Wacom, a leader in interactive pen displays and digital drawing tablets is pulling the plug! The electric plug, that is. They are the makers of Bamboo, Intuos and Cintiq tablets. Now, meet Intuos Creative Stylus, Cintiq Companion, and Cintiq Companion Hybrid. (Good things come in threes at Wacom!)
Intuos Creative stylus for iPad is equipped like the Cintiq pen with shortcut buttons, and 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity (care to verify that?). The pressure sensitive tip allows a more natural drawing or painting experience, like using a soft lead or a brush. And the unique palm rejection technology allows you to rest your hand on the iPad surface while you draw. Try that with your old stylus. Bells and whistles come at a price, right? Right. But if you gotta have it, you can get it for about a hundred bucks. In October. Drool.
That’s great, but what if you love your Wacom tablet? Now, you are no longer limited by the length of your power cord. Take it with you, and draw and paint digitally outdoors, on the go, or wherever your whims may take you. Wacom’s newest wireless touch tablets are Cintiq Companion, running Windows 8, and Cintiq Companion Hybrid, your Android tablet. This is a canvas that has access to e-mail, social media and the cloud. You can share, collaborate, or present from one mobile device. You get 13.3 inches of real estate, full HD displays with touch control, wi-fi connectivity, front and rear-facing cameras, stereo headphone jack and microphone (you karaoke while you draw, don’t you?). Finally, a touch tablet for professional artists! You’ll be seeing these for sale in September, so start saving now. Prices run from $1500 to $2500.
If you've bought bedding or women's apparel from a Nordstrom department store within the last 7 years or so, there's a good chance that the pattern on your purchase was designed by Anne Marie Jackson. English born and trained, and currently residing in Seattle, Washington, this award-winning surface pattern designer has had quite an enviable career in a relatively short amount of time. Straight out of school, Anne Marie earned her chops in a trial-by-fire job at Brewster, one of London's top design studios. Over a mere 2 years, she created a jaw-dropping 1,000+ patterns and had the priceless opportunity to travel abroad to trade shows to sell her work.
And that was just the beginning of her career! Read on to find out what pulled her Stateside from the UK, how she liked working in-house for a major retailer, why she's made the transition to freelancing, and what her grand mission is for our industry. You can also get loads of insight from the information and experiences that she shares regularly on her blog Pattern Occurring.
Thanks Anne Marie!
University in the UK is quite different (from the US). You spend all of the 3 to 4 years studying your specialized area. This creates graduates that have a huge expertise in their given field, which worked great for me as I was so in love with what I was doing and I had specialized people who mentored me all along that path.
What was a typical day like working in-house for a large retail company like Nordstrom?
I had several roles at Nordstrom, my first being textile and colour designer for their Brass Plum brand. That was super fun with a 6 week cycle of research, development, and production. I was never bored, that’s for sure. Then I moved into a freelance position for 3 1/2 years. That was a wonderful opportunity as I got to just go in and make art every day. Making textile designs for a huge company was exciting especially when I worked on bedding for HOME. I loved it whenever I popped down to the Nordstrom café for lunch and there was a bed set up in my print. So fun.
What did you learn from working in a corporate environment after having worked at a studio?
I learnt how to write emails, how to make brand appropriate prints, and Ned Graphics. There are definite pros and cons to both. I loved being able to see where the prints go and watch people on the shop floor checking out my prints.
What differences and similarities did you experience between working in the UK and the US?
Oh, do you really want to go there? Ha! 34 to 37 days paid vacation a year in the UK as opposed to 10 in the US. But on a more serious note, both have taught me so much. In the UK it was how to be different and work efficiently. Here in the US I’ve learnt how to make designs that sell and to pay attention to the details.
How did you transition to freelance and how has that experience been for you compared to working in-house?
In-house I had built a relationship with my design directors, who backed my decisions. You get the time to show them your worth and then you eventually are able to choose how you work. Being a freelancer was really a blessing, because when I had my babies I was able to take 6 months to really be with them.
However, working as a freelancer you don't always get to be an influencer and trend leader, which is one of the areas I am good at. So if you want to just show up, make art, and leave, freelance is perfect for you.
What do you think has been a major factor in your success as a freelancer — marketing, networking, finding a niche style, or something else?
As with any creative industry, it’s normally about who you know and making lasting connections along the way, I’ve also prided myself on my versatility, so nearly any request isn’t out of scope for me.
What would you like to change about our industry?
Ok, this is why I started a guild here in Seattle in 2008 and (after ending it) then went on to create my blog Pattern Occurring. I desire for the profile of textile design to be elevated, while also giving textile designers a better understanding of historic textile movements. I hope that textile design will be a more valued component of the design process and not just viewed as a service or an afterthought. I truly believe colour and pattern are why a customer is initially drawn to a garment. Good textile design is essential to the commercial and emotional impact of the products we interact with everyday.
MFA Boston July 16 – November 11, 2013
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