Citra Solv and Nat Geo Magazines

Like suprises and splodges? this is for you…


Citra-solv is a natural cleaning agent sold in the US, I’ve no idea how it fares as a cleaner BUT it is a strong enough solvent (albeit natural) to react with certain printing inks. National Geographic magazines used to be printed using inks that react beautifully with melting, globular, creative chemical reactions. Much like alcohol or salt reactions with water based paints, you get a dynamic, textural blend. As you can imagine it is STINKY! in quite a different way to the ST-ink you can make from shaggy ink cap mushrooms, so tis an outside, ventilation require kinda project 🙂

There are sources all over the internet suggesting different years/decades of the Nat Geo Magazines. So far I have some from the 80’s and 90’s, got my ear to the ground for older ones. Rumour has it that town and country magazines also melt in a similar way.


An immersion into digital media has sent me back to seriously low tech, messy, smelly, hand staining, printing techniques. But I will combine these 2 worlds by scanning the resulting images and then digitally manipulate them, tis all good!


FRUSTRATED: Trying to find images online? doing visual research.. Pinterest will be your new friend


So, I was searching google images, trying to find stimulating inspiring images and techniques for research / sketch books. Painstakingly finding, saving, naming and storing the images. Then transferring it to word so I could print them out. I began thinking what I;d like is to find a collection of postcards (of famous photographs) and save/print them all in one go. Surely many people must have already sought to collate such a collection?

Also, going through my old hard drives, the multitude of folders and badly named images – with no idea where I got them from (and therefore wouldn’t be able to list the source in the research book). I had used One note and ever note a few times for image collections – which automatically lists the source, but these are still closed up folders, that I can;t share or find other peoples collections.


PINTERST (pin interest) is a website that you can access using your gmail, yahoo or facebook passwords, so you don;t have to remember (and therefore maybe, forget) yet another one.

pinterest-logo (2)

It is full of collections of images, with descriptions, sources and keywords. You make a board… name it (like a folder) and then “pin” images you find on other boards, to yours. You can see the whole collection in a lovely layout. AND, best of all.. select all (CTrl A) and Paste (Ctrl V) into word and you can print them all out, WITH the descriptions and sources – perfect for transfer to real life sketchbooks. If you are going to copy and paste into word, I recommend narrow margins and 3 columns, you’ll get plenty per page and the layout is somewhat similar to the board.

The next step is to install the pin button to your browser’s toolbar.. or if you are fancy you can have an app for your phone or ipad. This button means you can browse the web and anything you find interesting – just click the button and you can save (pin) it to a board. Go here to install this button / app.

When you are browsing the boards, you can click on the image and go to the original site – a very visual bookmark system. Simply Splendid. Best of all we can share with each other and the rest of pinterest users.

If you are browsing flickr, you can pin these images too and it will automatically list the credits (and enable, you or others to find the original).


Prepare for addiction, albeit efficient, you can go crazy and pin 100’s of images in the time it would take to select, save and store a few from google… So think about the naming of your boards carefully and be specific.

I’m new to pinterest, i’m sure there are many other tips and tricks… check out 10 top tips for pinterest for some suggestions from more experienced users.

Also, check out my board “journals”. I named it and filled it before I got the tip about being carefully specifically naming collections..

pin board shot

Have any of you guys played with pinterest? If so, could you comment and share a board (then we can follow each others boards).

So get pinning, create a whole collection in minutes (and share it), select all, paste and print. Never lose an inspiring image/link/post again!


Creativity – It’s Our Future

By Trevor Bailey, Director of WW Education   

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” – Albert Einstein

Creativity and Education

Einstein understood the importance of the imagination and his words remind us of where human creativity has taken us – and will continue to take us. Creativity is essential to innovation. And innovation gives us the new technologies and products that will drive the global economy forward.

How important is creativity to our future? A recent study conducted by Adobe in the U.S., “Creativity and Education: Why It Matters,”  showed that 90 percent of US professionals believe that unlocking creativity is essential to economic growth and that it is valuable to society. The study also highlighted a growing awareness, especially among professionals, that creativity and creative thinking deserve a bigger role in education. In fact, 88 percent of U.S. professionals surveyed believe that creativity should be built into standard curricula. Today, companies are realizing the importance of the creative process in the workplace. They are looking for employees who can do more than specific tasks—they want employees who can also think differently and be innovative. To be successful, students need an education that emphasizes communication, collaboration and creativity.

