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Editor's Note: This is one of a continuing series of interviews with notables in the creative industry. This week, we meet my friend and colleague Sid Maestre. Sid was the first person I ever saw speak on mobile, and he's still on the cutting edge. Read on to learn more about Sid.

 

 

Your Name

Sid Maestre

sid.jpg

 

#1 What is your primary job title?

Lead Developer Evangelist at Xero

 

 

#2 Who or what inspires you?

Hmmmm, that really depends on what type of inspiration I'm seeking. With work, relationships, parenting, creative pursuits, personal goals, I draw inspiration for different sources. I've been focused on health & wellness and find Shawn Stevenson and his podcast "the Model Health Show" inspirational.

 

 

#3 What do you think about when alone in your car?

I find myself replaying events that have happened in the recent past and thinking about what I could have done better or how I can do better next time.  As a parent, this is a constant theme.

 

 

#4 Share a life lesson you learned?

Things go wrong in our lives, and we often elevate these events to "crisis" level and react accordingly. Take a deep breath and really think about all the worse things that could have happened to put the current situation in perspective.

 

 

#5 Favorite period of history?

I studied history at University, so it's very hard to chose.  Get me a time machine and you'll never see me again. If I only get to visit one time in history, I would say ancient Rome. I've seen the ruins, and would love to have seen how life was back then.

 

Rome.jpeg

Ancient Rome

 

 

#6 What projects are you working on right now?

Professionally, I'm leading a global team of Developer Evangelists at Xero and we're focused on leveling up our technology which includes our SDKs for our API.   Personally, I've reunited with my songwriting partners from 25 years ago and we are reworking our material and releasing it on iTunes and Amazon - it's called The Detsky Mir Project - https://www.reverbnation.com/DetskyMirProject

 

 

#7 Describe your personal style.

Silicon Valley Business Uniform

 

 

#8 What tech tools do you use in your work?

For my work at Xero I'm using Github client, Sublime Text, Eclipse, Fireworks, Camtasia.  For music I started with GarageBand then moved to Logic as we got more serious.

 

 

#9 When did you know you'd found your calling?

I got a teaching credential after completing college, but didn't become a teacher.  Joining the ranks of Developer Evangelist, I've found that passion for helping other learn was always there, looking for an opportunity to express itself.

 

 

#10 What's your super power?

80's trivia

 

 

#11 Peanut Butter: Creamy or Chunky?

Creamy - I can't believe this is even a question.

 

 

#12 What makes you happy?

Seeing my girls happy.

sid2.jpg

 

 

#13 What do you do to relax?

After a hard day working in the yard, nothing feels better than sitting down with my wife with a glass of white wine and admiring what we'd accomplished that day.

 

 

#14 Your place of birth?

San Francisco

 

 

#15 Favorite artist or art movement?

I'm a fan of Frank Gehry's work. I have no experience as an architect, but I love hearing about the thought that goes into architecture. It's like a well written pop song, a lot of thought goes in and the end result appears effortless.

Frank Gehry.jpg

Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, by Frank Gehry

 

dancing house Prague.jpg

Dancing House in Prague, by Frank Gehry

 

 

#16 Share a funny moment from your career?

My first job out of school was for a software company called JIAN, which did business planning software. At the company Xmas party, I was roped in to sing the "12 days of JIAN". 4 of us rehearsed for like 5 minutes and sounded horrible. I can laugh looking back on it now, we must have looked ridiculous.

 

 

#17 Color of the car you drive?

Silver

 

 

#18 Any new skills you'd like to learn?

Juggling

 

 

#19 How do you get your news?

NPR, Podcasts, Twitter, Digg

 

 

#20 Advice to other creatives?

Yes, we get sparks of inspiration, but it's the iterations and refinement that we put into our work that makes it stand out.  Also, remember that sometime less is more.

All you wanted to do is save your little file and Illustrator just popped up another one of those pesky warnings…

legacyfile.gif

 

Think that this doesn't affect you, because there's no text in your file? Think again.

 

You (just) installed a new version of Illustrator and opened a file from your clipart library or an old artwork that you updated to your client's needs. Or you received a file from a coworker or a client. Whatever it was - the file is older than the Illustrator version you're currently using. Illustrator calls this kind of documents »legacy files« and when you try to save (via File > Save) this kind of file after you made a change to it, you receive this error. That is: when you're lucky (we'll talk about the not so lucky case later).

 

Why does Illustrator even bother you when there's no text in your file?

Well, lots of Illustrator files don't contain text. In fact text is the kind of thing you need to worry least about when you get this warning. You can repair the things that happen to text, because text will just reflow.

