March 2006 Archives
It's been a while since I last stood in front of a small group of bright-eyed students and began my opening remarks for a two-day class devoted to graphics and publishing applications, but I remain interested in the topic of graphic arts training. And since the dawn of the Web, I've been convinced of its power to help those involved in design learn new skills and work more effectively. Maybe it's the conjunction of broadband penetration, coupled with the growing sophistication of rich media delivery capabilities, but whatever the reasons we seem to have arrived at the point where online graphics and publishing training has hit critical mass. At least that was my thought while checking out some recent approaches to delivering online training.
How would you react if Adobe or Quark decided to make an application that you relied on for your graphics or publishing work open source? To start, the entire code base would be released under the GPL (GNU General Public License), which would not only place the code in public hands, but make ongoing development completely transparent. While there's little chance Adobe or Quark will ever go this route, that's exactly what Xara Corp., a small British developer, has decided to do with its Xara illustration application.
The gesture that is what we call the making of art takes many forms. But it can be argued that at the heart of this ancient act, which binds all of us as humans, lies an essential urge to somehow make sense of life, the universe and everything. A complete artistic engagement can take the form of a life devoted to the creation of such work. Or for those who share in the artistic spirit, it can manifest itself amongst the wealthy as a committment to enable artistic creation, in the form of purchases of existing works or the sponsorship of new ones.