Enterprising Author Develops Interactive Walk-In Story Books

Making print more interactive will be a key topic discussed at Graph Expo 14, a major conference for printing businesses that will be held from Sept. 28-Oct. 1 in Chicago. Here’s a creative example of a new educational product in which large-format printed graphics are designed for use in conjunction with iPad apps.  

Enterprising children’s book author/illustrator Roxie Munro recently launched K.I.W.I. (Kids Interactive Walk-In) Storybooks. These illustrated, 5-foot tall panoramic backdrops serve as interactive learning tools for students in grades pre-K through 5.  KIWi  Rainforest

The themed backdrops are paired with a free iPad app by OCG Studios. When kids place markers on the backdrops, they can scan the marker with an iPad to initiate dozens of activities.  They can search for objects, play education games, learn fun facts about a subject, or record or edit their own movies.

To help teachers integrate the activities into the curriculum, author and playwright Douglas Love created a new Reader’s Theatre genre that complements each theme and implements the four C’s of 21st century education: critical thinking skills, communication, collaboration, and creativity.

kiwi-kids-maze

K.I.W.I. Storybook backdrops have been developed in 11 themes: Rainforest and Desert, Farm and Maze, Fire Station and Risky Residence, Submersible, Dinosaurs, TV Studio, Castle, Old West, and Space Station. Each backdrop can be used for education, to perform a play, or in combination with the iPad apps. 

KiwiTrailer from K.I.W.i STORYBOOKS on Vimeo.

The 5 ft. x 7 ft. backdrops are printed on both sides of three panels (two 21-inch side panels and a 42-inch center panel) on a tear-resistant, flexible PVC-free material. Additional panels can be inserted to create 5 x 14 ft. backdrops. The panels can be rolled up and stored in the three-piece telescoping tube included in the package. VELCRO-brand fasteners are included for easy assembly.

LINKS

K.I.W.i. Storybooks

New Avenues in Journalism Conference Helps Freelancers Adapt

logo-newavenues2014WRITERS. The “New Avenues in Journalism” conference October 10-11 at San Francisco State University will help freelance journalists understand how to maintain profitable careers in the changing field of journalism. The event is sponsored by the American Society of Journalists and Authors Educational Foundation (ASJA), San Francisco State University (SFSU), and the Online News Association (ONA).

One of the keynote speakers in Kara Swisher, a pre-eminent tech journalist and former co-host of AllThingsD. She will discuss the shifting world of independent journalism and explain why she recently forged a path outside the traditional news organization and embarked on her own entrepreneurial venture as co-CEO of the tech blog Re/code.

“The traditional business model for freelance writers has collapsed,” said conference co-chair Laird Harrison, an ASJA board member and ONA local leader. “Hardly anyone is making a living writing for magazines anymore. But new opportunities are opening up for writers who think like entrepreneurs.”

New Avenues in Journalism will bring together media innovators like Swisher to coach freelancers about how to achieve their professional goals in new and diverse markets. Much of the meeting will address the burgeoning field of custom content — journalistic articles commissioned to support products and services. Other speakers will discuss how writers can: secure funding from investors, foundations and philanthropists; successfully act as their own publishers; and sell merchandise and consulting as auxiliary income.

Attendees can choose the full day on Friday ($195 for 10 am – 4:30 pm plus networking event) and an optional half day on Saturday ($95 for 9 am to noon). Admission includes a boxed lunch and a wine reception Friday.

About ASJA

Founded in 1948, the American Society of Journalists and Authors is a professional organization of independent nonfiction writers. It membership includes nearly 1300 freelance writers of magazine articles, trade books, and many other forms of nonfiction writing.

LINKS

New Avenues in Journalism Conference

American Society of Journalists and Authors

 

Create Your Own Art Exhibition in a Virtual 3D Gallery

ARTISTS. Exhibbit’s immersive 3D online galleries provide an elegant way to show your art and grow your online presence. Gallery owners, artists, curators, and private dealers can use exhibbit software to set up “virtual exhibitions” that can be viewed year-round by art lovers worldwide. Visitors to the “galleries” sense they are seeing your art in a real gallery setting.

