Welcome

I am a writer and editor with diverse interests that include technology, graphic arts, digital media and steampunk. This website is a home for news and commentary about these topics, as well as visual journeys to places where creative people roam.

To keep up with news in the creative world, be sure to visit my Facebook page and subscribe to The Explorer, my free weekly e-newsletter.

 

The Explorer: Photoshop Leads New Creative Cloud Release

The Explorer | Jun 28 2016
Steampunk Camera

Adobe has released a major update to Photoshop, including new typographic features, enhanced masking capabilities and a content-aware crop tool. Adobe Illustrator gets a smaller update that includes a nifty new export function. Read all about it in this week's installment of The Explorer...

Adobe's "10 Free Images" Promotion: What You Need to Know

Creative Tools | Jun 25 2016
Steampunk Letter A

Adobe has been enticing users to try its new content service by offering 10 free images, but the deal was confusing and was more akin to a rebate than an actual giveaway. After months of complaints from customers, the company has quietly changed the terms of the deal, just in time for a major Photoshop release. I had my own concerns, but now I'm on board. Here's the lowdown on the deal and the new features in Adobe Stock...

Introducing The Explorer, New Column and Publication for Creatives

The Explorer | Jun 17 2016
Clockwork Apple

This is the first installment of a column offering a quick read on news and other happenings in the creative and technology worlds. It will soon be a newsletter, delivered for free to your inbox. This week: A recap of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, Microsoft acquires LinkedIn (and Lynda.com), plus a new look for Google Fonts…

A Visual Tour of Clockwork Alchemy

Steampunk | Jun 9 2016
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I've long been a fan of steampunk, but Clockwork Alchemy in San Jose was my first steampunk convention. A couple things I learned: Many steampunks are highly creative, and they know how to pose for the camera. Here's a visual tour...

Stephen Beale 3.1: Website Tweaks and New Content

Web Design | Jun 8 2016

Visitors to this website may notice a few changes. The overall design is the same, but I have a new tagline—"Writer & Editor, Creative Explorer"—in keeping with my recently launched public Facebook page. I also updated the "About" section, made improvements to the slide show module and tweaked some of the code that underlies the site. Finally, I added a social media sharing button at the bottom of each blog post...

Maker Faire 2016: A Visual Tour

Maker Faire | Jun 3 2016
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Billed as the "Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth," the 2016 Bay Area Maker Faire once again highlighted the ingenuity of inventors and artists from around the globe. This year's event drew 150,000 attendees and 1300 Maker projects, from perennial favorites like the Life Size Mousetrap to newcomers like "Sandwriter SKRYF." It's a story best told in pictures, so without further adieu...

Creative Tools @Maker Faire 2016

Maker Faire | Jun 1 2016
Maker Faire Robot Thumbnail

Maker Faire is best known as a showcase for do-it-yourself projects in disciplines ranging from art & design to robotics and metalworking. But it's also a launch pad for tools that empower creativity—3D printers, laser cutters, microcontrollers and the like. Here's a look at some of the notable enabling technologies seen at the 2016 event...

Robots @Maker Faire 2015

Maker Faire | May 23 2015
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Robots are among the main attractions at Maker Faire, from tiny "BrushBots" to giant metal creatures that could have stepped out from a science-fiction movie. Some even have practical uses, like making pancakes and solving Rubik's Cube (the latter from a 13-year-old inventor). Take a look in this slide show.

Steampunk @Maker Faire 2015

Steampunk | May 20 2015
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Steampunk is a natural fit for maker culture, so it's no surprise that Maker Faire includes a section devoted to these artists. Here's a look at some of their creations at the 2015 event in San Mateo, Calif.

Stephen Beale 3.0: My New Website

Web Design | Mar 23 2015

Welcome to version 3.0 of my website. As with previous versions, the main goal is to provide information about my work as a writer and editor. But rather than creating static pages as before, I built the new site in a content-management system, and it now functions as a blog.

Many posts will point to my articles and columns on other websites, but I also hope to produce original content, mostly about software tools for creative professionals.

The new site uses a responsive design, which means the layout automatically adapts to devices with different screen sizes. If you’re viewing the site on a Mac or PC, you can see this for yourself by narrowing the browser window...