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Island Journal

Photo Calendars Make Treasured Christmas Gifts

on December 03, 2009

Giving a photo calendar as a gift to a loved one this Christmas is the gift that keeps on giving. Every month your recipient will be able to reveal a little more of your present as they turn the page to the next month. Since it is a personalized gift, you are able to decide what photos go into the gift. The possibilities for a photo calendar are endless. You can do a family calendar to give out to the entire extended family. Or you can concentrate on grandparents and grandchildren photos for the grandparents in the family. You can even help friends relive good memories of vacations together or fun outings.

2010-calendar-Boy_Smiling.jpgChristmas gifts today are becoming more impersonalized and costly. Photo calendars are the opposite. Not only will each calendar cost you a few dollars each, but they are very meaningful. Photographs hold a lot of sentimental value in them. They allow the viewer to remember beautiful time and people who mean a lot to them in their life. Combine this with a calendar and you have a gift which makes the user feel happy every day as they use their gift. It is also a very useful gift as you can help them remember birthdays and other events quite efficiently. While creating your personalized photo calendar, add in dates such as birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and other important dates to remember. offers Brushes & EPS for Photoshop that allows you, the user, to create your very own personalized calendar right at home on your computer. This is an inexpensive yet creative idea to be able to create as many personalized calendars as you want for one great price. You can save yourself publishing fees by printing your creation on high quality ink jet printer paper. Mini calendars that will be used for desktops and small offices that be printed on regular photo paper at stores such as Walgreens and Wal-mart or get great right from your computer professional quality prints from (my photographic print vendor of choice). The Photoshop Island feature allows you to use your imagination and artistry to create one of a kind calendars with exciting features and tools. There are also royalty free images available that can help make your calendar even more special.

This Christmas, use your imagination to create a one-of-a-kind gift for your loved ones by making a personalized photo calendar. The gift is meaningful, fun, unique and inexpensive to make. Best of all, it is useful all year long.

Mpix Rocks for Holiday Cards!

on December 01, 2009

mpix-greeting-cards.pngYou already know about our Holiday Card Set 12 Layered Photoshop Designs Volume 1. What you might not know is that they work perfectly with the photo service Mpix. I designed these 4"x8" templates with Mpix in mind for print ordering. Here's what's super cool, I customized one of my templates and order  4"x8" cards for myself Sunday. Boy was I impressed when later the same day I received a message stating that my order had been shipped. WOW! The Sunday after Thanksgiving and Mpix was working hard. I want all my customers to use Mpix!

Actually, Sometimes Art and Commerce Mix Just Fine

on December 01, 2009

I'm busy putting together a new currency oriented product and got to thinking about money and art.

In so many ways, we're defined by our relationship with money. How much of it you have, what you do with it and what your attitudes are about it say a lot about who you are as a person. So it's only natural for artists to explore the subject of money in their work - but some artists take the exploration to really provocative and even mind-bending extremes.

Money-photoshop-brushes.jpgI think the most intriguing and original "money artist" may be J.S.G Boggs, a native of New Jersey who travels the world "spending" hand-made drawings as well as, more recently, computer-generated images of paper currency. Though he's become quite well known in the art world and his work is displayed in the Smithsonian, The Art Institute of Chicago and many other places, he prefers to do transactions with merchants who don't realize that a Boggs one-dollar bill could be worth thousands of dollars. He only "spends" the face value of the currency his artwork depicts. Then he goes and sells the receipt and whatever change the merchant may have given him to an art buyer. It's then the art buyer's job to track the merchant down and negotiate a price for the Boggs bill.

How brilliant is that? Representational art meets performance art. This is the kind of stunt Andy Kaufman might have aspired to, but he wasn't nearly this clever or ambitious.

Money origami, or "moneygami," is becoming an art form all its own. Some artists use money to make cute, innocent designs that would seem to clash with the cold, hard world of economics. Others fold and twist currency so that it highlights the face on the bill, then further bend the bill to make a commentary on that face - giving George Washington the pointy ears of a court jester's cap, for example.

For those who think the purpose of art is to pull us out of our everyday assumptions and examine our lives more deeply, money art certainly does the trick. If you make a paper-mache sculpture of a dog with dollar bills, have you wasted money? If you sell it, doesn't the price you set become a part of the statement your art is making? Say you used 200 one dollar bills on the sculpture, and then sold it for $2,000? Or $20? Or exactly $200? The monetary value others place on the work becomes an integral part of the work.

What is money besides paper? And since our currency is no longer backed by gold, isn't the value of that paper a kind of institutionalized illusion? Appreciation of any art requires a suspension of disbelief. Aren't we habitually suspending disbelief by collectively agreeing to give paper and pieces of cheap metal that they don't, objectively, have?

