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What is your favorite piece of art and what does it mean to you?

12. September 2013 15:26 by Danielle in clickinks, contest  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

You may have seen the question "What is your favorite piece of art and what does it mean to you?" posed recently for the Clickinks Scholarship Contest. For a small scholarship, we received many outstanding responses, and the decision to choose one winner was difficult. 

The submission from Marissa Brown really stood out. Her response was artistic, yet intelligent. I was touched reading her essay. You can read the essay in its entirety below.



















Tear Me Apart by Linnea Strid. 2005. Oil on plywood. 28 x 30 cm.

Have you ever looked at a piece of art so detailed and lifelike that you at first brush it off as a beautiful photograph? Then, all of the sudden, it hits you that that is in fact a painting, not a photograph, and you almost feel sick with the amount of talent that person must have? That is how I feel when I look at each piece of art created by Linnea Strid. In particular, her painting Tear Me Apart shows immense attention to detail, a powerful emotion, and is overall simply a beautiful piece.

While in the International Baccalaureate program at high school, I took a higher-level visual arts class. Every week we had to write five pages in our Investigative Workbooks (IWBs) about anything and everything art related. Writing in these IWBs every week for three years meant that I researched and reported on many amazing artists that I would have never known about if I had not taken the time. Throughout all of those hundreds and hundreds of pages, Linnea Strid is one artist that stood out to me the most.

Linnea Strid is originally from Sweden, but spent a good portion of her life in Spain. This atmosphere is where her career in art began to flourish. She sold her first painting at the age of 16 (Chefas), showing that her artistic talent started early. She now lives in California and paints photorealistic oil pieces that are sure to blow your mind! (Another one of my favorites is Embraced by the Silence).

In her As It Falls Over You exhibition, Linnea is inspired by human emotions and the way water plays against the human form. The main emotions she focused on were “Mortality, fear of dying, fear of living. Loneliness. Anxiety in general” (Strid). I believe that because of these strong emotions, her artwork makes that much more of a statement.

When looking at this oil painting, the first thing that catches my eye is the obvious attention to detail. Being an oil painter myself, I know how much time goes into creating even a mediocre piece, so looking at something as intricate as this painting reflects much time and effort.
I love the realistic quality of the water running down her face – you can see the color of skin peeking through as well as all of the shades that a single stream of water has. Never again will you think that water is a simple shade of blue!
Looking closer you see the eyelashes matted together, heavy with water; the hair gripping to her skin… And these are just the physical features.

As striking and complex as Strid’s artwork is, it would be nothing without the emotion that pours through the canvas. You can see that this painting conveys a sense of frustration or sadness when looking at the slightly furrowed brow and the deep crease of the eyelid. The water streaming over her face takes place of the tears.
The composition of this piece is also what makes this a favorite of mine. It is not the typical view of a face; not all of it is shown and it takes up the entire canvas. This way there is no ignoring the emotion protruding from her features.

The color palette is also extremely unique and is one of the biggest reasons in why I enjoy this piece so much. The hair color in particular is what strikes me the most. It is not your typical blonde or brunette or even red color, it’s gray – almost white. And yet there is not sense of old age in the woman’s face. It is almost like the water is slowly draining her out.

This painting connects with me on a personal level as I feel that Linnea has pinpointed a physical setting of great emotion. Being in the shower or bath, feeling the water stream over you – it can be a place of great emotional release, of vulnerability and cleansing. I often seek the warmth and comfort of purifying waters during times of emotional strife. It seems that you enter weighed down and exit lighter and more composed. It is a place to sort thoughts, or simply forget for a few minutes.

Another reason that I find this artwork (and the rest of Linnea’s art, for the record) so stunning is, again, the photorealistic quality. I have attended art shows, art museums, and even art conventions such as Art Basel in Miami, and the question “What is art?” often arises. I believe that there is no one answer to this question, and that in the end art is in the eye of the beholder, so to speak. Therefore, I do have my own personal answer to this question: I believe that art is something that takes time and true attention to detail, composition, and color. I have a hard time looking at a scribble on a scrap of paper and understanding why not every other person in the world couldn’t do that. This is why Linnea is a favorite of mine – she is a true artist, in my book at least. I myself am an artistic person, but no matter how many hours of my time I spent, I could never obtain a fraction of her talent. It is something that I exceedingly appreciate.

