Some Virtual Reality Bitmap Art Ideas

You may have read my previous post experincing virtual reality for the first time in terms of an experince beyond simply stereoscopic 3D. I was i spired to create some additional concept art of VR and gaming art or sci-fi in general as a result of this experience.

in my previous post I actually included some art or graphic design I created all on izpad using two apps, Artstudio HD and ProCreate, however here is some additional graphic design I’ve been creating since (keep in mind that I have logos I actually also created I may upload soon before I did this and after the VR post I wrote):9A15BD90-7E3E-4626-B1D3-73885BCD6BE3









The Fine Art of Creating Business Cards

I’ve finally decided to take some images I created into a business card format using thick paper and printing on both sides. The rear side was really quickly done yesterday using Illustrator and the front on iPad using Artstudio. Here is how they came out:

After, looking at them over and after trying to cut them into size, I realized I had to redo them. Their proportions for one didn’t match exactly as when they cut, the back section’s corner lettering would be off or get cut off. Not only that, but due to their 640×480 dimension sizes (even though I created both image assets with this ratio) came out too large at the heigth and overall I realized that many wallets wouldn’t have pockets wide enough to fit them. Not only that, but I realized on the upper-right section of the back image, there are two capital letters as part of “i po Polsku, i po ANgielsku,” which definetely looks unprofessional.

I changed some aspects of the card’s images and overall dimensions, but it has been a good learning experience creating such cards and my next prints should come out better. Here are my new card images with dimensions that coincide with the average european business card aspect ratio standards (85mm x 55mm or an aspect ratio of 1.586). These new dimensions of the cards I will be printing come in 576 x 374 pixels. They should print well into the standard business card format of 1.586 or close enough to it that many a wallet shouldn’t suffer.

Now the question is how to print them. The print shop I went to here in Warsaw didn’t seem like it had people too familiar with business card printing as not only did the paper seem to thick and not smooth or grainy enough as most business cards come printed on, but they wanted me to align the images in some PDF file with both images on one file. However, I am not sure how to do this and they didn’t explain it well. I will look forward to this method, but the way they printed the previous cards seems like it may work as well in this case, with these better dimensions and no letters near edges on the back this time.

They simply reprinted the same already-printed page on the back side with the second image and they aligned pretty well as the dimensions were the same and settings for the print remained unchanged during both prints (both sides of each hard page). So I hope this method will work this time and if not I have to figure out the dual printing process where specialty printers that many print shops have can print each side of a page simultaneously. Either way, these images should at least work better than my last try.

[edit: more below]

After posting all this I went to a print shop today and learned something else. This was much more of a legitimate print shop with various types of paper on offer, many of which are traditional or standard business card fare and not just thick cardboard paper like the other shop printed my previous batch with.

The shop owner told me that my aspect ratios were food, but resolutions too low and it will only work well on the Web. This is something I forgot from not having to print stuff physically for so long. I should have kept the same ratios, but the resolution much higher and better yet, created everything using Illustrator because vectors scale real well unlike bitmap images.

The owner also told me that jpeg isn’t a good format for physical cards, and really only good for the Web. So if I come back, I should save the files in either PDF or Illustrator (AI) file formats (this must have been what the guys in the previous shop were getting at, however the way I understood it they mentioned some alignment and two images in one file rather than seperat eimage files). It seems strange he said this considering the previous batch printed pretty wll in JPEG although the paper wasn’t great quality.

I will keep working with this business card idea though. Right now I will just use what I have even though the back looks bad in terms of alignment and formatting. It is a good learning experience because I am so used to working with digital and Web content I forgot efficient printing procedures and file formats that work best with specific printing needs.

Started working on another black and white illustration

So I started playing around with the idea of a cloaked man or a cloaked warrior exploring the u unknown lands or venturing out on an adventure. The idea is reminiscent of many computer role playing games as I have some ideas on doing artwork for game companies or just marketing ads.

Obviously, I am just practicing my digital stroke right now and fine tuning my techniques of shading and using various brushes with an iPad, stylus and potentially finishing my work in Photoshop.

It is a fun learning process and this is just another multimedia skill I am improving. If anyone is interested in using any of my work for Web ads, images inside software, box covers or book covers or ańything else, please let me know. Please also let me know if you want to ourchase any prints on specialized paper from me based on any of my work or even want some additional modifications done (such as commissioned requests or changes). I can also do commissions froms cratch combined with my journalism skills or adding catch phrases or good writing to anything.





And a few other variations: 



I think the idea making it black and white works well because it is more of a comic book style of a backdrop that way. With the previous two side by side pieces (not last one above, but above it), I tried adding a wall or clear definition of a cave of sorts, but I think making it a bit more abstract works better for this particular project.

Here I’ve decided to play with invert colors and some other adjustments such as sharpness and noise effects:


And lastly some more brush tools at work producing interesting effects — in this case stones or rocky surface in background:

Here I added a more of a snow storm effect to the ground:


All artwork included in this article was created by me (Maciej Duraj/Mike Lata) and is copyrighted @ If you want to use it, contact me for commissions.

