Vegi Patch is a compost of thoughts on graphic design, life and knitting from an american graphic design teacher in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. I've enabled comments for everyone or you can Email me kate at kcarlyle dot com.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

baby....



yes it's random. I just love this little baby mushroom.

cheers, kate

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Monday, April 14, 2008

FAIL


I was looking for something clever and pithy to say, but all I am is mad. The Ill.Friday topic is Fail. Well something has failed here:

Please read this article in it's entirety: Mind Your Business by Mark Simon about the new "Orphan Works" legislation that is before Congress right now and then DO SOMETHING.

"An Orphaned Work is any creative work of art where the artist or copyright owner has released their copyright, whether on purpose, by passage of time, or by lack of proper registration. In the same way that an orphaned child loses the protection of his or her parents, your creative work can become an orphan for others to use without your permission."
"If you don't like to read long articles, you will miss incredibly important information that will affect the rest of your career as an artist. You should at least skip to the end to find the link for a fantastic interview with the Illustrators' Partnership about how you are about to lose ownership of your own artwork."

"Think this doesn't apply to you? Maybe you don't license your artwork? How about this?

Photos on the internet could be orphaned. With tens of millions of photos shared online with services like Flickr, Shutterfly and Snapfish, there is a huge opportunity for unauthorized use of your photos... legally.

You could see photos you take of your family and kids, or of a family vacation, used in a magazine or newspaper without your permission or payment to you."

You can start by signing this petition: SAY NO!

from the seat of my big white horse,

kate

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

homage


My homage to the classic Japanese carp tattoo. This little fish is a result of chatting with my brother James who always has an interesting insight. and mentioning that I was thinking about a new um. tattoo. always a hot topic, the conversation actually started with Alicia when I stated a serious desire for a small laughing carp on the back of my calf.
Alicia vetoed this - not sure if because of the subject matter but definitely the placement. Above is the pre color drawing and the sketch below is the original idea. (I added the uncolored version after several people requested more process - but seriously it's just draw, scan, color)



best, kate

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Monday, February 18, 2008

theory of the cat

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

choose



Ill.Fri topic is choose. I choose wings.

kate

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Monday, January 21, 2008

plain



illustration friday post, I'm grading.

cheers, kate

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

soar



It's not that I'm in a bad mood, just confusing the eagles with the pigeons lately. But this is a dove which is more of my style anyway and this is an apology to everyone who I've been out of sorts with recently.

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Monday, December 24, 2007

horizon



Alicia is in Alaska for the Christmas holiday - brought back memories of Alaska in the dead of winter, when the sun is never above the horizon. the light from the sky is lovely, we used to ski in the silence through the dark and the whiteness. with the company of the occasional rabbit or moose.

bless everyone in the coming new year,

kate

Illustration Friday topic: horizon

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

little things


illustration friday post - little things

cheers kate

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Monday, December 03, 2007

Excess



Illustration Friday topic was excess - couldn't get the image of the Airport in Jeddah out of my head - hundreds of trolleys with huge bags stacked one on top of the other. I fly with a carry on and one bag, I feel trapped when I end up with two bags. I included the sketch - my students seem to miss the connection between drawing and computer illustration.

best, kate

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

the zoo

In class demo for Illustrator/Photoshop collage assignment, working on a tutorial. Perfect for this weeks Illustration Friday topic "the zoo".

cheers, kate

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Monday, October 22, 2007

grow




Illustration Friday topic this week is grow. I'm trying. I made these little sketches of my dad and the little plants, in a meeting thinking of my father. Dad always makes a garden from nothing where ever he lives. The photo is of him on his roof top in Doha, Qatar about 5 years ago.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

cars


The Illustration Friday topic was cars. I had "car talk" stuck in my head.

End of the semester. finaly. well, EXECPT FOR ALL THE FINAL PROJECTS THAT PEOPLE MUST TALK TO ME ABOUT. Doing grading with my door locked.

Erik finaly caved in and started blogging: nice, very nice. Anytime ah get quoted is good :D. Pushing Poses can be found here.

A shout out to my BIL and the guys. Go safely, I miss you.

best, kate

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

citrus


Illustration Friday topic: Citrus. I started with a sketch of a pitcher and ended up in Maya playing with caustic lighting. Water, light and some citrus fruit, what more could you ask for?

best, kate.

