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7 Ideas to Craft a Beautifully Designed and Informative College Presentation


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If there is anything most students dread even more than writing essays and term papers, it's giving an oral presentation. Almost nobody likes it and it can be very nerve-racking. You are being judged and critiqued in real time by both your professors and your classmates. It can make you feel like you're in a pressure cooker that's just about to blow.

 

The good news is that the anxiety and fear associated with giving an oral presentation doesn't need to cripple your performance or your chance to get a good grade. If you take the advice ahead and implement these seven ideas into the writing and delivery of your presentation, you'll do just fine.

 

#1 – Start With Good Writing

 

One of the advantages of presentations is that you don't have to be an expert essay writer or any kind of writing professional to stand out amongst your classmates. The language of a presentation is less formal, so you can write your script in a way that is more conversational than an academic paper. The freedom to do that should, in and of itself.

 

A well-drafted script, formatted like an essay or term paper, can help you get more comfortable with the information and its delivery. Start by drafting a comprehensive outline and build a script around that. It will help you organize your information and will decrease the likelihood of forgetting to include key details.

 

#2 – Study Your Draft

 

Once you have a solid draft written, read it over and over again. Resist the urge to make too many changes unless you spot some glaring errors or misinformation that needs to be revised. Getting familiar with the salient points in your script, along with the supporting details, will make it easier to transition to the next step.

 

#3 – Use Icons to Fortify Key Points

 

Remember that you are giving this presentation to a largely millennial audience that grew up on visuals as part of their overall communication style. Graphic interpretations of key concepts or those that accentuate your description or explanation of them will get you far. Make good use of icons in your visuals. They are a popular addition to many written conversations, so leverage them as powerful visual aids. Some great examples can be found here.

 

#4 – Make Good Use of Color in Your Visuals

 

Color is also a vital part of any visual presentation. Don't go the fast and easy route. Select templates and color schemes that accentuate the tone, mood, and feelings you are attempting to convey. Colorful visuals add an extra dimension to your presentation and can often go far toward clarifying key concepts or making your own thoughts and opinions clearer.

 

#5 – Use Your Personality to Your Advantage

 

Now comes the part where you need to deliver your presentation and you want that delivery to be as strong as possible. Stiff, practiced, monotone presentations are boring. They become interesting when the presenter adds his or her own personality to the delivery. Walk around, use your hands, use appropriate facial expressions. All of these things will help accentuate your message and keep your audience engaged.

 

#6 – “Um...” Don't Get Stuck

 

The curse of “um...” has taken down many a presenter. This is why you want to be as familiar as possible with your material and the structure of the presentation ahead of time. Silent pauses are much preferred to a nervous “um” so work those pauses in ahead of time.

 

#7 – Relax and Enjoy

 

Try to approach your presentation from an angle that personally interests you and organize the information in a way that is easy for you to understand. Doing so will boost your confidence along with the quality of your presentation. Don't try to impress with lofty details or ideas that are beyond the scope of the class. Stick with what you know and are being taught. It will earn huge points with your prof.

 

While we can't make the experience of giving a college presentation less scary, we hope that the above advice will help you at least feel more prepared when the time comes. Remember, out of all the things you'll be asked to write during your college career, this is actually one of the easiest so don't be daunted by the task. You've got this and we've got your back.

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Best tips for getting celebrity hair style


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You have probably experienced a time in your life where you have taken the plunge and decided to cut your hair short only to regret it instantly or even going to your hairdressers and asked for a trim only to walk out with a bit more than you anticipated. The 30 minutes you spent at your hairdressers might feel like it can take several years to fix.

 

If you would like your hair to grow it can feel like it is not getting any longer, even though the hair growth process is not something that’s easily noticeable, there are several tips for speeding up the process.

 

  1. Keep the Heat Styling to a Minimum

 

Heat styling is okay, but only in moderation. Excessive styling using heat products such as hair dryers, straighteners, and curling tongs definitely takes a toll on hair. Using extreme heat on your hair can damage it making it dry and brittle, which may result is hair breakage and shortening.

 

It is always advisable to keep heat styling to a minimum. Try washing your hair before you go to bed and allow it to dry naturally. If you have to use a curling tong or straightener, ensure that you only use it every other day. It is also advisable to apply some heat protecting spray before styling to help protect your hair.

 

  1. Getting Regular Haircuts

 

Regular haircuts are something that people looking to grow hair love to avoid. Most people avoid getting haircuts when they are trying to grow hair because they wrongly assume that their hair will simply end up getting shorter.