Overall, this painting holds a place in my heart because of it’s striking beauty, evident emotion, personal connection, and attention to detail. Whenever I gaze upon this piece I cannot help but appreciate the talent that Linnea Strid holds and it encourages me to work harder at my own work – artwork or otherwise. Linnea has shown me that it is important to embrace your God-given gifts. I may not ever be as spectacular an artist as her paintings so portray, but I will work hard and develop what talent I do have; and that is an exciting topic of it’s own.

Works Cited
Chefas, Stephanie. "Art Chat with Linnea Strid." Platinum Cheese. Platinum Cheese, 9 Dec. 2011. Web. 26 Mar. 2013. <>.

How great to see Marissa so excited!

Printing Graph Paper

8. August 2013 04:38 by aaj_14 in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Printing graph paper

Graph paper is paper with lines pre-printed on it to form a regular grid. Often used for plotting mathematical
functions or creating technical drawings, there is a huge variety of styles of graph paper available to suit any mathematical, engineering, design or scientific exercise.

Graph paper can be purchased pre-printed in either loose leaf paper or bounded notebooks. However, many
users of graph paper no longer buy it pre-printed and instead print it themselves using one of the many free printable graph paper websites now available that will work with standard printer ink. As well as the chance to
choose from a wide choice of printable formats, there is also the opportunity to generate your own bespoke graph paper with one of the many software programs available on the Internet. Here you can specify the exact style, size and colours required from your graph paper to be printed out as needed with today's high quality laser toners and inkjet printers.


Cartesian graph paper, the most popular form of graph paper used, comes in coarse, fine and extra fine grid styles. It is identified by its two perpendicular sets of lines forming a square grid. A very versatile graph paper, it is very useful for craft projects, layouts, sketching and other non-mathematical projects. Print Free Graph Paper has many options of Cartesian graph paper, available to download in optimized PDF format. 


There are so many different styles of graph paper in existence and outlined here is an overview of the options available to you if you want something other than the standard Cartesian variety, along with links for printing them out from the Internet;


Isometric or 3D: A triangular graph paper that uses intersecting 30 degree and 120 degree parallel lines, used for achieving a clear and clean pseudo 3D of an object.


Engineering: Similar to Cartesian graph paper, however, through the use of contrasting line weights, this paper groups the squares into clusters to show distance.


Hexagonal: Uses hexagons instead of squares, used primarily for mapping geometric tiled designs.


Polar: Allows plotting in polar coordinates with its circles divided into small arcs.


Logarithmic: Uses rectangles drawn in varying widths corresponding to logarithmic scales for graphing rapidly increasing or decreasing quantities spread over a wide area.


Probability sheets: With a probability scale along one axis and a linear scale along the other, this paper is commonly used in statistics for graphing variables along a normal distribution.


Print Free Graph Paper also has the option to print all of the graph paper styles outlined above and Incompetech is also a fantastic resource for printing all types of graph paper as well as calendars and writing paper, making the organizing or structuring of any project possible. If you require your own custom sheets of graph paper there is also the possibility to purchase your own Graph Paper Maker. A review of this software can be
found at ATPM.

What’s the hype on 3D printers?

10. July 2013 14:11 by Danielle in print industry, printing at home  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)











You may have heard about all of the new innovations from 3D printers, and now they are available to the general consumer.  A 3D printer can build physical objects on a desktop printer by arranging layers of melted plastic into a specified model. Staples now offers the Cube 3D Printer for $1299.99 and Amazon launched a new 3D Printer department offering a range of 3D printers from $1,099. This is a big step towards growing from something only available in large CAD departments, to something you could have in your home, if you drop $1,000 plus.

But do you need a 3D printer? Are you a CAD designer? If not, there may not be much you can print. For the majority, you will have to find a pre-made plan that you can download and print.

MakerBot’s Thingiverse does offer an open-source library of free 3D models ready-to-print. You can find patterns for Fashion, like necklaces, Gadgets, like iPhone cases and more.  Many digital designs are available to share.

Keep in mind, without the CAD software and knowledge, you will be limited to designs that others have created.  The ease of use has been compared to picking up MS-Dos. Is this the new custom creator for every home? Not yet. There is a great potential as the machines become more main stream, easier to use, and more affordable for the average consumer. 

Will you be getting a 3D Printer? Let us know!

5 Ways to Save Money on Your Office Gadgets

28. May 2013 12:39 by Danielle in clickinks, office supplies, savings  //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)

5 Ways to Save Money on Your Office Gadgets {Guest Post}

David Bakke is a small business owner, Internet reseller, and contributor for the popular personal finance blog, Money Crashers.

