Things I love: Free Desktop Wallpapers

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"Father and Son" -

I admit it, I’m a sucker for a good desktop wallpaper. In fact, I consider it somewhat of a requirement for any computer setup. Yeah, I know they can degrade performance a little bit and I suppose if I were a REAL computer geek, I’d eschew any pretty or cool background for a spartan and supremely performant Windows blue. And then I’d cry tears of boredom and lament this tiny denial of my creative expression with much gnashing of teeth and rending of garments. Years later, someone would find me living in squalor with 22 cats, reeking of booze and shame and ask what in the world happened to me, and I’d have to admit through choking sobs: “I gave up desktop wallpaper.”

Luckily, I don’t care enough about the little performance hit to stop finding and setting beautiful wallpapers for myself. And I’ve found some of my recent favorites at Vladstudio is the project of Vlad Gerasimov, a digital artist from Russia. He started off doing wallpapers for fun, but found it was actually a pretty solid business model.

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"Spotted eagle ray, Aetobatus narinari" -

He offers several sizes of each wallpaper in a low-res for free, but there’s the opportunity to purchase a subscription and get high-res and differently sized versions. I’m still using his free stuff, but I’ve seriously considered getting a subscription, just because I get so much enjoyment out of seeing his images on my desktop.

What I like most about Vlad’s work is that it’s not one-note — if you browse through his wallpapers, he’s got a variety of themes and styles, all very well-executed. I really like some of his recently posted ones that are more whimsical and playful, drenched with color, but he’s probably got something for everybody. Unless you’re looking for Justin Bieber or Twilight or something. Thankfully, he hasn’t started heading down that particular slow path to Hell.

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"Gecko" -

So, go ahead and set up a beautiful desktop wallpaper. Considering how much time many of us spend on computers during our daily lives, I figure it’s an investment in job satisfaction and mental health. Besides, you don’t want to be that crazy cat lady stinking of brandy and talking to herself just because you wouldn’t allow yourself the pleasure of a pretty picture, do you? I sure don’t.


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