 

Getting regular haircuts especially after the ends have just been cut off really helps speed up the growth process. It is advisable to get your hair cut every 6 to 8 weeks. Regular trims help prevent hair from splitting. Hair becomes thin and breaks if it splits and goes up the hair shaft, which causes it to become damaged and shorter. If you get regular haircuts you can easily avoid such an unfortunate situation.

 

advisable not to have such treatments repeatedly since hair also needs to have a break.

 

  1. Choose a Celeb Style

 

There are numerous styles out there to suit your face and your own personal style and understanding the right one for you takes a little bit of thinking.

 

To make things a lot easier however, here is a great infographic that will give you an idea of not just celeb styles, but those that are also on trend.

 

 

  1. Eat a Balanced Diet

 

Eating right is one of the best ways to ensure that your hair stays healthy. Failing to eat a balanced diet can have quite an effect on the hair. Your scalp and hair can both experience problems because of a deficiency or excess of some nutrients in your diet. For instance, hair loss can be caused by an iron deficiency. Similarly, too much vitamin A can lead to hair loss in some people.

 

It is due to this reason that a balanced diet is critical to hair health. It is important to ensure that the body gets all the vitamins and nutrients that it needs to ensure that your hair and body stays healthy. It is very important to make sure that you get a mixture of complex carbohydrates and protein in your diet along with seeds and nuts that help keep hair healthy.

 

  1. Lifestyle Changes

 

Hair loss is sometimes due to one’s lifestyle. Traction alopecia is a type of hair loss that’s quite common in women and people that have tight hairstyles frequently such as braids.

 

Traction alopecia is a form of hair loss that happens over an extended period if the hair is under constant tension or strain. The hair loss is typically gradual caused by the pulling force applied to the hair. You might start noticing that your hair is thinning if you often have your hair in the same tight hairstyle.

 

It is always advisable to change your hairstyle regularly to avoid causing constant tension and strain on the hair. Avoiding tight hairstyles such as cornrows, high ponytails, and braids is also an excellent way to help prevent traction alopecia. Giving hair a complete break and leaving it unstyled and down also helps stop the risk of traction alopecia.

 

If you would like to learn more about how to keep hair healthy or information about any of the hair restoration treatments available, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today. We can arrange a no obligation consultation where one of our experts in hair loss can provide all the information that you need.

 

  1. Avoid Chemical Styling

 

Chemical styling refers to anything from drying the hair to chemical straightening to a classic perm. It is of great importance to understand exactly what you are actually putting on the hair with regards to chemical styling since overusing such treatments often leads to hair damage.

 

Chemical styling, just like heat damage can lead to hair becoming brittle and damaged, which results in the snapping of hair and hair never growing to its full potential. It is always advisable to only go for chemical treatments in salons where professionals can assess the current state of health of your hair and advise you whether the treatment is suitable for you. It is also

 

 

 

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Professional Showcase Of 25+ Web Development Tools and Resources


It is very popular these days to use web resources and services to deliver better quality and save time or even money. I dare to say that it is a damn fine idea. Why build from scratch rather than let the web tools or services do their magic?

You can focus on delivering quality and increasing the user engagement, while the web tools and services can help you with your daily tasks. Below there are many WordPress professional plugins, themes and a managed hosting solution; website builders, a fmarketplace with thousands of digital products and many useful services.

Check the reviews below and share your thoughts.

1. Tickera - WordPress event ticketing system

 

 

Selling and sending tickets online is now easier than ever. Tickera is a highly appreciated WordPress plugin which will help you have your own online ticketing system. It is fully compatible with all WordPress themes which respect the standard and will blend perfectly into your new or existing designs.

Everything you need can be done with Tickera, it is packed with tons of features and options. You can use their ticket builder to fully customize and differentiate your VIP and standard tickets. You can put barcodes, use discounts to boost sales and much more. Much more can be done, check their website.

The pricing starts from $49 per year and there is a one-time installment fee of $70. Keep in mind that Tickera does not take a cut of your profit, they have fixed, transparent costs. It is probably the most affordable and professional solution on the market.

See Tickera in action! Here are some examples of the most used scenarios for ticket selling. Whether you are hosting single event or having website with multiple events or decided to harness the power of Tickera and WooCommerce fusion via Tickera Bridge for WooCommerce - it is all there for you to try out in "real life" examples! If you need a demo account go here.

 

2. LayerSlider - Responsive WordPress Slider Plugin

 

 

With more than 1.5 million active sites daily, LayerSlider is probably the best premium multi-purpose animation platform which will help you build sliders, gorgeous image galleries, animated landing pages and even full websites in record-time.

