Dear Digit: How do I make my communications look good?

Dear Digit sketch_5

Mar/Apr. 2014

 

 

“Dear Digit, I know my communications are supposed to look good.  But, I don’t have fancy expensive design software, and I want to do my brochures and website myself.  What can I do?”

In this visual era, it is nearly implicit that our communications should not only be clear and engaging, but they should be visually compelling. However, not all of us were trained in digital arts. Those of us who were do not always have time or funds available to stay up to speed on rapidly evolving visual tools.

Fortunately, the internet is overflowing with options for every skill level. Here is a sampling of the numerous free tools and programs that can elevate your digital creative capacity. Continue reading “Dear Digit: How do I make my communications look good?”

Sketching Tip: 4 time-saving tips that can transform your field sketch from a scribble into a useful scientific illustration

Beetle & Kinnickinnick_post iconDo you enjoy sketching or illustrating your work or field site?

Me, too.

You probably agree that illustrations are like research – they are often more meaningful when shared.

On the other hand, do you dread what it takes to get your sketches into a functional digital format?

So did I. Continue reading “Sketching Tip: 4 time-saving tips that can transform your field sketch from a scribble into a useful scientific illustration”

Dear Digit: Social media & intellectual property – madness or genius?

Dear Digit sketch_5

Nov/Dec. 2013

“Dear Digit, I’ve been hearing a lot about how posting my images on social media can mean I am giving away my rights to them. What’s up with that?”

 On planet Earth, technology is increasingly an essential tool and a phenomenal distraction.  For some, technology is the nemesis –the necessary evil – while for others, it is a golden brush.  Regardless of whether you are an early-adopter or a content Luddite, the rate at which the digital world is evolving leaves us all with questions. Continue reading “Dear Digit: Social media & intellectual property – madness or genius?”

Sketchbook Snapshot: “Nocturnal wonders: Looking closely at a couple of moths”

Have you ever watched a moth breathe?

Or looked so long and carefully at one dangling from a tree branch that it actually seemed to disappear?

To be perfectly candid, I never had until quite recently.

Most of my past Lepidoptera indulgences were focused on the butterflies, with little to no attention paid to the moths, their so-called “plain clothes cousins.”  A few weeks ago, though, National Moth Week notices started catching my attention on social media and science communication news feeds.  So I paid a bit more attention during the last few weeks of our field season, and what a wonderland I found!

Continue reading “Sketchbook Snapshot: “Nocturnal wonders: Looking closely at a couple of moths””

Pocket Guide: Sketching and Field Journal Basics

Bethann Garramon Merkle sketching in Grand Teton National Park

Now more than ever, you may want a sense of calm and rootedness.

Of small, simple moments of joy.

Of deep connection to place.

And, a parallel quietness of mind.

Go for it! Suspend time. Pause the do list in your head. Instead, focus closely on details in the natural world around you.

Sketching is a powerful way to direct your attention and create this sense of focus. If you’re not quite sure how to get started, this little pocket guide is for you!

This advance copy of the Pocket Guide to Sketching and Field Journal Basics gets you started with the fun, whacky techniques that professional artists use to warm up, move past the blank page, and channel observation into discovery and delight.

With your copy of the pocket guide as your companion, you can pursue your curiosity while calming your mind. If you sketch your observations regularly, you will begin to build a sense of place, whether you observe snails in a window flower box, weeds growing through cracks in the sidewalk, or migratory birds in a wilderness area.

While the materials in this pocket guide focus on science and nature, the sketching exercises and basic principles are equally useful if you want to sketch your garden, coffee cup, or next trip (when we can travel again!).

pay_what_you_canPay what you can!

With whatever amount* you are able to contribute, you can take yourself on a journey that will enhance your sense of place and help you find small delights close to home.

*Just adjust the quantity in the PayPal link to adjust the amount you contribute! 🙂 Shipping will be calculated automatically.

Now, keep reading to learn a bit more about how science and art have teamed up throughout the ages!


Continue reading “Pocket Guide: Sketching and Field Journal Basics”