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26 February, 2005

A National Tragedy

My 6 year old son was sitting in the car holding his sides today. He was groaning, complaining that he had a bad tummy ache (we later found out it was just gas). As he was grimacing, he looked up and said, "They should lower the flags because my tummy hurts so bad."

I still break out in giggles when I think about it.

23 February, 2005

The Debate is Finally Over

The classic debates of Mac vs Windows, Freehand vs Illustrator, cats vs dogs, reminds me of my past ignorant stance against using computers for art. Almost every statement I hear in defense of one's beloved hardware, software, or animal, comes down to that person's ignorance of the opposing... whatever. Now, not to say that there hasn't been many thoroughly researched debates. Of course there has. But just read some of the debates flying off the cuff in any forum, and you know darn well that most debates are heated on pure preference.

That being said, I go back to my computer vs art stance. I was ignorant. I never thought that a computer could help me in any way concerning my passion for art and cartooning. You see, the only thing I'd seen up to that point on a computer was the classic game Lode Runner. A boxy man ran around doing something or other (See? Ignorance once again).

Then one day, in my sophomore year in high school, I got to play with a crazy little computer called a Macintosh. I could actually draw on the thing, and add waffle textures, and bubble textures, and type, and... and... it did what I wanted it to do. I even printed my scribbles out and had quite a time convincing my family that it was done on a computer. Even then I was ignorant to the computer's real potential. My art teacher got after us for wasting time on the computer rather than using it to accomplish real projects. I was confused as to what he meant, and he never did teach us anything on it. I never saw then what a change it would make in my future, and the real projects I could really pump out of a machine like that. That was the last I touched a Mac, until the mid 90s, and I was still ignorant about how much a computer could help me.

Now here I am. Much older, yes, but much wiser as well. My Mac has shaved days off illustration projects that I once believed could never be helped by a cold, mathematical, and impersonal computer. I'm now able to show off my work to hundreds of people I'll never see face to face. I can experiment with color and media faster than ever. With my trusty Wacom tablet and some incredible software, my work can look like it was never a digital file at all. And my stubborn stance against the use of computer in art has all but vanished. The debate is finally over, and I lost. Or I won, rather.