Exhibbit was founded by Amanda Lane and Peter Worrall to provide online art viewers with a richer more realistic experience. They also wanted to give give artists a easy way to take control of their online presence without making it a full-time job.

ExhibbitScreenGrab

Lane and Worrall understand how much work is involved in creating a real-world gallery exhibition because they have exhibited their own art. “Although we sold well, the return for the many months of work we put into it just was not enough,” recalls Lane.

Recognizing that others in art world felt the same way, they decided to create a better way. Because Lane and Worrall both have backgrounds in 3D animation for film and television, they realized that 3D models and interactive environments could come together to provide new ways of viewing art online.

As she designed the look of exhibit’s galleries, Lane said she was striving to create “Something more akin to the emotional experience that you feel when visiting a real gallery. You can move around and view the art at your own pace and compare the artworks in a single environment.”

Exhibbit offers three types of self-managed plans: Curator; Curator Plus; and Custom.

Curator: Display up to 12 artworks in a single, continuous exhibition in a marble gallery design. Viewers can see the gallery through a link that you publicize.

Curator Plus: Choose from three gallery designs, embed the gallery in your website, and run multiple, consecutive exhibitions. This option includes an e-commerce link to third-party software.

Custom: Exhibbit galley will custom design a unique gallery just for you. It can be virtual replica of your existing art gallery.

Exhibbit also offers specialized virtual gallery services for art fairs, dealers, and other arts organizations.

“In today’s world, those who market good-quality products in an elegant manner get noticed,” said Lane. She believes individual artists should play an active role in building their online presence, because “Putting your art on art sites along with hundreds, even thousands of artists is not enough.”

To attract visitors to your exhibbit gallery, Lane suggests spending a few hours a week communicating on social media and updating your content. “If you update your content and share it regularly, you will grow your brand online.”

Getting Started

Exhibbit has developed a tutorial to help new users set up their first exhibition.

“Good quality photographs of your artwork are essential,” says Lane. “We strongly recommend files between 5 and 8 MB. Make sure they all have the same exposure and the background is cropped out before saving them as uncompressed jpegs.”  Image theft is unlikely because anything higher than screen resolution can’t be downloaded.

Before uploading your images, have the information ready to add for each item. Name each file with the title of the artwork, choose a title for your exhibition, and write a paragraph about it.

According to Lane, “The Exhibbit model supports both the gallery and artists. An exhibition can be embedded in both the artist’s and gallery’s websites for both parties to utilize at the same time. The gallery and artist can work together, using exhibit’s built-in marketing tools to share views from the exhibition and link to the experience.”

LINKS

exhibbit

 

The Creative Group Offers Tips to Help Job Seekers Stand Out

TCG-LogoAccording to new research by The Creative Group, job seekers hoping to land creative gigs are up against stiff competition. Advertising and marketing executives surveyed said that on average, they receive 23 resumes for every open creative position. They then meet with six applicants, on average, before filling the role.

The national survey is based on more than 400 telephone interviews, approximately 200 with marketing executives randomly selected by from companies with 100 or more employees and 200 with advertising executives randomly selected from agencies with 20 or more employees.

The survey was developed by The Creative Group and conducted by an independent research firm. The Creative Group (TCG) specializes in placing a range of highly skilled interactive, design, marketing, advertising, and public relations professionals with a variety of firms on a project and full-time basis.

Additional research from The Creative Group shows an uptick in hiring in the last six months of 2014, but companies are being selective when adding to their creative teams. “Employers are looking for individuals with very specific skill sets who also will be a good fit with the team and work environment,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group. “Job seekers can get a leg up on the competition by being prepared for every stage of the hiring process.

The Creative Group offers five tips for standing out in the job search:

Study Up. Before applying for any position, review the firm’s website and social media feeds, search online for news articles and company reviews, and ask people in your network for insight. The data you gather will help you better communicate in interviews specific ways you can contribute to the organization’s success.

Avoid resume mistakes. The most common resume gaffe is including information that’s not targeted or job specific, according to advertising and marketing executives. Know your audience and tailor your application materials to their specific needs.

