Digital Essentials – A Tool Box for Artists

It’s very seldom (make that never) that a computer book arrives at my house and makes my heart go pitter-patter.  But I was genuinely excited when Gloria Hansen’s Digital Essentials arrived.

The book is subtitled, “The quilt makers’ must-have guide to images, files, and more!”  That just about says it all, except that I would delete quilt. All artists can use this book because if you are an artist today, you must know about printing, scanning, photography, and using the web.  

So many of us use these tools without a good grasp of their capabilities and limitations and thus do not present the images of our artwork as well as we could.

Gloria Hansen, co-founder of GloDerWorks (a full service Web company with offices in the US and UK), is an expert in the easiest and most efficient ways to use digital tools in making and presenting our art.  

Gloria has always been uber generous in sharing that knowledge. If you subscribe to any online groups of which Gloria is a member, you probably have a file like mine marked “Info from Gloria.”

Well, delete that file because now we have the one-stop book. Have I ever calibrated my monitor?  Nope. Knew or understood the “canvas” part of an image?  Oh, oh, no.  Have I ever removed a piece of art from its background?  Big no.  Understood exactly what it was those entry forms were asking? Sort of.  Now you know why my heart went pitter-patter.

The book starts with the basics (files, resolution, color) and builds from there.  Step-by-step directions and screen views are given for all procedures for both PCs and Macs. “Working with images” and “Saving for the web” are the following chapters.  

The Reference section includes a clever guide based on questions. For example:  How can I size images and make thumbnails for them in sections? Following are a discussion of the various image-editing programs available, how to put a pdf on your web site, a glossary of terms, and an index.  

I’m very seldom so effusive about a book, but a book has so very seldom seen a need and met it in such a cogent and useful way.

Digital Essentials is available directly from Gloria’s website as well as the usual book outlets.

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10 2008

5 Comments Add Yours ↓

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  1. 1

    This is the absolutely the BEST book I have ever read. I could never thank you enough Gloria for taking the time to write this book. I highly recommend it for anyone using a computer.

    Plus Gloria is one great lady, always sharing her knowledge of computers and help to all of us on the QuiltArt list.

  2. 2

    Oh, I do have a folder titled Gloria Hansen Hints. She’s the best.

  3. 3

    presumably the book also explains what “thumbnails in sections” means? My main problem with computers is computerese — the words seem to have no meaning in their context.

  4. roxane stoner #

    I just ordered a copy. That is something that is going to be sooo useful to me. I am going to spread the news around me about this book.
    Thanks Virginia

  5. 5

    I couldn’t agree more, Virginia! This is what I’ve been waiting for, and although I haven’t gotten very deep into the book yet, I can see that it is going to answer everything I need to know.

    You are also right about Gloria being so generous with her knowledge (I have her email address “highlighted” so that I can immediately see whenever she posts to the QuiltArt List). This is truly a “must-have” book for fiber artists (and other artists too)!