LayerSlider is the complete solution, being packed with tons of features and options. It has versatile layouts where you can select a full screen, full width, full size or hero scene display mode. It is fully responsive, looking great on any device: smartphones, tablets and desktop computers. LayerSlider is having the best drag and drop editor on the market. It is super simple to use, you don’t need to have coding skills or previous experience and it has everything included to help you: live preview, undo-redo, keyboard shortcuts, Photoshop-like image editor which works excellent and much more.

The version for WordPress costs $24 and for jQuery is just $15, both having lifetime updates with regular new great things included and 6 months support. On their website you will find all the documentation you may need and a dedicated support team to help you.

3.  Pagely - Managed WordPress Hosting

 

Beyond being the first Managed WordPress hosting solution, Pagely is committed to creating a company that values employees and customers first. They work hard, are kind to everyone, and act with a conscience. It's these values with which they’ve built a best-in-class service with the industry's top engineers who care about the communities they serve on a human level. This, along with an innovative and proprietary tech stack built on Amazon Web Services makes them the market leader in managed WordPress hosting for enterprise.

 

Pagely utilizes a partnership with Amazon to deliver the best-Managed WordPress hosting services on the market with the most experienced technical staff in the industry. They are focused on enterprise and the public sector but any WordPress website which needs speed and availability will benefit from having Pagely on their side.

 

Check Pagely and pick the plan you need, if you don’t know what fits best you can discuss with their friendly and professional support team.

4.  Goodie - Web Development Service

 

 

Goodie is a professional but with a different approach web development service which will build you the website you dream for. The price is starting from $999 and if you need more features, Goodie will send you an affordable quote for the additional options. If your website is super-simple, they will add value, so your website will worth the money you have paid.

Upload your projects details and get in touch with Goodie.

5.  Ultra – The Most Powerful WordPress Theme

 

Ultra is a powerful WordPress theme made by the well-respected developer Themify. It includes a brilliant and easy to use drag and drop builder, 11 bonus add-ons and the possibility to create unlimited websites with the license.

6.  WPKube

 

 

WPKube has a small, yet a premium collection of WordPress themes which you will find very interesting. All their themes are pixel-perfect, multipurpose, load extremely fast and are SEO friendly. Check their portfolio.

 

7.  Colorlib – Apply

 

Apply is a gorgeous, free one-page theme which is having a modern and clean design. It can be used showcase your mobile app, but also for other scopes. The free themes are having lots of features and options which normally can be found in the premium templates.

8.  Postcards

 

Postcards can be quickly used to create professional emails without writing a single line of code. The powerful drag and drop builder and the 70+ elements will make your life easy. Keep in mind that the elements are retina-ready, you can choose from 800 Google Fonts and more customizations can be further made.

9.  Slides

 

Slides is a premium website builder which will help you have your own gorgeous website in minutes, without having any previous experience or coding skills. You can choose from 180+ beautifully designed and fully functional elements that in combination with the drag and drop builder will create you a gorgeous websitE.

10.  Codester

Codester is an excellent marketplace which is quickly growing from one month to another. Web designers, developers and everyone looking to buy PHP scripts, app templates, website themes and much more. If you are looking for an additional income, you can sell your products on Codester, they are not requesting your products.

11.  MeridianThemes

 

 

MeridianThemes is a powerful WordPress theme developer which is creating pixel-perfect, free and premium templates. All of their products are having gorgeous designs, load extremely fast and look great on any device your website visitors may have.

12.  uiCookies – Frame

 

uiCookies is popular for delivering awesome free themes which can be easily fully customized to fit any project. Frame is a free one-page theme with a modern and clean design, fully packed with features and options that are giving this theme a premium touch.

 

13.  FreelanceLogoDesign

FreelanceLogoDesign is a platform which lets graphic designers compete to send their best logo design. Enter a simple logo design brief and pay $19, the platform will assign 3 designers which will be creating 6 custom logo concepts for you. You will receive the logos in less than 6o minutes and after you pick the one you like, you will pay $49 for the copyright.

 

14.  MailMunch

Working on all websites and all e-Commerce platforms, MailMunch is a popular way to increase conversions on your website. Create beautiful opt-in forms without writing a single line of code, starting from the professional included themes.

 

15.  WhatFontIs

 

 

WhatFontIs will quickly identify the fonts you are looking for from any URL or image which you will upload. What is even greater to this platform is the fact that you will receive free and premium alternatives, most of the times saving you money. Start using it, you will find it very useful.

 

16.  Pixpa

Pixpa is a powerful and popular portfolio website builder, packed with an excellent drag and drop builder, beautifully designed themes and much more. You don’t need any coding experience or previous experience, anybody will obtain great results.

Try it for free for 15 days.

