So, I've had some questions asked to me about some of the functions of this blog itself, and just some technical ones. I figure I can address this in a short F.A.Q. (frequently asked questions) for everyone. I've also added quite a few that may come up in the future. Mind you, before you jump into this, I am illustrator first, writer second. Forgive me if it's not grammatically perfect, I never completed my vocab books in grade school. I sat there and doodled instead.

General Questions:

What is Oondu?
Oondu is a place for a group of friends and illustrators to post and share artwork, and to just get some feedback. The goal is to keep the authors connected, and I will personally try to keep this going for as long as it can go. All the while hopefully staying a friendly relaxed place, but with the option of some critique and not general ass-pattery.

Why the awkward looking name?
I tried to come up with many, many names for this blog. Some of the candidates being: Print Revolver, Press, Red Missle, and my personal favorite: Colors n' shit (thanks Nate). But alas, they were either taken or not fitting for a wide group of different and unique illustrators. This place needed a name that meant nothing, and couldn't define the group and confine it. Art is open-minded and after some thought, and some random mashing on the keyboard, Oondu was born.

So Oondu doesn't mean anything?
At first I thought it meant nothing, but I did some digging and eventually found out that it also translated into Hindi: "A deep pit, or pond". Well if that isn't a metaphor for the brilliant ramshackle group of artists currently on here. A name that was mostly chosen for being short and easy to google, has something behind it.

Can anyone Post?
Not just anyone can post art. Currently you have to be a CCAD student or graduate, and I, Mike Puncekar or Mr. Alex Lyon sort of give your art a visual pat down and pass an invite along. I always hoped this place would only house those who were truly passionate in the Illustration program. I have plans for those who aren't CCAD students, and the general public in the future though - see the Future Plans section. 

It began as a personal project to maybe get a late night critique before an assignment was due, but to be honest the community is growing.

I got an invite, but I still can't post.
I may have sent you an invite, but this automatically doesn't mean you can post, you have to confirm it in your e-mail first.

I just registered, why am I not listed as an illustrator?
I have to add people to this list manually, and regrettably, due to lack of psychic prowess it may take me a day or two to even notice you are around. In the worst of circumstances I or my cohort may have missed you entirely, and if that occur I urge you to e-mail one of use so we can remedy the situation. 

Is a F.A.Q. really necessary for such a small group of most likely tech savvy illustrators?

Why the look of this place?
This look isn't permanent, but at the moment seems to work, and took very little time to set up. The back ground will always be black, white, or grey though, as I believe color does have an effect on color, and it's only fair to your artwork. I will say it is in need of a branding soon, and I need to quit losing my files to update the theme.

Technical Questions

Do I need a blog already to post?
No you do not. This can act as your active blog, and all you need to do is register. That's it. You can at any point later in time, create your own blog, or quit this one. When I add you on the sidebar I will just link to your profile, and if you ever do make one, people will see it until I update the link. Please e-mail me though if that happens.

How do I post on this ridiculous thing?
On your blogger/blogspot homepage, once you have accepted your invitation, you will see Oondu. Under all the normal gibberish about the blog, you should see "Make a new post". Click that link and join the adventure.

I'm making a new post, anything I should know?
First things first, you DO NOT have to touch the text size. It may look big in the general text editor, but the format settings on the blog itself will resize it for you, and you won't make us all squint to see your now smaller text. My blog was awkward to read at first because it took me too long to figure this out.

To post a picture or pictures, just click on the normal "mountain picture" in the tool bar at the top of the editor, and follow the simple instructions. I've always wondered who made that little mountain picture as famously used as it is. You can even add video if you have an animation. It's the film strip if you are wondering. As a general rule of thumb, just hover your mouse over something if you are wondering what it does, and after a few seconds the tag will pop up.

Submit pictures as a medium size. It encourages a click to enlarge, but for the ones who this never occurs to, is still big enough to see details. Also, a consistent size posting helps keep spotlighting of artwork down. Were all equals on here. That sounds cheesy, but it's just the Thomas Jefferson thing to do.

Edit: This medium picture size really isn't truly in effect anymore. Everyone tends to be on nice new laptops and desktops now and the web standards have made this seem silly

The format is what ever you want really, but the general rule seems to be with the picture affixed to the left, and with text down below it for you indecisive folks.

One last thing: It is kind of you to resize your work before posting it. I like hi-res pictures and all, but sometimes it just makes the work hard to admire. Not only that, when you shrink it, it will hide flaws and make it more accessible by older computers not capable of high resolutions. I wouldn't recommend going over 900 pixels in either direction unless it is multiple pictures, or an awkward size that will lose some of the things we need to see. Feel free to post a hi-res for us to check the details out if you want though.

