Author: grimsoul

How to create an artist portfolio website by yourself | Part 1

 

Why I need a portfolio website in the first place right? Why can’t I just use Instagram or Facebook page? Well, in this day and age, not having your own website, where you can customize everything and have complete control is just being lazy and having excuses. Also, you can properly showcase your body of work to potential customers and don’t say them something like “yeah go to my Instagram page”, which is not very professional to say the least. Also, it is a single place where your visitors can find everything about you, for example, your about page, your portfolio, your blog, shop and so on.

In this Part 1 post I will show things that you will need and how to prepare everything to build your website.

Things you will need:

  1. Domain name – it is a name for your website, think like google.com or youtube.com – these are domain names. In my case it is grimsoulart.com. You can buy it through my hosting provider called Serveriai.lt(It is the Lithuanian hosting provider)or you can use any of your choice. It costs roughly ~10 EUR per year, but depends a bit on the domain name you choose.
  2. Hosting service – it is a server where you will be holding your website. Think like it is a hard drive where you put your website files, just it is online, not on your computer and that makes the website available on the internet. You can buy it through my hosting provider called Serveriai.lt(It is the Lithuanian hosting provider) or you can use any of your choice. It costs a few euros per month, in my case I am paying 2 Euros every month.
  3. WordPress content management system – In simple words basic frame to build your website upon. it’s FREE!

So how do I create a website when I have a domain name and a hosting service? Follow these steps below to install WordPress content management system.

Here it is shown how to do that with my hosting provider, but you choose any hosting provider and it should be similar procedure, because every hosting provider should have Installatron these days.

1. Log in to your server control panel with DirectAdmin and add your domain name to your hosting server.

2. Then go back and select “Installatron” menu:

Screenshot 2017-08-07 11-59-26.png

3. Choose a WordPress content management system:

Screenshot 2017-08-07 12-00-28.png

4. Click Install this application to continue the installation:

Screenshot 2017-08-07 12-01-05.png

5. Write down the basic data. Important: The “Directory (Optional)” line specifies which directory to install the site on. Leaving blank will install to the root (www.mano-source.com) and after saving to that directory, for example: typing “test” will have the address www.mano-site.com/test. We recommend that you set the database settings automatically the first time you install, and choose the most up-to-date one.
Once done, click the Install button:

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6. Installation complete. The content management system installed in this window can be updated, deleted, and key data can be viewed, such as the administrator password.

Screenshot 2017-08-07 12-09-54.png

Press to read original hosting provider tutorial in Lithuanian language.

In the Part 2 post I will show you how to actually add some content on your website using WordPress content management system (remember that’s a frame upon which we will build our website). Don’t worry, you don’t need to know any programming or web design for that. WordPress is very visually oriented and simple to use!

 

What improved my mental health

 

I’ve had several bouts of depression, anxiety, panic attacks in my teenage years, when I was in school and even in early years in the university. Nowadays (I am 26 now) I can say that most days I am feeling good, sometimes even great, I think I can safely say that I am not depressed anymore. Bad days when I am feeling down happens quite rarely now. My anxiety levels are way down too, and really is manageable, social anxiety still exists, but too much lesser degree and I have learned a lot of social skills to deal with people over the years. I needed some time to recognize that I am a different person now and 10 years before. I decided to share what helped me to deal with these mental health issues. Maybe it will be useful or interesting to someone else.

So the things that helped me personally:

1. Exercise – you will find it in every health article, but it really is true. I used to lift weights, was boxing for a couple of months, now I am riding a bike in the summer, going for a walks or sometimes even lift some weights, that I have in my home or do some pushups. Whatever you like, just do it, it will improve your overall health and you will feel happier.

2. Vitamin D, Magnesium, Fish oil – vitamin D was really a game changer for me, because for me it was really depleted and on the critical side, when tested. Low vitamin D can cause many problems including depression, anxiety, poor sleep. Once restored back to normal I have gained confidence, my anxiety levels went down, my mood improved and I seem to be just stable now most of the time.

I am living in Lithuania, where there is not a lot of sun, even in summer, so that might be the reason that my levels were very low. Also, I wasn’t going out a lot and was staying indoors most of my teenage years. And when the fall and winter comes there is no chance to make pretty much any of it from the sun, so the supplements are needed. In Lithuania ( and I suppose other northern countries) 9 out of 10 people lack vitamin D (use translator if you speak English).

Lithuanian vitamin D status article

Magnesium – really good at calming me down, helps sleep too and can cause depression, anxiety, panic if depleted.

Fish oil – it is proven that it helps depression and really it should be a supplement you take from time to time, because we don’t eat that much fat fish anyway, which has fish oil in it.

3. Having goals – for me having life goals really helped me, because I see myself doing something and moving forward. That really makes me feel good and gives some life purpose.

