Stuff You Can Use: Find Your Customization Options
Following Tumblr’s dashboard redesign a couple weeks ago, we’ve gotten a number of panicked emails ranging from “Whar? Whar customization options?” to more elaborate death threats and comments about our mothers’ habits. But don’t worry folks, everything’s as it was—just in a different location. And while we realize this is obvious to a great many of you, we figured it’s still worth a quick run-through.
To begin, head up to the main settings cog and go to what’s now your account settings menu.
From here, simply head to the left side and select the blog you’d like to customize.
Customization options are now accessed here, beneath your blog’s URL in the “Theme” field.
Hit “Customize” and you’re off to the races.
Of course, if you have any other questions regarding your theme’s customization options, don’t hesitate to send us an email.
(Semi-relevant cat .gif courtesy of f*ckyeahcatgifs).
Tumblin’: Tag Savage, Writer of Sexpigeon
Sexpigeon’s voice is painfully, jealousy-inducingly unique. It’s something William S. Burroughs might have written if he’d been given the reigns to Vice’s “Dos and Donts” and an unlimited supply of that spice from Dune. Or maybe it’s nothing like that. Maybe paeans like this just play into the larger joke on writing that Tag Savage—its author—is constructing throughout the pages of Sexpigeon.
Either way, Sexpigeon is a work of actual, bullshitless genius. It’s simultaneously an ode to New York’s infinite beauty and irony, a semi-autobiographical toilet filled by an invisible, unknown narrator, and a weirdly beautiful experiment in what idiots like me might wrongly call “ekphrastic poetry.” As far as words on Tumblr go, it’s the best damn pile of ‘em around, and if you don’t love it then I’m not sure there’s any hope for you. Behold: the curtain parts, and Oz speaks.
Sexpigeon seems like a pretty logical response to living in the city, but was there any particular moment or idea that propelled you to start it?
Stuff You Can Use: Share Your Instagram Photos With a Creative Commons License
“Flickr,” as the IamCC Manifesto states, “has something like 200,000,000+ images licensed under Creative Commons,” making it one of the largest open-rights image databases in the world. Instagram’s licensing agreement, however, isn’t nearly as open-ended.
As PhotoShelter Chairman and co-founder Allen Murabayashi recently noted on Wired, Instagram’s licensing amounts to “a rights grab…as a condition for participation.” In order to use the service, you must agree to let Instagram use your work as they see fit, while severely limiting everyone else’s access to it. And if you’re trying to openly share or get your work noticed, you probably don’t want that kind of restriction on it. So what’s a supporter of free culture to do?
- Determine which type of Creative Commons license you’d like to give your photos by using the handy feature selector on CC.org’s license selection page.
- Head back to IamCC and click the “Join Them” button on the front page. Then simply follow the steps after logging into your Instagram account.
Obviously, if you’re posting anything you’d want kept private, this isn’t for you. But if you’re a budding photographer looking to get your name out there, or simply want to make your Instagram images free and available online, IamCC is a great option, with a great misson.
Stuff You Can Use: Ask, Submit, and Twitter (i.e., Blog Settings)—Properly
Among the questions we get on a daily basis, none is more common than “How do I setup the ‘Ask’ feature?” The answer to this is simple, but resides in an often overlooked place—the Blog view’s “Blog Settings.” From what we’ve gathered, it’s among the most overlooked menus on the platform—and so we thought it might be helpful to remind you what exactly dwells in that lovely little tab.
From your dashboard, click on the top navigation link to your desired blog. From there, simply click the “Blog Settings” tab, and blammo: everything not covered in the theme customization options, in one easy place. You can change your Author Photo, enable/disable the Ask function, and link your blog to your Twitter account. This last option is necessary for integrated APIs like “recent tweet” feeds like the one found in Fluid.
So, remember the Blog Settings menu: it’s the next best thing to a cat rave.
Tumblin’: Nicholas Scarpinato
It’s easy to insincerely communicate with an image, and it’s even easier to hide behind an image’s staging to avoid communicating altogether. Nicholas Scarpinato’s work is a great example of someone whose sincerity and skill overcome that kind of slippery jadedness.
Scarpinato’s photography is truly experimental, in that it maintains a constant sense of evolution and recombination. Clearly influenced by his forays into drawing and sculpture, Nick’s photography ranges from compositionally subtle (even vulnerable) portraiture to surreal, even fantastical orchestrations. On break for the summer, Nick spoke with us about inspiration, developing a style, and monochrome dream projects.
How did you become interested in film and photography, and especially in taking it on as a potential career?
