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Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
The Artist as Machine
 
I was browsing Powell's City of Books in Portland years ago when a random book, The Singularity is Near, by Ray Kurzweil caught my eye. It predicts a time in the not-too-distant future when humans and machines will essentially become one and the same.

Around the time I discovered the book, I began using a Wacom digital drawing tablet. I liked it so much, I quickly traded in my old pens and brushes…
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
…for a nice, new plastic stylus.
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
As any artist will tell you, computers are wonderful. They make it easy to scan in and clean up a wrinkled sketch…
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
…quickly add some color…
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
…and share it with the world.
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
But as this closeup of a computer-generated illustration shows…
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
…most digital drawing applications aren't up yet to the task of replicating the random, wonderfully unpredictable magic…
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
…that often occurs when old-fashioned paint…
…meets paper… at least in my opinion.

Moreover, I found I was spending a lot of time trying to make my drawings look like they WEREN'T created on a computer.

Which is why I ultimately went from analog… to digital… and back again.

Well, more or less. These days I use both in equal measure. My drawing of a robot at the beginning of this email is a combination of both old and new techniques and technologies. Typically, I'll start with pen on paper, scan in the drawing, clean it up, print it out, paint it, scan it back in, clean it up again, maybe even color it some more, add my logo and copyright information, and then share it online.

So I guess you could say I'm a hybrid. Maybe The Singularity really is near :)
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
Of course, paint and ink are messy—and I still find myself reaching for the nonexistent "undo" button in real life…
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
…nearly every day!
"Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy." 
–Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
The Machine as Artist
 
I realized machines were good at creating art the first time I used a Spirograph as a kid. Here's a newer version of the same, called a wooden cycloid drawing machine. And now you can even turn your phone into a Spirograph. Of course, you can still do it the old-fashioned way… as a human Spirograph. (He's gonna feel that in the morning!)

Art-making machines run the gamut from laughable to inspirational; from curious to not too shabby; from really good to seriously impressive.

I'm not overly worried about being replaced by a machine any time soon. But just to be on the safe side—in case the tables are ever flipped and WE are required to draw MACHINES, instead of vice-versa, click here to learn how to draw a robot.
"Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another." 
–Carl Sagan, Cosmos
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
Bits, Bytes & Nybbles,
culled from the depths of the Interwebs…

 
Has infamous British street artist Banksy been unmasked? • Seth Godin on why, when creativity becomes a profession, it often stops being creative. • Tech guru and futurist Robert Scoble says we're about to experience the deepest cultural shift we've seen in 40 years due to the rapid proliferation of new technologies, e.g.: self-driving cars, robots, augmented and virtual reality products, etc. According to Scoble, it's going to be "absolutely mind-blowing." • Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are using fairy tales and fables to teach robots not to kill humans. • A robot that has fun at telemarketers' expense. • 10 amazing (somewhat terrifying) facts about Artificial Intelligence.

Oh, hello, Skynet: Boston Dynamics, which is now owned by Google's "moonshot" research and development facility "X", is making these creepy creatures. (And don't forget their lovable puppy dog, Spot.) LATE-BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: Google Puts Boston Dynamics Up for Sale in Robotics Retreat. (Okay, but they're still hiring robotics engineers.) Did I mention Google X is run by a guy named Astro Teller? How to join their team.
"If you don't want a generation of robots, fund the arts!" 
–Cath Crowley
Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.
"'What exactly was the difference?' he wondered to himself. 'And who decided which people wore the striped pajamas and which people wore the uniforms?'" 
–John Boyne

March Print Giveaway

My Garden Fine Art Print

That Will Be My Life

This print started out as many do — a gift for one of my children.

  • SIZE: Artwork is 10 x 10 inches, matted to 8 x 8 inches (fits in 12 x 12 inch frame).
  • EDITION: Artist proof.
  • MATERIALS: Hand-signed, limited edition, Giclée fine art print, matted but unframed.
  • PAPER: Printed on Hahnemuhle William Turner — a 310g, acid-free, natural white, mould-made paper with 100% rag content (highly archival).
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"Nothing eases suffering like human touch." 
–Bobby Fischer, Chess Meets of the Century
You know I had to sign off with a Terminator reference:

Sarah Connor: [awakens] I was dreaming about dogs. 
Kyle Reese: We used them to spot Terminators.
Sarah Connor: Your world... it's pretty terrifying.

I'll just leave this here.
Peace Signature copyright D.E.Uhlig

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About Me

Hi. I’m D.E.Uhlig. I’m an artist, author, husband and father.

For as long as I can remember, I have loved to draw. Years ago I gave my wife a hand-drawn card for our anniversary, and she loved it so much she made me promise to ALWAYS hand-draw her cards. Then our three kids made me promise to do the same with their birthday cards. And when I posted some of my drawings online, people began asking how they could purchase my work—so I created this newsletter. I believe in something I like to call “The Happiness of Art” and I hope it makes you smile.

Official Bio

D.E.Uhlig is an award-winning illustrator whose work has appeared in numerous publications including the Kansas City Star, Christian Science Monitor, University Daily Kansan, Editorial Humor Magazine, and World Policy Journal. Commercial illustration and design clients over the years have included Samsung, Sprint, and the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, among others—and his Starbucks RedCup illustrations have been featured on the company's Pinterest and Facebook pages. In 1989, Mr. Uhlig co-founded Uhlig LLC, a leading provider of cross-media publishing and communication services in industries ranging from residential housing to book publishing to cancer care. Mr. Uhlig is married with three children and resides in Kansas City. He is currently working on children’s books, ebooks and apps.

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Copyright © 2016 by D.E.Uhlig. All rights reserved.


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