4. Sleep schedule is important – Jordan Peterson – a psychology professor, which I admire, said in one of his videos that having a consistent sleep schedule is very important, even if you are not depressed, because it regulates circadian rhythms and our neurotransmitters, which in turn our mood and energy levels. You can watch his video here:

5. Healthy foods – that’s a big one. Try to eat kebab, potato chips, sweets, cakes and overall processed foods, drink sugary drinks… for a year and see what happens. No wonder that these actions make you feel sick, it depletes your nutrients and just poison you, while providing very little nutritional value. Now change these things with real foods like eggs, fish, meat, bread, vegetables, buckwheat, fruits, nuts and so on… and you will see an improvement in your physical and mental health. Maybe you will lose some weight too or even gain some weight if you need to.

6. Being honest with myself – trying to not lie to myself, embracing that I am an introvert and need different ways to recharge and like different kind of fun helped me big time too. I don’t need to pretend, I can just be the way I am and that is a liberating feeling.

7. Heavy metal music – it really is a great way express your anger or frustration or other built up emotions by moshing or just headbanging to the music. Study finds that metal music helps fight depression:

Link to the study

8. Having hobbies – for example, playing electric guitar or computer games, makes me relax and express myself, just have fun without any commitment to someone else.

If you would want to ask or share something just let me know in the comments!

 

Doing things leads to motivation

 

Yes, that’s right! Actually going and doing things produces motivation and drive to keep you doing more and more, not the other way around. You don’t need to have motivation to start to do something, to create an artwork for example or film a video. You just have to push though that initial resistance and maybe a little pain and do the thing. Then what happens, you start to get a little drive to keep going, to finish the thing, you start to feel good about yourself, you finish the thing. Then you get even more motivation and you might want to improve on your previous project and then you build a momentum and it’s not that hard to keep going, because the dopamine (motivation brain chemical) keeps you going and excited. In the end of the day you have got 1000 YouTube videos done and you feel great, you are damn proud about yourself and you should be, because you worked hard for it and deserved it 100%! All you needed was just a little patience to push through that initial stage.

My Art process timelapse

 

This is speed up (speed up 21x times, real time is ~2 hours) drawing process video of me drawing a skull. I filmed it with my Canon A2600 camera and then I used Shotcut to glue the parts together and also to add effect, edit and speed up the video.

Tools used:

A4 Canson Paper,
Sakura Pigma Micron,
Sakura White Gelly Roll,
Unibal Sigmo White,
Encre De Chine Intense Indian Ink, Pencil.

Music playing:

Hellhookah – Greed and Power
www.hellhookah.com
https://www.facebook.com/Hellhookah

T-Shirt screen printing, black on black

 

In this post I will share a T-Shirt Screen printing technique to achieve the best quality and reduce ink bleed to a minimum when printing art with a lot of details. Just a disclaimer, this is from my personal experience working with clients, I am not a screen printer myself.

So the thing is, when the design itself is white only and the T-Shirt is black, normally it would be 1 color screen printing job, just white for the design, and the T-Shirt’s black color suits as a second color, but the printing cost is only for one color job. A little drawback with this method, when printing highly detailed designs, is that the details get a little blurry, because of the ink bleed. In other words, we lose some of the small details in the original design.

To solve this problem we can choose to print black on black. Let me explain this. The design is white, so it’s one color, the T-Shirt itself is Black so it’s second color and now we add third color – black. Well we don’t add, but we retain black color in the design in addition to white. Why we do that? Well, when the design file is provided with 2 colors, black and white, this prevents ink bleed and the small details can be retained. Also the black that was printed on the T-Shirt is pretty much invisible. Although this method increases the cost for the printing job a little, because now the it is 2 color screen printing job, but we retain way more details and the design looks way better in the end. This is an example of both methods my client used:

Printed only White. You can see that the wood details on the guitar are a little bit blurry and lost, also the wing, beard and the overall design has lost some of it’s details.

Printed White and Black. The lines on the guitar are perfectly crisp and clean, the design does not lose pretty much any details.

And the black that was retained in the print file is not visible, it merges with a T-Shirt’s black color.

Most common T-Shirt printing methods

 

In this post I will share 2 most common T-Shirt printing methods with some advantages and disadvantages.

1. Screen Printing – best printing method if you want exceptional quality and longevity of your T-Shirt. When properly printed, it can last 20-30 years. One downside would be that you typically can’t order just one T-Shirt, because of the manufacturing process, and the minimum order can be 10,20,30… T-Shirt, it depends on the company. Also, it is the best to use as few colors as possible (1-2), because the price goes up with each color you want to use in your design.

2. Direct to Garments (DTG) – it is just like printing on paper, but the printer uses garments instead. The advantages would be: you can use any number of colors, you can print just 1 T-Shirt if you want. Downside would be that the longevity is not that great compared to screenprinted T-Shirt. It still can last couple years if well cared for.

The Worst thing a creative person can do

 

I really love studying Jordan Peterson, reading his book, watching his videos and studying his ideas and trying to apply them to myself and improve and understand myself. Yeah, that’s right, not all Metalheads are stupid alcohol and/or drug addicts. Okey just kidding, most of us are normal people, just little bit cooler ;).

So I came upon the nice Idea where Jordan Peterson is telling what is the worst thing that the creative people can do. I think it’s really interesting and it might be useful to someone else too. It’s explained in this short video: