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Fine Arts

Is The Printing Industry Heading For Extinction Or Can Great Graphics Save It?

Graphic arts and printing go hand in hand. The artist creates the images and the printer makes copes so the work can be shared. This marriage of graphic arts and printing is the backbone of the marketing industry. Creativity is the key. When these important elements of the marketing industry are combined in unique ways they can attract attention and promote products like nothing else can.
Whether they are creating signs and banners or large format printing the right graphic artist can really make an ad stand out. These days even the streetwise want to grab eyes and turn heads with great graphics on cool t-shirts. When those same graphics are made available via poster printing it allows a wide cross-section of people to take street style indoors. Powerful graphics captured on full color prints can give even the most low rent dive a sense of style. Nowadays style is the only true status symbol.
Digital printing is the new frontier. People can now have business card printing, envelope, stationary, letterhead or menu done without ever visiting a shop. In fact online printing has changed the industry. Clients from all over the world can now go on the internet, find an online company and have their work done and shipped to them within days. This has made online printers who are able to work on a variety of media one of the fastest growing businesses on the web.
Diversity is the name of the game. Companies that are able to offer a wide range of services have an opportunity to do well in this economic climate. If a company can offer full color, CD cover, CD inlay, canvas, large format printing and engineering plans duplication it has the best chance for success. Traditional shops offered everything from passport pictures and sales sheets to notary public services. Today’s online printers must do all of those things better and faster if they are to maintain their share of the market.
Traditional sources of printing revenues like newspapers, flyers and magazines are falling out of favor. Graphic artists and shops hoping to thrive while facing this new economic reality must develop new income streams and sources of revenue. Creating an internet presence is one lucrative way of doing this. Offering services including innovative graphic designing, printing on an unlimited number of media, digital and expertise in club printing, CD art and wall graphic printing can also help. The bottom line is graphic artists and companies must provide creative, high quality work on short deadlines at a competitive price if they are to continue to survive.…

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Buy Art

Landscape Oil Paintings for Your Home

There’s lots about oil paintings that makes them pleasing on the eyes and one of the best things to have in your home. Landscape oil paintings in particular are a great way to open up a room and to make it appear more spacious, while also providing a point of interest that guests and visitors can appreciate.
Oil paintings are different from other paintings because of the type of paint used. This is what the ‘oil’ in the title refers to, and this is what makes them different and unique. Oil paintings are particularly attractive because of this too, and oil has a very distinct look that allows you to see the brush strokes. It also often uses slightly more muted colours than say water paints, and this can help to create a more realistic picture making it great for portraits and for landscapes that are trying to capture an image from the ‘real world’. Oil painting has also been around for a long time, and is used in many famous works of art. As a result when you have an oil painting in your home it tends to look quite classical and generally looks like more traditional art. This in turn means it’s unlikely to look cheap and is more likely to impress visitors and viewers. The art in fact originally began to pick up in Europe before and during the renaissance period at which point it replaced the ‘tempera’ paints that were used previously. Many famous works of art have been completed using oils, perhaps most famously of all the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci.
What makes landscape oil paintings great is the subject matter. Here the painting will, as the name suggests, be of a landscape or view. This can be a view of a city by night with the lights blurring in the darkness, or it can be of a mountainscape or even a beach in the sunset. This has many advantages over other paintings.
First of all, landscape oil painting will look good in almost any home, which is something that can be said of few other paintings. At the same time it is something that most people can appreciate. With pieces of modern art, or reproductions of classical painting, there is definitely a risk that it won’t be to everyone’s tastes. However with a landscape, this is something that will almost always be inoffensive and something most people will like.
At the same time though it can still be a unique and personal choice. This is particularly true for example if you choose a view that has particular personal meaning for you – maybe a view of somewhere you grew up, or of somewhere you enjoyed visiting as a child or for other reasons have particularly happy memories of. At the same time you can also benefit from the fact that this will mean your room looks more spacious – almost as though the picture is in fact a window to some other beautiful location and this can be a great way to make your room less claustrophobic and more pleasant to be in.…

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Fine Arts

The Truth About Ninjutsu – The Ninja Were Mixed Martial Arts Masters Long Before MMA Was Cool!

Have you ever wondered why mixed martial arts became so popular? Could it be because at least part of the martial arts world saw the gaps that existed within each of the popular systems and sought to remedy the situation? I think so. After all, why limit yourself to just punching and kicking, or just grappling, etc., when you can have a greater advantage with both in your arsenal?
The problem with this new approach, other than the fact that MMA tends to be sport-oriented and is laden with rules that run contrary to street self defense tactics, is that non-complimenting systems were brought together and forced to co-exist.
What I mean by this is that…
Wrestling and ground-fighting tends be strength-based and relies on muscle contraction.
Judo and aikido lean toward a more passive, relaxed adapting to the opponent’s advances, and…
Karate and tae kwon do are very aggressive, attack-oriented arts.
This creates a situation where the practitioner is required to constantly switch between the contradictory and often conflicting concepts and principles that each “style” is base upon.
But, we ninja like to say that, “we were mixed martial artists long before MMA was cool!”
And, the reason for this is that there is no contradiction between our principles of punching & kicking, grappling, joint locking techniques, or the way we use weapons. There is no contradiction because, unlike the systems created by mixing other styles together, everything in Ninjutsu is based on the same principles and concepts.
So, the ninja never has to try to make his body conform to, and reconcile the different demands of, combining techniques that require often opposite principles of application. And, this is just accounting for the unarmed part of the Ninja’s arsenal. When we add in all the weaponry (modern and classical), stealth tactics, wilderness survival, and other aspects of the art, it’s easy to see how…
Not only was the art of ninjutsu MMA before mixed martial arts were cool, but… Ninjutsu offers much, much more than mixed martial artists can conceive of!…