 

 

17. SuperbWebsiteBuilders

 

SuperbWebsiteBuilders is a decent choice for users, who intend to find the best website builder to complete particular tasks. The website provides the reviews of the top rated website builders, their characteristics, and list of pros and cons users should know when selecting the best platform. Due to the professional approach of Howard Steele, the owner and the chief editor of the website, it has become a decent information source for professional web designers and newbies.

 

18.  uKit

uKit is a robust website builder for business owners that have an edge over other site-building solutions due to its solid functionality and easy to use interface. The brings over 350 designer-made themes encompassing 38 business categories to suit just any kind of website. The platform offers everything you might require to set up your own professional digital presence and go online in a matter of minutes.

 

19. uCalc

uCalc.pro is a free online service that lets you create a custom embeddable calculator in a matter of minutes. Start by choosing a template (there’s a good collection of modern, designer made layouts), add the input fields you want and you’re all set to go live. Your visitors will be able to calculate mortgage, loan payments, interest rates and much more directly on your website.

 

 

20 .IM XPRS

IM XPRS is a decent choice when it comes to selecting a functional and affordable website builder. This cloud-based system is free, yet it offers a broad spectrum of web design options and tools needed to create websites of diverse specialization and complexity level. The service comes with the Polydoms technology, responsive templates subdivided into thematic categories, design customization tools, White Label solution and WYSIWYG visual editor that ensures intuitive, quick and safe web building process.

 

21. InvoiceBerry

 

Looking for a complete, simple to use and budget-friendly invoicing platform? InvoiceBerry is what you are looking for, is a perfect fit for small companies and freelancers. Sending fully customized invoices takes less than 60 seconds and the platform can also help you track expenses and payments, create reports and much more.

InvoiceBerry is having a free forever plan, start with that one and you can upgrade anytime.

 

22. SalesMate

 

 

Being used by more than 1,500 companies, SalesMate is a smart and powerful CRM software that will help you better organize your work, have a clear pipeline, increase email productivity and much more. Try it for free for a period of 15 days and check all the features and options that SalesMate is having.

 

23.  Ucraft Website Builder

 

 

 

 

Ucraft is a cloud website builder, which is in demand with experienced web developers and newbies, who are just making their first steps in the web design niche. The system allows creating and customizing websites of different types. There is even a Free Landing Page Creator, which makes to possible to build landing pages in minutes and connect them to any domains you wish or get the new one from the system in no time. It’s also possible to launch a functional web store here due to the integrated eCommerce engine the system can boast.

 

24.  Controlio

Controlio is a professional computer and internet monitoring software which is loaded with tens of great features and options. You can have live surveillance, continuous screen recording and much more. Prices start from $7.99 per user per month.

 

25.  EvergreenFeed

EvergreenFeed is a great way to put on autopilot your social media channels. This way you will save a couple of hours every week, hours which may bring you money by taking new projects. They are having a free plan which you should start with.

 

26.  Uncode

 

 

With Uncode you can take the building of an website using WordPress to the next level. It has a tailored version of the popular Visual Composer with advanced techniques, massive features and options. Everything you can thing for is included in Uncode.

 

27.  RumbleTalk - WordPress Social Chat

RumbleTalk is a popular choice to implement a web chat to any website. Using this webchat you can discuss with your website visitors but many other things can also be achieved. Audio and video calls can be made, image, video and youtube sharing and even more.

Up to 5 seats and 1 room is free. Try it.

Conclusion

Whenever you are looking to get things done quick while having excellent results, any of the above web resources are great options. Some of them are having free trials or even free forever plans, testing them is easy and free of cost.

As a final note, these web tools and services were manually selected and represent the best 26 web resources in the first quarter of 2018.

Please share your opinions and tell us what web tools you are using.

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Comfy Sporty Outfit Ideas for Women


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If you love comfortable clothes and feel most like yourself, you should focus your attention on cute sporty outfits. The athletic chic style is considered al trendy one that never goes out of fashion. Moreover, today's fashion commends the beauty of sporty garments and, therefore, you have the opportunity to wear something sexy and comfortable at the same time.  Don`t think that sporty clothes are the appropriate attire only for the gym or yoga class. No, no, no! You can also feel comfortable and confident putting on athletic essentials on the streets as the casual clothes.

 

Sportswear is known as comfy and functional attire and that's probably why ladies like to experiment with their sporty outfits. There are really a lot of easy combos that you can mix up together and get a great look. Mostly, you can experiment with a bold color palette because a perfect sporty outfit is actually super formulaic. Just remember you need five things that help you make your look gorgeous (by the way, these five essentials are the useful pieces of clothing that every lady should have in her wardrobe):

 

  1. Sports Bra (it's important to find the best sports bra for your size and, of course, color).

 

  1. T-shirt (experiment with size, color and style).

 

  1. Sweatshirt (if you want or need it).

 

  1. Leggings, sweatpants, cropped sweatpants or shorts (depending on the preferences).

 

  1. Sneakers (if you have some foot problems like the high-arched foot or peculiar feet like wide feet, you should be very careful choosing your sporty footwear. What are the best running shoes for wide feet? You have to figure it out before you buy the sneakers!).