It's the »disable some editing features« thing you really need to worry about. Every Illustrator update brings new features to the application. New options to existing functions, new kinds of appearances, brushes or strokes and even new kinds of objects, which an older version of course might not be able to handle at all.

Therefore all the objects that the older version can't handle are expanded. That is outlined or even converted to rasters. Which means: you won't be able to make changes easily or in the case of rasters you might not even be able to scale this anymore.

 

Some examples of what might happen to certain objects:
Table of issues (when downsaving from CC)

 

Feature

 

saved to

CS6

CS5

CS4

CS3

CS2

text objects

OK

OK

OK - there might be reflows

gradients

OK

OK, but gradients on strokes will be expanded

OK for ordinary gradients. Expanded if the gradient has been oval, rotated, its origin has been moved or if it has been applied to a stroke.

transparent gradients

OK

OK

OK

an opacity mask is applied

meshes

OK

OK

OK

OK

OK

transparent meshes

OK

OK

an opacity mask is applied

art brushes

OK

OK

only stay editable when they have correct fill rule, don't have corner adjustment and don't stretch between guides

Pattern brushes

OK

Expanded, if automatic corner tiles have been used

patterns

OK

OK

OK

OK

OK

arrowheads

OK

OK

expanded

dashed strokes

OK

OK

expanded when corner adjustment is applied

drop shadows

OK

expanded

blur, inner glow

OK

OK

OK

OK

OK

outer glow

OK

expanded

gaussian blur

OK

expanded

Live Shapes

Expanded to plain paths

 

This table just mentions some issues, there are more. There are issues when downsaving from other versions as well.

 

OK, but why does Illustrator even save an old version? I didn't tell it to.

Yes, you did. Every time you just do File > Save, Illustrator saves to the version the file has been created in. Only when you do File > Save as you're able to deliberately select a version you want to save your file to.

 

So what do I do when I get this warning?

  1. Be happy. Illustrator warned you and didn't just save. You belong to the lucky few that didn't just dismiss this dialog box checking the »Don't show again« option. In case you checked this option, open the preferences and reset all warnings.
  2. Cancel the Save and select »Save as«.
  3. When doing save as, you've got two options:
    3.a you can save the file using the identical name thus overwriting the legacy file. This is fine when you're certain that neither you nor anybody else will ever need to open it in the old version again.
    3.b you can change the new keeping the legacy file. This is fine in case you or someone else will need to open it in the old version again. Might be needed when working in an environment with mixed versions.

 

What you shouldn't do:

Just go on saving. This is only safe when the document doesn't contain any more than simple paths.

 

What you shouldn't do. Ever:

Check »Don't show again«. This effectively makes you blind to file versions.

Actually turning off any warnings might keep you from working efficiently, because you always have to bother why Illustrator won't do what you told it to. Was it because you clicked in the wrong place or because you selected some kind of artwork that doesn't go with the function concerned? You won't know without the warning.

 

Let's get to the not so lucky case.

In case you didn't get the warning or you just clicked OK (Don't bother me, just do what I just said), your file has been saved and your shadow (or brush or whatever it was) can't be edited any more. Good luck with your file. Let's hope you still have a copy of an earlier version with editable objects somewhere. Rebuild the effects or brushes is some kind of nasty job you just don't want to do. It's as inefficient as it might get.

 

Work safely!

 

Christmas is just a few days away, and here are some great ideas to spread a little holiday cheer and kindness. I created this with Adobe Illustrator CC 2017.

ChristmasCheer-01.png

Editor's Note: This is one of a continuing series of interviews with notables in the creative industry. This week, we meet the inspirational Renaldo Lawrence. Renaldo is a Lynda/LinkedIn author and Adobe Education Leader, who is working hard to change the minds and attitudes of students through positive messaging on social media.

 

 

Your Name

Renaldo Lawrence

 

#1 What is your primary job title?

My primary job title is e-Learning Creator. In this role, I work with staff at school to create interactive learning materials based on the teacher’s curriculum. I also teach the ICT curriculum.

 

 

#2 Who or what inspires you?

People inspire me. I love to see people who are creative, but creatives who work without a visible ego. I am also inspired by my children whose values make me proud. They are the hardest working people I know other than my wife. I am also inspired by my Mother who is 91 years old. She went back to school at 42 in order to show us just how important an education was. My true role model. I also admire my father who as a man, had it rough in terms of existing during a time when being a black man was not a good thing. I admire him because he tried his best to hide me from that reality and he did a great job of doing it.

 

My family during the 2012 Olympics in London. My sons played for the Great Britain basketball team.

 

 

#3 What do you think about when alone in your car?

