Learning New Things

July 22, 2014 in Art,Books,Reviews by

Hello! Sorry, I know it’s been a while since our last blog post. Things have been quite hectic here (again!). But, I have been trying to learn new things recently. (Sometimes, I feel like my brain is wasting away! So learning stuff makes me feel better.)

A few years ago, I was studying Astronomy & Planetary Science as part of an Open University degree (which I never finished). A few months ago, I stumbled across FutureLearn. Basically, they provide free, short courses (all online), and cover a wide range of subjects. I found a course on Moons (which allowed me to study all the moons in our Solar System), and it was great! Just a 6 week course, a few hours of study per week, which was ideal for me.

After I’d finished that course, I immediately signed up for another course called Creative Coding. Now, I’ve never done any coding before, and I’m not that creative. But I thought it looked interesting, so gave it a go. It was a lot harder than I thought. But, I will not be defeated! As I was falling behind and struggling with the course, a friend suggested a different approach. The course used a language called Processing, so my friend suggested using a book on Processing to learn the basics at my own pace, and then go back to the course. (Once you are signed up to a course, you have access to the materials for ages, even if you don’t complete the course within the suggested time frame.) This is the book:

Processing for Visual Artists
How to create expressive images and interactive art.

Processing for Visual Artists

This book is excellent! It’s very easy to read and understand, and the author has thrown in the odd Star Trek reference. I’m gradually working my way through it, slowly! Might be a bit easier after the summer holiday, when I don’t have a little Munchkin yelling at me every five minutes.

Anyway, I highly recommend this book if you want to learn Processing, and I definitely think you should take a look at the courses on FutureLearn. There really is something for everyone on there.

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