 

Well, these basics make you sporty, but you also can add more colors and accessories to your looks like a lovely bracelet or a cute fitness tracker, sweaty headband or sunglasses can really make you look bright and eye-catching.

 

Look at the best examples of the stylish, sporty look in 2018 and think what ones will fit you.

 

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Psychology of colour and it’s important in your website design


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Psychology of colour

Psychology of colour relates to persuasion and so it can be a very important aspect of marketing.

Even though colour is dependent on personal experiences of people however, colour perceptions of people have rather messaging patterns. It is found that about 90% of snap judgements can be based on colour alone. Another study found that the relationship between brands and colour depends on the perceived appropriateness of the colour being used for the brand. The purchasing decision is greatly affected by colours because they affect how a brand is perceived. So, colour will play a very important role in deciding whether your product is liked and bought by your customers or not.

 

Different colours mean different things and they are generally associated with different meanings for different people. For example, red is often associated with your body and it means physical courage, strength, warmth, energy, basic survival, stimulation, masculinity and excitement. It may also mean some negative things like defiance, aggression, visual impact and strain for some other people. It is a powerful colour.

Importance of choosing a good website builder template

It is very important to choose the right website builder template because the template is the base of your entire site. Website builder templates are designed by keeping in mind the psychology of colour. Depending on your brand and the perceived image of your brand, it is important to keep the design and color choices in mind. The colours of the template should match with your brand. Making the right colour choices can help to convert more clients for you.

If you have tough competition and you want to differentiate from your competitors, your website can help you to do that. It is possible to use colour to achieve that goal. Colour appropriateness is far more important than the colour itself and you will need to remember that while creating your website. The colour should complement the image your brand has and what your clients and customers think about your brand. If there is a mismatch between the perceived image of your brand and the colour you use in your website, it can work against you and may shoo away customers from your product.

According to research done by different researchers there may be different dimensions of the brand personality and the colour will vary accordingly. For example, the blue colour may mean sincerity, down-to-earth, honest, wholesome and cheerful products whereas yellow and its shades may mean outdoorsy, masculine, western, tough, and rugged.

If you do not know colour psychology and do not know how to match the colour which your brand, it is always better to buy a good website builder template which is designed keeping in mind the colour psychology. If you are not doing that, it means you’re not only losing possible clients and customers which you could have achieved without doing anything else, but you are also forcing your prospects away from your products. Just find out the right website builder template for you from popular and trustworthy sources like Best10WebsiteBuilders and others and see how the psychology of colour can help you to get more business.

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From "Jeff Job Hunter" to a well-known illustrator: interview with Jack Teagle


1. What was the thing or who was the person that helped your career the most? In what way?

Nobrow. They published one of my comics and it pushed me to jump into self-employment.
I worked on a comic for them called "Jeff Job Hunter" while I was unemployed, and it helped me to find freelance work.
I got a variety of work off of the back of projects I made with them.

 

 

2. We could say you're a famous artist now. Could you tell us about your struggles to get here? What were the challenges? What were the hardships?

As you start to make a name for yourself, a lot of people want your time and attention, but without paying for it.
It's learning when to step away and when you can tell someone is trying to string you along and waste your time.
There still are hardships, to keep consistent money coming in.
I'm too trusting of people. Especially with freelance, give someone an inch, and they'll take a mile.
You need to have contracts written out to protect yourself. Good communication with a client is very important. Some can be very difficult to get a straight answer out of!

3. Was it worth it? What would you have done differently?

Yes, it was definitely worth it. It's extremely rewarding to be creating things to your best ability every day and pleasing clients, as well as fans.
It feels good to make people happy.
I would have told myself to stop making comics a few years earlier when interest started to fade. I'd also tell myself not to do favours.
Don't treat clients like friends. You have to treat it like a business. When you start being friendly, people walk all over you.
Keeping all of that in mind, you can have a very happy, healthy career.

4. If you could give an advice to aspiring artists trying to make it, what would that be?

Don't work for free. There will always be work around the corner. You may think this is your big opportunity and you won't work again, but it's not true.
Your time is the most valuable thing you have, so be vigilant and plan how you want to build your career, and what you want to do. Basically, work smart, you can save yourself a lot of trouble by planning well.
Always focus. Don't try to think too much like an artist, but more like it's a regular job. Just focus on doing the best you can, and if there are imperfections, it doesn't matter, move on. As an illustrator, you want to make a living from this. You're not setting out to make masterpieces (unless of course, you want to create personal artwork in your own time).