Great question. My life is based around self-improvement and this is the center of my car experience. I have an invisible Master-Mind group who doesn’t have an idea who I am. I use this group to help direct my moral purpose and allow me to center myself as a person. Most important that group helps me to grow as a person. There are Joel Osteen , Eric Thomas, Anthony Robbins, Gary Vaynerchuk, LeBron James for the programs he runs for the children in his LeBron James Foundation, Oprah Winfrey and Steve Harvey.

 

So, every morning, when people are listening to the News, I listen to self-help materials. I just believe my mind is to valuable in the mornings to listen to just anything. When you have a job like mine, being a teacher it is essential that I am my best self. I arm myself every morning with goodness and positivity before the world has a chance to beat me up. So, when I encounter negativity, I’m totally prepared. Priceless!

 

 

#4 Share a life lesson you learned?

My most precious life lesson comes from my mother. That lesson is that you have to arm yourself every morning and during the day over and over and over. Never let anyone tell you that you are unimportant because that is just their opinion.

Pernell Lawrence, my mother has always told all of her children to think that they are blessed and highly favored. Highly Favored!

 

 

#5 Favorite period of history?

Now, I so jealous of our young people and the opportunity they have with technology. (-:

 

 

#6 What projects are you working on right now?

I have so many projects. I am about to move schools and I want to work with my new school creating VR materials. I also want to ensure that I can continue creating interactive materials which will support students learning. You can see examples of the materials I have created by clicking on the links provided. (Sally the document is attached)

I am also writing my next course for www.lynda.com/renaldolawrence

 

 

I have a program I created with Matt Mead, the head of education at Chelsea Soccer club where we take underprivileged students and help them realize how they can be whatever they want to with the proper direction. (link here)

 

 

#7 Describe your personal style.

Help everyone I can as long as the project has concrete meaning.

 

 

#8 What tech tools do you use in your work?

All the Adobe tools and I mean all of the Creative Cloud. I also love Articulate Storyline.

 

 

#9 When did you know you'd found your calling?

About 10 years ago when I said the hell with it. I just decide to go for what I want and not let anyone tell me what I couldn’t do.

 

 

#10 What's your super power?

Ginseng and the ability to fly in my dreams and everyday life (-:

 

 

#11 Peanut Butter: Creamy or Chunky?

Chunky – I like it rough (-:

 

 

#12 What makes you happy?

Waking up in the morning. Then being able to share a message with the world.

 

 

#13 What do you do to relax?

Have a computer in front of me along with my phone.

 

 

#14 Your place of birth?

St Matthews, South Carolina

 

 

#15 Favorite artist or art movement?

Joel Osteen, Eric Thomas, Jim Rohn, Steve Harvey and Drake.

 

 

#16 Share a funny moment from your career?

Going to school one day when there wasn’t school. Student saw me and just couldn’t stop laughing.

 

 

#17 Color of the car you drive?

A blue Audi

 

 

#18 Any new skills you'd like to learn?

Coding just the basics. More about using Premiere Pro in a professional setting. I would love to start my own video business.

 

 

#19 How do you get your news?

People! Also, because I am in Europe, I have access to a lot of different news channels with different points of views. Gives you a better chance of maybe finding out the truth.

 

 

#20 Advice to other creatives?

You have but one life. Go for it because if you don’t you will regret it later in life.

 

 

Renaldo on Twitter

Renaldo on Lynda.com

Renaldo's Website

Editor's Note: This is one of a continuing series of interviews with notables in the creative industry. This week, we get to know Victoria Pavlov – photographer extraordinaire, as well as an amazing digital artist.

 

#1 What is your primary job title?

Victoria Pavlov

 

vp.jpg

 

#1 What is your primary job title?

Self-employee

 

#2 Who or what inspires you?

Art, music and Adobe  apps (mobile and desktop)

 

#3 What do you think about when alone in your car?

I am listening audiobooks in my car (because this is only the time when I can hear/read any book. I have no other time to do it)

 

#4 Share a life lesson you learned?

Learn, listen, move on (don’t look back). Never think that you know everything and you don't need to learn anymore.

flowers.jpg

#5 Favorite period of history?

Renaissance

 

#6 What projects are you working on right now?

I am trying to improve my oil painting technic in Adobe Photoshop CC and Adobe Photoshop Sketch

 

#7 Describe your personal style.

Depend of the mood

 

#8 What tech tools do you use in your work?

In my workflow I am 100% using Adobe apps (mobile and desktop) and Nikon

luisa-4265.jpg

#9 When did you know you'd found your calling?

I was drawing from age 3 ( as I remember) but I took my first drawing class at age 5

 

#10 What's your super power?

Count to 10

 

#11 Peanut Butter: Creamy or Chunky?

Chunky

 

#12 What makes you happy?

