The Fedora Project is an openly-developed project designed by Red Hat. It is a leader among Linux distros helping to set a high standard for all to follow. Graphically, Fedora includes some of the most eye pleasing artwork to be found. What it takes to make Fedora look so good is the subject of this article.
Linux Graphics Users forum would like to thank MÃ¡irÃn Duffy, Fedora's art team leader for helping to put us in touch with Nicu, Luya and Tatica, three members of the Fedora art team. Their participation in this interview made this feature a very interesting as well as informative article. We hope you enjoy Aprils' Fedora Art Team tribute. Tell us about Fedora. Nicu Buculei
- nicu :: http://nicubunu.ro
my Fedora stuff: http://fedora.nicubunu.ro/
Let me first introduce MÃ¡irÃn Duffy, she is the leader of our team and the most active person here: http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/User:Duffy
The Art Team inside Fedora has formed about 3 years ago (before this the artwork was worked inside the Desktop Team at Red Hat), trying to do for the artwork the same thing Fedora is doing in general: creating innovative and quality products with a Free license and using an open process.
I like to believe we don't do a bad job at meeting this goal.Luya
- Luya Tshimbalanga, Graphic & Web Designer
(currently in Flash)
Fedora is all participation from contributors, creating projects that will benefit to Free and Open Source community and innovations. It is about blending both commercial and community into one to provide an operating system which is both cutter edge and stable.Tatica
- Hello to you, I'm MarÃa Gracia Leandro but all the members know me as tatica. I'm a fedora ambassador from Venezuela and part of my work is to convert cute things into functional things. I'm working right now in several projects in Venezuela, LatinAmerica and some International stuff.
Fedora for me is a great collaborative network who support a learning and development group of interested people and a huge platform to take a chance of software freedom. We are an example of professionalism and friendship because we have a clearly and organized group of work (developers, artist, press, sponsors and lot more) but we are also a family. It's usual to see an IRC channel talking about the new wallpaper and also see some guys talking about their weekends. We offer an awesome Software but also a great mentored and helpful group.
We are fedora Give us some history on each art team member. Anyone have formal training? Who or what influenced you to get involved? Nicu Buculei
- There are a lot of the members in the team, I find uncomfortable trying to list them, I surely will miss some. We have a list at https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Artwork/Contributors
but it is not up to date, some are not listed and some of those listed are not active.
Some have formal training, some are students completing their formal training right now and some are amateurs. I am an amateur. We are a heterogeneous team, from Art graduates to quantum physicists :pLuya
- I have recently completed training in Graphic Design. I started to get involved as self-taught designer where I worked on some icons like echo-icon-theme and wallpaper. Due to school, I mostly gave feedback and suggestion until recently.Tatica
- This is crazy... I got involved in the free software art looking at videos on youtube of private tools.... I learn all by myself, reading guides, watching videos, downloading artwork and asking a lot. Fedora came to me when I most need it. I'm not a pro user, but I love to design... so fedora is really stable and always first with software issues. I always have the newest and the stable on my fedora desktop (and now laptop
) What other Linux distros have you done work for? Any independent Linux groups you've contributed artwork to? Nicu Buculei
- You will find here people working with various upstream projects (take GNOME as a prominent example).
Personally I have a lot of fun contributing to the Open Clip Art Library (http://openclipart.org/
), large library of clip art images released as Public Domain.Luya
- Only Fedora and its sub-projects.. Tatica
- Always... I use fedora because I love it, and I spread the "fedora word" but I don't put too much pressure on my new users to be a "fedora one". I always tell to them that they should use GN/Linux or *nix based because it is good for them. They will be able to learn, share and use things that possibly they were afraid or they think that those are tool for "professionals".
I help with a lot of communities... some are:
Venezuela: Fedora-Venezuela, Ubuntu-Venezuela, Gentoo-Venezuela, UNEFA-Lug, Bolivar-LUG, nelug, velug, and the main organization of Venezuela FLISoL (Latin American Festival of free software installation  )
International: Gimp-Spanish, Inkscape-Spanish, Blender-Spanish, Also I'm on the translation team for synfig and support some cliparts for several applications.
I usually help with some conferences like: Flisol, CNSL (National Congress of Free Software), SLUD (Universidad Distrital Linux Week) and more... Can you take us through the process from development to finalization of artwork for a new release of Fedora? Does the general community contribute also? Nicu Buculei
- The general community is contributing indirectly: we try to do everything in the open, publishing the progress of our work and asking for the feedback from the larger community and then using the feedback to improve the graphics.
