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Happy New Year!

Journal Entry: Tue Dec 25, 2012, 8:41 PM
Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. Happy Hanukkah. Happy Probably-Didn't-Work Day. And hopefully a very happy New Year.

I am going to try my best to start getting more things up this year. I miss making wallpapers more than I can express. It's time to find the time to get back on the horse! I may be busy, but the wallpaper gland within me is ready to explode. Even if I just finish the damn Arc Reactor walls that I already started - I will be getting some new packs out in 2013. Stay tuned.


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Happy Holidays

Journal Entry: Sun Dec 9, 2012, 11:18 AM
Hearing jingle bells just yet? Me neither. The 2012 yuletide feeling just isn't with me. I've just been way too busy. Halloween was a bust, and now X-mas is shaping up to be just as rushed. I'm not big on spending on, shopping for, or receiving any gifts. I'm all about the decorating (I am beginning to think I am a closet interior decorator), the snow, the music, and the super-fucking old Christmas specials. To me, Holidays are about spicing things up and taking a break from the norm. Even if it's not important, it's fun to get worked up over something that only comes once in a while. It's a break from the monotony. It's a break from being an adult. It can even be a break from stress, despite Christmas usually being the epitome of stress. It can be a fun, awesome, extremely needed break.

The commercialization of it really sucks, and people giving in to the pressure to buy things and act differently is a buzzkill, but it's still an opportunity to make it your own. It's not for everyone, and I fully support anyone who skips the holidays. But if you're going to give it a go, and it means anything personal to you, I just want to give one piece of advice: don't force it. Slow down a bit, take it as it comes, and don't do anything because you feel you have to. Whether it's baking cookies, putting up a tree, watching Home Alone, or whatever else. Do it because you're in the mood. Planning it out, following a schedule, and trying to squeeze it in with obligatory life...that just makes the holiday traditions themselves feel like more obligatory life. That's when it stops being a break.

Slow down and have fun. Be safe, and have a really great December, everyone.


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October is quickly unfolding.

Journal Entry: Sat Oct 20, 2012, 10:54 AM
Ghosts 'n goblins,

I had previously posted an apology discussing a recent career shift, lack of free time, and a deficit of Halloween goodies in the workshop. That hasn't changed, but I am not going to give up the hope of getting out at least a few items. I am currently working on two wallpapers. Any wallpapers I make are automatic Facebook covers. I also want to do one photo manipulation, my traditional re-release of my Monster Mash mobile-only wallpaper pack, and maybe some social icons. I could even post a photo or two of some Halloween crafts I've been working on.

Now, what about my Halloween Features? I want to do it. I just don't have a lot of time. It would rely heavily on people submitting, but that usually never happens. I've always had to handpick every feature. Getting help from #HalloweenManiacs didn't even help (still, big thanks to them for trying). Feel free to submit suggestions, but I won't put together a journal unless I get quite a few.

In all, I hope your Halloween season is going well. Slay you later!


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Don't wait for the Great Pumpkin

Journal Entry: Tue Oct 9, 2012, 4:29 PM
Hey, ghosts 'n goblins.

Just writing a quick blog to let you know why I haven't been kicking out the Halloween goodies this year. In short: I have a full-time job now. I'm not even really freelancing anymore, and my job involves a pretty strenuous commute. I am going to try to squeeze out at least a couple wallpapers, but that may be all I can muster. This is the first year in my adult life that I didn't even get Halloween decorations up by October 1st (it's the 9th, and I am only now finishing). So...yeah...apologies. I am hoping that this won't become the norm. Once I find my stride, I hope that things pick up around here. I won't be putting out work like I used to, but I don't want my entire gallery to turn into a moldy crypt.

Stay tuned. And I hope your Halloween season is a good one!


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Have an iPad Retina? I need some help.

Journal Entry: Tue Sep 11, 2012, 11:03 AM
I need a volunteer with the new iPad to test out one of my new wallpapers. I accidentally made it at a low PPI.  Before I opt to entirely remake it, I want to know how bad it looks on retina displays.

Anyone wanna give it a go? Cool. Get the test image right here and let me know if it looks good or not. Let me know so I can release it soon!


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Thanks for all of the birthday wishes!