With the challenges the world is facing today in our global economy, in our environment, and in social issues, the need for creative ideas has never been greater. That is why we are aligning our work to help students and educators realize the power of creativity and self-expression by providing digital tools, vibrant communities, resources, curricula, certifications and platforms that showcase student success. To better prepare our students for the challenges of today, we must graduate thinkers of tomorrow. Here at Adobe we believe creativity is no longer an elective; it’s the future.

Originally posted on the Adobe blog ‘UK and Ireland channel news’ on September 24, 2013. It may be accessed here.

How to make education interactive: digital technology, web and creative tips to engage students

Original article by Jenny Beswick (published 17th October, 2013, accessed via:

Technology is constantly redefining education, and not only does it provide teachers, parents, and students with a steady stream of new resources it also transforms the way our society stores, processes, and transmits information.

Technologies change the way we think and plays a key role in determining what we think about. As invention gives rise to new branches of knowledge, it drives education in new directions. Past innovations ranging from the codex to the internet have left indelible marks upon the academic world, and there can be no doubt future innovations will continue to alter the face of education in years to come. But as advancements in digital technology accelerate, as they have been in recent years, educators often struggle to implement the latest tech tools into their lessons. Fortunately though, today it is easier than ever to bring digital technology into the classroom and make courses interactive.

Here are some great tips for making your lesson plans more entertaining, engaging, and relevant to students growing up in this digital age:

Video conferencing

Video conferencing programs like Skype and iChat are amazing tools for teachers today as they allow students to

explore new worlds without leaving the classroom. Teachers can arrange for guest speakers to appear to give short presentations about their jobs as doctors, engineers, or musicians and because they will not need to physically come into the classroom, many professionals will be much more likely to accept the offer and recommend this form of educational teaching to others.

What is also great is video chatting can also connect students with their peers around the world and this interactive fun learning makes well for language lessons. There was an article on Mashable about how video chat is creating a global classroom, this is a good read and it is amazing to know there are 30,000 classroom videoconferencing systems in

 the USA alone.


Digital Geography

Google Earth is undoubtedly the most powerful geography-teaching tool ever invented. By taking students for a digital spin around the world, they can learn about everything from political boundaries to topography, and even take a street view tour of their own schools. So as a teacher think about the wider scope and how it can benefit students in the long run.


Podcasts can make for great supplementary lessons. Assign them for homework and quiz students about them the next day. They are guaranteed to be far more interesting than most traditional homework assignments, will get students digitally active, and can serve as great resources for students with visual impairments.

Video streaming

What student doesn’t love watching a movie in class? YouTube and the countless educational websites online today are great resources for teachers, and can help educator’s present information in exciting and engaging ways. A video, which is a simple example of how video interactive works well in education is available here.

Real-time analysis

Real time analysis can be produced from your school website. Make sure as a teacher that you know all about the web management of your school – that the website you have has analytics installed. Once you have access to your analytics, you can then enter the real time mode to see exactly what is happening on web page. What you want to do is set up educational class content on a web page, where you have video tutorials that teaches the student away from the classroom, ask your students to visit this page for resources, and you can then track in real time which topics they are visiting and what areas of interest you need to improve your teaching on. The same can be done with YouTube, which has analytics attached to it. Create video content on lessons and monitor how many views you get and the audience it is attracting.

Interactive education games

Gamification is an important new trend in the tech world that has recently inspired a vast range of technologies and software. The idea is that people are highly motivated by technologies that transform mundane tasks into games. Countless programs have been developed in subjects ranging from science to art, which get students excited about learning by presenting them with educational games. Check out the gamification education infographic.

Multimedia presentations

Songs, video clips, PowerPoint presentations, short animations, and high-resolution photographs are great ways to get students engaged with classroom material. Whether students give presentations to their peers or teachers utilize them for their own lessons, multimedia presentations are powerful learning tools. Another great tool is Animoto, sign up to this interactive video making app and website and get the students making presentations through video; it’s fun, creative and educational.

Technology allows educators to make old lessons relevant to a new generation. The use of cutting edge tools in the classroom can also spark passions that lead students to eventually make technological innovations of their own. But perhaps best of all, digital tools simply make it easier for teachers to hold their pupils’ attention. So the benefits of technology are obvious, the only question that remains is why you aren’t using them in your classroom yet.