Get ready for interview curveballs. Hiring managers may ask tough interview questions to gauge your interpersonal and problem-solving skills. Prepare responses to common queries but also practice thinking on your feet. Consider situational examples that highlight your ability to work well with a team or where you helped your organization with a difficult objective.

Be yourself. Hiring managers want to get a sense of who you area, from your personality to your passions, to ensure a good fit. You’re going to make a stronger impression if you answer questions honestly instead of firing off cookie-cutting responses.

Follow up with finesse. Within 24 hours of an interview, send a personalized thank-you e-mail to each person you met with. Reinforce your interest in the position and your key qualifications. It’s a seemingly obvious, but often-overlooked step.

For more job search advice, download The Creative Group’s free guide: Your Definitive Guide to Getting Hired. It features tips for cultivating your professional network, building your personal brand, and nailing an interview.

LINKS

The Creative Group

The Creative Group: Your Definitive Guide to Getting Hired

 

TCG_0914_Resumes-Interviews

Spyder 3D World Gives Designers a New Online 3D Printing Destination

spyder_logos_vector2DESIGNERS. Spyder 3D World is a brand-new interactive marketplace to showcase 3D innovations from designers around the world.

“3D printing is opening new worlds of opportunity for creativity and advances in art, science and manufacturing. At Spyder 3D World we wanted to create a space where all of these elements can come together, where designs are celebrated and shared, where students learn from masters, and where anyone in the far corner of the globe can compete with a large corporation to sell their ideas,” said Joe Bloomfield, founder and CEO of Spyder 3D World.

Part Marketplace, Part Free Showcase

Today there are communities that either sell or share designs. Spyder 3D World combines the best of both worlds by offering 3D designers a marketplace where they can choose to monetize their work or just share it.

Spyder 3D World

The Spyder 3D World blog highlights new and interesting work by designers. Recently showcased designers are from France, Mexico and Southern California. New designers are welcome.

“Our members are sharing cool and imaginative designs that show there’s no limit to what can be created with 3D printing,” added Bloomfield.

The Future of 3D Printing Here Today

Within the past year, significant feats have been accomplished with 3D printing technology including the 3D printing of 10 houses in Shanghai. A Flordia father printed a prosthetic hand printed for his 6-year-old son and the US Army announced it will consider 3D printing food on the front lines.From musical instruments and medical devices to food, toys and shoes, 3D printing is changing nearly every industry and bringing the concept of personal manufacturing to reality.

According to Gartner Research, 3D printing is “accelerating to mainstream adoption” and is expected to create new product lines and markets at a rapid pace.

Advanced printer technology and more affordable printers are creating widespread interest in 3D printing. Spyder 3D World is kicking off the community with a social media sweepstakes to give away an Airwolf AW3D HDx printer to one lucky winner. Airwolf 3D uses its own printers to produce parts for new machines. Visit to Spyder 3D World Facebook page for details.

LINKS

Spyder3dworld.com

Facebook: Spyder 3D World

Gartner Report: “How 3D Printing Disrupts Business and Creates New Opportunities.”

 

 

 

Creative Cloud Masters Conference Will be Co-Located with Graph Expo 14

The digital media training organization Future Media Concepts will be conducting the Creative Cloud Masters Conference in conjunction with the Graph Expo 14 graphic-arts conference and exhibition, September 28 through October 1 at the McCormack Place South convention center in Chicago.

The Creative Cloud Masters Conference provides advanced training for print, web and video designers in Adobe’s Creative Cloud.

ccmclogo

Courses are taught by Adobe-certified instructors and master trainers. The Creative Cloud Masters Conference will offer courses geared for graphic designers, prepress professionals, web designers, videographers, and artists pursuing motion graphics and video. Courses will cover such diverse topics as:

  • integrating print and online workflows
  • advanced color conversion techniques
  • HTML and CSS styles for e-publishing
  • video production for beginners
  • animation and interactive design
  • portrait retouching

The co-location of the Creative Cloud Masters Conference reflects Graph Expo’s continuing expansion into integrated media technologies. The Graph Expo 14 Conference and Show attracts thousands of attendees from a wide range of printing enterprises, including commercial printing, large-format graphics printing, photo imaging, package printing, in-plant printing, and industrial printing. Many of these businesses offer a mix of marketing and printing services.