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Artwork

Samurai Castles – The Secret Skills of the Samurai

While not a traditional martial art in itself as most know it, the fighting style of the Japanese samurai is still one of the most respected and mythical to this day. Still even now the samurai sword is one of the most coveted and respected weapons from history. These swords were treasured for their sharpness and were highly regarded with not only their military superiority but spiritual significance as well. But perhaps what is less known about the samurai is the great strategy they put into building and fortifying castles during their day. Among 2 of the most famous that still stand today are the Matsumoto Castle (built in 1594) and the Kumamoto Castle.
These castles truly give an insight into the great strategy and tactical thinking that went into making the samurai so famous. Far beyond just wandering swordsman, these elite castles built for protecting Japanese nobles featured large moats, cannon proof walls and specially designed stairways. In fact the whole surrounding area of the castles were intricately planned including the roads that were designed specifically to funnel any opposing forces into focused lines of fire.
The interiors of these castles were created from top to bottom to keep out invaders and to enable the samurai inside to defend them. Hallways were built just wide enough for samurai in full armor to navigate and stairways were built steeply to make it more difficult for invaders to make their way up on the inside. In contrast to common thought, in their last years the samurai were well armed with cannons and rifles. So the walls and turrets of these castles not only featured means of dropping rocks onto their enemies but had holes to shoot from as well. These castles are open to the public as museums today and feature armories showing off a wide range of  martial arts supplies and weapons including samurai swords.…

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Art For Sale

How to Use a Wooden Dummy for Martial Arts Training

Shroud of Mystery
The kung fu training tool often called, a “wooden dummy,” is surrounded by mystique and misunderstanding due to lack of good quality information. Read further to find out what the dummy’s real form and function is all about.
What It Looks Like
A wooden dummy is usually made from a 5 or 6 foot long hardwood log that is 9 inches in diameter. It has three arms; 2 at chest level that point away from the center, and 1 arm at bellybutton level pointing straight out from the log. There is also a leg included that should be at, or just above, knee height. Wooden dummies are either mounted on a wall, or supported by a freestanding framework depending on your available space.
What a Wooden Dummy Isn’t
A wooden dummy is not used for strength training, or solely toughing your forearms through hard strikes like you would use on a makiwara. The dummy is not a magical device that will instantly make you a martial art master like Bruce Lee. It also isn’t a tool to show off with. If you train with the wrong mindset, you’re not going to get the results that are possible with it.
What a Wooden Dummy Is
A wooden dummy can be an extremely valuable training tool and partner if approached in the right way. It never gets tired. It won’t get mad if you get a good shot in, nor will it sucker punch you (but will still knock you around sometimes). And it is a training partner that has better defense than any human being could possibly have. The arms and leg are laid out in a particular fashion that mimic the best angles of defense used in close quarters combat. If you learn to use the dummy properly, you will be well versed in how to deal with a strong defensive opponent.
So How Do You Train?
You want to train with the mindset that you are developing an understanding of the basics of close quarters combat. These elements are composed of angles of attack, connection sensitivity, proper distances for various attacks, and developing the ability to execute simultaneous actions which could include attacking, blocking and kicking all at the same time. So while you’re training with the wooden dummy, be sure to remind yourself the goal is not to abuse the dummy and build tough forearms by hitting it hard. Instead, treat the tool like the precision instrument it is, and use it as a laboratory to cultivate your skills with a partner that will never call in sick.…

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Contemporary Art

Learn to Defend Yourself – Why You’re Never Unarmed in a Self Defense Situation

In the realm of self defense thinking and training, there is the idea of being “armed” and “unarmed.” This idea presupposes that you are either carrying a weapon or “empty-handed.” And yet, if we consider that our ability is only as limited as our ability to recognize options, we can see that there is no such distinction to the person who is really skilled at self defense.

This article takes a look at the real ability to be able to defend yourself against a brutal attacker who will be taking advantage of your limiting perceptions and recognition of options.

It’s funny how, once they find out that I teach self defense, many men take this opportunity to puff out their chests and let me know, in no uncertain terms, that they don’t need self defense training because they’ll “just shoot ’em!”

But, when I ask them to allow me to see their weapon, they admit that it’s at home in their dresser drawer, gun safe, or anywhere but on them at the moment.

