using a mouse to draw! Here’s the article where the illustration was used: Toxic Thoughts by Susan Lockhart.

Print

How and why should we use hashtags in social media?

To make a hashtag, simply add a # sign before the thing you wish to tag. Example: #hashtagexample – If you want to tag something longer than one word, there can be no spaces. Usually, they are all lowercase letters, unless it becomes hard to read. Example: #AskAlice vs. #askalice

Hashtags are useful in two ways:

  1. First and foremost, they are helps to aid when people are doing searches for tweets/posts about a certain subject. Example: “What would #Jesus say about #marshmallows?” would show up in someone’s search for “Jesus marshmallows”. Hashtags are the things that “trend” on Twitter.
  2. To be used as an aside, usually snarky or sarcastic but often honest. This is a use popular with younger generations. Example: Going to watch movies and eat ice cream all night. #soworthit

Hashtag positioning, two choices:

  1. Within the sentence, which some people find kind of annoying. Example: “Want to learn some tips about #healthyliving?”
  2. At the end of the post, which is less annoying but takes up more characters. Example: “Learn 10 tips to start eating healthier today! #healthyliving”

Hashtag Etiquette

Try to avoid the following two practices, and you should be okay:

  1. Over-tagging occurs when too many tags are assigned to a post and become a serious eyesore. Three should be the utmost maximum for hashtags. Usually only 1-2 are necessary for good SEO. Example: A photographer uploads an image of a rainbow accompanied by this post: “Gorgeous rainbow over Lake Tahoe – #LakeTahoe, #photography, #rainbow, #colorful, #lake, #water, #beautiful, #photo, #image, #RGBIV, #pretty, #scenery, #Nevada, #SierraNevada, #landscape

  2. Meaningless hashtags do nothing to help search engines find your post and will not make you look witty. Example: “Learn 10 tips to start eating healthier today! #goodarticle, #fun”

 

Be smart with your hashtags; they should always have a purpose that serves you well. Hope this has been helpful!