“Adding the new Creative Masters Conference is the perfect complement, delivering huge value for attendees,” said Christopher Price, vice president of the Graphic Arts Show Company that produces Graph Expo.  All attendees of the Creative Cloud Masters Conference will receive complimentary admission to the Graph Expo exhibit hall where they can see what’s possible with state-of-the-art digital presses, wide-format inkjet printers, software and workflow solutions, and sophisticated finishing solutions..

“We’re confident agency, print shop and design professionals will find new inspiration at this year’s show,” said Price.

About Future Media Concepts

Established in 1994, Future Media Concepts (FMC) is one of the nation’s premier digital media training organizations. They provide manufacturer-authorized training in digital video and film editing, motion graphics, Web design and development, sound design, 3D animation, desktop publishing, architectural and mechanical design, Mac IT and mobile Apps development.

FMC provides in-class, on-site and online training options for IT professionals, app developers and digital media professionals engaged in the creation, management and delivery of digital entertainment and media content.

LINKS

Creative Cloud Masters Conference

Creative Cloud Masters Conference Schedule

GRAPH EXPO 14

Future Media Concepts

 

BookBaby Partners with Writer’s Digest to Launch Blue Ash Publishing

BookBabyBookBaby, one of the country’s leading book self-publishing services, has entered a partnership with Writer’s Digest to launch a new self-publishing division named Blue Ash Publishing. The partnership appears to be ideal for aspiring authors because Writer’s Digest is a long-time publisher of educational materials for writers who want to polish their skills.

“Blue Ash Publishing authors are truly getting the best of both worlds in self-publishing,” said BookBaby President Steven Spatz. “In addition to the education resources of Writer’s Digest, authors will get the advantages of worldwide eBook distribution through BookBaby’s sales network, plus, inclusive access to a powerful suite of promotional tools through our BookPromo™ program. Authors also have the opportunity to print physical copies of their books.”

BookBaby is the sister company to CD Baby, the world’s largest online distributor of independent music. CD Baby has paid out over a quarter billion dollars to over 300,000 artists worldwide. The company applies these same services and powerful resources to the digital publishing world, to help independent authors and publishers accomplish their goals.

BookBaby offers the largest eBook distribution network of retailers, including Amazon, Apple, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and more, in over 170 countries around the globe.

“This new venture powered by BookBaby is grounded in what Writer’s Digest does best: educating writers,” said Writer’s Digest Publisher Phil Sexton. The Writer’s Digest community, founded in December 1920, provides information and inspiration for professional and aspiring writers, both traditionally published and self-published. Blue Ash Publishing takes its name from the editorial home of Writer’s Digest in Blue Ash, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati.

“Thanks to our creative collaboration with BookBaby, we are confident that Blue Ash Publishing can provide writers with the service and education that they need to succeed,” said Sexton.

What Authors Can Expect from Blue Ash Publishing

100% Net Earnings on All Sales: Blue Ash Publishing takes no commission on any book sales. Authors keep 100% of their book’s net earnings. Once retailers are paid their percentage, all remaining revenue goes back to the author. BookBaby offers the largest eBook distribution network, including Amazon, Apple, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and many other popular retailers in more than 170 countries around the globe.

Full Ownership: Unlike other programs, Blue Ash authors own their work, including all electronic files and cover art. Authors retain the rights to their work and maintain total creative control. Writers customize their publishing package, to fit their needs and their budget.

Exclusive Education Programs: Every package includes an educational element. Basic packages include a weekly newsletter written by publishing experts that provides tips for building a platform and selling books. Higher-value packages include: access to WritersMarket.com, a digital subscription to Writer’s Digest magazine, a year-long subscription to Writer’s Digest online tutorials, a live half hour consultation with a platform specialist, and more.

Promotional Tools: These educational programs, exclusive only to Blue Ash Publishing, are in addition to the benefits BookBaby builds into each package, including a suite of promotional tools that are designed to help authors get their books into the hands of readers.

LINKS

Blue Ash Publishing

Writer’s Digest

Bookbaby