Friday, June 13, 2014

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

NEW e-book Birthday version of “Moms Are Great”



Thought it made sense to create a Birthday version of my Kindle E-Book “Moms Are Great.”
Also, I really wanted to update/improve/upgrade the illustrations, so, I did that as well. So, if you or anyone you know has a Mom with a Birthday coming up, send her a “Birthday E-Card!” Oh, and did I mention that it’s FREE today and tomorrow. (Tuesday 8.27, and Wednesday 8.28)
And, as always, if you like, please take a minute to review. Thanks!
• CLICK HERE • Moms Are Great, Birthday Edition •

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Robot Cowboys

 This week’s Illustration Friday topic is “Robot,” so, what better (easier) way for me to break my woeful drought of non-posting than post up a few Robot cowboy sketches I have going in my “Paper” app on my iPad. Like I am sure I have posted before, I love the intuitive and spontaneous way I can draw-- with color in Paper. I also love the loose, watercolor and ink style it provides. I always challenge myself to just go for it, work quickly and directly without thinking too too much. It’s fun to see what lurks in your surface- subconscious! It’s also easy to organize my sketches by subject in individual virtual sketchbooks, so I don’t have to think too long about how to file them. Also, it’s easy to move them around to different sketchbooks, or even duplicate drawings to work in a different or experimental direction. Looks like a new competitor is in town though,
(cue the woo woo wooooo) Western movie gunfight soundtrack. It’s called “flipink” and, even though at first sight it seems to be an unabashed ripoff of “Paper,” it does offer a few things Paper does not, like opacity sliders for most every tool, including the ink pen. I have not quite put it through the full ringer of tests yet, but, look forward to trying it out further.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Power of Introverts

While preparing for a sketch notes project at a recent conference, I did a few warm up/practice sketches from TED talks I found on YouTube. This is a particularly insightful talk from Susan Cain on the power of Introverts. She began the talk describing how she arrived at her first  summer camp carrying a suitcase full of books. Interesting statistical points as well.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Dad’s Turn! Happy Father’s Day, Dads!

Dads Are Great!

My 4th little Published EBook of this year! Once again, nothing like a built in deadline to get me motivated. This time, I've added a bit more developed color, and plan on re-visiting the “Mom's” book to update the same. The great thing about doing “seasonal” or “holiday” themed e-books is that the deadlines never change. So, I guess by the time I get all the Holidays covered, I will start on a new theme! In the meantime, I am having a blast creating original little stories that I get to see published pretty darn quick. When you get a few, check it out. (The Kindle EBook reader is FREE for most EVERY device including Mac and PC and Android. So, you don't even need a Kindle to read it! Looks great on my iPad and Mac.) I think you and your Dad will enjoy it! Happy Father's Day! BTW--it will be FREE on Amazon Sunday and Monday. (And remember, if you like it, feel free to write a nice little review...and share! Thanks Dads and all those who love them!
CLICK HERE

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Moms ARE Great, Aren't they? “Moms Are Great,” my new EBook / Greeting Card

Click HERE to check it out on Amazon

Well, nothing like a built in deadline to get me motivated. The great thing about doing “seasonal” or “holiday” themed e-books is that the deadlines never change. So, I guess by the time I get all the Holidays covered, I will start on a new theme! In the meantime, I am having a blast creating original little stories that I get to see published pretty darn quick.
When you get a few, check it out.
(The Kindle EBook reader is FREE for most EVERY device including Mac and PC and Android. So, you don't even need a Kindle to read it! Looks great on my iPad and Mac.)
I think you and your Mom will enjoy it! Happy Mother's Day! BTW--it will be FREE on Amazon Saturday and Sunday. (And remember, if you like it, feel free to write a nice little review...and share! Thanks Moms and all those who love them!
Click HERE

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Contract “Graffiti” for Hubbell Power Systems

http://akinstudio.com/HubbellWallArt2013/
I’ve probably mentioned before that one of the things that I love about what I do is the variety. It seems like, although I do believe I need to be flexible these days, there’s strength in being flexible/versatile as well. Just last week I was asked by a client to contact one of their clients, Hubbell Power Systems, about christening, so to speak, a huge wall along the interior of a recently opened expanded office space. They had painted the entire wall with dry erase paint so that the employees could plan, strategize, (and maybe even vent) directly on the wall using dry erase markers, whenever they want.
As a way to encourage them to do so, as well as to just plain inspire them, Crystal Mistretta hired me to draw various employees as caricatures interacting in a water, aquarium, undersea type environment. With the accompanied fish, dolphins, whales, and aquatic birds. Even though the deadline was tight, (it had to be completed in one Saturday afternoon while the employees were away), I was up for the challenge. Fortunately, I was able to go in late the day before and take some quick pictures of the space (and see what I was up against!) This really helped me plan out what I envisioned. And to her credit, Crystal allowed me creative reign. I was able to quickly sketch out, on my iPad, in the app, Procreate, directly on top of the pics I took, which was a huge reference help when I went in Saturday morning. We decided it was best, and only doable and practical in the time allowed, to just keep everything line art. (There was no way to get the work done in line and color in one day.) It also would encourage the employees, once they settled in to their new space, to color where they wanted, and even add their own “fish” as well. I was relieved that it got such a positive reaction, especially in light of the fact that I had created caricatures of some of the key players. (Thanks Hubbell peeps for being fantastic sports!) I posted a slideshow here: http://akinstudio.com/HubbellWallArt2013/

Sunday, March 24, 2013

My latest EBook, The Easter Egg Square



My latest EBook is finally finished.
Yes, I realize it’s only a week until Easter, but, hey, at least I finished it and published it.  =0) Check it out! This is a fun little story of hope about a little egg that doesn’t always fit in, and how, with a little belief, he reaches a dream come true.
Here it is live at Amazon.com:
+++++CLICK HERE++++++

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Some Dr. Sketchy's Sketchy-ness


I look forward every month to a local branch of a drawing group called Dr. Sketchy's.