Whether you're a small business owner with a passion for digital technology or you're simply obsessed with grabbing the latest gadgets for yourself, there is tech temptation at every turn. The iPhone 5 was just released, as was the iPad 4. Just because the next latest and greatest gadget enters the market, however, doesn't mean you need to spend a fortune. In fact, there are ways that you can keep up with cutting edge technology without breaking the bank. Read on for some go-to money-saving tips for gadgets:

1. Purchase Online It's true that one of your best strategies to save on office gadgets is to look online. Use eBay or Amazon to begin with, but if you truly want to save, sign up for email updates from a website such as FatWallet or Slickdeals. That way, you can get an aggregate of all the deals both online and in-store where you can save the most money. Just be sure to factor in the shipping costs so you don't end up spending more money on online purchases than you would in-store.

2. Buy Used Shopping online is great, but take the idea to the next level by checking out used listings when you're shopping Amazon or eBay. You can sometimes uncover a deal where the product may be opened but it is virtually unused. Just because it's listed in the "used" category doesn't mean its tainted goods. It might be an item that was simply unwanted or one with a UPC code removed for a rebate promotion.

3. Track Clearance Sections This can involve a bit of leg work, but if you check out Staples, Office Depot, Office Max and Clickinks on a regular basis, you can find some nice items in their clearance section. These items aren't limited to traditional office supplies – you can even get display model laptops and other devices at significant discounts.

4. Go Without Although abstinence is never fun, sometimes it's best just to wait a while before making your purchase. You're never going to be able to keep up with all of the latest electronic releases, so your best bet may be not to buy new office gadgets at all. At the very least, wait unit the next model is released and you're going to save money by purchasing the previous model.

5. Sell Your Old Gadgets When you do upgrade your smartphone or other office gadget, be sure to sell your unwanted items. Amazon, eBay, and Craigslist are typically the best places to make a sale. Be sure you package your items safely and securely and ship them fast as well - you want to avoid getting returns.

Final Thoughts If you find yourself in the position of saving a few hundred dollars on a laptop computer, consider investing that money where it can do your finances the most good. If you don't have an emergency fund in place, start one. Got credit card debt? Get those balances knocked down. It's great to save on office gadgets, but using your savings in a meaningful way is even more important.

What ways can you think of to save on office gadgets?

How to save money when printing

11. April 2013 21:00 by Danielle in clickinks, how to save ink, paper saving  //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)

With the evolution of home printing over the last decade, printing has now become more easily accessible than ever before. All but gone are the days of paying a print shop to print a simple document. Printing at home can save you time and money. With that being said, ink is still a pricey liquid that can really cut into the college student, or coupon clippers, budget. 

There are some smart ways to get the most bang for your buck when printing. 

Is your font eating up your ink? If you regularly use Arial, you could potentially use less printer ink by selecting Calibri, Century Gothic or Times New Roman as your default font. The amounts of ink used are generally determined by the thickness of the lines, so go light instead of bold for your prints.

Now that you have looked at your font, you may want to look at your default printer preferences. Select economy or draft mode if you are printing a casual note, or restaurant coupon, that does not require top quality, and you can save yourself money on those color inks.  If you have a commercial printer, you may also have the option to select duplex printing.  Selecting this option allows you to easily print on the front and back of each page, cutting your paper cost in half. Once you have changed your printer preferences, then go to print preview to make sure you are printing only what you need instead of printing headers, footers and anything else unnecessary.

Once you are using the least amount of ink and paper per print, you will want to find the lowest price on replacement ink cartridges.  You don’t need to purchase name brand ink cartridges, there are many stores, like, that sell reliable remanufactured ink cartridges, at half the price. 

Most of us aren’t printing our own money, so apply these tips and you too can save more money when printing.

Decorate your cubicle photo contest

8. April 2013 15:51 by Danielle in clickinks, contest, facebook, free ink, giveaway  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Is ink getting expensive? Would you like to win $150 worth of the printer supplies you need from! That's over a year’s worth of ink cartridges for the average consumer!

Are you stuck in a boring cubicle with no way out? Looking for a good excuse to exercise your creative side?

Are you tired of looking at that ugly printer on your desk that always flashes low ink?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, Clickinks has an answer for you!

Decorate your printer or cubicle, post a photo to Clickinks facebook page, and you could win $150 worth of the printer supplies from! Bedazzle your printer, prank a co-workers desk for their birthday, or beautify your cubicle for the 4th of July! We want to see your creativity!

The Clickinks cubicle dwellers will be judge and jury, so aim to impress and you could win $150 worth of the printing supplies from!

Interested cubicle dwellers and printer owners can submit a photo of their decorated printer and/or office cubicle by posting a photo to now through July 5th, 2013.



And a little inspiration...

Halloween Cubicle:

Diaper Desk prank for a new Dad:



Should I buy an Inkjet or Laser Printer?

The type of printer that is best for you depends greatly on how you plan to use it.  Do you print documents in mass quantities? More than 3 pages a day, or more than 20 pages a week? If so, you it would be worth switching to a laser printer.    
Laser printers also produce high quality text documents, although if you are printing primarily color photos you may want to stick with a good inkjet printer. 
Laser printers have a higher cost initially, and use toner cartridges that are priced higher than most inkjet, however you will notice the toner cartridges have a much higher yield, which will save you time and money in the long run. 
In the Recycler’s article Cost effectiveness of laser versus inkjet discussed David Connett had a good point about duplexing as well, “Some laser printers automatically print on both sides”, which is another time and money saver that you will find in laser printers over inkjet.
Laser toner cartridges can cost around $91, on average, however the laser toner cartridge is able to print 1,500 to 3,500 pages, whereas a standard inkjet cartridge may only costs $23, but only produces approximately 200 pages. Per print you are looking at a significant savings long term with a laser printer.   
You can also find quality remanufactured toner cartridges to easily save up to an additional 50% off those average prices, with no loss in quality to be seen.

Should you buy a Laser Printer? If you are printing documents in high quantity, the answer is a resounding yes.

Clickinks Photography competition

22. March 2013 10:14 by Neeru in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Calling all photographers! From seasoned pros to amateurs, Clickinks wants to hear from you! We are running a photography competition; the theme is “new beginnings” 

We are giving away $100 and the chance for you to have your photograph professionally printed on a gallery wrapped 24” x 16” canvas!

Who can enter?

The competition is free to enter, and open to all living in USA or Europe.

How to enter

To enter, either email your photo to or post the photo on Facebook and tag Clickinks via our Facebook page.

There are some rules:

Please only send us a photo that you've taken - you must own the rights to it.

If you're chosen as the winner, we'd like to publish the photo on our site in a blog post (but we won't publish it anywhere else).

The photo can be of any subject matter you like (but please, nothing rude!) 

The deadline is  June 5th 2013 at 9am and the winner will be announced shortly afterwards. 

Only one entry per person - so choose only your favorite. Good luck!

Competition is open only to The United States of America and Europe. 


- Due to the popular response, we have decided to extend the competition until the 5th June 2013.

Clickinks Guide to ALSC Awards

22. March 2013 10:10 by Neeru in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) was established by the American Library Association in 1941 to promote and improve library services to children and teens. In its early years, it was restructured and renamed three times, becoming the modern ALSC in 1977. Since its inception, it has grown to include more than 4000 members including children’s librarians, literary experts, publishers, and education and library faculty.

One of the most high profile ways the ALSC encourages children to read is through its awards and medals. Every January, it praises authors, illustrators and their works with more than 15 accolades. These are all prestigious in their own right, selected as they are by the distinguished members of the ALSC, though some are more well known than others. 

Among the most famous of these awards is the Newbery Award. Given to a work that has proved a significant contribution to children’s literature, the Newbery has been awarded to classics such as Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Sarah Plain and Tall, and A Wrinkle in Time.

The Caldecott Medal is awarded to the most outstanding children’s picture book. It has been given to Make Way for Ducklings, Where the Wild Things Are, and Jumanji.

The Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award goes to a person who has contributed significantly to children’s literature, be they author, critic or teacher of children’s literature. Recipients are then invited to give a lecture on children’s literature. Honorees include Michael Morpurgo, Maurice Sendak and Philip Pullman.

The Batchelder Award selects a book originally written and published for children in a language other than English and in a country other than the United States. The American publisher that translates into English and publishes in America the outstanding book wins the prize. Winners have included Charles Scribner's Sons for Don’t Take Teddy by Babbis Friis-Baastad and Walker and Company for The Baboon King by Anton Quintana.

The Belpré Medal celebrates the work of Latino or Latina writers and illustrators who celebrate Latino culture and experience in children’s literature. Victor Martinez, author of Parrot in the Oven: Mi Vida, and illustrator Yuyi Morales are among those who have won this.

The Carnegie Medal goes to the producer of the best children’s videos. This has included So You Want to be President? and Eric Carle: Picture Writer.

Established in 2006 and named after Dr. Seuss, the Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal is awarded to both the author and illustrator who has made an outstanding contribution to beginning readers books. Winners have included Cynthia Rylant and Sucie Stevenson in 2006 and Mo Willems in 2008.

