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Showing posts from 2010

Cool Adobe Illustrator plug-in...

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I was building an icon yesterday for an iStockphoto.com job using Illustrator's 3D tool and ran into an old problem. When you expand the file back into a vector format it leaves loads of open paths, usually around areas where you've applied a bevel or some such.

Any fellow iStockers will know that they refuse to accept any open paths in their illustrations and it can be quite a chore to go around your illustration manually closing them all up again. However after a little Googling I came across a wonderful plug-in filter that closes them all up instantly for you. And it does a host of other cool functions too. Check out Point Control for yourselves. It works with CS3, CS4, and CS5 versions and the site has several other pretty darn useful plug-ins to tinker with as well.

Pub power!

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The other day we were frequenting the local Red Lion pub quiz when we experienced (another) blackout and all the lights failed.
Thank heavens then that the beer pumps and fruit machines were on some kind of emergency backup circuit as this photo attests! Not so daft these publicans, you know?

Blackout

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I've got my home office mostly up and running now. Mac working: check. Printer/scanner working: check. Globe And Mail archive installed: check. Internet working: sort of.
Electricity working: er, not if you're an NPower electricity customer in West Yorkshire, it's not.
The wonderful power company blacked out my area of town yesterday for 11 hours, at exactly the time I was endeavouring to work. The house was freezing while I frantically worked on a laptop as its battery percentage counter drew ever closer to zero. At 9%, I transmitted my partially completed work to Canada via a Three wireless broadband modem, it too down to a last pixel of life on its battery indicator.
As it turned out, the paper didn't use the graphic and held it for another edition! Perhaps NPower will let me finish it today?

The big freeze...

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I timed my exit from Canada, in part, to avoid the upcoming winter. It's not unheard of to get temperatures of -40°C in Toronto – the kind of climate that makes your teeth hurt after being outside for about a minute. So coming back just ahead of winter's arrival seemed like a smart idea.

So what happened last week?
This happened! I was visiting my parents in the Borders region of Scotland when I awoke one morning to five inches of snow. It's the most snow to hit Britain at this time of year for 17 years. Oh well, at least it feels mild to me now after living in Canada!

I've been back in the UK for three weeks and it's been very busy with us looking for a house to rent. After a speedy search in the Bradford area and a rather protracted affair with an estate agent, we have finally found a great house in Clayton Heights. It's an end terrace three-bedroom house which will give me a much-needed studio space. I start work again for The Globe And Mail newspaper in a week…

Back in Blighty...

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I have never written a blog in my life. To be honest, I'm not quite sure what I'm supposed to do, so I imagine this is going to start out as a ramble until I find my way with it. Please bear with me.

Cutting to the chase, I'm a British graphic artist who has been working predominantly in news media for almost twenty years. After five years working abroad, I've returned to the UK to go it alone.

The last two weeks have been a chaotic mixture of getting ready to leave Toronto, saying farewell to friends, buying too many pairs of Crocs, having last meals in favourite restaurants and drinking too much beer - although not necessarily in that order.

I had a lovely leaving do from The Globe And Mail, down the Welly pub ten days ago with just my closest colleagues sharing a few cheeky wee halves with me, yet it still somehow ended up with a couple of us being the last ones thrown out of a different pub entirely and not getting home until 4am. Oh, well. After the hangover had subs…