I realized quickly the first time I went a couple of years ago, that it's great to hone your skills in a live setting whenever possible. The feedback and simple energy from other artists and participants can be a godsend for someone who, generally, works alone. These are a few sketches from last night. (Can you tell which 2 were done quickly on my iPad?) It dawns on me, also, to be grateful for the many people in our lives who, although they may or may not be artists, spend generous time and effort in their support of the arts in general, and artists, specifically.



I value the friendships I have made over the last couple of years, knowing that they are most definitely, these kind of people.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Thoughts

“Thoughts“ logo for Rapidweaver theme design by Michael at Yuzool themes.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

“Valentine’s are NOT for Me,” now on Amazon!


Valentines are NOT for Me, by Charles Akins

Finally published my FIRST official e-book, written and illustrated by moi. “Valentines are NOT for Me.” I was inspired by a friend’s recent success of two of his Holiday books, so lit a fire under myself and jumped on something for the next "holiday:" St. Valentine’s. Since I tend to write naturally rhyming, it ended up being a rhyming, cartoon picture-poem. I wrote it one day and began sketching the next. All told, it took about two full weeks, including time to figure the best format and method of compilation for Kindle “.mobi” files. I learned a lot, and am proud that something I have wanted to do for quite a while is finally complete. I also loved the total creative freedom of the process. Thanks very much to Julie Olson, a.k.a "http://jujubeeillustrations.blogspot.com." Her simple, and straightforward tutorial on building a book for Kindle, e-bub, and PDF was a huge help! This is the direct link to the e-book on Amazon: Valentines are NOT for Me by Charles Akins. I just wish I could edit the “Look Inside” feature to add the other couple of images I want. Oh well, the best part is, that I am learning and earning. Oh yeh, it looks great on iPad or even a computer. Here are some links for downloading FREE Kindle reader apps for many platforms. iPad and iPhone Kindle Reader apps.
Other devices, including Mac, PC, Blackberry, etc.
Cheers! If you buy it, you will have warmed my Valentine heart! (P.S. guess who just happened to have been born Valentine’s Day?) If you liked it and made nice (constructive, informative, enlightening) comments, and then told many friends, and so on, and so on, and so on, even better! Spread the LOVE!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Totally Mad

Enjoyed receiving Mad’s latest collection entitled “Totally Mad, 60 Years of Humor, Satire, Stupidity and Stupidity.” Lucky enough to have received a credit (always nice to see my last name spelled correctly,) and the inclusion of my
“Angry Birds” cover from last Summer. An equal, if not greater thrill being placed right beneath the  art of one of my Mad fave’s-of-all- time, Sergio Aragones. Came with a nice letter from Editor, John Ficarra, with a footnote saying the title debuted on the NY Times bestseller list for graphic novels.
Graphic, Yes! Novel, Yes!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Adobe Ideas, Updated to Version 2.5!

Wahooo! Christmas just came early!
Adobe just updated their mobile app:
"Ideas" to version 2.5! Hot Dang! (Can you tell I’m Giddy!) Note the new tools: a brush tool that simulates pressure sensitivity by tapering the end of strokes, a pen, pencil, marker,
AND a paint bucket! Oh Yeh! (And, of course, it’s still native vector, so you can export and open in Illustrator on your archaic thing called a computer or PC, oh, I forget...) I was just thinking recently how I haven’t used Ideas on my iPad in quite a while. Well, it looks like that might have just changed! Maestro, bravo! BRAVO!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

“Haunt” for Illustration Friday

Recognize any of these cast of characters from popular American paranormal/ghost shows? The two from top and bottom are the seasoned ghost shows, while the middle is newer. Still loving “Paper” iPad app. Just updated today with a mixer color area and a much needed color palette where you can save colors. Still love the feel of the ink pen together with the water color brush. Can build up color sketches really fast. Over the last months, I’ve been sketching while watching TV. Ghost and paranormal shows are great for the variety of expressions presented. I hope I’ve captured some of those and still kept the feel loose and spontaneous marks. I think that’s what I like about “Paper.” It forces you to just dive in. Simple, uncluttered interface.
If I don’t dig what I’m working on, I quickly create a new page and move on.
Happy Halloween Yall!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

VeriFone info graphic

Some jobs are innately challenging and this super detailed info graphic for VeriFone was certainly no exception. Fortunately, all went well, under the circumstances, and working with Bryan Nixon and Monica Arms at Frederick Swanston was a pleasure. This illustration went thru many alterations and revisions in a very short period of time, which is not surprising for this type of “info packed” illustration, but, everyone involved kept their wits about them, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the final result. Thanks to Bryan and Monica.