Introduction to Art: Concepts and Techniques on Coursera

I made a collage by cutting out pictures from magazines. I wanted to create an artwork that had a plain background, so the center piece would be emphasized, so I looked for pieces with shades of white and had a lot of textures. Then I drew on the collage with a thin black pen to add details.

I was inspired by Joan Miro’s Personages that features a plain textured blue background, so that the audience is immediately drawn to the drawings dead center.

My artwork is entitled “Caged” and it features a bird by the window, trapped in a cage, and outside there are little birds flying free.

The window and the cage symbolizes entrapment and domestication, while the birds flying outside and the white flower represents freedom, while the white texture and the green bird embodies a certain calmness.

I created this artwork, because I wanted to express the feeling of calmness, amidst the cage and the feeling of entrapment.

I’m taking another online class, it’s called Introduction to Art: Concepts and Techniques on Coursera. It’s pretty interesting because I like to draw and I like art, but I’ve never taken a formal course in art, so it’s kind of fun.

And we get assignments, for me it’s just an excuse to cut of pictures from magazines and make “art”.

This week was about Fantastic Art, and we are supposed to create our own Fantastic Art.

If you’re interested in art, you should definitely try it out, like most Coursera courses, it’s free.

Constructing a Story: Advanced Visual Storytelling

7 Little Children

Every night,  the teacher closes the lights and locks up the nursery for the day. After the lights are closed and the nursery is locked, six little children will file out of the two closets in two straight lines. The girls from the closet on the right in one line, and the boys in the closet on the left in the other line. The six little children will take their respective places on the hexagon- shaped table. The girls in one line will seat on the blue seats, while the boys in the other line will seat on the green seats. Six seats for six little children. After the six little children sat down, the closet doors will close.

One day, after the six little children sat down, the closet door on the left did not close properly. Behind the half-opened closet door on the left is a 7th little child.

The 7th little child peeked through the half-opened closet door on the left. He looked at the six little children sitting in the six seats of the hexagon-shaped table. Six seats for six little children, no seat for the 7th little child.

I’m also taking a class on Skillshare called “Constructing a Story: Advanced Visual Storytelling.” (If you enroll with that link, you’ll also save $10 on your first class!), where are supposed to compose an original story through multiple images. Our first assignment is to come up with a story.

This class in unfortunately not free, but my friend gave me a promo code. So far, it’s okay, I’m still in my first week, so not sure how it goes.

Anyway, Skillshare has a lot of online courses, there are a few that are free and you can always check those out first.

I took “Launch Your Startup Idea for Less than a $1000” that was taught by the CEO and cofounder of Skillshare, that one was okay, he was a very a good speaker and he explained things really well. I’m probably not going to launch my startup anytime soon, but it was still nice to get some tips.

Open in Instagram

I was a little obsessed with trying out different Photo Captioning apps for a while, until I finally settled on Typic, and then deleted the rest.

What does apps (Overgram, Instaquote and Typic) had in common was that at the end of the day, they all let you share your work in Instagram.

image

I’m just gonna write a really short code bit on how to do that.

Instagram allows apps to interact with their using different iPhone hooks (http://instagram.com/developer/iphone-hooks).

I’m going to use Document Interaction API.

It’s pretty simple, according to the Instagram developer page, you’d need to save your picture with a “.ig” or a “.igo” extension. And it has to be at least 612 pixels, either in width or height, anything less, won’t be accepted by Instagram.

When your picture is opened in Instagram, it’ll go automatically to the Filter screen. That means there’s no crop option, so better if your picture is a square.

So code bits:

In the .h of your ViewController, declare a UIDocumentInteractionController:

@property (strong, nonatomic) UIDocumentInteractionController *documentInteractionController;

And then set it as a UIDocumentInteractionControllerDelegate, like this:

@interface ComicViewController : UIViewController <UIDocumentInteractionControllerDelegate>

And then in the .m of your View Controller you add a button, or whatever that you want to use to trigger “Open in Instagram” that calls this method:

-(void) openInInstagram
{
    NSString *strImagePath = [[NSHomeDirectory() stringByAppendingPathComponent:@”Documents”] stringByAppendingPathComponent: filename];

    NSURL *url = [NSURL fileURLWithPath: strImagePath];

    self.documentInteractionController = [UIDocumentInteractionController interactionControllerWithURL: url];
    [self.documentInteractionController setDelegate:self];

    NSMutableDictionary *annotationDict = [[NSMutableDictionary alloc] init];

    [annotationDict setValue: @”Instagram Caption” forKey: @”InstagramCaption”];

    self.documentInteractionController.UTI = @”com.instagram.photo”;

    self.documentInteractionController.annotation = [[NSDictionary alloc] initWithDictionary: annotationDict];

    [self.documentInteractionController presentOpenInMenuFromRect: CGRectZero inView: self.view animated: YES];
}

You need to pass an url to your Document Interaction Controller, since my file is saved in the Documents folder of my app, so my url looks like that.

So if you want to open your picture in Instagram and any other app that supports opening image files, simply use the file extension “.ig” for your image, but if you only want to open in Instragram, use “.igo”. Also, the UTI I set in the code above is “com.instagram.photo”, if you want it to be exclusive, use “com.instagram.exclusivegram”

You can set the caption you want to appear in Instagram. You can add hash tags in your caption, that works too.

And that’s it, when you click a button that calls the “openInInstagram” method, you’ll be able to see an action sheet similar to that screenshot.