Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Squidoo, Photography, Graphic Design

The past few weeks I've been very busy and enjoying most of it.  I've spent a lot of time working on creating graphic designs as well as working on my photography.  I've also been getting more and more involved in working on my Squidoo lenses which is another creative outlet for me.  It allows me to pick a topic and not only write about it, but it's more than just writing.  Yes there are modules that include advertising which will hopefully in the long run earn me some extra income.  But in the arranging of the modules and the types of modules you put on your lens along with the writing itself is also creative. This is my Squidoo profile which lists all of my current Squidoo lenses I've made.  Making these lenses can be so much fun.  It usually takes me just a couple hours to make one lens.  As long as the first complete draft looks good to me and there are no empty modules, I will usually click the "Publish" button.  I know that updating the lens regularly is something that search engines look for so I purposely don't worry so much about it being perfect on the first go round.  This leaves some room for adding modules, moving modules around if some of them would work better in a different arrangement, writing more, and even adding photographs of my own.  I enjoy trying to make a finished layout that looks colorful and appealing so that the reader does not get bored with the content.  As of today, unless I decide to create a new one later tonight, I have 27 completed lenses.   I never really know from one day to the next if I will create a new one or maybe two that day.  On days I am not making new lenses, I am usually spending some time updating some of the ones that need a little work, or a change here or there.  Otherwise I spend a lot of time working on the photography and the graphic design. 

Graphic design is something I got very interested in about twelve years ago when I first started making my own webpages.  Back then we all called them "homepages" and it seemed like it was the big fad of the decade for awhile.  But it was one thing to find graphics online to use on your homepage.  It was something altogether different to be the one who created those graphics to be put on your homepage.  I got really interested in learning how to use photos for backgrounds as well as dividers on the page.  But even more than that, I wanted to learn how to make the pretty graphic designs you could find in so many places online.  I knew there were places that sold designs and I thought it would be something maybe I could learn how to do.  But then I lost my computer and my internet for a few years.  When I finally got back online I started gradually working on this goal and now I've been spending a lot of time with it.  It's something important to me and I don't want to find myself a few years from now with regrets that I didn't at least try.  So that's why I spend so much time working on all of this. 

You can find my photography blog here. and from there it will take you to a second blog that I ended up starting because the first one is filling up so quickly.  On the second blog you will find at least one tab of graphic designs I have made from scratch.  The difference between those and all the others is that the others have all been made using actual photos, mostly bad photos.  I've stopped rejecting blurry photos and bad shots in favor of seeing if they will turn into interesting graphic designs.  Once I am done doing that, then they end up in the recycle bin.  But in this second blog, I've been using the graphics program to design my own artwork without any base other than what I come up with using the program.  No photos, no clipart.  It's almost like painting, yet totally different.  But when I finish a design, I feel like it was my creation.  The program is just an extension of me in much the same way that a paint brush and tube of paint is.  It's just a tool I use.  It feels like playtime for me.  Not work.  I am sure others think I am just playing.  If I succeed in any of this, maybe I will be taken more seriously.  Maybe not.  What's important here is that I am enjoying all of this and I am trying.

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