I’ve always been interested in art, ever since I was young. Last year, however, I got into photography and instantly fell in love with it. After learning more about photography I discovered Tumblr and Flickr, which helped manifest my creativity and gave me a platform to show off my work. And as I got more followers, it put pressure on me to create better work.
Tell us a bit about your program at Virginia Commonwealth University, and what brought you there.
I chose to attend VCU because they are the number one public art school in the United States. I wanted to be challenged and pushed creatively and thought it was the right school for me. My first year in the art program, I was exposed to sculpture, drawing, film, and painting. Each medium affected me differently and gave me a broader perspective of art and what I can do with it. I was privileged enough to learn from my professors, who are famous illustrators and sculptors. They have helped me out more then I could have imagined.
You’ve shot a highly diverse body of work so far, but to what styles or methods have you developed the strongest attachment? And in what style of film are you most interested in working?
Out of all my experimentation with photography I’ve grown to favor a mixed media approach when creating my images. I apply different layers of paint, which gives my photos a painterly and nostalgic look.
You mention planning a large(r) photographic project for this summer. Care to tell us anything about it?
I will be starting a 365 photo challenge on my tumblr. I will be posting a new photo everyday for a year. So expect that to start shortly!
What are some other blogs or artists on Tumblr you find inspiring?
One inspiring blog that I follow is Lissy Elle’s Photo Blog. Lissy posts surreal and creative photography that motivates me to grow as a photographer.
Though I imagine it’s nearly impossible to answer this with any certainty after only 1 year, what do you hope to do after completing VCU’s Film program?
I hope to be a production designer on films and hopefully become a director.
Dream project: unlimited funding, no spatial or travel constraints, and anyone dead or alive will collaborate (if so desired). What do you do?
I would love to paint an entire forest white and photograph giant white sailboats hanging out of the trees. I would also love to collaborate with the fashion photographer Tim Walker for this project.
Blogs We Like: Jon Carling
Carling’s Everything is Vibrating is a spectacular example of a straightforward illustration blog with very un-straightforward content. His work is simultaneously spare and detailed, often utilizing a picturebook format, with subjects ranging from devils blowing ghost-bubbles to Thoth in slacks. Everything is Vibrating reads like an inviting, Gorey-flecked reworking of the Ars Goetia—both beautiful and comfortingly strange. We dig it.
Tumblin’: Paul Scheer
Paul Scheer is the kind of person for whom the cliche “needs no introduction” was designed. He’s appeared in dozens of films and television series, including VH1’s “I Love the” specials, the seminal sketch comedy series Human Giant (co-created with Rob Huebel and Aziz Ansari), and the wildly successful FX series The League. Scheer’s also an accomplished writer, having worked on HBO’s Funny or Die Presents, Childrens Hospital, and the wildly absurd (and self-created) NTSF:SD:SUV.
Some of Scheer’s best work has been in audio form too, having appeared regularly on nearly every Earwolf podcast, including his co-created “good-bad” movie show How Did This Get Made? With so much going on, one could expect Scheer to be difficult to get a hold of, but the opposite is true. A longtime Tumblr-er, Scheer’s tumblog (and his exuberant involvement with BreakingGIFs) paints the picture of a comedian both approachable and genuinely, contagiously enthused by his work. We spoke with Paul about his numerous current projects, nefarious future projects, and the hygenic pitfalls of kitten-beards.
Many entertainers on Tumblr tend to treat the platform as merely a marketing tool. However, your tumblog is consistently personally updated, funny as hell, and deeply embedded in its surrounding webby culture. What brought you to Tumblr, and what’s kept you so involved?
Thanks! I got involved with Tumblr early on, back when we were doing Human Giant. Jakob Lodwick who was part of the founding members of College Humor & Vimeo told me about the site. At that point all these comedians/actors were spending all this money on website design that was basically dead. By that I mean once you visited it there was no reason to visit again, you saw all the content. Tumblr was a platform that made it easier to blog more constantly and keep it alive and make a site that was worth visiting every day. Plus, it was great to find stuff on the web without surfing to a bunch of different sites. It’s a giant hub that everyone on it is connected to and I love it.
Aside from the show’s “meth, fried chicken, shaved heads, and really cool jumpsuits,” what inspired your foray into the interweb’s GIFhole for BreakingGIFs?
I was lucky to be asked by Vince Gilligan, the creator of Breaking Bad, to help launch a fun fan viral site. I teamed up again with Jensen [Karp] at Gallery 1988 (we did the Lost Underground Art Show) and Lacey Micallef (lulinternet) who did the amazing GIF designs. As a fan, it was so much fun to be apart of this concept that’s just for super fans. Long live BreakingGIFS!
