After years of periodically attempting to use Photoshop for the odd project here and there, being completely baffled by the user interface, sitting through bizarre DIY youtube videos, then finally after hours of grueling work, figuring out how to pick up an image and move it, only to forget everything I'd learned by the time I needed to use it again, I signed up for ART 210 at North Seattle Community College. Here is some of the art I made while learning how to use Photoshop and Illustrator with Bo Choi.
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If there's one thing you can learn from Daniel-San, it's Beginner's Mind, exactly what I needed for learning how to properly use Photoshop.
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A self portrait, our first big project-
Riffing with the idea of a self portrait as a looking glass. Also, the wonderful people in my class, sharing about all kinds of unexpected things in our critiques, and my awesome seat buddy, remind me a little bit of the delightful characters in Alice's Wonderland. Our teacher was definitely the white rabbit, who I was always trying to catch up with!
(I did this is Illustrator before we started using Photoshop. It would have been MUCH easier to do in Photoshop.)
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Exploring the universe as an ongoing collaborative act of creation, energy seeking energy in different forms.
For this one, I digitally completed an unfinished oil painting. So, I guess this is my first 'Tradigital work." I combined three photographs of my painting, one was a negative, one was desaturated, and one was unaltered. Then I added in pictures I'd taken of birds flocking around the Denver Zoo during Jazz in the Park last summer, a heron from Greenlake in Seattle, graffiti from Post Alley outside of my theater at Pike Place Market, a photograph I'd taken of the shadow cast by one of my IKEA glasses that has music notes on it, and a picture I'd taken of a display about flappers from the Cartier exhibit at the Denver Art Museum this winter. I felt like a bird building a nest.
There's a love story hidden in this one, too. Can you find it?
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A poster featuring type-
I used Illustrator and Photshop to play with a poem by Marta Anex-Schnauss
three up two across (the checkerboard of fate)
a square lit up above the street
one "do we have a winner?"
in silence a canvas
will succumb to the box of colors
three in the morning
two window paned uncurtained
one man traces his shadow
in the room of quiet watching
There is no quiet anymore.
when days and tempers are stretched
the sky in fits of anger
washes away our hopscotch game
moments of respite when cherry blossoms fall
like snowflakes in sunshine, scattered petals
like feathers in the wind
we drift in slow migration to a place of light and warmth
this is an okay place to be break glass only in case of emergency emerging an act of revealing break me only through honesty level spirits climb their ladders in measured ascent sharing treasured space this is an okay place to be break glass only in case of emergency emerging an act of revealing break me only through honesty share the treasured space this is an okay place to be
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Speaking of Marta, she's one of my favorite training partners at Quantum Martial Arts. A huge bonus of finally taking a Photoshop class is that I was able to make this add for our website upgrade with no hair pulling at all!
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(Illustrator and Photoshop)
I'm not sure who built the sandcastle, but I really like these little guys.
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Pattern #1: Some of you might recognize this from Doodle #94: Sky Bouquet
I turned the watercolor into a pattern using Photoshop.
Pattern #2: Cosmic Puzzle made in Illustrator and Photshop
Pattern #3: Skeleton Friends
I made this pattern in Illustrator. I think it would make a pretty adorable pair of pajamas.
Pattern #4: Waves
Adapted from Waves on Wood, an oil painting on wood.
And finally, we learned how to make animations using Photoshop...
Introducing: "Mom, where do baby bears come from?"
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Final Thoughts from ART 210:
If there's a fairy godmother reading this..... I'm yearning for a big shiny apple desktop and a Wacom Cintiq tablet.
I'm also yearning to get my hands on actual art materials again!
After a little bit of a break, (YAY SUMMER!) I'm really excited about being able to combine the digital skills I've learned with some oil painting and watercolor collage to do the final illustrations for my children's book, The Last Gift.
Even working digitally, I still prefer using an improvisational process:
...beginning with a single gesture of line or color, or now- a photograph, and then asking, "Is there a story here? A poem? What is this about?" It's a little like hunting for pictures in the clouds. When I see something that intrigues me, I play a little more in that direction, and then step back again, observing, interpreting, imagining.
Being an improvisational artist means there are no mistakes, just whatever there is now, and whatever can happen next. When I commit to a project through all of the ugliness, doubts, and messy middles, I discover whole new worlds, ideas, and ways of making art.