To see more of Jack's work, please visit his website and his Behance profile.

What have you learned from Jack's experience COLOURlovers? Has it been useful? Is there something similar that you've experienced you'd like to share with the community?

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From loving to draw to making it as an artist: interview with Steve Simpson


1. Tell us about the time when you were starting out. How was that like? Did you have a specific plan for your career?

From a very early age, the only plan I really had was to ‘draw’ for a living - I didn’t know exactly how I could do that and coming from a working class background in an industrial town in the northwest of the UK it wasn’t the usual career path. I left school at 16 (not being the most academic student) and studied technical illustration at a local college. This was 1992 and the pre-digital process was a very slow, constrained drawing process using rulers, ellipse guides and technical pens - I carried a briefcase full of my equipment to college every day - certainly not how I had envisioned art college and I was really missing freehand sketching. Aged 19 I left college without finishing the course - I’d been offered a job working in a large animation company and I jumped at my chance of escape. I think of the 6 years I spent there as my training ground for the career I now have in illustration and design. I was eager and inquisitive, always looking for ways to learn from the hugely talented bunch of guys I was working with. I spent a lot of my free time drawing and improving my skills.

I moved to Ireland in 1990 and spent a few more years in animation, by that stage I was working as an art director and director - I was getting frustrated by the lack of actual drawing I was doing and ready for a new challenge.

 

 

2. What was the thing or who was the person that helped your career the most? In what way?

After a spell doing comics I found illustration - or maybe it found me:) It was the mid-nineties and I’d been playing with Macs and Photoshop for a couple of years at this stage. I’d moved in to a studio in the same building as a graphic design company. One day my door was open and the guys stuck their heads in and said ‘oh, you’re an illustrator!’ - I was calling myself a cartoonist at the time but that meeting really changed the direction I was heading - It led to a long term relationship, illustrating for them and being introduced to other local design companies and ad agencies. I even took up desk space in their studio and was able to pick up the basics of graphic design, new software and general best practice. Looking back, this chance meeting was perfectly timed. It came just as Macs and Photoshop were becoming powerful enough (and affordable) to be able to create large scale illustrations. Back then ‘digital illustration’ was seen as a style of illustration. There was non of today’s subtlety - it was bright and brash. It was also perfect for design and advertising - it really stood out from the conventional illustration techniques. The big advantage I had was that most established illustrators didn’t want to change their style and those who were playing with digital weren’t established illustrators which left a gap in the market for someone like me who had 10 years experience, albeit in animation and comics. Within a few months I had stopped doing comics and was fully engaged in illustration.

 

 

3. We could say you're a famous artist now. Could you tell us about your struggles to get here? What were the challenges? What were the hardships?

My style back then was all over the place, I had worked on so many different animated series in other peoples' styles I didn’t have one of my own - not only that, I had painted backgrounds for certain shows and designed characters for others - I’d never really done a whole image. At the beginning it didn’t really matter, art directors were using me for everything from realistic to cartoony styles (sometimes the same AD in the same week), part of the success I was having was my flexibility. Much of this was pre- web folios and social media - finding other illustrators was done mainly through source books - it was another few years before I actually met another illustrator in person. When I did I suddenly realised they all had a distinctive style and looking at my portfolio, I looked more like an illustration agency in comparison. I took my work to a portfolio clinic at the AOI in London in the hope of getting some direction on which way to go. I’d broken it down into what I thought was 3 styles and presented them in 3 portfolio cases. I was told there were at least 20 different styles and even though the work was good I needed to pick just one style and focus on that. I should go back and take all the other work off my site and only show the one style.

This was very deflating, it made sense but felt like I would be starting all over again. Eventually, I decided I couldn’t afford to do a complete re-start and thought I’d try something else. I knew making my portfolio appear cohesive was vital but as I didn’t have enough of any one style to do that I kept all the work that could be grouped together using colour. I had been developing my limited palettes for a while and by taking out every piece of work that didn’t conform to this approach suddenly it all started to gel. Twenty plus years later and I’m still taking the same approach and it's still working :)

 

 

4. Was it worth it? What would you have done differently?

I’m very happy with where I am, I’m getting to work on some amazing projects with top brands and agencies right across the world.

However, looking back now, I wonder where my career path would have taken me if I’d taken a course more focused on drawing and painting when I left school - maybe one day I’ll do that…

5. If you could give an advice to aspiring artists trying to make it, what would that be?

I was always eager for advice when I was starting out, always looking for feedback from people I looked up and admired.