I don't think it will be a problem, but if someone ever did want your artwork, they will prefer the hi-res as they can edit it much easier for their needs. So this is like a win-win-win-win situation when you resize.

My pictures won't upload! I hate this.
Blogger is weird, and seems to hate macs and our browsers. There are many times where I have had pictures fail to upload, or when they finally do, you can't click to enlarge because the html defining the picture location mysteriously disappeared.

My tips on this one are: try to upload pictures first, before typing anything if this occurs, and keep on trying until it does eventually work. Make sure you are trying to upload 72 dpi work, with an RGB color profile. It seems to be picky if you try to upload a CYMK, ready for print, picture.

It's buggy for some reason or another, and for all I know it is just me, but just incase, those are the only real solutions I have found.

Future Plans

What's next for this little endeavor? 
I've been sort of wondering if there is a need, or even if anyone cares that I make an expansion onto this blog, but I've decided that I am anyway, because I love this place. The next step for oondu is going to be an expanded forum for discussion. I've been toiling away with the subject for a long while now, educating myself on how to make it happen, and I would like to make this happen in the near future. I'm not going to put a date on it just yet, but the CCAD community is a tight knit one and a place for students to hang out and network beyond forum comments is something that really could be utilized. 

Think conceptart.org, but in a smaller more personal way where you aren't constantly being probed for cash, and it doesn't move so fast it's practically useless.

Which means anyone will be able to sign up and post.

What? I'm not following... proceed with more information please.
The forum will contain of course a finished works area, but also a techniques area, and some other categories. And finally a more dynamic area for some activities that could easily double as portfolio work. Have a good sketch from sketch night that no one saw? You'll be able to show it off. 

Alot of good information goes around at sketch nights, artist recommendations, "this is how I did it" talks. No reason for that to only be shared by a few select people.

I thought this was about CCAD. Why are you letting all these other barbarians in?
The community needs to become a self sustaining zeitgeist of art and people. There really is no benefit from walling ourselves in from the outer world. We'll just end up with some sort of Easter Island situation and end up cutting down all of our trees and eating each other. That's just awkward. But I'm not going to go completely, fully public with it. There will be special permissions for CCAD students and graduates to allow them in the "super secret" sections. So for one, we can drone about more personal columbus things, but two, so we can stand as a community and if we have leads others could benefit from we could post them. What is great about this is it will also make it much easier to keep on adding members, since it wont be entirely invite oriented until you want special permissions, and I can appoint some people currently at CCAD as sort of feelers for people who want to be involved. I certainly can't hang out there randomly looking over shoulders and inviting people anymore now that I've graduated. It'd be creepy. 

This in theory will be like the circle hall illustration lab, but cleaner, in one piece, and not painted neon colors. 

The blog will always stay a blog.
This format is still a great format and will definitely not be abandoned. But I think everyone knows it's a really crappy way get activities going and the format sometimes discourages really dumping lots of stuff for us to rub our eyeballs on, because you don't want to be "the guy" who took up every post on the front page. And I like to talk about other general things, but it's just stupid to send the same e-mail to five people, and then on top of it, miss out on talkings from other people I didn't e-mail.

Anyway, what I should be saying is that posting on the blog will remain an exclusive CCAD right, and until the forum is officially opened, and you've by then told everyone you know about it (right?), it's not gonna change a whole bunch right now. I will be remaking the header so themes can be updated again as the file is lost and so is any memory of what fonts and resources I used.

Traffic is down, why are you doing this?
Actually, traffic isn't down. The comments certainly are, but traffic has been on a gradual rise ever since the site was founded. I have a tracker for these things. I have numbers. People are looking at your art, even if they aren't saying anything. The major benefit of this is that if the forum does work it can mean more traffic, and more views, and more people ogling your stuff. Although for whatever reason not a lot of people follow the blog, which I think is entirely my fault for not having a followers palette there. I know it's just people who dont know how, or are too lazy to copy paste it into their blogger feed. Of course, everyone is using google reader these days anyway. 

The End Game
The experience you get at CCAD is quite unique. I don't think anyone would walk out of there without a sort of "Brothers in Arms" mentality especially if you are out of the illustration major. And there is no reason for that bond to stop or for any of us to stop learning. It's a grand thought, and I'm gonna do my best to make it happen.

I still have a question.
Send me (Mike Puncekar) an e-mail at mpuncekar.1(at)go.ccad.edu and I'll do my best to answer. I do not have a Facebook and I highly recommend the e-mail.

Questions and such may also be directed to Alex Lyon at slyon.1(at)go.ccad.edu. He's added a heck of a lot of members to the site, and while I may have made the place, he's certainly made sure it's continued to exist ever since I came to my senses and asked for some help. 

Want to know more about us?