Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Illustration Friday: Faded

Illustration of faded photograph and memories
© 2012 Sylvia Liu
The photo and memories are faded, but certain things from my childhood are indelibly printed on my mind. One of them is the needlepoint of two cute girls that my mom made, that is hanging on the wall in this photo. I love everything about this photo: the early 70s vibe, my dad's Star Trek-like outfit, the psychedelic shirts my sister and I are wearing that complement our crazy couch (that's me blending into the couch), and the pre-Caracas memories of living in Chicago this stirs up.

Friday, May 25, 2012

How to Remove the Blogger Navigation Bar

Image of Blogger blog's navigation bar

UPDATE 9/11/12: Blogger has just introduced a really easy way to remove the navigation bar. You can still follow the HTML instructions below, or you can go to "Layout," click "edit" on the NavBar (top right corner), and click "off" in the pop-up box:

Blogger Navbar configuration - turn it off

That's it. You can always turn it on again if you like. Here's my original article with the HTML code:

* * *

How do you remove the Blogger navigation bar from your blog? I recently wrote an article, "8 Ways to Make a Blogger Blog Look and Act Like a Website" that did not include this tip, because I constantly waffle about it.

On the one hand, it is a convenient way to access the Blogger dashboard and design templates and it allows people to follow the blog easily. On the other hand, it's a design element that announces, "Blogger blog," to the world, and hiding the bar presents a cleaner look. So here's what you do if you want to hide your Blogger navigation bar:

How to Hide the Blogger navigation bar. 

Go to Design --> Edit HTML (In the new interface, go to "Template," and "Edit HTML"). Before making any changes, make sure you hit the link, "Download Full Template" to save a copy of your current settings. Find "body {" and add the following code after that:

#navbar {
height: 0px;
visibility: hidden;
display: none;

My blog without the navigation bar:
Image of blogger blog without navigation bar
Blogger blog without navigation bar at top

How to minimize your Blogger navigation bar.

If you aren't quite ready to give up on the navigation bar, but want to make it less obvious. Go to Design --> Page Elements, and "Edit" the Navbar. In the new interface, go to Layout and "Edit" the Navbar. You'll be given choices about how your Navbar will look. "Transparent Light" or "Transparent Dark" are good choices to give your Navbar a subtle look, depending on whether your blog's background is light or dark.

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Ode to the iPad: An Artist's Trusty Companion

iPad screenshot
iPad screenshot

While I work digitally (both on the computer and on an iPad), my current picture book project involves traditional painting. Even so, my iPad is a trusty companion:


1. It's a visual library. Many artists set up their computers next to their workspace to have easy access to images and other references at hand. I prefer using my iPad because it is much more portable and can sit right next to the art in progress. I use my own photos or the internet as a reference (to avoid copyright infringement, never copy or paint other people's compositions or photos directly). With the newer iPads, you can also take pictures of your own expressions and gestures.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Google Searches that Bring You to Sylvia Liu Land

"Caracas pool party"
Sounds fun. Am I invited?

"robo burger sylvia"
I don't know what it is, but I want one. 

"i'm your daughter"
I doubt it. I remember all the children I've had.

"smallest airstream motorhome" 
If you search for the largest Airstream motorhomes, you won't end up here.  

"illoystrasion pirates"
Is this a short for pirates that are ill from oyster abrasions?

"poor example of magazine contents"
Really, Google? You pull up my blog when someone makes this search? Thanks a lot.

What Google searches land people at your doorsteps? Extra credit if you can incorporate any of the search terms above in your answer.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Number of Things in the World (Infographic)

Infographic on comparative number of things in the world
© 2012 Sylvia Liu (click to enlarge)
When I was in college, I used to drive my roommates crazy with questions like, "Are there more people or more trees in the world?" and "Are there more watches or more cars in the world?" (And I was perfectly sober when pondering these deep questions.) I've always been interested in the relative numbers of things and creatures, and now the internet makes it easy to find the answers.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Crowdsource an Octopus Painting

Recently, I've been painting sea creatures. Two of these paintings have been in art shows and sold (the lionfish and sea turtle). However, the most recent one  of an octopus is not working out. The colors are too garish and the octopus a bit cartoonish:

Colorful octopus art
Not So Great Octopus Art © 2012 Sylvia Liu

So I would like your help. What direction should I take this piece? Here are the options: