Saturday, October 10, 2015

A Better Blue Horse

Back when I first starting trying to build an online presence for Horse Tender Studio, I found that I needed to have avatar pictures for all of the different sites: Facebook, Etsy, ArtFire, etc, etc. I thought they should be all the same, but had no idea what to use.

One of my products at the time was a bookmark that I called "Horse of a Different Color", inspired by the horse in the Wizard of Oz movie.  The design combined two things that I love: horses and color.

On a whim, I had taken a picture of just the blue horse, since blue is my favorite color, and used that (usually with a horizontal flip) as the picture for my avatar.... everywhere.

It is... a crummy picture.  Taken with the camera before, the camera before, the camera I have now (3 cameras ago, if you count the one I use now).  It was poorly lit (something I still struggle with, but I think I've gotten a lot better), slightly out of focus, and taken through laminate that I put on my bookmarks.  The stamped image itself was not very clean either.  It was certainly not made to be the "face" of a business.

My intent was to use it as a temporary picture, but when I recently updated my Etsy shop, I put it up there again - since it is on Facebook, ArtFire, and my website.  I was reminded that I had always meant to replace it, or, actually redo the picture to be clear and sharp.

I hadn't been in a hurry to redo the blue horse, because I had thought that at some point I'd come up with some sort of snazzy logo for Horse Tender Studio; the blurry blue horse was just a placeholder.  Well, I haven't come up with anything better, but I'm thinking I really should at least improve what I've been using.  I'm not sure what a blue horse has to do with the name of my Studio, but...  I love horses and I love the color blue, so...  why not?

Here is the new and improved blue horse:

I did a fresh stamp, right in the middle of white card stock, then carefully colored him in.  I fiddled with my lighting setup and camera angles and settings until I had some decent pictures.  But I still wanted them brighter.  I found an "auto adjust color" setting in the (very basic) program that I use for editing photos and the above pictures were the result.  It made the background much lighter and made the blue horse really "pop".  For the record, I tried that option on another picture and it did some weird stuff to the colors.  So it apparently doesn't always improve the picture, but in this case, I do like what it did.  Me thinks I STILL need to figure out why my camera won't seem to take bright pictures, even with a lot of light.  Anyway...  I'm happy with the new blue horse picture.

I'm still not sure the blue horse will stay on forever as my avatar/logo.  At some point I may try to draw something original, get a good picture of one of my custom horses, or design some sort of logo.  However, for now I'll stick with my little strolling blue horse.


  1. There's something about a blue horse, isn't there?! I collected them seriously for a while... once had an entire Collector Class entry of them. (It got first.) Good luck finding just the right logo!!

    1. That is so cool! For me it just seems like a perfect combination, I love horses and the color blue. I hadn't had any blue horses - other than one I had painted - but I had a collection of blue (cobalt) glass items at one point. I downsized the collection for this move, but I kept a couple of things.