Journal Entry: Sun Sep 9, 2012, 1:31 PM
I'd just like to post a little shout-out to everyone who left me notes, comments, and other sorts of birthday wishes. Even though it's a coincidence, I first became highly active on devART back in September of 2008. My B-Day is therefore very proximal to the anniversary of when I really got started on here.

A few devART milestones I've thus far reached:
- Over 1,000,000 total views across all of my uploads.
- My most downloaded wallpaper is approaching 10,000 downloads.
- My most fav'ed upload has surpassed 300 favs.
- I've somehow managed 3 Daily Deviations.
- And awesome people like you are still downloading my wallpapers and viewing my other work. Explain that one...

Ok, I kid. With that said, thanks for another good year on devART! All of you helped a lot!


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What's in store for Aug...er...Sept...

Journal Entry: Thu Aug 16, 2012, 1:06 AM




As you can see, August is nearly over. I won't be able to package up all four of these walls before Saturday. That means they'll just come out in September. No biggie. I'm more pumped for September itself, though. Why? 'Cause that's the end of summer! And it's when I start to prep and plan for all of my Halloween stuff. I'm going Arthur Fonzarelli this year. Not as a costume; I'm just going to keep it cool. I'm not going to promise anything, tease anything, or set goals. I am just going to kick back and put out Halloween stuff as I make it. I'm hoping that will make the process more fun and less stressful. Less stress hopefully will result in more creativity. Quality always trumps quantity, and Halloween deserves no less.

How will you be enjoying the final weeks of the summer (or whatever season you're now in)?



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The Dark Knight's Rising

Journal Entry: Sun Jul 15, 2012, 9:43 AM

Let the Batmania commence! I've been rolling out downloadables all day. Want to keep track of them all? Keep an eye on this journal entry, or check out my Batman sub-gallery: theal.deviantart.com/gallery/3…

Wallpapers


Evolution of Bane by TheAL  Batman: Shattered by TheAL  Batman: Graffiti by TheAL  Batman: Fire Rising by TheAL  Batman: Sparks by TheAL  Batman: Noir by TheAL

Timeline covers


Evolution of Bane Timeline Cover by TheAL  Batman Shattered Timeline Cover by TheAL  Batman Graffiti Timeline Cover by TheAL  Batman Fire Rising Timeline Cover by TheAL  Batman Sparks Timeline Cover by TheAL  Batman Noir Timeline Cover by TheAL


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Polling has ended. Watermark chosen.

Journal Entry: Wed Jun 27, 2012, 9:34 PM

Aaaand...the official winner of the poll, spanning devART and twtpoll.com, is #4.
You can view it here: img850.imageshack.us/img850/22…

It'll be on future wallpapers until the time that I update or improve it. Thanks for voting!


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The problem with watermarking...

Journal Entry: Thu May 31, 2012, 10:42 PM
Just an update from your friendly neighborhood Wallpaper Man. I have a lot of finished walls waiting to be cut up and served out.

What's the hold up? Well, as I discussed in my recent poll, I am contemplating adding watermarks/signatures to my future walls. I have numerous reservations about this, but I am also understandably tired of so many people/places/sites stealing my walls with no respect for the time I spend to make them. Reasons for why I am hesitating include: 1) not being able to go back and add them to old walls, 2) in order to make sure the watermark is well placed for as many fragmented devices as possible, I'd have to go back to making huge packs with many sizes, effectively multiplying my workload, 3) most watermarks that don't end up being highly graphical are easy to digitally remove, 4) any person could just take a huge cut from the pack, crop out the watermark, and remake smaller sizes.

In the end, it's a lot of work that yields a watermark that can easily be bypassed. I also have to take into consideration how much of my audience I will lose. People hate watermarks. Subtle watermarks (example: text in the bottom right corner) are pointless, ostentatious watermarks (example: a ribbon tag in the top right corner with a name and small logo would be viewed as 'in your face' by some, and it would require going back to making tons of individual sizes) will drive away downloaders.

Any suggestions? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments.

Off-site linking to ZIP files / Using full-size images


As if taking my walls, using them to fuel some ad-riddled site's content, and distributing them without credit weren't bad enough, I've also frequently run into the problem of people featuring my work by pointing directly to their ZIP files. My download terms clearly state not to do this, but a lot of people do it anyway. You used to be able to change the download URL by changing the deviation's title. But DA has since made it so any old URLs remain intact. They simply redirect to the new URL. That means old links to files will still work.