I think what I love about Boggs is that, to me, his work suggests that this institutionalized delusion isn't necessarily a bad thing. There's something charming about the fact that he gets art buyers to scurry all over town looking for some average Joe who agreed to treat a Boggs bill like a real bill. Money can drive people apart and when you look at the world and its history it's not much of a stretch to believe money is the root of all evil. But maybe it's also an everyday symbol of our attempts to unite. Your delusion meets my delusion and, in the process, we achieve a kind of harmony.

FREE Holiday Card Template

on November 30, 2009

free-photoshop-christmas-card-template.jpgImagine the joy you will spread when your friends, family, or customers receive a personalized holiday card from you!

Try out out a sample of our Holiday Card Photoshop Templates Volume 1 for FREE. Even if you buy the full set you will not find this template in the set, it a special unique giveaway. Our standard license applies.

Download here.

Twitter Followers Discount Coupon

on November 21, 2009

Very exciting news! recently added follower 4000 on Twitter. Thanks for all of those that are following. One of the benefits of following is “Twitter Exclusive” giveaways and discounts. This weekend I’ll be tweeting a $4 discount that can be applied to any product. If you want to take advantage of this offer follower us on Twitter If you want to get the offer code right away tweet me a direct message and I’ll reply with the special discount code.

By the way, we don’t just tweet PhotoshopIsland offers. You catch us tweeting about cool Photoshop related stuff we find and previews of new products.

Celebrate Elvis' 75th Birthday With a Free Pink Cadillac Calendar!

on November 08, 2009

Jan-2010-cadallic-calendar-blog.jpgHow about a chance for a free download image of some classic pink Cadillacs with a calendar at the bottom for the month of January 2010, and a special reminder note on January 8th, marking Elvis' 75th birthday? The calendar would replace your current desktop background. How cool is that?

If you're a Photoshop and Photoshop Elements user, you can make your own 2010 monthly or annual calendars with our calendar products. Get a free pink Cadillac calendar for January honoring Elvis' birthday to start the year off right. Celebrate the King and the new year with this awesome calendar and see what else we have to offer, "Hound Dog."

It's hard to believe that the King of Rock 'n' Roll, Elvis Presley, would be 75 years old this coming January if he were still alive today. For those of us who grew up with and loved him, it is almost incomprehensible that he has been gone for 32 years. Ask us how old we were, what we were doing, and where we were when we first heard the news that Elvis had died, and we can tell you without hesitation. We were "All Shook Up" over the loss.

Even after his death he continues to gain new fans who weren't around when Elvis was alive. His music, his movies, his charm, and good looks still make us "Shake, Rattle, and Roll." We want to know all things Elvis, so here is just a snippet of why we love the King.

Elvis Aaron Presley was born January 8, 1935, in Tupelo, Mississippi, in a small house built by his father. A couple of interesting facts most fans may not know are that Elvis was a distant cousin of President Jimmy Carter and a direct descendant of Abraham Lincoln's great-great grandfather, Isaiah Harrison. He was rather shy and very close to his parents, especially his mother, but throughout his youth he seemed to always have his guitar with him, practicing every chance he got.

As Elvis' fame increased, so did his love for pink Cadillacs. He purchased his first Cadillac in 1955 and had it painted pink. It burned up due to a faulty brake lining, so shortly after that he purchased another Cadillac, a Fleetwood Series 60. It was originally blue with a black roof, so he had a friend paint it a custom pink color named, aptly, "Elvis Rose." The roof kept its original black color. Over the years, pink became the fad for other Cadillac owners, and so many just had to have theirs repainted pink, as well. Our beloved "Teddy Bear" made pink an acceptable color for macho men everywhere.

"Don't Be Cruel," get your free January 2010 desktop calendar now!

To be informed when new freebies and products are available make sure to sign up to the newsletter here.

Fun Novelty Halloween Death Certificate

on October 30, 2009

A fellow designer and friend, David Occhino, put together a really cool website that generates novelty Halloween death certificate.

This is how David describes it...
This small two-page website allows visitors to create a frightfully fun "death certificate" themed to Disney's Haunted Mansions in California, Florida, Tokyo and Phantom Manor in Disneyland, Paris. Those who visit the site fill out a simple form, click a button and a custom certificate is created for you for free and no email address or other personal information is collected.

Make your own "death certificate" or maybe one for someone you don't like too much.

The site is an awesome example of David and his friends’ typography, graphic design and website technology skills.

I think you will enjoy this Halloween treat!

Leaves - Photoshop User's Design Kit Available

on October 29, 2009

I'm excited to announce that out new product, Leaves - Photoshop User's Design Kit, is now available. This announcement is exciting for several reasons:

  1. This product is a "kit" with brushes, full color images, EPS vectors and even a font all designed to work together
  2. This product Includes a "Product Gallery" (see below!) to make it easy to preview what's included as well as use as a reference once you've purchased (Preview the gallery and work with samples by downloading the Product Demo in the product page)
  3. If all of that was not enough, if you add Leaves to your shopping cart you will be able to purchase our Postage-Themed product at an incredible 50% discount!

