My Vector Graphics Art Project

For many years I’ve tried to learn how to use Adobe Illustrator, with not much luck. This semester I took a 1-credit class at my college to learn, once and for all, how those damned layers work. It turned out to be really interesting – and the curve-drawing (Bezier curves) is all based on concavity, changes in concavity, tangent lines, and slopes. So, it turns out that there’s a lot of mathematics in the back-end of Adobe Illustrator.

What you see here is just a low-quality image. Since the image is vector based, it is infinitely-scalable. You can see a larger image here. But to really see why this is so cool, you need to see what happens when you zoom in and out on the image. So here’s a silent movie of that.

So, if you’ve heard the terms Illustrator and Photoshop batted around, the primary difference is the ability to do raster graphics or vector graphics.

Maybe you’re thinking, hey, I still don’t understand what the difference is !! The idea of vector graphics is that the images are redrawn according to the boundaries and fill properties that you specify. No matter how large or small you scale, it redraws the lines and fills so that the images are always crisp. The vector file saves directions to rebuild the image.
In a raster graphic, the file saves a bunch of pixel color designations to create the image (thus the term megapixels for digital cameras). I’m no expert here, so if I’ve botched that explanation, please correct me.

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Cool grafiti walls…

Sometimes, the art you find along the way is just as appreciated as the art you set out to see. These walls of an under-the-road pedestrian passage were really colorful and beautiful.

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Art fair – Prague style

Well, Prague has been a bit expensive (Joel, you should watch the bank account). I am missing all the art fairs in Michigan this summer, but never fear… the Charles bridge in Prague is like a giant art fair with lots of stuff that I’ve never seen before. I have purchased a few new pairs of earrings and I also ended up purchasing a set of ceramic mugs that change color in the light. The handles are really cool and I know that if Joel was with me, he would’ve bought them too.

It was a bit of an adventure getting the mugs shipped home. First I had to find the main post office (as it was a holiday and all the smaller post offices were closed). Then I had to buy a box. It is up to you to pack the box, and I had no packing material. So after digging around in my backpack I used crumpled-up concert flyers (which people on the street hand you) and some articles from the Chronicle of Higher Ed that I had saved from my earlier reading. Joel – you will need to save the crumpled up articles when you get the box in 1-2 weeks. I’m not sure that the mugs will survive the trip, but I certainly hope so. If not, then I will have some beautiful pieces of ceramic pottery to do an art project with.

Anyways, back to the story. Then you have to decide on sea or air method for shipping. By sea it takes 1-2 months, by air it takes 1-2 weeks, but is twice as expensive. Even shipping by air, it was really no more expensive than it takes to ship a christmas present in the U.S., so I opted for air method, so that the suspense (will the mugs survive the trip) will not be too much. They did not take credit cards, so then I had to go find an ATM, and go back to pay. So, that was a bit of an adventure. It was a nice adventure, though, as the inside of the main post office was very beautiful and I took one picture before I was told no photos (the guy you see approaching the photo is going to tell me to stop taking pictures).

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