Inkscape adventure

On: October 10, 2010
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About Laila Koubia
From Dutch/Moroccan background // Female // BA in Communication and Multimedia Design // working experience in narrowcasting // freelance multimedia designer // MA New Media student at the UvA // ------ BA in Communication and Multimedia Design at The Hague University of Applied Sciences. Worked three years as administrator of a narrowcasting system and editor in chief of a studentTV station [H/TV]. Since 2007 freelance multimedia designer at LK Design []. Interest goes out to the use of media in non-western countries (particularly Arab countries), media ethics, media in education, media-art, surveillance…


I always thought of myself as a person open to change and eager for new impulses and opportunities. However I don’t think this applies to my computer surroundings. It started all with my beloved Macbook Pro’s screen turning pitch black; everything was working except for the screen, it just decided to die right there at that moment. After a short investigation I came to the conclusion that the problem lied within the graphic card. According to Apple the Nvidia graphic card had a ‘packaging defect‘, and many of the Macbook Pro’s manufactured between May 2007 and September 2008 dealt with this problem.
Well, there I was, handicapped and feeling so disconnected from the world. With so many things I still had to do but I couldn’t. And then I saw it: a tiny white and hideous thing, the so-called mini notebook. The first time I saw my sister entering the house with her new purchase it gave me the chills, it was so small that it looked like a little Decepticon creature smashed flat to the ground. The stability of the thing was also so bad, putting it on my lap would result in a heavy wiggling as if the mini notebook, like a little baby, still had to learn how to stand steady. Since I had no other choice, I had to work on that thing. So I started with all the best intentions I had. But after a few minutes I could feel my frustration growing exponentially; the screen was so tiny! The thing was too slow, Windows would keep asking me things that I really didn’t care about, it kept making me feel like a clumsy giant with huge fingers unable to use the keyboard properly, and the whole interface and usage was not intuitive at all. I really couldn’t understand how my sister thought this thing was ‘handy’, but as she concluded: ‘besides, I only use it to watch laptop-television, laptop television is a new definition introduced by my dear sister, meaning: watching series and shows she missed on her mini notebook. Oh yeah of course, in that case the mini laptop is really handy!

After several frustration attacks I installed Inkscape to get started on John Haltiwanger’s mission for this week: creating a banner using Inkscape. Since Photoshop version 7.0 I have been a fanatic user of the Adobe programs to create my digital artwork. In 2003 I also started working with Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver and InDesign. So I was already critical towards other designer programs. But since I trusted myself to be totally open minded towards new software I thought I would give Inkscape a fair chance. I started creating a banner from a template and experimenting with the different tools. But I have grown so accustom to the interface of Illustrator, or for creating a banner to Photoshop, that I just couldn’t give Inkscape a honest chance. Maybe because of this attitude I couldn’t find any positive points in my comparison of Inkscape with the Adobe programs, except for the fact that Inkscape is open-source of course. For me Inkscape’s user interface wasn’t intuitive at all,  and not knowing the shortcuts – with an RSI arm plus having to work with the touch pad of the mini notebook feeling like a rock – left me with more frustration. This is the result of my Inkscape adventure:

Wow, pretty artistic, isn’t it?
I must say that the program offers it’s users many possibilities, tools and changeable settings one can adjust to his/her preferences. But I’m sorry Inkscape, my soul has already been sold to Adobe. With the smooth interface adjusting to everything I need, it’s like the ideas in my brain have a connection with the tools I need in Illustrator. Also my Wacom tablet didn’t work so good in Inkscape as it does in Illustrator. After finishing this blog post my next move will be deleting Inkscape from the hidious ‘smashed to the ground Decepticon’ mini notebook of my sister.
I can’t wait until I will be re-united with my Macbook Pro monday evening, I will be plugged in, online, digital represented and complete again!

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