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Laravel - a beautiful PHP framework that does not make me feel stupid {15 May 2012}

I may have solid artistic skills, and I also enjoy web development (most of the time), but the sad truth is that I am an awful programmer. I came to web development “the wrong way”, inserting <?php ?> blocks into my HTML code. As any awful developer, I had no idea I was doing something wrong :-)

Until now, that I urgently needed to develop (or rather, re-make from scratch) a not-so-simple online translations system for many of my projects (including Vladstudio.com website and Windy Press books). I started with my usual stuff - one PHP page for one action (like user-add-block.php), but very quickly got buried under my own spaghetti code.

I got depressed (I do so sometimes!), and despite having very stressed deadlines all around, decided to calm down and see how I can improve. I spent weekend learning Python, and it is definitely more beautiful language than PHP, but the time was not perfect for such serious switch, so I started searching for PHP framework to help me do more in less time, and write better code.

Another several days passed, I browsed hundreds of discussions, discovered and carefully reviewed dozens of frameworks. Unfortunately, none of them resonated with me immediately. In case you’re curious, here is the incomplete list of candidates (scroll down if you’re not):


logos

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New abcNotes for iPad with Vladstudio wallpapers for Retina display {1 May 2012}

If you’re lucky owner of the new iPad with Retina display, you might like to know that my partner from Alsedi Desktop, Grig, released new version of his highly successful abcNotes app - featuring my wallpapers, now at 2048x2048. Check it out here - itunes.apple.com/app/abc-notes-checklist-sticky/id354015291

 

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My interview with DecalGirl {28 April 2012}

I have been interviewed by DecalGirl! You can read and comment it below or on Decalgirl's Facebook page.


How did you discover that you had talent as an artist?

Thanks for believing I have talent! :-) I tend to think otherwise, honestly speaking. I developed excellent skills pretending I have artistic talent and making other people believe it (pssst, don’t tell anyone!). There are so many people that draw so much better than me, it makes me sad sometimes! But there is positive side in it - I have plenty of room for improvement and professional growth.

Before I forgot to actually answer your question :-) Since I can remember, I have been drawing doodles in my school notebooks, like this:

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Bye bye expiring premium accounts; all Vladstudio accounts now lifetime, for only $14.99! {20 March 2012}
Several years ago, when I decided to try and make my living selling Vladstudio accounts ("registrations" at that time), I made four options to choose from (3, 6, 12 mohts and lifetime). Because more choices look more professional! Eventually I got rid of 6 months option, to keep things easier. Now I suddenly realized that I do not like the idea of expiring accounts at all. That is, I do like people returning and making another purchase :-) But the expiring account, as an idea, is something I myself would not be comfortable dealing with.

I also love experiments! So I deleted 3 and 12 months options as well, and all accounts purchased from now on are lifetime. All existing accounts have been converted to lifetime as well. I hope it won't hurt my earnings too bad, but I feel it is the right way to go.

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Support for iPad Retina Display! {20 March 2012}
Support for iPad Retina Display

Celebrating the new iPad with Retina display, I added 2048x2048 images to all my wallpapers! Check them out here: vladstudio.com/ipad-retina-wallpapers/

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All wallpapers re-mastered; 2- and 3-monitor images get new sizes up to 7680x1600! {20 March 2012}
Over the years, as I was publishing new wallpapers in more and more sizes, the entire collection has been more and more difficult to maintain. People often complained that this or that size is missing for this or that wallpaper. Trying to catch up with the existing work flow was hardly possible. So I took a deep breath and re-scaled all my wallpapers to 8000x5000 pixels! Then, I wrote completely new program for saving JPG files from original wallpaper image, and I took this chance to add more sizes for 2 and 3 monitors setup. Now, each wallpaper includes 335 jpg images! And even if you are happy owner of three 2560x1600 monitors, my entire collection is at your service.

I disabled some oldest wallpapers I am still working on. I hope to bring them online as time permits.

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"Who Stole The Moon?" is #1 in Books category in Russian App Store! {16 March 2012}
As of today, "Who Stole The Moon?" is #1 in Books category in Russian App Store! Thanks for your purchases and reviews, we do appreciate them!

Сегодня наша книжка, "Кто украл Луну?", стала хитом в категории "книги" в российском App Store! Спасибо за ваши покупки и отзывы, мы очень рады!

Russian App Store

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Who Stole The Moon? for iPad! {6 March 2012}
slideshow

It's finally here! After almost two years in the making, "Who Stole the Moon?", my first illustrated book for children, is now available as interactive e-book for iPad. And it's not just a simple copy - it's developed from scratch, with fully interactive illustrations - you can touch and drag things across the screen. The book also includes 8 original songs performed by award-winning children's singer Susie Tallman! It even has four mini-games! Available in English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Russian, Ukrainian, Portuguese, Swedish, Czech, Turkish, Afrikaans, Chinese (including professional narration for all languages). It's been most challenging project I have ever had, so this release is very important to me. Good luck, little Bertie!

Lite version - free!
Available on the App Store

Full version - only $4.99!
Available on the App Store

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Valentine's Day is coming - send your love! {12 February 2012}
gift illustration It's that time of year again - Valentine's Day! As in previous year, if you buy one lifetime account until Feb 14, you get another one for free, for the one you love! Check it out here: vladstudio.com/send_your_love.

And also, check out two new animated e-cards - thanks for my sister Julia! They are here, as well as old good love cards: vladstudio.com/cards/.

And in case you missed it, here is my latest wallpaper about love - Robots in Love. Enjoy! :-)

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Introducing Vladstudio Facebook timeline covers! {24 January 2012}
Make your Facebook timeline unique and beautitul with a cover designed by Vladstudio! Personalize it with custom message, designed to "pop out" from your Facebook profile photo. Facebook timeline covers are available for Vladstudio premium users.

For examples, and to create a cover, visit www.vladstudio.com/facebook_timeline_covers.

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