Oddly enough, Linux applications that allow users to work with graphics are among some of the most highly developed in the world. To see the truth in this rather bold statement, turn your eyes to Hollywood. Blockbusters such as Titanic, Star Trek: Nemesis, Shrek, and others use Linux and Linux clusters to create the complex special effects.
In terms of graphical design and photo editing, your Linux system comes with one of the most powerful, flexible, and easy-to-use packages there is, regardless of what OS you are running. It's called the GIMP. Allow me to introduce you to some of its many features.
The GIMP is one of those programs that has helped create an identity for Linux. Of course, there are plenty of programs out there, as I'm sure I have demonstrated in the book, but the GIMP is special in some ways. The Linux community has used it to create images, buttons, desktop themes, window decorations, and more. Even the Linux mascot, Tux the Penguin, as created by Larry Ewing (the mascot's best-known incarnation), was a product of the GIMP.
The GIMP is an amazingly powerful piece of software, yet its basic functions are easy-to-use as well. With a little bit of work, a lot of fun, and a hint of experimentation, anyone can use the GIMP to turn out a fantastic piece of professional quality art. You doubt my words? Then follow along with me, and in just a few minutes, you'll create a slick-looking logo for your Web page or your desktop. With time and practice, you may learn to wield the GIMP with the power of a Hollywood special effects master.
Play. Experiment. And don't be afraid.