“Flicking”, in the lingo of my alma mater (Caltech), is deliberately avoiding classwork in favor of something more fun. It differs from procrastination in that it implies a totally conscious choice – it’s the “Ah, screw it!!!” look on your face as you toss the pencil over your shoulder, put down the problem set you’ve been staring at for the last hour, and get up to go see what’s going on in the courtyard.
Well, the last couple days have been hell on wheels as I attempted to project-manage three projects at critical junctures from the classroom while in a three-day training class, then going home and writing an article on deadline and re-re-reweaving samples for that article, all while fighting off a nasty head cold. Tonight I hit my limit. Instead of doing the myriad things that I should have been doing, I decided to make one bold strike to liberate humankind (or at least me!), and trundled off to play with…
This all got triggered off by an email I got a few days ago from the folks who supply my chocolate transfer sheets (used for decorating chocolates) announcing a 15% discount on everything, including custom designs. I had been meaning to set up some custom designs anyway, as a way of getting more variety in the patterns, and this gave me the perfect excuse to start playing with Photoshop.
So, after an evening of playing with royalty-free images (mostly from Dover books, but also from istockphoto.com ), I have these five designs:
I will arrange them in strips on the transfer sheets, and just cut the strips apart when prepping the pieces.
I rejected a lot of designs as being too detailed. They will need to be shrunk down to about 3/4″ max dimension to fit on the chocolates, which means that delicate detail will be totally lost – the feathery parts of the middle cat’s haunches, for example, will need to be cut out if that line is to be visible. I printed out all the candidates at 3/4″ size, and selected the ones that still looked good at that scale.
I estimate that I can get eight designs onto the transfer sheets before things get impractical, so I still need to find three more. I’ve been looking for tiger designs, but the ones I’ve found so far don’t scale well (that’s why there’s a tiger head in my composite above, not a full tiger). I need a silhouette-type design (like the others in the image) that is squarish in design, and tigers tend to be long and lean. I may try making one square just a little bigger and putting my signature tiger logo on it – it’s almost legible at 3/4″, so if I expand it to 7/8″ maybe I can make it happen.
However it turns out, I have achieved my main goal, which was avoiding all the stuff I should have been doing and going off to do something fun. I now feel relaxed, calm, and ready for whatever tomorrow morning sends my way. Flicking has served its function. 🙂