Jon Michael Galindo

~ writing, programming, art ~

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30 September 2015

Collectible Skills

A series titled "Heroes" aired on NBC in 2006. The story followed many people with super-human abilities, but two of them, Sylar and Peter Petrelli, stood out as demi-gods. Their capacity to collect other person's abilities gave them every power from teleportation to immortality.

The real-life equivalent of their magic would be something like a life-long learner. This sort of person enjoys learning as many new skills as possible, as do I.

In a stroke of whimsy and in keeping with the super-hero theme behind my thoughts, I decided to create a series of collectible trading cards featuring the abilities I have practiced over the years.

Collectible Skills: Piano

I began with a quick, 3d "sketch" of a piano, modelled in Blender:

I cropped and painted over it in GIMP:

I corrected the color and contrast for a warm, vivid print:

And, at last, I composed the card in Inkscape, using a sheet metal texture I had previously painted in GIMP and the same basic form as the Example Trading Card I created for my previous post:


"Employing every finger and foot, the piano combines unparalleled potential for harmonic complexity with minimalistic simplicity.

"In the 3 centuries following its invention, the pianoforte has grown to become a universally recognized symbol of musical composition."

It turned out to be everything I had hoped it would be. :-)

At the base, you may notice a "Level 2" tag. Arbitrarily, I have designed these skill cards in 4 levels of accomplishment.

"Level 1 - Skill ★" - This level indicates an interest in the subject and a foundational ability. If this were driving, level 1 would equate to a learners permit.

"Level 2 - Excellence ★ ★" - This level indicates a skill as high as or higher than most people ever achieve. If applied to driving, it would refer to an excellent driver with a good record and safe habits.

"Level 3 - Mastery ★ ★ ★" - This level is almost unattainable. In driving, it might be possessed by a world-champion, formula-1 driver. In medecine it would equate to a doctorate and extensive practice.

"Level 4 - Grandeur" - This category only exists to provide something to strive for. It would have no equivalent in driving. Isaac Newton would have earned it for physics, Henry Ford earned it for industry, and Shakespeare for writing. Essentially, it represents a world-changing application of a perfectly-honed skill. I have no expectations of ever achieving any such thing; but, you never know. Life can surprise you.

That's all for now, but there are many more to come!

© Jon Michael Galindo 2015