People, art, and puppy

 

#13 What do you do to relax?

Be honest I never completely relax. I always have something to do

 

#14 Your place of birth?

Azerbaijan

 

#15 Favorite artist or art movement?

Leonardo da Vinci

lohany-2227.jpg

#16 Share a funny moment from your career?

I was looking for “Undo” and “Crop” tools in my traditional method of painting

 

#17 Color of the car you drive?

Black

 

#18 Any new skills you'd like to learn?

Ride a bicycle and make sushi

 

#19 How do you get your news?

Alexa and TV

 

#20 Advice to other creatives?

Always learn, listen, look for an inspiration every day

 

Victoria's website

Victoria on Twitter

I love creating raster brushes in Illustrator and I was wondering how I could do achieve the same result in Photoshop. Here's a solution!

First of all choose an image you want to be the base of your brush and refine it. In this sample I used a rose, I selected it and copied on a new document with trasparent background: this way I have only the rose that will decorate the path I will draw.

 

/ /

Step 01. To place an image along a path first thing is to define it as a pattern: from main menu bar choose Edit/Define pattern. Choose a name from the Pattern name window and press OK to save it.

Once you've your pattern defined, you can use it as a sort of raster brush and place it along any path.

BettinaDiVirgilio_01_DefinePattern.PNG

/ /

Step 02. Create a new document, or use an image you want to decorate, and be sure you're on a raster layer. To draw a path choose the Pen tool, in the Option panel choose "Path" from the drop down menu and then draw a path on your document window.

 

BettinaDiVirgilio_02_Path.PNG

/ /

Step 03. To apply the image to the path, from main menu bar choose Edit/Fill. In the Fill window, in the Option section choose from the Custom Pattern pop up panel the pattern you just defined, then switch on the Script option and choose from the drop down menu Place Along a Path.

BettinaDiVirgilio_03_Fill.PNG

/ /

Step 04. The Place along Path window will pop up: here you've a series of option to choose, it will be easy for you to set them because you have a live preview of how your path will look. Be sure that the Pattern Scale is in line with the size of your document.

BettinaDiVirgilio_04_PlaceAlong.PNG

/ /

Finish. To apply the image to your path just press OK. If you're not satisfied you can choose Edit/Fill again and adjust the parameters again to improve the final result.

BettinaDiVirgilio_05_End.PNG

 

Editor's Note: This is one of a continuing series of interviews with notables in the creative industry. This week, I introduce you to Kat Contreras – friend & ex-student of mine, whose star is rising, and I could not be happier for this immensely talented photographer.

 

Your Name

Kat Contreras

Kat.jpg

#1 What is your primary job title?

Photographer

 

#2 Who or what inspires you?

I’m inspired by successful women entrepreneurs, modern art museums and street art.

 

#3 What do you think about when alone in your car?

Pay attention and not get lost.

 

#4 Share a life lesson you learned?

Like fear, people can smell and detect confidence.

 

#5 Favorite period of history?

I’m fascinated by the late 70s and 80s.

 

#6 What projects are you working on right now?

Photography portfolio

Screen Shot 2016-12-04 at 10.43.14 PM.png

#7 Describe your personal style.

Simple yet different, colorful. I love pulling from the old and making it subtley new.

 

#8 What tech tools do you use in your work?

DSLR, macbook pro, thunderbolt monitor, Wacom and the creative cloud.

 

#9 When did you know you'd found your calling?

I found a creative way to make work like play.

 

#10 What's your super power?

Patience, I like to take my time.

Screen Shot 2016-12-04 at 10.45.05 PM.png

#11 Peanut Butter: Creamy or Chunky?

Creamy, spreads better.

 

#12 What makes you happy?

Being financially compensated for my art.

 

#13 What do you do to relax?

I love to play video games

 

#14 Your place of birth?

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

 

#15 Favorite artist or art movement?

Basquiate, Warhol, Jasper Johns, Baldersari, Avedon, Martha Cooper, Cathie Opie and Vivian Maier to name a few.  I’m a huge fan of the pop art movement, street graffift of the late 70s/80s

Screen Shot 2016-12-04 at 10.44.01 PM.png

#16 Share a funny moment from your career?

A few years back I was really excited to land an internship to a very popular publication, I was so excited afterwards that I ran right into a glass door and hit my head pretty hard.

 

#17 Color of the car you drive?

Modern steel

 

#18 Any new skills you'd like to learn?

Color grading motion/film.

 

#19 How do you get your news?

LA/NY times, Washington Post but mostly NPR.

 

#20 Advice to other creatives?

Be passionate and deliberate about your work.  Someone is paying attention.

 

Kat's website

Kat on Twitter