More Graffiti In My “Art”

Last week, I made a wallpaper for the (as yet unestablished) fan community of Graffiti In My Heart using Photoshop. I did not mention that there were even more stuff I made using that amazing software. Here are some of the artworks (Well, I suppose you can call them that) I came up with over the course of two years.

space1

Space art. One of the earliest photoshop artwork I came up with.

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x2

More space art… some improvement, eh? The textures were done using the various brushes in the software. The pictures above were made from scratch and used some effects from the photoshop-nerds website PSDtuts.

OK, I feel like I am showing-off. I now promise that I will not show-off much and you should now promise that you will put up with me and continue reading. Deal? Deal!

araluv2 This one shows my name Aravindh, shaped as a heart. Actually, this was drawn by hand; using a blue pen on paper. I used Photoshop to change the colour brom blue to love-red.

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If you have ever read Angels and Demons, you might have encountered ambigrams, specially crafted words that actually look the same when you see them upside down. Here are two ambigrams I made for my school pals, Prashanth and Pranav. Go ahead, bend over your monitor and look at them upside down. See the magic?

prashanth

pranav

OK, they are not exactly as readable as the ones used in Angels and Demons, but still I was not expecting much with my pitiful skills. Finally, here is one ambigram I made for myself.

Aravindh

If you are wondering about the awkward aspect ratio, it’s because I designed the last picture as a wallpaper for my shiny new, totally awesome Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. OK, now I’m really showing-off. I broke my promise, so you may stop reading now ūüė¶ . Hmmm…at this rate of breaking promises, I might make a good politician, you know?

Tidbits

  1. 1000 vistors!!! Yippeee!!! I’m so happy!!!…Well, not exactly:¬†Perhaps I have been too lazy to notice, but this blog has received more than a thousand visitors since I started it one and a half years ago. I was about to rejoice this fact until I remembered that one of my favourite popular bloggers, ¬†Phil Plait from Bad Astronomy, had once received two million hits in one month. Thats CRAZY! Suck it, Phil!
  2. I’ve finally started to review blogs in Indiblogger, a community for – well, Indian bloggers. It has a forum section where you can link to your blog and many kind people shall tell you the frank truth about it. ¬†of the many blogs that have been posted for review recently there, I find Pranav’s blog Images and Words thought out and well written; and blog gore’s As The Mind¬†Meanders¬†read-provoking because of its….uhhh,¬†free -flowing style (an euphemism which refers to the blogger’s frequent use of the f-word.)
  3. I finally finished reading Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea, a book ¬†first published in 1870. It is perhaps the most informative novel I have ever read – it is the story of a naturalist who finds himself on board the Nautilus; a powerful, gigantic and totally hawesome submarine whch could travel to the ends of the Earth. The author evokes a sense of adventure that is sometimes like watching Pirates of the Caribbean. Now reading Jeffrey Archer’s The Prodigal Daughter.
  4. Again, the Boston Globe has come up with a collection of wow-inducing pictures of the current Space Shuttle mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. ‘Enuff Said… go to that link and let the pictures do the talking. Here is one that shows Shuttles Atlantis and Endeavour on their launch pads. NASA rocks! Could anyone else show off a picture of two spacegoing vehicles?


Oh, and here is a video of the astronauts inside the Shuttle, as they prepare to release Hubble (having completed the repairs) and return to Earth.

The crew seem to be all in business, talking all techy stuff. It is easy to forget that¬†they are in space…I mean, just look at the window and see the Hubble floating with the Earth forming a breathtaking backdrop. That’s one hell of a view…