The Odyssey Award honors the best audiobooks for children and has been awarded to The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and Rotters.

The Sibert Medal is given to the best informational book for children. It has been awarded to Kakapo: Saving the World’s Strangest Bird and The Voice that Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights.

The Wilder Medal, named after Laura Ingalls Wilder, honors people whose books or literary artwork have made a lasting impression on children’s literature over a period of years. It was initially given to Laura Ingalls Wilder herself and has since been awarded to Beverly Cleary, Maurice Sendak, Theodor S. Geisel and Eric Carle.

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards highlight the outstanding books that demonstrate an appreciation for both African American cultural experience and universal values. It has been given to Mother Crocodile: An Uncle Amadou Tale from Senegal and The Words of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Schneider Family Book Award acknowledges books for children and young adults that have discussed the experiences of disabled people. Winners have included A Mango Shaped Space and The Deaf Musicians.

The Printz Award is given to the author of the best book written for teens. Among these is Kit’s Wilderness and American Born Chinese.

The Margaret A. Edwards Award is bestowed upon writers whose works have made a lasting impact on literature for young adults. Recipients include Judy Blume, Terry Pratchett and Madeleine L'Engle.

The Alex Award is given to 10 books annually that, although written for adults, appeal specifically to older children and teens. These include Water for Elephants, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Stardust.

The Best Books for Young Adults list is an annual compilation of the best books for young adults. From that list, 10 books are then highlighted as particularly noteworthy. Books such as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone  and The Hunger Games have been included on these lists.

Of course, everyone agrees that encouraging children to read is a good thing, as it improves academic performance, communication skills and concentration. These awards help encourage the next generation to have as many readers as possible, ensuring these benefits and many others will continue to improve the lives of children throughout the United States.

Clickinks Guide to 19th Century Russian Artists

21. March 2013 13:00 by Neeru in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Russian art in the 19th century went through three distinct phases. In the early part of the century, Russian artists followed the European techniques and styles, so they largely focused on the Romanticism aesthetic. Towards the middle of the century, artists shifted towards ideological realism, and the end of the century saw artists move towards the Russian or Slavic revival as the culture of Russia moved inwards.


Russian Romanticism was the result of Russian artists’ feeling that Europe was superior in the arts. This attitude saw Russian artists going to Western Europe to learn to emulate their styles and techniques. Like most of Europe at the time, Russian artists preferred the romantic aesthetic. Portraits, self portraits and depictions of historical events were the prevailing subjects.

Karl Bryullov came to prominence in this period. Born in Italy, Bryullov was raised and educated in Russia. Despite his classical training, he never really liked the classical style he was taught to use, and he introduced more nationalistic, less neoclassical elements into his work. This allowed more artists to look to Russia for inspiration, giving rise to the next phase in Russian art.

Ideological realism

After the emancipation of the serfs in 1861, art began to be produced for the masses. Artists felt it was their role in society to create works that would speak to and instruct everyone, giving peasants a moral and social education and giving voice to social criticisms against the more well off. While subjects began to focus on Russian heritage, the techniques used were still largely influenced by Europe.

During this time, a group of artists left the Russian Academy of Arts, which at the time was the arbiter of style and taste in Russia. The artists who left formed Peredvizhniki (the Travelers or Itinerants), so named for their travelling exhibitions. They became disillusioned with the academy, feeling it didn’t understand what Russian artists wanted or needed to do. This break led artists to look back, calling up more historically Russian subjects.

Russian (Slavic) revival

The next logical step for Russian art was the Slavic revival. The late 19th century saw a conflict between those who wanted to align themselves more closely with Europe and those who wanted to find inspiration in Russia itself. The Slavic revival  found inspiration in Russia’s medieval art and the culture and traditions of the Russian peasants. Folk tales, heroic epics and the iconography of the Orthodox church proved fertile grounds for artists.

The subject matter was immensely popular with the newly rich industrialists of Russia. They began financing the artists, who in turn founded art colonies throughout the country. This new collective spirit led to a new cultural movement, called Mir iskusstva (The World of Art). It included painters like Alexandre Benois, Konstantin Somov, and  Léon Bakst, who began pushing art into new directions.

At the end of the century, the Russian avant-garde movement came to the forefront. The 20th century brought its own movements, not least because of the Russian Revolution, but the cultural shift away from Europe and towards Russia itself as a rich source of inspiration changed the art world in Russia irreversibly.