Interesting poem book, and collected ecological sounds

Cool things I’ve found recently and had to share:

Lauren Haldeman‘s site has great tips on webcomic creation, but the neat “little bitty videos” she creates to describe parts of her book are fantastic. Here is one:
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Many people have created books of varying quality, but I can tell hers is a keeper. I love her explanation:

Calenday is a book of poems that you can read! I wrote it with my mind and my hands. It is mostly about blueprints, ghosts, parents & children, but it is also about data-syncing, animals showing love, the unseen world, sycamores…

How cool is that? 

Acoustic Ecology has a great list of interesting recordings that give you a great feel of the soundscape of certain places. Listening to the “Open Sound New Orleans” project, a pizza delivery guy describes a night where he opened the door to find his payment in… a cat’s mouth. Awesome.
Browsing the tagged map from “Listen to Africa”, I heard the Yellow-casqued Hornbill and later, the staccato sound of flip flops on a trail.

And here is a simple drawing of pointy mountains:

sketched drawing
Sketchy, Pointy Mountains, 2015. Charles Wilson. CC BY 3.0 US)

I live in a crazy world: sketching Mars rocks with a digital tablet, no big deal

I live in the crazy future.

Tonight, I needed some inspiration to practice drawing. Here is what I came up with:

Image: drawing of rocks
“Rocks on Mars 1 with background” Charles Wilson 2015. CC BY 3.0 US (NASA photo: Mars mineral deposits)

Yep, those aren’t earth rocks. Those are rocks on Mars, sucka.
Halfway through the simple tracing, I realized I’m using crazy software that simulates a pencil in digital space with digitizing tablet with 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity to draw rocks on a planet that is at most 249 million miles from me. (photo)

Wow. I know there is an ongoing discussion around the lack of access to digital tools. Many people don’t have access to a computer and in some areas, most use a  smartphone as the main computer. I realize that. I’m passionate about sharing what I know about technology with others who don’t have it.

But I don’t lack of tools. I have too many digital tools.

But I don’t lack of tools. I have too many digital tools. My local library has a 3d printer and lessons to use it. I can generate eBooks from my computer and create interactive children’s books in a matter of minutes. I publish four audio podcasts. In a anemic way, I’m a publishing company). From where I sit, there are five computers in eyesight, a camera and a drawing tablet- all that could generate digital content of some sort.

Along with the tools I noted above, there are scores of people seeking to help me use them. Here’s a quick list of what I learned tonight:

  • Use the “multiple Layer” option on your drawing layer to make the white area see-through. ThingsInSquares
  • Test your color palette by viewing your image in grayscale. BrianMCL
  • “Don’t be too attached to any one part. It can ruin the whole”. BrianMCL
  • Illustrator’s Live Trace tool can do the rest of the magic…”And by magic, I mean the dishes” Lauren Haldeman.


What should I make today? A video? A digital art piece? a Web comic? A podcast? I’m a bit overwhelmed.


What should I make today? A video? A digital art piece? a Web comic? A podcast? I’m a bit overwhelmed. The good thing is that many creators agree- just make something. Jessica Abel’s amazing Out On The Wire podcast inspired me to “pay attention to what I pay attention to”. So, tonight I was paying attention to rocks and so I drew ’em: 

Image: drawing of rocks
“Rocks on Mars 1 no background” Charles Wilson 2015. CC BY 3.0 US

Above sketches were made using the great Stumpy Pencil brushes.

Abstract art inspired by J. Crew decorating


I got inspired checking out art in a J.Crew store in the mall- yes, the mall! They have art books interspersed through the space. A salesperson mention the president of J. Crew regards contemporary art very highly and thus seeks to display it in the stores. Their Tumblr page highlights some decorating ideas as well as a massive wall of vintage gloves.

I found a great place to quickly put my inspiration down at Paint Online. Here is the result:Abstract painting made with Paint Online by Guy Hepner

Use a blue pencil and force yourself to draw

Grab a soft pencil and a blank paper. Draw. Right now.

Inspired by programmer Jamis Buck’s willingness to take on a new hobby every year (namely, to write 1,000 words a day), I decided to draw. I was tempted to find a pencil so I could draw and erase. No, I want to force myself to be free- to put ideas on paper, to “draw” those hundred words like Buck.
So, I drew. I kept wanting to place things in an orderly fashion or to start a new page with a new idea. Nope. Keep drawing. Pretty soon, is filled a page with badly-drawn lumpy computer desktops, abstract waves from the 1980s, magazine layouts with man eating a massive sandwich juxtaposed to the letters WO LVES, four rock band posters for my daughters room, and four website layouts.


I was frustrated the pencil became dull. I was frustrated at the lack of contrast from the light blue of the pencil to the white of the paper, but I kept drawing. I have myself the freedom to come back to these ideas and expand on them and this I was freer to not make these perfect right now.