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

neighbor



The illustration friday topic is "neighbor" and these little critters seem like the very best sort.

best, kate

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Friday, October 06, 2006

quiet


I'm home in Jeddah, fooling around with my new Wacom tablet - one of the things I missed over the break was the water fountain at the pool. which runs quietly attracting birds, growing moss and some rough bougainvillea. the pump will stop after a sand storm. Sometimes it takes several days to get it up and running bringing a silence which is different from the quiet murrmur of water and the chirping of the birds. I missed the Illustration Friday deadline, but I got most of my syllabie finished.

kate

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Saturday, July 22, 2006

opposites


So, I'm home in the states for the moment, in North Carolina. The Illustration Friday topic this week is opposites, and I'm posting a couple of sketches from my travel journal. For me it's not about the fact that people are different but rather that I just traveled from the "opposite" side of the world. I tend to see how we are the same; but it is interesting how clothing and um rules about smoking in public change as you fly from one side of the world to another.

The first question everyone has asked me on my return is if I am concerned for my safety because of the current crisis in Lebanon. Well. I am not about to turn my blog into a political forum. But just from a purely pragmatic point of view I think that most Americans need to sit down and study a map of the Middle East. And stop lumping all of "those" people together, there is as much or more variation "there" as there is "here" when it comes to politics, religion, education and socio economic class. It does not further the cause of world peace to vilify our global neighbors.

My “Best of Post” will have to wait until I get home to Jeddah because I forgot the CD.

In Peace, Kate.

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Monday, July 03, 2006

Catch Up

Summer session is well underway and I'm teaching Web development and Multimedia design. A four week session goes amazingly fast and on Wednesday we will be at mid term :')

I haven't taught web design in a while and it's fascinating how quickly html code disappears from short term memory. Pushed out by CMYK issues no doubt.

Seamless repeating tiles are one of my pet obsessions. I have a collection on my computer in the states that includes sushi and hello kitty in a kimono. Awhile back when the Illustration Friday topic was “under the sea” I got into a discussion with Erik about Escher tiles and the techniques behind a hexagonal repeat.

Infinite patience on his part and several images back and forth led to the pattern posted at the top. The desaturated blue one is currently my desktop pattern, the original was a little hard on the eyes. The flowers and the knotted fishies are Eriks little demos for Kate the math challenged.

Cheers - all of the fishies tile effortlessly if you want to down load.
Kate

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Monday, June 19, 2006

Dance


Semester is over. Grades are in. Dance seemed like a great theme. Tossed in a chicken (parrot? chicken/parrot?) she seemed SO serious.

I also included a second pic, I liked the gesture...

Working on a "best of" from my illustration class.

best, kate.

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Saturday, June 03, 2006

Portrait - Cliodna


Cliodna is a revisit to the idea of self-portrait as an alter ego. I used to associate myself with Persephone of Greek Mythology. The fact the Persephone’s life was completely controlled by her mother and her jerk of a husband dawned on me one day and I decided it was time to do another self portrait.

I finished this for the faculty show in December. I started it while teaching at my last school during the summer session - so I guess I worked on it for just under two years. I chose to interpret “Fair Hair” as “Beautiful Hair”. Cliodna’s song birds are described in fantasy colors in many of the fairy tales, I choose a more traditional approach and used Irish birds as reference.

The spiral is based on a very basic and traditional celtic spiral that represent Earth, Fire, Water, Air, Man and Woman. The centre hub is the spirit which joins all 6 parts into a peaceful unity and signifies the miracle of creation. I worked the three birds in as my personal mark. I used the Cliffs of Moher for my backdrop, located near Burren, which is a large 100 sq. mile (260 sq. Km) plateau of limestone which in summer is full of rare, fragile and beautifully colored wild flowers. The plateau is full of traces of ancient civilizations, with dolmens, round towers, ancient churches and holy sites. Seemed like a fitting setting. My family is from County Cork so Cliodna seemed a good choice.

Names: Cliodna, Cleena, Cliodhna, Cliodna of the Fair Hair.
Location: Ireland, Scotland.

Cliodna is the Beansí of the O’Keeffe clan and is a faery Queen in Southwest Ireland. She is worshipped at Carraig Cliodhna, Cork.

Rules Over: Spirit contact, appreciation, beauty, water magick.

Many folk-tales exist concerning her, nearly all of them contradictory in nature. In post Christian tales she is a banshee, who seduces young men, and takes the form of a wren.


