Steve Czajka on the new Gimp Magazine
By Steve Czajka
Now in its 16th year, Gimp Software is a dynamic, image-editing software package. It is similar to Adobe Photoshop, but licensed as free and open source for the PC, Mac, and, Linux operating systems. The latest version of GIMP (2.8) has been downloaded over 6.5 Million times in just two months, which strongly suggest that users of Gimp represent a large, diverse, digital arts community.
As a companion to the software, the new GIMP Magazine features the amazing works created from its worldwide, arts community. Featured in the publication is photography, visual and graphic art, web design, software tips and tricks, step by step tutorials, product reviews and so much more. Gimp Magazine is issued quarterly. And licensed through Creative Commons CC-AT-SA 2.5, the magazine is offered free of charge.
The latest issue of GIMP Magazine (Issue #2) has been viewed over 100,000 times in the first month of release.
How GIMP is Best Employed by Users
The community of GIMP users is enormous at an estimated 8-10 million people range. This community consists of photographers, digital artists, graphic artists, illustrators, industrial designers, architects, web designers, package designers and the like. In a small survey undertaken by GIMP Magazine there was a 50/50 split between photographers and digital art designers.
The Origins of GIMP
According to Wikipedia, “GIMP was originally released as the General Image Manipulation Program, by creators Spencer Kimball and Peter Mattis. Development of GIMP began in 1995 as a semester-long project at the University of California, Berkeley; the first public release of GIMP (0.54) was made in January 1996 and in the following year (1997) GIMP became a part of the GNU Project. The acronym GIMP was changed to mean the GNU Image Manipulation Program in reflection of its existence under the GNU Project. Currently GIMP is developed by a self-organized group of volunteers under the banner of the GNOME Project.”
GIMP Magazine is a community run project comprised of a team of regular contributors. This group was formed from a discussion on a GIMP forum, and later organized into a more formal team. The team is open to new members who have a passion for GIMP and want to make a contribution back to the community.
Why GIMP Serves as a Peer to Adobe and Other Commercial Graphic Packages
GIMP is an advanced image editing package, similar to Adobe Photoshop, and Corel Photopaint. The developers of GIMP clearly claim that GIMP is not intended as a replacement to Adobe Photoshop, although the similarities are stunning. In issue #3 of GIMP Magazine, a feature article draws a comparison of GIMP to Photoshop.
The Goal of GIMP Magazine
The goal of this publication is to promote GIMP and related open source software. We also want to promote the art and the photography created by the GIMP community using GIMP & related plug-ins. To accomplish this we want to present the content in a professional and media savvy format, so that it will convey visually with a high design value for collaborators and end users.
At Gimp Magazine, we are totally open to where this journey may take us, while ultimately bearing in mind that the most important goal of this project is to have fun! This project is meant to be a fun and creative project for the GIMP Magazine team, first and foremost!
The Future Vision of GIMP Software and GIMP Magazine
The roadmap for GIMP software development is openly documented and discussed at the Gimp Wiki page. The vision for GIMP Magazine is to grow our subscriber base, submitters and contributors while becoming better connected with the core GIMP software development team; co-creating this innovative, visual communication tool. So in other words we would like to grow our content from primarily user submissions to also include GIMP developer submissions so that the core GIMP team can use GIMP Magazine to communicate new software features and future development plans.
We would also like to evolve our magazine into new interactive publications for tablet style devices including a full multi-media experience including video, sound etc. With a huge user community, continued GIMP software upgrades and an abundance of software plug-ins, techniques and resulting artworks the future for GIMP Magazine is endless.
Managing Editor, GIMP Magazine (ISSN 1929-6894)