As an example, for Fedora 11 MÃ¡irÃn Duffy conducted an informal survey on her blog and learned that a lot of users prefer a photo realistic wallpaper, so we are trying such an approach for the next release. Since the graphics are included in the Beta release, we are eagerly awaiting for the post-Beta feedback in a few days.
As for the development process, we used to have a "3 rounds" system to collect and evolve different graphic concept and in the end select one by consensus. But for Fedora 10 the consensus has not worked, so we ended with 4 different concepts in the final state so had to keep an internal vote.
Based on this unpleasant experience, we try something different: we selected early a concept and it was based on the release name (Fedora 11 has the code name "Leonidas") and try to work is as a team, instead of having a competition between us. The early signals are not very positive, so we may have to go for a major change.
We'll see how this works and will adjust for Fedora 12. Tatica
- Yes. I have never been involved directly on the release artwork, but I do help with some issues. A final artwork is not just a cute wallpaper and some icons and windows... You need banners (in a lot of languages), need news, posters, spin covers and lots of stuff. We all give something to the project... and that's the idea of being a community What are your favorite Linux graphics software programs? Nicu Buculei
- We are huge Inkscape fans and use also GIMP a lot. We have a couple of Blender gurus and use Scribus from time to time, mostly for printing.
A reason of pride for us is that the graphics for Fedora are made entirely using Fedora, we are confident in Fedora as being a good tool to fulfill all our needs.Luya
- Inkscape which I found far better than Adobe Illustrator product, Gimp because it provides features not found on Adobe Photoshop like Smart Sharper and less RAM hungry, Scribus with is colour circle Blender for being light in space and freely available so designers can easily grasp 3D concept Tatica
- jooo... this is a hard one. Should be Gimp, Inkscape and Blender.... but I also like MakeHuman, SweetHome and synfig... It depends on the use. Any thoughts on ease of use or what you'd like to see changed in Linux graphics software? Nicu Buculei
- That's an easy one: better professional print support in Inkscape (CMYK, spot colors) and GEGL powered adjustment layers and more that 8 bits per channel in GIMP. Or this is what I would like to have... yesterday :pLuya
- Gimp, support of group layers, CMYK process once GEGL will mature, non-destructive method support Inkscape, better input from stylus, better support for file conversion from Adobe Illustrator file. Scribus, better import/edit/export PDF support, InDesign file, and better layout.Tatica
- This is not a dream... it's happening. All the changes I'd like to see are getting done or in progress because I'm not just a user. in fact, I'm not a "real" designer, I'm a programmer... so if I want to see something better on X application I program or ask the community to do it. They are also a community like the fedora one, and they take suggestions and advice... so the thing is not a thing on changes... they are being made. As operating systems evolve so does their artwork. What direction or development would you like to see with your work pertaining to the future of Fedora? Nicu Buculei
- I think we are on the right track here but I personally think there is some more room left for collaboration with other teams inside the project.
There is a lot of work going around the Desktop development in Fedora, so stay tuned for big things in the future. I hope we (the Art team) will be able to keep the pace, some new additions like the improved boot graphics (Plymouth) could be documented better, so we try to to as much as we can.Luya
- More active participation within and outside the team. The latter is important because there are potential designers that are shy to express due to the language barrier. In a case of echo-icon-theme, having feedback and better documentation is crucial. It is a challenge to work on tremendous project but it can be done. Tatica
- Is the same question. We are working on having something that our users love. We have a lot of new ideas in progress and if anyone wants to say something to the artwork team they're invited to collaborate... In any language!!!!! There are a lot of new distros popping up, seemingly every day. Any advice you can give them on the graphics art side of it? Nicu Buculei
- My advice would be: do the development in the open and keep your artwork Free. Use as much as you can Free tools and always Free formats, otherwise you will not be able to work as a team.
It is also useful to try to keep the barrier to entry as low as possible for the new contributors.Luya
- Nicu provided a good summary. Tatica
- Always think in the simplicity and joy... Almost all users want a cool and easy distro, and that is what they should have. If someone wanted to get involved with Fedora artwork, where would they go? Nicu Buculei
- If you want to contribute, please subscribe to our mailing list and introduce yourself: http://www.redhat.com/mailman/listinfo/fedora-art-list
I am sure we can find a lot of things that you can help with :pLuya
- In addition of joining Artwork mail-list, look for tasks to do on https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Artwork/DesignService
and wait for reviewTatica
- To the fedora project main site!!!! we have a great website and a lot of local communities to help and mentor anyone who wants to get involved... 
We are free to choose distros... we are free to ask changes... we are free to collaborate with code and art... we are in a new free world and fedora have the tools to make it happen... so, what are you waiting for?