Continuing My Idea of “Out of This World Computing”

So, you may have read my recent post about minimalism and a concept I created using Artstudio on the iPad with a theme of “out of this world computing” built into the idea. You also may have read that I created the whole art from scratch and used various Artstudio for iPad tools such as line drawing mode and various brush samples, such as watercolor to get the background star-like effect. Well I have been playing with what I created and have taken it out of the minimalism category of art.

Part of the reason why I have been doing this was because I recently ended up purchasing the pro edition of Artstudio on the iPad. This is really a great app and what is very ironic and interesting is that it is designed by a Polish group from Lods, called Lucky Clan. I have actually been talking with the main guy behind the company that produced and continues to update this app and may be working with him on a technical manual in the future.

Artstudio Pro comes with a nice variety of changes and additions from the base app. For one, there are very interesting filters or effects now that I got to play with and implement into the many variations of my latest piece. Yes, there are many versions and you will soon see below the variations I have done using various effects and designs in Artstudio Pro.

There are also many more brushes available from the get go and an option to both import and export brush designs. The program is really becoming an iOS solution to Photoshop in my opinion and combined with a stylus has really come into its own as a serious graphic design tool. Even the way it grips the standard stylus or the Apple Pencil, I have been told, is superb. The way you can add masks, use layers, import photos, add filters and just get busy creating things, Artstudio Pro is really an awesome app to have on the iPad or Mac. I myself enjoy combining photography with free-hand art and this app is perfect for this.

With all that said, here is what I have been working on as of late and the base concept is taking my previous minimnalism design of “out of this world computing” and inputting it into a 3D supercomputer of sorts with a metallic filter. I actually was able to combine two flat images together into the supercomputer that I superimposed on top of another layer of content that I ended up creating by playing around with the swirl effect and others such as bumpmap. Here it is below:





As you can see the designs vary depending on the use of bumpmap and other effects on the shadow and the overall background layer. The last image above, which is the  image showing the shadow with a thick pumpmap, is I think the best version of this design. This is because the blue section looks almost like a lake or water around the structure and the metallic object in the back almost looks like a pin. It has a vary surreal vibe to it and it came out pretty well I think.

If anyone is interested in using any of my art here or anywhere else on the site I created let me know, or if you are interested in purchasing any screen or silk prints I can make, please also let me know. With that said, I will continue to use my previous designs and ideas and run with them to create new content.

Minimalism in Design: Out of this World Computing

If you are an artist, you may have heard the concept of minimalism. Creating interesting works out of minimal content, or making the content simple in appearance, but deep or profound in execution. There is also the concept of purism, which appears ro be quite similar in nature to minimalism.

Andrea Manchen from swfiss Advance described the difference here:

Purism is an art style and was/is about using abstracted geometric and mechanical forms. But what does this mean to design? In my opinion minimalism is quite close to purism. Minimalism began in post–World War II Western art, most strongly with American visual arts in the 1960s and early 1970s (Wikipedia). So it is also an art style. Minimalist design reduces the subject to its necessary elements. Best known slogans of this design direction is “form follows function” and “less is more”.

Thus, began my interest in this art style. Whether you want to call it minimalism or purism, I decided to create some shapes as they relate to computing. I will refer to my work and this concept as, “Out of This World Computing.” Here it is in different evolved steps (from pure minimalism to more complex ideas forming):













The first one is really minimalism/purism in its essence, the second can also be labeled as such, but I am starting to think with my designs past the dirst two started going away from the concept — as too much visual flair and business started to emerge. Either way, I really like this concept of mi inalism and sometimes I think it is the most effective way to show an idea or add visual context to text such as article writing, blogging or even in-game design. As artform all onto itself it is also great because it can make you think moreso than art filled with objects and business for you to lose track in.

You can check out some examples of purism here and an example of minimalism along with an example here. It does appewr that purism is more complex and minimalism is really where my idea fits. The third image above I created might fit well with the concept of purism. Anyway, both styles offer an interesting outlook on things.

Updated Sections of This Site & Personal Update

bitcoinsrusAs some of you may know who follow or regularly check out my content, let me give you an update on what I have been up to and some sections of the site that have been updated.

Lately, I started writing gear reviews for Runnerclick and my first review is up of the Osprey Tempest 20 backpack for hikers. I am also working on some IT topics for a potential HR website, but haven’t been published yet so I won’t announce anything until I have some links to my work. I really like the way RunnerClick’s website has been laid oit and the mocing visuals it offers, but the pay is low. I will see if or how long I stick to it.

In terms of other stuff I have been doing, I have also been showcasing some of my artwork, graphic design and photography on Instagram, although have’t really pushed it for followers that much. It is an interesting social media photo sharing platform, which I want to talk about as I just got into it a few months ago. My Instagram is Stirolak28 and you can check it out here — I have also added it to the top of the photography section on this site.