My advice, looking back, would be to question every piece of advice you are given (except this one - ahaha).

Much of the advice I was given really only related to a particular time or project but at the time I didn’t realise that. Some advice works for one person but not another. I would advice aspiring artists keep that in mind.

 

You can see more Steve's art visiting his Behance profile and his website.


Did reading Steve's story help? Did you learn something from it? Let us know in the comments below.

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How Would You Renovate Your Home If Money Were No Object?


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A home ought to be both a sanctuary and a personal statement, all rolled into a straightforward, functional package. It should be comfortable and classy, able to accommodate a restful weekday evening and an eventful weekend night. But too often homes are cobbled together hastily, neglected in favour of a hectic schedule, and never given the proper attention they deserve. And then there’s the other main obstacle, of course, which is money – renovations can cost a good amount of cash to be completed in a basic way, let alone in a thorough, classy manner.

 

This article is going to look at home renovations as though money wasn’t an issue; think of it as a sort of aspirational guide to home renos, one that’s here if you want to renovate your home after winning the lottery or scoring that major raise you’ve been gunning for. Renovations are separated broadly into three categories: the basics that you need for your house to function properly; the aesthetic embellishments you can add to turn your home into a sophisticated personal statement; and the luxury features you can add on to make your home a complete dream home.

 

Think of these categories as tiers of necessity – if you’ve come into a small amount of money, tackle the first category. If you’ve come into a lot, tackle the second. And if you win the lottery, go ahead and tackle the third category!

 

The Basics

These basics can be some of the most expensive, but they’re the most necessary. If your house has foundational issues, if the roof is leaking, or if the plumbing is suffering some congestion, work on those first. As a baseline, your home should function properly. No damage that could seriously affect its value or affect your wellbeing. If money is no object, go ahead and invite the plumber, the electrician, the roofer, etc. to come in and make sure that you have a happily functioning, livable house. That’s the basics.

 

Aesthetic Embellishments

Here’s where you get to have a bit of fun, and where the real “renovations” – as they’re commonly thought of – begin. This can be broken down further into four categories: physical space, room design, colour and light.

If money is no object, then considering physical space is a simple matter of optimizing your home for traffic flow, sightlines and openness. For this, hiring a design consultant can make a great difference. Essentially, you’re looking at what divisions should be there, and which ones can be torn down to facilitate a better sense of movement within the house. Are you going for a more modern, open concept, or are you dealing with a more classical home, where smaller rooms can add a sense of bespoke charm. It’s all case-by-case. You’re also looking at maximizing storage space (or, to put it in inverse terms, minimizing cluttered space), which could mean sectioning off – or even adding to your home, since money is no issue – storage rooms.

 

Next comes room design. You’ll want to work with an interior designer to decide on a colour palette, design flourishes, and a style you want to evoke. You don’t want to go “all in” on a single colour, lest your home end up looking too uniform and precious, but you want complimentary colours to create a sense of unity. For flourishes, consider the style you’re evoking – if, for instance, you’re going for a more industrial look, you might want a cast iron basin in your kitchen, reclaimed wood or copper accents; if you’re going for a Scandinavian mid-century design, your living room might work around a few choice, teak pieces of furniture. The style will probably dictate, to a certain extent, both the colour palette and the design flourishes, which is why it’s important to consult a design expert.

 

And then there was light! If money is no object, go ahead and let that natural light in by installing large bay windows or skylights. From there, consider the three main types of lighting: ambient lighting, task lighting and accent lighting. Ambient lighting is the basic, uniform illumination that brightens everything, whereas task lighting targets a specific room and accent lighting targets a particular design feature. Having a smart mix of the three can create a layered, sophisticated lighting setup that brings out the most in both the basic space and room design.

 

Adding Some Luxury

Finally, this is where you want to throw around your money. Add a Jacuzzi in the bathroom, a hot tub out back, a home theatre in the living room, and a brand new, gas-range stove in the kitchen. These are the type of over-the-top features that require a lot of money, but hey, this article is supposed to be about what you would do if money were no option. Consider what brings you bliss – whether it’s a quiet bath or a blaring sound system – and add features according to preference.

 

Depending on the kind of money you have, you can either do basic, aesthetic or luxury renovations. When tackling the basics, you want to ensure that everything is in working order and the value of your house isn’t compromised; when tackling aesthetics, you want to create a space that’s stylistically unified and well-lit; and when tackling luxury, really, the sky is the limit. Ask your boss for a raise, or buy a few lottery tickets. Your dream house may be more attainable than you think.

