SHOW OFF! Design a portfolio in your pocket!


 Since we are just a Dude and a Dog we don't have a lot of resources for fancy schmancy software like Microsoft Office but we have documents, labels, artist statements, etc that we need to print.  Open Office is what we use. 3 is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages. It can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for any purpose

It doesn't get much better than this.  Download Open Office here


 In putting together our promotional materials we are going to need access to some publishing tools.  These tools cost money but fortunately for us, there are Open Source tools available.  Scribus is one such tool that we can use for everything from designing business cards to flyers to pamphlets.

Scribus is an Open Source program that brings award-winning professional page layout to Linux/UNIX, Mac OS X, OS/2 Warp 4/eComStation and Windows desktops with a combination of "press-ready" output and new approaches to page layout. Underneath the modern and user friendly interface, Scribus supports professional publishing features, such as CMYK color, separations, Spot Colors, ICC color management and versatile PDF creation.  It does take a little bit of effort to become familiar with these tools but once you do you will find that putting together promotional materials is a snap.

Download Scribus

Even though we are just a Dude with a Dog we are humming right along with our free websites now.  We've invested $12 in a domain name, signed up with Weebly or Google sites, we've picked a template, filled in all of our site info, created our Artist Statement, our Artist Bio and our Contact info.  It's time to create our gallery of our work.   We are operating on a shoestring budget here so we don't have professionally made photographs of our work and are taking them ourselves.  The only problem is that the photos don't show off our work as well as they could.  No problem that's what Photoshop is for.  Big problem when you are just a Dude and a Dog, photoshop is expensive!

Almost everybody has heard about free or low cost software.  Most of the time there is no free lunch.  Either the software itself has limited functionality (that you can 'upgrade' for full functionality) or it has full functionality but is demo software where you can't save your work or your work saves with a 'watermark' turning your work into an advertisement for their software.  Clearly not all 'freeware' is really free so how do you tell the difference?

What we are looking for is not demo versions commercial software but software of the people, by the people and for the people.   We can find such software in the grass roots, from the bottom up,  socialist world of Open Source, Creative Commons and CopyLeft.  Bring out the GIMP!

GIMP or  General Image Manipulation Program was created by a couple of university students at Berkeley in the mid 90's and extended by countless others over the years into the full functioning Photoshop rival that it is today.   If your pictures are close you may be able to get away with a mini editor like Picasa which allows you to make basic adjustments of crop, straighten, contrast, brightness, etc.  If you want full blown pixel level editing Gimp is the editor for you. If you know photoshop you will feel comfortable with gimp.  It's not as polished in some areas but it is functionally close.