I then remind them, showing my fists that, “my weapons are right here!”

Now, I don’t say this to intimidate or impress them, and I’m not saying here to impress you. What I am doing is impressing upon you the point of this article – the point that to rely on physical weapons like guns, knives, or any other special tool that has the title of “self defense weapon,” is to ignore not only all of the body weapons that you possess, but to ignore the most powerful weapon you possess – your brain!

I also want you to think about the fact that, if you rely on a weapon for self defense, then you will be practically powerless without it!

In a self defense situation, you must have the ability to:

Adapt to the unique situation in which you find yourself

Recognize and use everyday items for self defense – regardless of whether or not they are commonly perceived as weapons or not

Deal with any weapons he might have brought with him – and even to be able to use his own weapons against him

And, there is also the reality that, even if you have a weapon, you may not be able or justified in using it.

An example of this comes from my days as a police officer. Just because I had a firearm doesn’t mean that I could use lethal force against someone who was trying to punch or wrestle me to the ground. So, not only was my sidearm useless in those situations, but it could also be a liability in that I had to deal with the perpetrator AND guard my weapon against him taking it – AT THE SAME TIME!

Another thing that I talk about in my combat handgun and other weapon training courses is this:

Just because you have a weapon, doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to get to it before he can do damage to you! Imagine having a handgun holstered on your hip while simultaneously staring down the barrel of your attacker’s own gun. If you try to go for your own weapon in this moment, you’ll die.

So, try to avoid falling into the trap of seeing yourself as “armed” if you have a so-called “official” weapon, and “unarmed” if you don’t. Instead, train to be able to:

1) Develop more of your own natural body parts AS weapons, rather than just your hands and feet

2) Recognize everyday items as potential weapons, and…

3) Use even your environment as a tool for self defense.

This way, you’ll never see yourself or feel as if you’re unarmed in any situation.…

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Fine Arts

Punjabification of Bollywood

Punjabification of Bollywood is not a new trend that is evident only in the latest Bollywood movies. The upbeat and celebratory Punjabi culture has always been an overplayed theme in Bollywood.
Not surprisingly, most of the fun songs from latest Bollywood movies that set your feet tapping have distinct Punjabi beats and lyrics that set them apart from the rest of the Bollywood music. The Punjabi dance numbers are almost always superhits and play in pubs and discos across the country months before and after the release of the movie.
A number of latest Bollywood movies like Love Aaj Kal, Singh is Kinng and Jab We Met were in a Punjabi setting and all of them were huge commercial successes. Big Punjabi joint families have been amongst the hot favorite backdrops of Hindi movie stories chosen by directors for decades.
The Punjabi theme and funk is so popular that many times the director does not even feel the need of having a Punjabi character in the film. Simply a few Punjabi songs with Bhangra beats sprinkled across the movie gives it great mileage and these songs inevitably become chartbusters.
The Punjabi themes and cultural backdrops can also be seen in offbeat international movies like Monsoon Wedding and Bend it Like Beckham. The Punjabi theme has universal appeal and the gaiety and loudness of culture makes for great movie watching experience, theatrical style.
The fun element of this culture appeals audiences all over India. In fact, it’s not only in India, but the Bhangra beats and music are popular all over the world. No matter which part of the world you stay or are from, when the Bhangra beats play, you are bound to stand up and shake a leg.
So, it comes as no surprise that the latest Bollywood movies are also cashing in on this worldwide phenomenon. After all, it’s making good money for the new Hindi movies’ producers.…

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Art For Sale

Self Defense Tips – Be Aware of Your Surroundings Walking to Your Vehicle

Being aware of your surroundings as you are walking to your vehicle is one of the most important things in your day-to-day life to protect yourself and avoid a self defense situation. If you park in a garage where you work and are assigned a space, become aware of the vehicles parked around your vehicle. If possible, get to know the other vehicle owners. New friends are always a positive thing in your life. You will be more conscious of an out of place vehicle or person in your area if you know those who should be there at any given time.
Have your keys ready as you approach your vehicle. Taking time to find your keys when you reach the vehicle presents an opportunity for an attack. If you feel you are being followed as you walk to your vehicle, do not go to your vehicle. Continue to a populated area and summon help. It might seem like a good idea to get in the vehicle and lock the doors but if an assailant has some type of weapon they could smash a window and you would be in an undesirable position to defend yourself.
When and where possible back your vehicle into parking spaces. This allows for a quick getaway if the need arises. It also gives you an opportunity to check backup lights, brake lights, turn signals, etc. if there is a wall behind your vehicle. It also allows you a clear view to see if someone is approaching your vehicle after you have gotten into the vehicle. It is much easier to see out the windshield than it is out of the rearview mirrors.
These same ideas apply if you park in an open area or a garage at your place of residence or at the local shopping mall or grocery store. Self defense is an ongoing process of awareness of the situation you are currently in. The more you are able to be aware of your surroundings the better you can protect yourself, your property and others.…