Monday Mandala 20

Mandala_20I think this is my least favorite mandala of all the ones I’ve drawn so far.  I was experimenting with lines and overlaps, but it just didn’t turn out the way I was hoping it would.  I almost didn’t post this one, but I want to be transparent about my failures, so – here it is!

Separate Lives?

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Credit: Pixabay

Privacy has become a big issue in today’s world.  Big business owners like Mark Zuckerberg want to convince you that privacy is dead, while at the same time retaining a stranglehold on their own.  Why? Because they can make billions off your lack of privacy.  That’s all.  Simple greed.

I grew up before the internet existed.  (Yes, it is possible to survive childhood without the internet, I promise.)  Cell phones were not ubiquitous – mostly because when I was a kid, they were hella expensive and the size of a dictionary. 😛

When the internet became a thing, we didn’t think about the consequences.  (Same thing as nuclear bombs and plastics and asbestos and cell phones and, and well, pretty much everything we invent.)  It’s new, so it must be good, right?

I’ve always been a private person, even as a kid.  Probably due in large part to my lack of social skills, but also because I’m an introvert, and being around a lot of people is mentally and emotionally exhausting for me.  I don’t like, nor do I want, everyone knowing my business.

So, why am I on the internet, you ask?  Good question.  I suppose because I get something out of blogging that I can’t find anywhere else, and also because the benefits to me outweigh the risks.

I think of myself as a normal person, but my sister constantly teases me about my tinfoil hat.  I’m not a conspiracy theorist by any means, but I don’t think it’s wrong to try and limit the potential risks of being online.

I pay bills online, I blog, I am hopefully at some point soon going to open an online Etsy shop.  But I do try to keep my real life and my online life as separate as I can.  Is that weird?  Do other people not do this?

I have a cell phone, but I really only use it for texting and (gasp!) phone calls.  I do have an email account on it, but that’s pretty much it.  I have a few apps (less than 5) that I have installed, most of the rest of the stuff on the phone are things that came with the phone that I can’t delete.

I don’t really do social media.  I used to have a Facebook, but I do not like their lack of ethics, so I deleted it years ago.  I don’t have an Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, or anything else.  I don’t like someone else (whether it’s a person or an algorithm) deciding for me what I should see and when.

Maybe because I grew up without the internet, being without those things doesn’t bother me.  On the other hand, my children, who have definitely grown up with the internet, don’t really do social media either.  They text their friends, and they play online games.  But neither one of them have a Facebook or Instagram or Twitter or Snapchat or whatever other new shiny has popped up lately.

As more and more information comes out about how companies are using data in unethical ways, I find myself trying even harder to maintain the separation between my real life and my online life.  Which, admittedly, is becoming more and more difficult.  Not only because so many companies are trading data as a commodity, but also because the people who use the internet (you know, us regular people), value authenticity.  (That’s what the prevailing wisdom says, anyway.)  Is it possible to be authentic and still keep your real life separate from your online life?

Amaziograph

Amaziograph Logo
Amaziograph Logo

I’ve been drawing my mandalas with Procreate, which was one of the first drawing apps I came across for the iPad.  After I started drawing the mandalas, I discovered an app called Amaziograph.

It’s $0.99 on the App Store and is also available for Android.  The app is made specifically for drawing tessellations and mandalas.  After debating whether I needed to buy another app, I finally bit the bullet and bought it.  I mean, it was only $0.99 – so if I hated it, it wasn’t a huge loss.

I’ve had it for about a month, and honestly, I’ve only played around with it once or twice.  It does have some nice features for drawing mandalas.  With Procreate, I use the symmetry feature, but I only have the option for 2, 4, or 8 areas.  Amaziograph lets you choose the number of areas from 1-12.  So it’s possible to create some really interesting designs when you use an odd number (like 7).

Amaziograph First AttemptThis is my first attempt at drawing a mandala with Amaziograph.  It’s pretty rough in places, but I wanted to get a general idea of how it worked.  The design features are great, since they are made specifically for drawing mandalas.

However, I found I missed a lot of things I’ve grown used to with Procreate, including the auto-shape recognition, the two-finger delete, line smoothing, and the ability to change and fine-tune the brush options.  I think the line smoothing is what I missed the most, because I do have tremors in my hands sometimes, especially if I’ve been drawing for a while.

While I liked the ability to play with the number of areas, it did make drawing more difficult, because when using an odd number, things didn’t always end up connecting where I thought they would/should.

I’m not sure I’ll use it as much as I was hoping I might, but at least I got a chance to try it out and see if I liked it.  I still want to play around with some of the tessellation features at some point.  In the meantime, I think I’ll stick with Procreate.

Monday Mandala 15

Mandala_15When I was drawing this mandala, I thought I made it too simple.  There weren’t enough layers and the design elements weren’t busy enough to make it a good coloring mandala.

But looking at it now, I think it turned out really well.  I like how pieces of each layer layover into the next.  And there are a lot of different pieces to color, which I didn’t see at first glance.

The first layer is a bit busy, with all the lines crowding to an almost black ring, but overall I’m happy with the design.

Digital Creativity

My brain has been getting quite the workout the last few weeks.  I’ve been trying to research sales tax laws.  The most boring subject. Ever.

I’m planning to do a long post about what I’ve found – maybe all my research will help someone.  All I wanted was to open a simple online store and make a few dollars doing something creative.  I think the days of doing that are long gone.

In any event, I needed something to take my mind off the depressing subject of taxes.  So, I decided to play around again in Procreate and iColorama.  I still need to find time to sit down and watch some videos on using iColorama – I know I could be doing so much more with it.

I decided to take Mandala 12 and color it in Procreate.  I fiddled around with color choices, but finally ended up with this:

Digitally Colored Mandala 12When I drew the mandala, I thought the design was too simple, but I actually like the way it turned out once it was colored in.  I wanted a fall color scheme (though in my neck of the woods we’ve apparently skipped fall and gone straight into winter – brr!), so I chose some darker reds and greens and browns.

Although I liked the colors, I decided I wanted more depth – it just looked too flat for me.  So I headed over to iColorama and played around with several of the options in the program.  After several attempts, here is the final image:

iColorama Mandala 12I added a texture and another filter (I don’t remember which one), but I am happy with the result.  Now the image looks like an old rug design and it’s got some ‘feel’ to it.  The filter actually muted some of the colors, but I think that makes it look better.

After I get a chance to watch some tutorials on iColorama, I can’t wait to try it out using some of the mandalas I’ve drawn for my coloring pages.  Adding texture and ‘feel’ like this makes it seem like my designs are coming to life – so exciting!