New FREEBIE - Pumpkins - High Resolution Brushes

on October 14, 2009

Are you getting into the mode of the season? A chill in the air. Leaves blowing. A trip to the pumpkin patch, grandma’s or mom’s? Check out the latest FREEBIE to enhance your seasonal designs. There’s no pumpkin shortage in our Photoshop brush palette. This set of 6 Photoshop brushes are backward compatible to Photoshop 7, work with Photoshop Elements and GIMP. One more thing, they are high resolution! Download these pumpkin brushes and have a good time!

5 Resources For Free Photoshop Video Tutorials

on October 12, 2009

5-great-photoshop-video-tutorials.jpgPhotoshop is such a powerful piece of software that even experienced users find that there is always something more to learn. It can be a great benefit to get tips and inspiration from real pros on effects, strategies, techniques and more. Further, as Adobe continues to release new editions, it can be helpful to get some expert advice on any changes and new features. There are many sources online and in print that are dedicated to following the latest Photoshop trends. Fortunately some of these sources offer free video tutorials. Beginners and experienced users alike can benefit from the information and tips in the tutorials. The following paragraphs will provide a list and brief explanation of different free video tutorial websites that can help you keep up-to-date with tools and techniques, and remain inspired by the possibilities of Photoshop.

  1. PlanetPhotoshop offers free video tutorials on a variety of subjects. The tutorials teach different tips and tools while showing how to achieve different effects. The format is very good because you not only learn different tools, but also how they can be used and what they can help with. The videos state the goal of the tutorial at the beginning and are easy to follow. Further, the narrator is very detailed in describing what he is doing.
  2. is a versatile website that offers tutorials in many areas of graphic and web design. You can search for tutorials by subject, software, vendor or author, or use keyword search. Any tutorial that is underlined is free. The high quality videos contain descriptive narration of what to do and what to be aware of.
  3. Layers Magazine is a definitive print source for all Adobe products. Their website offers free tutorials to visitors. The videos are high quality and include good, in-depth instruction.
  4. Tutorial Kit has a large selection of video tutorials. Each video has a brief summary that describes what you will learn. The videos are detailed and easy to follow.
  5. Yanik’s Photo School is a good source for Photoshop tutorials. The videos show a variety of interesting effects and how-to scenarios, and the instruction in each video is excellent. The website also contains a suggestions box for users to contribute their own ideas for future tutorials.

By the way, I want to mention my tutorials. They will give you some great ideas for designs and how to create them. And if you purchase a product they will get you using your purchase quickly.


Leaves are done…almost

on October 09, 2009

Good news, I just wrapped up the new leaves designer kit product. Now I just need to do all the marketing materials. I'm excited about this product. It's going to cost $19.85. It will be a great deal...comes with 40 Photoshop leaf brushes that work together. 10 EPS leaf silhouettes. 10 full color, high resolution leaf images with the background already cut out. A leaf font that is very useful for it’s ability to create a leaf border just by typing a few letters. It's a full font with all 26 letters upper and lower plus numbers. The font made up of the same 10 leaves so the leaves mix well.

Look for the official launch very soon. If you want to be notified make sure and sign up to our news.

Check out our other Photoshop products too!

More "Leaves" Product Sample Teasers

on October 04, 2009

leaf-font-demo-a.jpgI've been busy working on the new "Leaves" product. I promise it's coming soon for your fall design projects but it's really a full package that you will be able to use anytime you need a leaf or leaves elements in your designs. Below is a sample of the font that comes with the package. This will be available for commercial use at a price that's cheaper than similar fonts. What's nice about the package is that it's not just a font. It's also a set of brushes and other extras. Check it out font below. Send any comments or thoughts you have. Check out our other Photoshop products too!

To be informed when new products are available make sure to sign up to the newsletter here.

Leaves Will Be Blowing In Soon

on October 02, 2009

leaf-1-demo-a.jpgI have not been idle since the launch of Oh no, I’ve been very busy on a new product that will be released very soon. I'm not ready to say exactly when because I don’t release any product until it’s polished and tested. What I can show is a test image I created with the new product. Check it out below. Please send any comments or thought you have. Check out our other Photoshop products too!

If you want to be informed when new products are available make sure to sign up to the newsletter right here.

Thanks for all the entries

on October 01, 2009

Thanks for all the entries in the launch contest. The winner was selected randomly and has been notified by email. Make sure to sign up for our newsletter to find out about new contests, freebies and new products. Sign up here.

Just a little over a day left...

on September 29, 2009

Just a quick reminder that the Epson printer giveaway ends tomorrow (09.30.09) at midnight central time. There are currently less than 100 entries so your chance of winning look good! Just go here to enter.