Cliona is a Tuatha De Danann Sea and Otherworld Goddess who usually took the form of a sea bird and therefore symbolized the Celtic afterlife. A fairy queen of Munster, she is said to be the daughter of Gebann, the last druid in Ireland. A Goddess of beauty in her own right and often called “Cliona of The Fair Hair”, she has three colorful birds which eat from magic apples and heal the sick with their sweet songs. The birds accompany her, and lull the ill to sleep or to the Otherworld. She is also associated with water or the sea.

She commanded the winds of all four corners. The south wind was her voice and she used it to sing of magic and desires. The west wind was her vehicle, and upon it she rode through the universe. The warm eastern wind was her nourishment, and the cold northern wind her weapon.

Cliodhna fell in love with a mortal man named Caoimhín of the Curling Locks, for whom she left the Land of Promise, Tir Tairngire. Caoimhín had been thrown out of the Fianna for immorality, but Cliodhna did not bother about that and they ran off together. She took to living in the rocks near the sea, where she was lulled to sleep by the music of the Son of the Sea, Manannan Mac Lir, who then sent a wave to pull her back into the Land of Promise. Where she drowned is Tonn Cliodna: Wave of Cliodna at Glandore Bay in County Cork. As the ruler of the waves, she is believed to be embodied in every ninth one which breaks on shore. This wave is believed to break higher and stronger than the others.

Cliodna's Wave

In the 15th century she was called on by Cormac Mac Carthy the builder of Blarney Castle, for help in a lawsuit. Cliodhna told him to kiss the first stone he saw in the morning. Cormac did so and argued his case with such dazzling rhetoric that he won the suit. Concerned that the powers of the stone would turn Ireland into a nation of glib liars, Cormac hid it away in a wall of his castle where it is regularly kissed to this day mainly by American visitors to Ireland.

"O Lady of the Fair Hair,
Sing to me of the fair ancient land.

Yours divine voice

Whispers the poetry of magic

that flow through the wind,

Like sweet-tasting water of the Boyne.

"Girls, forever young and beautiful,

Dancing around the broken dun,

Where long forgotten heroes

sang of victory

And drank ales

to old memories.


"Sing to me one last time,

Goddess of the Fair Hair,

Before my old ear fail me.

Let me see you dance,

Before your beauty fade away

from my failing sight."


— Song to the Lady of the Fair Hair,
from the Book of Heroes.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Cake


Finaly, a use for the cake decorating class I took the summer of 8th grade. It's the end of the semester, today is the last day of classes. The student show is in two weeks. Summer session starts in 3 weeks. Some how it doesn't feel like it's been a whole school year.

My cake is dedicated to Noha, who is moving into her new house this weekend.

I updated my site and reorganized (put the blog in a better directory) if you have me bookmarked you are landing in the old directory and I will be deleating it this week. Please update...

cheers, seriously, more later.

kate

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Angels and Devils


Blue Devil Fish - Paraplesiops bleekeri and a Flame Angel Fish - Centropyge loriluca.

Blue Devil fish live in exposed reef from 3-30m deep. They range from Montague Island NSW to the gold Coast in QLD. They range in length and can grow to a maximum of 40cms.

Centropyge is a genus of marine angelfishes. Marine angelfishes are a type of perciform fish of the family Pomacanthidae. Found on shallow reefs in the tropical Atlantic, Indian, and mostly western Pacific Ocean, the family contains seven genera and approximately 86 species. Species in this group do not exceed 15cm in length. My little fish is a Flame Angel, Centropyge loricula

Extremely unlikely these would ever be seen together, and the idea was triggered by my guilt over not completing the under the sea topic. End of the semester is two weeks away. My illustration this week was roughed out while talking over the Internet to Erik. The nice thing about computer to computer phoning is it's ok to go for long periods with a steady clicking and no talking; something you don't do when you're paying .47 cents a minute.

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Fat




The Yellow-bellied Marmot (Marmota flaviventris), also called the rockchuck, is a ground squirrel in the marmot genus. It lives in the mountains of the western United States and Canada, including the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada. It inhabits subalpine and alpine regions, typically above 2000 m of elevation. Yellow-bellied Marmots usually weigh between 5 and 11 pounds (2 and 5 kg) when fully grown. They get fatter in the fall just before hibernating. A marmot’s habitat is mostly grass and rocks with few trees. Their territory is about 20,000 to 30,000 square metres (about 6 acres) around a number of summer burrows.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow-Bellied_Marmot

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Sunday, May 07, 2006

Rowbot


The first thing that popped into my head when I saw the IllFriday topic of Robot was Rowbot, and it stuck.