Another thing a lot of places like to do is not use my preview image. They usually take a full image from the pack and use it as the preview. The problem with that is that most people will think that's the image they're sharing. A few may click the credit link to see where it's from, but most people will just save the image there.

In short: if you want to share my work, yes, I allow and greatly appreciate it. Just please respect my terms and use a thumbnail or my preview image. And please, please link to the page.


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Avengers, assemble one more time.

Journal Entry: Thu May 3, 2012, 5:46 PM

Update: I just got back from Avengers!


In short, it was pretty damn good. It wasn't perfect, as these movies never are, but it was a very solid effort all around. I was particularly happy with this version of Hulk. Everyone else was as they were in the previous movies. Comparatively, whether it was screen time or the specifics of what they did, only Thor and Hawkeye felt slightly downplayed. Maybe it only feels that way to me. Black Widow and/or ScarJo fans won't be disappointed, though, as she received ample amounts of attention. Also...the after-credits scene was a very appreciated tease. I love how Marvel is just going for it with character involvement.

That's it, folks. I probably won't be doing a full review ala Green Lantern. Maybe after a 2nd viewing I'll feel up to it.


All four of my primary Avengers wallpapers are now out. Get them now, and don't forge't to slap one of them onto your phone before the movie. Almost everyone I know is going to the midnight showing tonight, and tickets at theaters the country over are sold out. Enjoy the walls, and enjoy the movie!

Captain's Shield by TheAL  Arc Reactors by TheAL
Thor by TheAL  Hulk Smash by TheAL

Bonus:
SHIELD by TheAL


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Introducing Timeline Covers.

Journal Entry: Thu Apr 26, 2012, 11:36 PM
Facebook launched the new Timeline format, and everyone who has switched to it knows how fun/annoying it can be to find awesome covers. I mentioned I was going to do this, and now I'm finally taking the plunge.

The thing that initially made me hesitate was how nervous I was about Timeline Cover sites going nuts and taking all of my work. A lot of Timeline sites have already stolen my walls, and the ongoing happy-fun-time I have with wallpaper sites is bad enough, especially with most of them putting their own watermarks on my work and never mentioning me. But, in this day and age of the web, you can't show or post anything without some jerk taking it for his/her own. It's just the name of the game. I'll still do my part to combat it, but I shouldn't let it stop me from putting out these awesome treats for those who use them with respect.

With that said, I am now converting a lot of my popular walls into usable Timeline Covers. The only catch is that I've placed a little stitched tag on all of them to get my site's name out there. I'll also be making unique covers. Feel free to make requests or drop off suggestions. What would you like to see?

Check them out: theal.deviantart.com/gallery/3…


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Avengers Assemble!

Journal Entry: Tue Apr 24, 2012, 9:48 AM


It's finally time. The new Avengers film will be opening tomorrow for some people, and it'll be playing for most by May 4th. I am kicking today off with two new wallpapers. Feel Thor's might and Hulk's rage. And keep an eye open for later. Iron Man, an update for Captain, and other goodies may just be on the way.

Hulk Smash by TheAL  Thor by TheAL


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Get ready to assemble, Avengers!

Journal Entry: Sat Apr 21, 2012, 11:05 PM
Less than 12 full days to go if you're here in the US! Even sooner for some lucky people elsewhere. The Avengers movie will be hitting theaters soon, and I'm still eager to put out all of these wallpapers for you to sexify your devices. I already have a wall out for Captain America, and I've completed some simple-but-nice walls for Hulk, Iron Man, and now Thor. I may even be slightly updating the Captain wall. Either way, I want to try to have all walls out by the 24th!

So, which Thor wallpaper ended up winning?


In the end, I ultimately ended up making about 15 different variations of the Thor wallpaper. I held 3 polls on here, one on Facebook, asked on Twitter, and asked virtually everyone I know. The final winner was too hard to pick. No one version stood out among the rest. Everyone was too evenly divided, and every wall got a handful of votes. I therefore did what any sane man would do. I flipped a coin, threw a horse shoe, read my horoscope, bet on a race, called the psychic hotline, and got my answer. The answer was to assign a number to each wall, 15 in all, and hold a tournament using a random number generator!