How Did This Get Made strikes a difficult balance between humorous deconstruction and full-on roasting, and shows a lot more background work on your part(s) than many other movie-related podcasts. How did it come about, and what’s your favorite part of doing it? And have there been any movies that you three have deemed too shitty or simply impossible to use for the podcast?
Thanks! It’s one of my favorite things to do. The whole podcast was a very organic idea. Jason, June, and I were at a party venting about Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and it kind of just occurred to us that this would be a fun podcast. What I love about podcasting is just the idea that you can do whatever you want. It’s totally freeform and you don’t have to answer to anyone about anything, from content to length. It’s all about what you want to do, and if it’s good I think it finds an audience. I love interacting with the fans of the podcast and I want to do that more. We try to stay away from REALLY BAD direct to DVD movies though, because they’re not really as accessible as a big budget film that’s trying to appeal to everyone but misses.
During the recent filming of NTSF:SD:SUV’s 2nd season, you started a corresponding tumblog and twitter to not only keep viewers interested but share some behind-the-scenes stuff as well. Do you have plans for similar “one-off” tumblogs for any other upcoming projects?
It’s funny you mention that because I’m kinda going back and forth on it right now. Sometimes I think it might just be best to do everything in one place, if you start segmenting too much people might miss stuff. What do you think?
The League’s 4th season is due to air soon. The show’s highly improvisational structure has garnered a lot of attention, but it obviously still takes a decent script to point you guys in the right direction. Having written on 3 episodes of the show, what kind of challenges does writing so (assumedly?) open-endedly or flexibly entail?
We start airing again in the fall, probably September. The show is structured like Curb Your Enthusiasm: we have a 12 page outline that breaks down into scenes, and in each scene there’s the script written like you might read it in a novel. So there are suggestions of concepts, dialogue etc., but this is all a jumping off point for the actual scene. When you write these episodes it’s difficult, because your instinct is to “connect the dots” but you have to leave enough leeway to allow new things to be discovered—while also laying the groundwork for a strong plot, characters plots, etc.
You recently performed as H.P. Lovecraft (beside James Adomian as Friedrich Nietzsche) for Paul F Thompkins’ Dead Authors Podcast. What kind of preparation is involved with something like that, compared to other in-character improv like Comedy Bang Bang?
Ha! I think it all falls under the same umbrella. It’s just a bunch of friends getting together and having fun and trying to make each other laugh.
Are there any larger projects that you wish you had more time to tackle? What’s next?
I’d like to build a race of robots originally designed to make human life easier, but eventually have them turn against their human owners and enslave us…but that’s big picture stuff.
Would You Rather: have a permanently-affixed beard of kittens, or be required to wear five pairs of pants (simultaneously) when in public?
Pants! Kittens, while cute, will eventually shit all over the place. It’s just too messy.
Blogs We Like: John Mulaney
Comedians’ blogs are typically among the most interesting on Tumblr. Like many creative jobs, comedy comes with a lot of downtime, punctuated by (requisite/productive) boredom and travel-delirium. John Mulaney’s Tumblr is a wonderful instance of how these occupational staples provide engaging blog fodder, especially if there’s Law & Order involved.
If you haven’t heard of Mulaney before now, you’ve been missing out. As a writer-producer for Saturday Night Live, he’s co-scripted Bill Hader’s beloved “Stefon” sketches (among many others), and his most recent (and well-reviewed) stand-up special “New in Town” is incredibly funny and polished—especially for someone under 30. We’re also quite flattered that he’s using our Gun Metal theme. Give this tall, tired man-child a follow!
Our fearless leader was interviewed by Tumblr’s Storyboard blog yesterday!
Topics covered include: Tumblr themes, beer skepticism, sketchy areas in un-sketchy towns, and the gender politics of Western films as metaphor for good design. Pretty standard stuff.
Blogs We Like: The Earwolf Tumblr(s)
Earwolf has been the most consistently hilarious and inventive podcast network since the format’s inception. Their ‘casts are too numerous to list here, but we’ll gladly note that our personal favorites are the summah-lovin’ Who Charted? and Scott Aukerman/Hot Saucerman’s longtime champ Comedy Bang Bang. If you’re not subscribed to the Earwolf pantheon, you’re missing out on some of the best comedy in the pod-verse.
Since most of Earwolf’s shows feature standup and improv comedians, they tend to be accessibly self-referential and quotable. That’s why we’re lucky to have both the Official Earwolf blog (a robust and well-authored show log) and the semi-official Earwolf Tumblr, which showcases site moderator Seminal Designer’s prolific sketching and illustration based on Earwolf’s standout moments. Both are brilliant accompaniments to an already amazing world of comedy podcasting, so follow ‘em—or Bobby might just get stabby.
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