Three new creative ventures in one.
First, making a journal from scratch using leftover card and paper.
Second, being brave with the combination of journal writing and image making.
Third, discovering Pixlr, where I have had a lot of fun adding layers and effects. It’s a fantastic photo editing application which is easy to use, creative, fun and free.
Here are some of the photos of what I’ve been working on this week, they are pages from my journal, the first one I have proudly made from scratch. I’ve been a bit shy about combining words and images before, but I have found it really liberating when I just jumped in and did it.
I urge you to get over to Pixlr land, what’s to lose?
I have been getting very inspired by a technique of superimposing one image on top of another. I love the textured effect you can achieve and the marrying of the precise and the random can result in some happy surprises.
There is something about a layered image which suggests a story to me. Much like meeting a person there are qualities which might strike you immediately and some which are more subtlety visible and take a more sensitive eye to see.
This image is a combination of a photo I took in Angkor Wat of a Buddhist monk having his breakfast. We had gone to watch the sunrise which was unfortunately obscured by cloud that morning. It was still a worthwhile experience being part of the silence and the beginning of the day in the temple.
The painted image is from my sketchbook. I will often play around with colour and texture (this one has bits of loo roll incorporated!) I do this with no particular purpose in mind and will take photographs, keeping them in my ‘backgrounds’ library where they wait patiently to see if there is a further use for them. I found the dead butterfly on our first visit to the temples and wanted to include it in this image, lending a sense of beauty and transience.
Here is the techie bit… you drag both of your images into photoshop. Choose one and click select all, then copy it. Then go to your second image and paste the first one on top of it creating a new layer. Next you noodle around with the opacity control until you find a marriage of the two images that looks good to you. Then flatten the image, you can further fiddle with the filters, colours, saturation etc if you choose. Once you know a few basic techniques it’s easy, don’t forget to have fun and play around!
Here’s a little trick I use a lot, it’s a handy way to recycle your art and to turn something previously unpleasing into a visual delight.
I often take photos of my sketchbooks, sometimes the whole page, sometimes focusing in on an interesting detail or texture.
I then print out these images and continue to work them, that might mean adding some fine details or radically transforming the whole thing, splodging paint and getting wild.
You can really have a lot of fun with it, putting bunny ears on your boyfriend or writing an inspirational quote over an interesting texture. There are no rules and there is no wrong, it is a particularly permission giving technique because if you really make a royal mess, you still have your original photo so you can have another go if you like (though I personally believe the royal messes are often the most interesting!)
This one for example is a photo of a not particularly interesting collage in my sketchbook, you might just be able to make out the dancing woman in yellow on the right. I printed out the photo and finger painted with red and yellow paint creating more layers. It lacked any focal point so I drew the dancing aboriginal over the top and added the white dots. It is probably complete, but who knows, I may take another photo, paint another layer, like creativity itself, the possibilities are endless.
Have a go, have fun!