Today I updated www.MaddieBearBooks.com with a new look and feel. It’s now one continuous page instead of different subpages. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet, so I’m going to use it for a week before I decide if I should keep the new style or not.
I also just got done drawing the 55th comic strip for the site, so the collection is adding up nicely. I’ve already started prepping the iBook and paperback versions. The comic strip collection book is going to include author’s commentary, additional artwork and some behind-the-scenes sketches. The paperback version has about 42 pages right now, so I’ll probably start publishing it when it’s around the 100 page mark.
One June 24, I started a new comic strip series based on my Maddie Bear book & mobile app series. I didn’t really advertise it, I just made posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Behance. Since then, I’ve been getting about 50-100 readers a day. I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has been reading the series.
There’s no business model, no marketing, or source of income from the comics, it’s really just a labor of love. It forces me to come up with a new idea and to draw everyday, which is nice to exercise my creative muscles.
About a year ago, I pre-ordered a product called “Tile.” Tile is a little white square that you can attach to objects that you don’t want to lose. If you do happen to lose the object, say for example your keys, you can open the corresponding iOS app and it will make the Tile ring.
Set up is pretty straightforward. You install the app on your iOS device, press the “e” on the Tile and the app will walk you through step-by-step. When you’re looking for whatever Tile is attached to, you can look at it’s location on a map in the Tile app and have it make the Tile start ringing as you track it down.
To test it, my wife hid the Tile somewhere in the house and using the app, I had to find it. It took me about a minute to locate it as it was ringing. It was in my daughter’s stuffed animal basket, by the way. I haven’t done any long-range tests with it yet though, to see how well it tracks it on the map.
Personally, I keep mine in my wallet in case I misplace it throughout the house. I haven’t adhered it to anything yet because I like the freedom of being able to attach it to multiple objects. Plus, working from home, I don’t have too many chances to lose my stuff. It’s still a nice piece of mind to have, though. Order your Tile here.
On June 19, I wrote a post about how I created a little 3-D model of my logo in Photoshop CC 2014 and had it sent to Shapeaways to be printed (see June 19 post). 19 days later and it just arrived.
When I checked their website to see the progress of it, I saw that they started offering faster, cheaper shipping options after I had already paid for mine. Oh well.
The 3-D model fits in the palm of my hand, and as you can imagine by looking at it, it’s pretty flimsy since it’s such thin lettering. Still, it’s cool that I was able to create it with a couple clicks of a mouse. It was a fun process to test out, but in all honesty, I don’t foresee myself wanting to do 3-D printing in the future until it gets much cheaper.
This is the month of my daughter Maddie’s birthday. To celebrate, I’m giving away Maddie Bear’s Birthday for iPad for free for a limited time. Some of you may remember the days when the birthday kid in school would bring in cupcakes to celebrate their birthday. This is Maddie’s version of that, everyone gets a free iPad app. If you could leave a review as a birthday gift to her, it would be very appreciated.
Packt Publishing is celebrating 10 years of delivering learning and information to IT professionals. To celebrate, they’re offering every eBook and video series they have for $10 a piece. Depending what subject you’re looking for, this could be a pretty big savings off of the regular price.
The only catch is, the sale only goes until July 5, 2014, so you have to act pretty quickly and stock up on learning material. This seems like a great time for me to start learning Unity…
A week or so ago, my colleague Alex Souza asked me to beta test his new plugin, “Kaboom“. It is an add-on for Kwik Photoshop plugin that lets you create particle emitters for your universal Corona apps. The benefit of using Kwik and Kaboom is that you can create full mobile applications with special effects without having to write a single line of code. Everything is done by placing artwork in Photoshop and telling it what you want it to do.
Within 5 minutes, I was able to create this:
I even wrote a tutorial on how to use Kaboom to create a similar project, which can be found here. If you order Kaboom within the next 2 weeks, you’ll actually save $20 off of the regular price, so it’s definitely worth acting quickly.
Please note: Corona Labs has not officially announced whether or not particle emitters will be supported in Starter or Basic versions of Corona SDK. If you’re a Pro user, you can use Kaboom today, but it’s unclear if Starter and Basic users will be granted access.
I’ve finally decided to give Adobe’s portfolio site “Behance” a try. I was skeptical about the site for awhile because I thought it was just an easy way for people to rip off each other’s work, but now that I’ve been using it for a bit, I’ve grown to love it as a source of inspiration. There are so many great artists displaying their work on there, just looking at their pieces makes me instantly want to draw. It’s like a Facebook/Twitter for visual artists.
Today I started a comic strip series about Maddie Bear. It lets me keep the characters going without the time investment of writing another full-length book. If I end up creating enough comic strips over time I might turn it into a comic book like Calvin and Hobbes, but for right now it’s just a creative outlet that I enjoy.
Yesterday, a tutorial I wrote for RayWenderlich.com was published called “How to Make Great App Store Screenshots” and it has gotten a great response. It’s probably been the most popular tutorial I’ve written for the site and that was only its first day.