the art of
Tom Lechner
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2024, wth!

January 4th, 2024

This year is starting off action packed! First let me introduce, a kind of hiking/art blog I’m slowly trying to figure out what to do with. So far on the outside it’s a few nature photos from hiking and some drawings. If all goes well, I will be adding to this over time.

Sort of related to this is the upcoming Creative Freedom Summit this January 23-25th online. Tune in to see a variety of talks about uses of open source software for artistic things. I will be giving one of these talks, apparently at the very end of the conference, Thursday the 25th at 3 pm EST! This talk will be about using an open source software stack to process, display, and derive art from nature, such as on Hikertoonist.

Then later this year in May, the Libre Graphics Meeting (LGM) is occurring in person, for the first time since Covid hit. Hopefully I will be able to attend this year, and not get sick with anything. LGM is always a blast, and you should go too.

In any case, happy new year, and let’s hope we humans don’t destroy everything!

A drawing of a giant Pika that is emerging from some kind of portal, scaring off hikers below.

Rotating Space Stations at Scale18x

February 19th, 2020

If you are in Pasadena on March 8, you can come to Scale18x and see me talk about using VR in the Godot game engine to build various spinning space station simulations. Come for the weird space stuff, and stay for the other weird linux and libre art software talks!


VR Experiments with Godot

December 11th, 2019

Here’s a little something I’ve been toying with, using the Godot game engine with Bastiaan Olij’s VR addon under Linux. Namely, exploring what it would be like to throw stuff around a giant rotating space station. You can also check out my online 2-d simulator here.


Libre Graphics Meeting

May 23rd, 2019

Hope you can make it Saarbruken, Germany for this year’s Libre Graphics Meeting! I will be giving a workshop on Saturday, June 1 about comic book workflows with open source software. This will explore everything from sketching with pens, doing 3-d blockout with Blender, page composition, paper imposition. Also some methods to create webcomics, for instance using special embedded svg to do interactive parallax and other wacky effects.



March 6th, 2019

This coming March 8, I’ll be giving a talk at Scale17x, the Southern California Linux Fest about video game production with open source software. This is part of the Libre Graphics track at the event, all about different aspects of open source graphics tools.

Hope to see you there!


Laidout 0.097 Released!

December 1st, 2018

I finally released a new version of Laidout, read all about it!


Libre Graphics Meeting Recap

May 17th, 2018

Not long ago, I returned from a wonderful trip to Seville, the location of this year’s Libre Graphics Meeting. This event brings together many users and developers of open source graphics software, and gives a chance for a lot of cross pollination among different projects. Sometimes very dramatic things happen, like the release of the long, looong awaited Gimp 2.10!

I’m happy to say node based interfaces had a strong presence this year. For instance, Neil Smith demonstrated Praxis Live, including live music through a mix of code and nodes. Antonio Roberts performed “live noding” with Pure Data, manipulating 3-d structures together with music in real time. I demoed my own brand new node interface in Laidout, which I hope to adapt to various uses in open source software. I had several interesting conversions with Gimp, Inkscape, and other devs about uses for nodes and possible ways forward with interfaces for them. What is life without a huge to-do list?

Speaking of to-do lists, thanks to everyone who came to my node workshop at LGM. Thanks to that, we found several bugs, and a few new node requests, which are now all fixed and implemented!

There were also a number of other artists and projects using a live environment, such as Rodrigo Velasco’s live coding sound and image. Also Antropoloops, which allows a kind of world music mixing, seamlessly mixing samples from around the world, showing a live map of where the sample is from, and which can even be performed by kids from those regions literally connecting themselves to capacitive pads, and to other people!

You can see some of my travel photos here, with more to come, as soon as I have time to process them! In the meantime, here’s a drawing of many of the people at the meeting. You should come to this next year in Saarbr├╝cken, Germany!

Lgm 2018


Libre Graphics Meeting

March 20th, 2018

Assuming my travel arrangements all work out, I’ll be at this year’s Libre Graphics Meeting in Seville, Spain, April 26-30. I’ll be giving a workshop called “In The Nodes”, about node based interfaces in open source software, for instance in Blender, Godot game engine, and my own Laidout. So if you are in the neighborhood, come on down, there is sure to be a lot of interesting activity about all things open source graphics software!

In the meantime, here’s my talk from this year’s Scale16x Linux Expo:


Laidout larger than life at Scale 16x

March 1st, 2018

If you are in Pasadena on Friday, March 9 at 10 am, you should skip work or whatever and come see me talk about Laidout at the 16th annual Southern California Linux Fest, Scale 16x! I’ll be demoing the ins and outs of Laidout, including the new node tool, which you can see a video snapshot of here:


The Astrolabes of Venus

October 11th, 2017

Here’s a 24-ish hour comic I did in celebration of this year’s 24 Hour Comics Day!


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