Asking for a random number 15 times, I took the 15 results and added them up. I then divided the sum into 15, and I repeated this step 2 more times. I added and averaged the 3 super totals. The result, love it or hate it, was #10 from my preview. Behold: img109.imageshack.us/img109/59…


Wallpapers for the new iPad.


I wanted to address this issue now that so many people have asked me about it. Regarding the new iPad, I have the following things to mention:

1. I plan to start including it in future packs. That's for sure.

2. The 2048x2048 size, particularly 2048px as the height, presents a problem. When stock images are involved, I usually have a hard enough time accommodating the 1600px height of my largest wallpapers. It's easier when I'm making my backgrounds with patterns and textures, especially tiling ones. It's for this same reason I haven't started offering 2880x1800 sizes.

3. With that said, I likely won't be updating any past wall packs. Too many of them would require me to practically remake the walls. Maybe not from the ground up, but at least halfway down the "process ladder" and up.

4. I am not entirely sure how my walls will look on the super-high quality retina screen. I urge all iPad owners to use my walls and tell me how well they display. I try my best to make my walls with images either made in Photoshop, starting at 300 PPI, or with stock that is of similarly high quality. However, I mainly use free resources, so I am limited. I know PPI/DPI more so affects how well things print, but I do not have access to the new iPad to experiment.


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April Fools!

Journal Entry: Sun Apr 1, 2012, 9:22 PM
I'd complain about all of the cat junk, but I can't knock a harmless April Fools prank. Besides, I put out a wallpaper today that was nothing but a ZIP archive full of blank images. However, doing this made me question my latest preview graphic. After two polls, most everyone expressing approval, and my previous satisfaction, I was ready to start using it.

That was before I actually saw it in action. I don't really like how it looks on a deviation page. I also haven't fully worked out how I am going to show off the mobile versions of wallpapers when they differ from the desktop cuts, or show the different walls in a pack that contains completely different images as a combo pack. Previously, I did this by showing an iPad next to the monitor with the mobile or alternate version. So, for now, I am going to keep using the old preview.

The Avengers film is nearly here!


I'm pumped. Before the movie drops, I am going to be releasing walls for Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, and maybe SHIELD. Check me out on Dribbble to see snapshot teasers. You can also follow me on Twitter. I post all of my Dribbble shots on there, as well as make other announcements.


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Wallpapers are on the way.

Journal Entry: Tue Mar 13, 2012, 10:19 AM
Apologies for not releasing a wall in just about forever. I have plenty of walls done. I just need to find the time to resize, crop and package them for release. With my new preview format done and earning reasonably high scores of approval, I will be getting a couple walls out next week, and more in the following weeks.

Check me out on Dribbble!



Click the big ol' icon!

Also, hope you caught my previews!


'Cause now they're gone! You know me. I like to tease. Well, that and I want to work on a reusable format for how I show previews. I am going to code it and have it on hand for use for as long as I'm using this current journal skin.

With that said, the previews of all the walls will return, maybe with some removed (they could be out by then) and some new.


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Spring is right around the corner.

Journal Entry: Sat Mar 3, 2012, 12:44 AM

In like a barn cat, out like a goldfish?


Well, it is if you happen to be in the northern hemisphere. I love spring. It's my second favorite season behind autumn. It's warm, but not hot, and it's also sunny and colorful. It's the bliss that precedes the hot, yellow, dry, scorching banality that is summer. Spring is also a very inspirational time. And I need inspiration. Few things can be as inspirational as a picturesque winter. Banks of glistening snow, icicles hanging from the roofs, people skating on frozen ponds, etc. But it's hard to take in all of that majesty when you're experiencing one of the warmest winters on record.

I could probably fit all of the snow we've had all winter into a truck bed. It's made winter driving a veritable dream, but that's about the only upside. I'm hoping for an awesome spring, but lack of snow packing down and insulating the ground all winter can make for an abysmal spring. Flowers may bloom sooner and not last as long. It could also mean tons and tons of bugs. I may have to compensate with an array of eye-catching wallpapers. Either way, I want to get back to making more landscape-inspired walls, and I'm hoping the change of seasons will afford me some inspiration.

As mentioned in the last entry, I have a lot of walls on the way, but virtually none of them are scenery. It's time for me to go through my stock resources and start rounding up the untouched gems.


Putting out an APB for a Dribbble invite!