My dad is a sailor, and had a thing for wooden boats; this is a tribute to all things watery. One of the first models I built in 3D was a rowboat, and my first animation was a charming little robot with the sky in her eyes.

Kate

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Spotted


Woof. This one took forever. I gave my students an assignment to create a bottle and box using the 3D plug-in in Illustrator. When I got the Illo-Friday topic I figured why not? My first try was a la 101 Dalmatians. The result was a spotted bottle with a stupid label. This was going to be harder than I thought...

I researched Dalmatians for most of the morning and came to the conclusion they have been done an injustice, and decided to do a tribute to Carriage Dogs. Click for the full size version (yes all illustrator.)

Check out the following sites: http://www.carriagedog.org/ and http://www.thedca.org/

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Saturday, April 08, 2006

Speed

The Illustration Friday challenge this week is speed. The fastest thing in the desert is a Bedouin on an Arabian horse.

This weekend the photography club made a trip into the desert 4 hours north of Medina, 8 students and 6 assorted teachers, mothers and other chaperones. I'll write more about the trip in the next post.

One of the amazing things that happened on our expedition was a trip to a stable with Arabian horses. Our guide and the driver of the bus where locals - Bedouins to be accurate. Our guides name was Badr, which means full moon.

On the second day of the trip we drove out into the desert to look at the pass where a famous story from Islam occurred. The she-camel of Prophet Salih was a miraculous animal, which Allah brought forth from a rock.

“When Allah sent Salih (peace be upon him) to the people of Thamud, his people asked him to prove he was a Prophet of Allah, by asking his Lord to bring a living, female camel out of a boulder. Salih (peace be upon him) duly prayed and Allah immediately granted his wish. Some of those who saw this miracle at once believed, but the rest continued to disbelieve, despite the proof they had demanded. Although the Prophet Salih (peace be upon him) asked his people not to touch the camel, and to allow her to graze freely, they hamstrung and killed her. After this the Prophet Salih (peace be upon him) and his followers left his people to the wrath of Allah, Who destroyed them. (The Majestic Qur’an: An English rendition of its Meanings [The Nawawi Foundation (Chicago) & The Ibn Khaldun Foundation (London), 2000], p. 159, fn. 342)”


The pass where the she-camel was killed has inscriptions in Arabic in a very ancient form inscribed in the stone, and some not so ancient Arabic – proving once again that graffiti is universal and timeless.

A little further away are some very interesting rock formations – one of which looks a lot like an elephant… Bedouins are great storytellers with excellent imaginations – more importantly they are amazing trackers and our guide knew every inch of the desert he showed us.

So we are out in the middle of nowhere by our city standards and Badr and the driver spot two men trying to push their station wagon out of the sand while a woman and small girl watched patiently. The two of them walked over to help, along with the other American teacher (who used to work for the park service). OK, I felt guilty – I was thinking if they weren’t out in 5 minutes I would pitch in. Thankfully for everyone they rocked loose in less then ten minutes. This resulted in an invitation to come see the stables where they worked and an open invitation to ride the horses.

When we got there they put the stallion through his paces – but nobody tried to ride him. Badr it turns out, is an amazing horseman even for a Bedouin.

The manipulated photo at the top is Badr riding one of the horses at full tilt, barefoot, and a couple more here.

Sulafa (one of the students) had some riding experience and got up after Badr. She did an outstanding job of staying on, but found herself sitting in the sand with one shoe after about ten minutes.


The horses where beautiful and spirited. The mares where friendly; the stallion kept charging across the yard and pulling up just before he rammed the metal fence.



This is a photo of Margaret, the wagon pusher and horse whisperer, with a new friend.


ma'assalama

Kate

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Monday, April 03, 2006

Primavera


Spring is here and it's college fair week at the college, with packs of high school students cruising for the best department. Every department competing for the student’s attention with mugs, tee shirts, pens, pencils, note pads, bags and promises of exciting career oportunities…

Graphic Design got a late start but finished strong; the "give always" showed up from the printers 15 minutes before the first group of students hit our booth. All the tee shirts are medium to extra large (all of the girls are tiny to medium small), one of the boxes of mugs was minus graphic, and the brochure arrived as the second group stormed the booth. Faculty was folding on the fly. The students loved all of it, milled around excitedly looking at the student work, snapping up all the gifts, they don’t know what a zoo the whole thing was. All in all, a typical convention style episode.

