Featured on Bittbox.com

James White on Bittbox.com

The kind folks over at Bittbox.com have selected me as their new featured artist. They posted some samples of my work and an interview dealing with my influences, process and techniques. You can check out the full interview right here.

If you have never been to Bittbox, it’s a veritable feast for designers and artists, and includes design tips, free Photoshop and Illustrator elements and lots of inspiration. Be sure to drop by.

Also, sending a thanks to Ryan Ray who was kind enough to send over an iPhone picture sporting my Signalera 67 wallpaper. Thanks man!

Signalera 1967: Wallpapers

Signalera 1967 Wallpaper

Here is the Signalera 1967 piece presented in wallpaper format. Feel free to download these for use on your desktop, iPhone or Playstation Portable.

1280 x 1024
1024 x 768
800 x 600
Playstation Portable
iPhone

I’ve been making note of requests for other wallpapers, and more will be coming soon.

Signalera 1967

Signalera 1967Signalera 1967 is the first large format work done in this style, and also the most enjoyable to work on. I wanted to push the style a bit further and use something that wasn’t strictly 45° angles. I wanted to also use the full spectrum again. This is designed at 24″ x 36″, and you can check a detail shot right here.

I was trying to define what the visual goal was for these new pieces and I said they looked like “optimistic 1950′s future design with 1970′s TV network promos, wrapped in a semi-cubist, propaganda style.” I really enjoy looking up old network bumpers from the 70s on YouTube, specifically those of NBC. They did some really nice stuff with the spectrum of colors and playing with the feathers of the peacock, like this one from 1971, and this one from 1982. I will be sure to post a few more bookmarked inspirational pieces soon.

1967 simply refers to Expo ’67 that took place in Montreal. It remains a pretty large part of Canadian culture today, and the design surrounding the event remains important.

Website Tools for the Artist

Wordpress - SignalnoiseWhen looking for the right tools to help me write about and display my artwork I had to do a lot of research into what not only functioned properly, but what worked for my overall website design. I went with a clean, simple approach but the items and services that make this website function needed to be right.

So in this post I will outline the things I am using, where to get them, and how much they cost if price is an issue. I am doing this because if I was looking for these tools, there might be other artists with similar needs.

WordPress is obviously the engine I chose to use because of it’s slick backend interface, which makes updating a very easy process. It’s the only way to go, in my opinion.

The Simplicity theme was a wonderful find. Kochwerkstatt developed a very clean design which made adapting it to my Signalnoise identity very easy. I had to do a bit of translating (the theme arrived in German) but it’s been smooth sailing ever since because of the nice clean code. The theme is available in bright and dark versions.

The sIFR Titles plugin is what I used to make the entry titles. They are dynamic Flash movies that allow me to choose whatever font I want, making the overall design a bit more consistant. You will need a bit of Flash knowledge if you want to edit the animation that comes with the download.

Flickr handles all of my artwork uploads. You can’t go wrong with getting a Pro account for $24.95 per year with unlimited uploads. Flickr makes possible the following tools which are amazing for showing my uploads on this site:

The FlickerRSS plugin is what I use to stream images from my Flickr account to my sidebar to the right. Very easy to install and edit, and even has tag capabilities so I can display only the photos in my stream labelled ‘showcase’. Very handy little plugin coupled with a Flickr account, which I highly recommend for uploading and sharing artwork.

My gallery is made using the TiltViewer app developed by Airtight Interactive. This slick Flash application uses my Flickr account to suck in the images with my ‘showcase’ tag. It’s a wonderful and easy way to show images in my account without the need of having a typical Flickr page. I paid $90 for the application and it was well worth it.

That’s about the run of it. If you have any questions feel free to comment them.

Varo Manifesto 1956

Varo Manifesto 1956 - James White SignalnoiseVaro Manifesto 1956 follows the same methodology as the previous Varo piece, working with a brighter color palette and wireframes. I played with a more feminine palette this time to add a bit of softness to the hard edges. I enjoy adding a bit of information with the type to make the piece look like it belongs with something physical, like a manual or an event.

Also, I made some significant revisions to the website in an attempt to make it easier to read and navigate. This is all in preparation for the online store launch sometime later this month. I’m working hard to get the code and prints prepped.

Signalnoise Store update

Just a quick update on my website progress. I have had a bunch of people asking me about buying prints of my work, and I wanted to assure you all that my store is currently under construction.

I am working hard on prepping large files to ship to the print shop and working out the kinks in my coding to get the store up and running. Instead of sourcing my printing and shipping to an outside client, I will be taking on the task myself which takes a bit more set-up time.

Thanks so much to all who have inquired about my shop. I will be sure to announce it’s launch when things are ready to go.

Varo annotation

Varo annotationThe Varo Annotation piece was done using a combination of Photoshop, Flash and Illustrator to make the different elements. I’m getting used to the diagonal shards and am looking to add a bit more visual elements into the mix.

The wireframes were lots of fun. The challenge was trying to make them look like folded fabric which proved to be a bit tedious. Incidentally, the title refers to a book published in the 50s, tied to the Philadelphia Experiment.

I will soon be posting about my inspiration behind these pieces, which are all something I wanted to explore for quite some time. So when I have some time, I will post some links and images that have been wonderful gems to stumble across.