It may be a bit bold to just come out and ask for one, but I'm on the lookout for a Dribbble invite. In addition to previewing and asking for feedback on client projects, I think it would be an excellent way to A/B test wallpaper ideas. I want my walls to improve, for my sake and yours, and I need more avenues through which I can seek opinions and constructive criticism. I know Dribbble invites are finite and somewhat scarce, but I won't know until I ask.

Being an invite-only community, I'm still relatively unfamiliar with the rituals of Dribbble. Does one need to be a current Prospect (spectator with 'Prospect' enabled in account settings) before a Player can send him/her an invite? Either way, thanks in advance to anyone willing to help me out.


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Happy Leap Year 2012

Journal Entry: Tue Feb 28, 2012, 4:07 AM
Tomorrow is a very interesting day for anyone celebrating his/her birthday. It's February 29th, and that means 2012 is a leap year. That also means the comet with the AK47-wielding, polycephalic gopher-bear inside is almost here to party. I hope you've filed your tax return. With that said, let's talk about the most important thing we should all worry about before the end: wallpapers!

Did you see the preview of wallpapers I linked to in my previous journal entry? No? That may be because I took it down after a while. I neared my limit of free image space on ImageShack, and I also wanted to be a big tease. Rest assured that many wallpapers are on the way. I am just taking a small break in light of the circumstances I talked about here.

The walls that I've sequestered away in my vault, soon to be unleashed, range from good to questionable. Taboo? Nah. I'm too boring for that. But they're geekerific. Like comic book heroes? Too bad. I have finished walls for Batman, Superman, The Flash, Doomsday, and others. I'm also brainstorming ideas for Hulk and Iron Man. Other fond subjects forged from the fires of awesomeness include: Jurassic Park, Last Starfighter, V for Vendetta, and maybe some more Star Wars stuff. Getting annoyed with the lack of scenery? No tears necessary. I'm going to try my best to even things out with some more landscapes and/or spacescapes.

There you have it. Wallpapers are on the way. You can go back to prepping your survival kit for the zombie apocalypse.


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- Changes to my wallpaper release schedule -

Journal Entry: Sun Jan 29, 2012, 3:50 PM
Due to two reasons, I have decided to go back to my old release schedule of not having a release schedule.

'Wallpaper Fridays' seemed like a good idea, but it has turned out to be as much of a burden as a relief. I originally started it in order to combat my own personal sense of obligation to release wallpapers around the clock. With it in place, everyone knew to expect one wallpaper every Friday. I thought it would make things more orderly, less strenuous, and provide a familiarity that would eventually add to my online identity. In a sense, it was a marketing strategy as much as it was a means of controlling my workload.

With that said, what two reasons have caused me to change back to my old formula?

:bulletblack: 1)
I created a simple poll
. Not a lot of people have voted, but the winning option seems pretty clear. I'm making free wallpaper packs that take a lot of time, and at least some moderate skill, to produce. I shouldn't stress over it. Aside from gratitude, which is actually quite rewarding at times, I'm not really getting anything in return for these packs. I do this because it's fun, people enjoy them, it helps me improve my Photoshop skills, and it at least pads my portfolio.

:bulletblack: 2)
Instead of making things easier, having a set schedule actually made this feel more like a job.
I felt like a slacking failure whenever I missed a Friday, and almost as bad when I released a pack a little late. I found myself worrying too much about upholding my 'policy' and protecting my brand image. If a Saturday rolled around with no pack to show for it, I would actually stress over the belief that someone would think, "Yeesh, this guy can't keep a deadline." I need to realize that this is not work. This is not for clients. I'm not getting paid. This is a hobby that I want needs to be fun.

So, from now on, and until I decide otherwise, I will release wallpapers as I make them. I may do one a week, five a week, or none a week. I'll make them as the ideas come to me, and pack-n-upload them when I genuinely have time. I can't imagine that my walls would be as good or accepted if I were making them out of obligation, as opposed to making them because I love doing it. A happier AL means better wallpapers for everyone.


Bonus: Checkout Some Upcoming Walls




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Avengers Assemble!

Journal Entry: Wed Jan 25, 2012, 11:32 PM
Get ready, Avengerphiles. In addition to my currently released Captain America, Hydra, and Avenger logo wallpapers, I am currently in the lab working on ideas for Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, and possibly SHIELD.

Keep an eye on Wallpaper Fridays. They'll be rolling out between now and May.


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