White Magic

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus
Landscape with the Fall of Icarus (Pieter Bruegel); Source

The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?
– J. B. Priestley

It was on a cold, snowy December morning in the city of Landon that Icarus died. He was not quite sure how it had happened. Threading his way through the blur of traffic, he had arrived at the pavement opposite the Aeronautical Control Tower, where he worked. One moment he was staring at the tower, contemplating the sweep of its columns as they soared skyward, and the next he was perceiving his dead body from within the crowd of strangers that had gathered around it. He had often seen old film projections of that phenomenon – the name escaped him – where someone died on a hospital bed, surrounded by friends and family, and a ghostly copy of their body lingered on in the room. It was bizarre that anyone could even be sure of what happened after death, or rather, he thought, after life.

Turning his attention to the scene before him, Icarus realised that those films had been preparing him for this moment. His still body lay in the middle of the pavement, unresponsive to the attempts of the paramedics checking for signs of life. He felt what could be best described as a distant pity for the fallen body, which he was already beginning to disown. He was something else now, a fact that he accepted without much fuss. He could remember his life in Landon: a cup of coffee every morning in the office and a long shower every night in his apartment. But those memories held no weight now as he – or the form that was he – moved away from the other that was no longer him.

Continue reading “White Magic”

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DIY: Using iPhone apps to make your own wallpaper

Recently I haven’t been doing much except my thesis. Well okay, I’ve also been playing with my new puppy and doodling randomly. Here are two iPhone 5 wallpapers I’ve designed using only iPhone apps (Tayasui Sketches for the designs, Frame Magic for the oval frame in the second one and Picsart for the watermarks).

The Gift

I didn’t start out trying to make free wallpapers, honestly. I’ve just been fiddling around on Tayasui Sketches for a few months now.  (Tayasui Sketches is a brilliantly simple but flexible sketching app for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch and everyone should try it out at least once!) My sketches started out really simple, but the results turned out to be better than anything I’ve ever achieved on Photoshop. I guess I’m just more of a pen and paper person, and Tayasui Sketches has really helped me translate my ideas into digital art so much better than Photoshop.

If you were wondering, I was using my finger, not a stylus, to do these digital drawings. It was a challenge, given that the iPhone screen is already so small. Aaaand I only just realised that I could have zoomed into the images to edit them instead of trying for precision on such a small screen. Ah well, I will console myself by pretending to be practicing controlled precision work.

For those of you who want to download these and use them as iPhone 5 wallpapers, feel free to do so! Simply click and save. I’ve also set up a page for easy viewing of my designs on antelune and you can check back for more of my designs or free downloadables.

For those of you who want to try your hand at making iPhone wallpapers, here are some tips:

1) First, draw your design on an app such as Tayasui Sketches. You could also do collages with other apps like Vintage Deco, which has really nice vintage prints you can use. Fiddle around with different things and experiment to see what works best.

Haru

2) If your design is the size of a full iPhone screen, then you can simply use it as a wallpaper straight away. If your design is smaller than that, then you have to create a frame that is as big as your iPhone screen.

3) I used Frame Magic for this in the design below (I love kitties, by the way). Simply use a canvas ratio of 9:16, then manipulate the shape tool to get an oval shaped (or whatever other shape you choose) frame. Adjust your image inside the frame and change the color of the frame background. There’s a custom colour picker so just get creative with the colour combinations.

4) If you want to watermark your images like me, you can use any app that can insert text on an image. I used the “Draw” function in Picsart to draw my text in any shape I want. Well, that’s it. Pretty simple, right?

Hope you enjoy my wallpapers! I’m using the kitty one right now for my lock screen, heh. The kitty is called Haru, by the way. And he offers you a flower because he wants to be friends with you. Why not adopt Haru and let him live on your phone? 😉