I spent most of the day hiding at the administrative assistants desk folding brochures. She had been the person in charge of dealing with the printer, who turned the whole job (4-color brochure, embroidered polo’s, printed tees, note pads, highlighters, mugs and 6 foot banners) in 4 days. She was also the person pulling her hair out at 9 am when there was nothing in our booth but smiling faculty. I was allowed to keep my distance because my part of this job was to flip the logo design, brochure content and layout, and the graphic files for all of the “stuff” with 2 weeks lead-time. Ouch. Just like the real world.

My Illustration for Illustration Friday is a digitized version of Sandro Filipepi’s (Botticelli) Primavera, 1500 something. I gave an assignment to my Foundations of Color class to grid out a painting from the color contrast plates in “The Art of Color” by Johannes Itten, isolate the dominate color in each grid square and repaint the painting square by square, losing most of the detail and retaining the color composition. And they asked for an example.

So in the midst of the college fair excitement, I decided to cheat and happily destroyed a masterwork in Illustrator and Photoshop for several hours last night and finished up this afternoon for class tomorrow. The image I’m posting here is massively deconstructed and is not the one I’ll be showing in class. Theirs is posted below.


Cheers, kate.

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Friday, March 24, 2006

monster


It's all in how you look at it. In Hawaii gekkos are good luck, in Jeddah my students have vacated class rooms and refused to come back because a gekko had wandered in from the garden. Desert gekkos are brown and tan.
These are the gekko children that inhabit my house and only come down from the ceiling to hide small items. Like cell phones.

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Tea 4 2


Again with the working backwards:-) Tea was the first illustration that my students where required to do -- they think I should catch up...

This is a reference to Erik, it's kind of sweet but so is he.

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Feet


I have to admit this was a stretch as a topic. OK it was horrible. I was afraid to check any one else’s ideas. Because I was so stuck I figured I would freeze up. I finally got the idea of doing the kids who run bare foot in marauding packs around the old town.

So Photoshop challenge for motivation… I’ve been working in illustrator because I teach it and I like it. But I’m not a real fan of the flat vector look. So I started exporting the layers into Photoshop – then creating custom “paper” textures. At first I was making small repeating fills based on building textures for 3D. But I’ve been working at A2 [23 x 16 give or take] and the repeat was too obvious. So for this piece I worked at 5x7 @ 300ppi and built all of the “paper” to size using only the filters in Photoshop and elements exported from Illustrator.

Best, kate.

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Monday, March 13, 2006

Insect

Working backwards ~ this is my insect for Illustration Friday. It's a camel cricket, or cave cricket. They lived under my house in Raleigh, NC; and would make their way inside through holes behind the cupboards where the baseboard didn't go. They are truly horrific looking, plus they jump. My cat Fiona would eat them, leaving little legs scattered around like abandoned chicken bones.

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Saturday, March 11, 2006

Tattoo



This blog is supposed to be about teaching in Saudi Arabia, and this is my first post about teaching...

Promise not to tell my mother? I have a tattoo. Honestly they are frowned on by a lot of people, my mother can get in line. How and why I got it is kind of complicated. The short version is basically I wanted something that couldn’t be lost, borrowed or stolen; and it’s a reference to my daughter. I also wasn’t interested in someone else’s doodle on my arm for eternity so it’s my art and yes it goes all the way around, what do you take me for?

Tattoos are frowned on in Islam, they are in fact Haram. I was under the false impression that none of my students knew I had an indelible daisy chain inked around my arm until one of them told me how much she liked my arm band. Apparently it shows pretty clearly through all of my white shirtsleeves. Blush.

Oh right, teaching. I have a class in Illustration this semester. The class meets once a week for 3.5 half hours, which is hard to manage in regards to studio time. Once a week is not enough. I needed a method for getting my students to work independently and on a variety of topics. What I came up with was www.illustrationfriday.com , which is sponsored by Penelope Dullaghan. Free plug below:

work: http://penelopeillustration.com
store: http://lopiepop.com

The site puts up a new topic every Friday and you can post a link to your personal solution. All of them are interesting and the ages are from 8 to pretty darned antique, with experienced illustrators and artists along with housewives, hacks and students.

This week’s topic was Tattoo. At the top is my solution and to the right is a picture of the one on my arm. (Note the photo shows off my pretty brown eyes per my sister’s request.)


Ciao, ciao.

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