 

 

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Assessing Threat Levels by Colour


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If it was a Jeopardy question, would you be able to identify the present status of the national terrorist threat level without guessing? That’s what we thought. As presently configured, this color-coded warning system seems to have all the gravitas of the flag rotation at the beach that advises of strong undertow or the presence of too many jellyfish in the water. Actually, the resemblance is uncanny. Each has a five-color system that seems to randomly land on a selection depending on what a lifeguard or the Director of Homeland Security had for breakfast. Is it time to simplify our terrorist warning system from five flags to three?

 

The History of the Flag System

 

Color has a powerful influence on humans, shaping our moods and having a larger than you might imagine effect on your personal opinion of any particular day. In the wake of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001, officials in the newly created Department of Homeland Security decided a color-coded system was the best way to gain the attention of the average citizen, enabling them to discern at a glance the prevailing overall threat level, ranging from Green for “low risk of terrorist attacks” to Red for “severe risk of terrorist attacks.” In the near two decades since its establishment, the Threat Level Advisory System has been adjusted 17 times, the last in 2006 when it settled on Yellow, a “significant risk of terrorist attacks.”

 

Recently, the Homeland Security Advisory Council decided there might be a few too many flags and they may drop the bottom two, presumably on the theory that there’s a good chance we’ll never have a “Low” or “Guarded” state of affairs again. We can look to Israel for guidance here. Think they ever let their guard down? We’re guessing not. And presumably, five flag colors upon which our life depends is deemed more than the average citizen can keep up with

 

Stay Out of the Water and Watch for Madmen in Trucks

 

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano received the bad news from her council in the form of an official letter describing the current public indifference and lack of confidence in the Threat Level Advisory System. Though some panel members were in favor of scrapping the colored threat system entirely, the current non-binding recommendation is to move to a simplified three-color system that includes:

 

Yellow: A “guarded” state in the nation that urges all citizens to assume “standard” vigilance against potential terrorist action. This would be the new lowest threat level.

 

Orange: An “elevated” suspicion level in which protective measures are implemented upon the basis of specific information regarding a terrorist plot. An example - Johnny Jihad gets on Facebook and threatens to blow up the Super Bowl.

 

Red: This “high” alert level is intended to exert maximum protective measures against an ongoing or imminent terrorist action.

 

Keep the Politics Out

 

One of the compelling reasons to change the color-coded threat system, according to the council, is a recent revelation in former Homeland Security head honcho Tom Ridge’s book, The Test of Our Times, that members of George W. Bush’s cabinet urged him to increase the national threat level in the days leading up to the 2004 presidential election, theorizing that the move would go a long ways towards securing a second term for the sitting president.

 

Obviously, this kind of political chicanery doesn’t do much to increase public trust. Now the politicians at Homeland have decreed that the new system, “for reasons of public credibility,” won’t be politicized. They go on to assure us in the most insistent of terms that the new threat level will be changed only when public safety and security compels it. Riigghht. We'll believe it when we see it.

 

The Bottom Line

 

Ultimately, the world is a squirrelly place; it doesn’t seem we’re safe online or off. For the former, there are legitimate security steps you can take to protect yourself. With the latter, it may very well make all the sense in the world to simplify the Threat Level Assessment System, but the way to gain credibility is not to claim there will be no politics involved. That’s an insult to Americans everywhere. Of course, there will be politics involved. Politicians can’t help themselves. The best we can hope for is that, along the way to politicizing this new system, they might inadvertently do a good thing for the rest of us.

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12 Natural Colour Palettes to Try This Month: March 2018


The colour choices we make influence our life on a daily basis. Every colour bares a message, it makes us feel relaxed, happy, energized and safe or insecure and hungry. The choices we make while creating our pieces of art also send a message about how we feel at that precise moment and what we want to share with the world.

Don't be scared to experiment, try new challenges, think of new ways how to use colour and how to combine it in your designs.

We suggest you try some of these 'natural' palettes inspired by the most beautiful part of our being: the eyes, both human and animal eyes.

Let us see if you dare. Let us know how it went.

Post pieces of art that you created inspired by March colour palettes in the comments below. Post them on Instagram (#colourlovers) and Twitter (@colourlovers).

Create, share and inspire each other

 

1. Blue lagoon

 

 

2. Magical sunset glare

 

 

3. Everything there is to know

 

 

4. Change is on the way

 

 

5. Breathing strength

 

 

6. Something to say

 

 

7. Togetherness

 

 

8. Gladly silent

 

 

9. Close to nature

 

 

10. Be like one

 

 

11. Someone is always watching

 

 

12. Colourful hug

 

Which one is your favorite? Which one made you laugh? Which one inspired you?

 

 

 

 

 

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