posted by Metin Amiroff on Thu 20th May 2004 20:00 UTC
IconToday we interview two of the most popular artists in Linux world of art. Everaldo Coelho from KDE and Jakub Steiner (Jimmac) from the GNOME camp. Currently Everaldo works for Lindows inc. and Jakub works for Novell inc. They were very kind to answer our questions related with the art in Linux, its future and much more.

1. First of all, how did you meet Linux platform and decided to contribute graphic work to it?

Everaldo Everaldo: This is a very interesting question. In the end of 1998, when I purchased my first PC, I went to a computers store and saw a Mac (I cannot recall the model, even because at that time I did not understand anything about this). In fact to me it was the same as a PC, but the icons of the folders were blue, much more beautiful than the rugged icons of my Windows 95. I fell in love with that and asked the clerk what was it. He introduced me to the "OS". I came back home and started looking for the "OS" on the Internet to install it on my PC.(yes, it seems ridiculous). It did not take me long to find out that it would be impossible to install Mac on my PC. In the middle of the way,however, I found Linux, which also looked much more beautiful than Windows. Soon I installed the WindowMaker of Alfredo Kojima, which is a cloned and improved interface of NextStep. I even made some themes for him. I have always been in love with icons. Soon after that I knew KDE, I cannot recall precisely if it was still version 1 and a beta of gnome, that was not ready yet. I liked very much the look of gnome, but I thought that KDE was easier to use.

Jimmac: It was due to GIMP. It was only available on Unix platforms and I was in search of something to be a good equivalent to Photoshop I saw at the university but couldn't afford myself at home. It was I believe in 1996. Time flies.

2. How did you start doing graphics? Did your initial experience and or skills help you or did you start from scratch?

Everaldo: Well, I am na illustrator and I have illustrated many childrenīs and school books, besides some magazines, including one specialized in Linux (if you are an editor and need some illustrations call me ;-)) I have always enjoyed drawing and surely this was important for my work.

Jimmac: My granddad was an architect and I always looked up to him and tried to draw. I didn't pursue this as a career though, since I didn't believe one can make a living doing that. I always though of it as a hobby. I suck at drawing actually.

3. Do you produce your artwork on Linux itself or on another platform? Could you share some information with us about the tools you use for artwork?

Everaldo: OK, in the beginning I used Corel Draw 9, running in Linux and gimp, but as Corel stopped developing corel for Linux and version 9 did not have a good support for SVG, I moved to adobe illustrator, which up to this moment proved to be the best software to draw vetorial graphics in SVG and photoshop replaced gimp. Unfortunately the SVG generated by illustrator is not a 100% compatible with KDE. The problem is the transparency modes "multiply" and "hard light" are not understood by KDE, they are very useful and needed for the creation of light and shadow in my icons.

Jimmac: I love the freedom of moving across platforms. I know the propriatery systems are doing great job of locking people in, so I'm trying to use free software wherever possible. Most of the time I spend in GIMP on Linux, but occasionally I use my mac or windows. Adobe managed to break me and I have hard time trying to replace old Illustrator 9 habits. It's just so well designed app.

4. I personally think that artists generally don't get as much credit as programmers and program authors. Do you agree on this?

Everaldo: I think that up to a certain point you are right, however, this has never disturbed me. My job is to make their work recognized, I feel happy when this happens. What is the function of the design? Software not only needs to be good, it needs to look good. My role is to make excellent software developed by the community look as good as it really is.

Jimmac: I don't share that sentiment. Programmers tend to receive bug reports and complaints. I only get requests to use some of my artwork ;). This is probably due to the fact there's far more hackers in the community than artists.

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