    Those who dream of the stars

    “We do not ask for what useful purpose the birds do sing, for song is their pleasure since they were created for singing. Similarly, we ought not to ask why the human mind troubles to fathom the secrets of the heavens…The diversity of the phenomena of Nature is so great, and the treasures hidden in the heavens so rich, precisely in order that the human mind shall never be lacking in fresh nourishment.” ¬†— Johannes Kepler, astronomer.
    One of my best friends, Kashyap, is such a polar opposite of me that I forever wonder that how we ended up being friends. ¬†Closed-minded and cynical, he is quite uninterested in art, disregards anything involving creativity, ponders on the “usefulness” ¬†of imagination, never reads books, indifferent towards politics and skeptical of space-exploration (good reasons to have several quarrels with someone). ¬† Nevertheless, he was kind and considerate. That was enough.
    Once, I went to visit him. We were chatting when his young brother, Sudhir, turned up.  Now, imagine oil and water being in the same container. That would have been an apt analogy РKasyap and Sudhir were another pair of opposites. Sudhi had read dozens of books (not unlike me, huh?); had a wide field of interest, ranging from F1 to Harry Potter Рand, as I would later learn, astronomy.
    Night came, Kashyap slept pretty soon. (I was staying there for the night.) Sudhir came to the room and soon struck up a conversation. It was then I found about him. Suddenly, it seemed like, you know, my young self had somehow materialized before me. He was some five years younger than me, entering his 9th std, but he was full of knowledge. No, not like those show-offs who think they know it all, but truly and genuinely curious. It was not long before we went to the high balcony, where the dramatic lights and the night cityscape of Coimbatore was laid in front of us in full detail; and started talking about black holes, red giants, and the ultimate destruction of all life as we know it. Two bright stars shone in front of us, above the Eastern horizon.
    “The bright, red one over there is the star Arcturus. It’s a huge red giant, and our sun will become like it one day in several hundred million years, probably swallowing the Earth. Now, that is global warming!” I said. “The one to the right is Spica: it is actually a two – star system, but they are so far away that you can see them only as one.”
    He looked at me incredulously, with bright, shining eyes. “You know the names of all the stars?”
    “Umm…yeah, all the bright stars at least. I was learning this stuff in my 10th std. instead of studying the things at school.”
    That brought us to the topic of education. We both shared the view the education system was bad, as it only teaches memorising and does not foster curiosity.
    Soon, he started talking about Ronaldo and F1 racing. One problem: I did not know about F1 or football. So, he offered to show me some of collection of pictures of the players and racers. Somehow,  F1 racing had escaped my interest zone. But, unlike Kasyap, I was curious about everything. That was all that mattered.
    “I had never met any one like you – you know so much,” I said.
    “Oh, shut up. Are you kidding? Do I know the names of all stars?”
    I was into astronomy since I was a kid. But it was a book that really fired me up. I still remember the moment as though it happened yesterday – three years ago, when I entered a bookstore and randomly drew up the book Cosmos by Carl Sagan. Things have never been the same ever since. It was not long after that I bought a good telescope, and saw wonders in the night sky that I could scarcely have imagined before that. I told him about that.
    “Could I borrow Cosmos for a while?”
    If this incident had been a scene in a movie, this would have been a good time for a flashback. About the time I bought the book, I was a total loner – perhaps understandably so. I rarely felt understood by my parents or friends, who disregarded my interests. I resolved that I would keep the stuff close to my heart to myself. I would never talk about space or science to anyone, never lend Cosmos to the interested. Could I borrow Cosmos for a while? The innocent question lingered in my mind…
    “Yes, of course you can,” I said without hesitation.”Passing the torch” is an expression frequently used that could come in many forms. In this case, though, it was “passing the book.”
    Suddenly, everything seemed to have come together – space, sports, Harry Potter – it all seemed as though the vast variety of human thought, expression and deeds was there perfectly in front of us, suddenly so easy to touch, feel and to know. The night sky seemed to have descended, the light-years contracted – until it was available for two young human beings to explore and to be immersed in. Not even the greatest mysteries of the Cosmos could defeat us – for eventually, long after we have turned to dust, our curiosity shall be victorious.
    A few weeks after I met Sudhir, I had almost forgotten him as I had to face my life’s most toughest moments, the darkest hours in my 17 year old life. I sat upon the rooftop parapet of my house and watched the sun set. The sky changed colours gracefully, elegantly. Minutes became hours and night descended upon the deadly calm. Towards the gloomy Eastern horizon, a cloud shifted and dissipated. Two bright stars appeared. Arcturus and Spica. Despite the tragedy and chaos that surrounded me then, my tears faded into meaningless obscurity and insignificance, as I looked upon the stars and remembered people like Sudhir. People who are not afraid to be curious, who are bound to discover – the few of those who dream of the stars.

    flammarion-cosmos


    “We do not ask for what useful purpose the birds do sing, for song is their pleasure since they were created for singing. Similarly, we ought not to ask why the human mind troubles to fathom the secrets of the heavens…The diversity of the phenomena of Nature is so great, and the treasures hidden in the heavens so rich, precisely in order that the human mind shall never be lacking in fresh nourishment.”

    — Johannes Kepler, astronomer.

    One of my best friends, Kashyap, is such a polar opposite of me that I forever wonder that how we ended up being friends. ¬†Closed-minded and cynical, he is quite uninterested in art, disregards anything involving creativity, ponders on the “usefulness” ¬†of imagination, never reads books, indifferent towards politics and skeptical of space-exploration (good reasons to have several quarrels with someone). ¬† Nevertheless, he was kind and considerate. That was enough.

    Once, I went to visit him. We were chatting when his young brother, Sudhir, turned up. ¬†Now, imagine oil and water being in the same container. That would have been an apt analogy – Kasyap and Sudhir were another pair of opposites. Sudhi had read dozens of books (not unlike me, huh?); had a wide field of interest, ranging from F1 to Harry Potter – and, as I would later learn, astronomy. Continue reading “Those who dream of the stars”

    Graffiti In My Art

    If you are a bit familiar with this blogger, you may know that he occasionally wets his hands with the Adobe Photoshop paintbrush. (Just to insult your intelligence: it is a software to edit photos and create picture effects.) A few weeks ago, when this hopeful new digital designer was particularly in the mood for designing, he happened to buy Photoshop CS: Down and Dirty Tricks by Scott Kelby, a truly hilarious and excellent book on the software. For a few days he worked on the several tricks put forward in the book, with the net result given below. Yes, that is a genuine wallpaper designed  for the (non-existent) fan community of Graffiti In My Heart.

    Graffiti In My Heart Wallpaper!!