To really pick up followers you need hushtags on every posting you make (#+content) and it is still hard for me to pick up likes or comments. Apparently, people make money on Instagrama dvertising products or places that other followers or visitors get to see. Users can even upload video content onto it via postings. However, I noticed it is usually pretty girls, celebrities and models that get this type of following.

What is kind of interesting is I got some of these celebrities — or Instagram sensations with many followers rather than Kardashians, but some have a name outside the service as well — to like some od my content and I have a descent following. However, I am not breaking the mark of more than 20 likes on my posts no matter what I post yet, and no matter how many hushtags I use. I will keep working on it though.

I continue to dibble in both tablet digital art on my iPad via stylus and learning vector art well with Adobe Illustrator. This is such a robust program to use, but painful at the same time when you are used to iPad apps being so simple and user friendly.

When using Illustrator on a Mac or PC you not only have to familiarize yourself with at least some keyboard shortcuts to not get bogged down quickly, but it is so easy to run into walls — like me not being able to add gradientsmin custom colors outside the gradient drop down menu on right side of the app even after artwork sections are selected. I still need to keep going over tutorials it seems.

There are also so many options like even making a mask is so much more technical than in Art Studio, as is something as simple as finding the right custom brushes to use or even cropping the work or one artboard for export (yes I am learning). Here is something I came up with still utilizing that gector robot and srill on the Bitcoin concept of my previous post:

The Illustrator file saved and exported:


Below are screencaps I took before figuring out how to export only one artboard in illustrator or how to save the illustrator file as jpeg, by first saving as and going into artboard settings and using a file format called eps, and only then once I open that file exporting.

Oh and I almost forgot to mention my custom business card project I put together on a whim last night because I was scheduled to go to a networking event via Inter Nations here in Warsaw. I ended up getting it done via a custom design from Art Studio turned into a jpeg image and printed out on regular paper then glued on top of my old business cards I still have in bulk from IDG (PC World and Macworld magazines).

Hey, why waste the hard cover paper and layout when I could just cover the outdated content with my new design? At least, for now these will do until I purchase the right sort of paper and figure out how to align it into my printer. Check it out:

Also, a concept (I am not sure what except thus far minimalist design) that I started working on my iPad:




Getting More Out of my iPad Through Visual Design

IMG_2827The iPad has become my multipurpose device when it comes to content creation as well as content consumption. I am using it as an artistic instrument and a drawing tablet rather than what it was originally intended for. This is real interesting because I am having a blast doing it and I am doing it on a regular 2017 iPad and not the Pro that has the awesome multi-touch stylus that does angles well.

I am using Art Studio right now because I still have not updated to iOS 11 due to game compatibility — I have many games that haven’t been updated to 128bit and would like to complete them before moving on. Then I will dig into the infamous  Procreate mentioned in this best of iPad art app write up on Creative Bloq.

I am doing this while watching Illustrator tutorials and trying to get into vector-based art on my Macs. I have Illustrator, but I hate the aspect of memorizing keystrokes and dealing with so many options at once such as vector masks, live paint, its weird trace options and just learning the program. Art Studio for me right now is just robust enough to do fun things while using a stylus to draw.

Yes, I am using a stylus on a regular, non-pro iPad, and it works well although not nearly as well as the iPad Pro’s. I got the one that has two tips: the fat finger-like tip that almost looks like an eraser, and works well as one when using the eraser tool, and the finer point encased by a see-through round plastic tip. The stylus is available on Amazon for $15 and is reviewed at 4.5 stars currently.

It surprisingly works real well, like I mentioned, and can be lined up well during tracings due to the circular point being see through and the true endpoint being in the middle of it. It truly shows you don’ really need the iPad Pro to start creating great works. Here are some of my recent projects, you may have noticed I have been adding to my graphic design section of the site:



Everything in these pieces was hand-drawn using the stylus, app, iPad and no cut and pasted objects. SOme of the objects, like the door in the first image was done using Art Studio’s square selection tool and fill border, but rest including the circle in the second image was done entirely using the stylus and layers. As you can see, you can do some cool stuff even on the non pro-version of the iPad with a descent stylus and Art Studio.
This is an app not much talked about due to other options out there like Assembly or Procreate, but I  like it more than Adobe’s drawing options and it has great use of effects and layers on top of a canvas that reacts well to touch. I will continue to update the graphic design section so look for more content and may keep posting about it as well. So get to drawing, because whatever tool you use or device and whether you are on an iPad, Bamboo, or a Mac/PC, there is no excuse with so many options available for artists.



Here is a third image I have been working on lately (post publishing this post initially) and it has also been drawn all on iPad using a photo of a cloud in the background (the white one coming out) that I added my own clouds onto and the bird(s). I tried to also add a UFO effect of sorts and some lighting in later revisions:




The funny thing it was created from scratch using the iPad even as a camera and the added on content all via Art Studio on top of the single photo of the light blown-up cloud in the background with UFO coming out of it. Everything else is hand drawn though using a stylus.