Personal Project: Digital Art
There are two sides to my love of digital art – my commercial and sharing-friendly side (the side that I tell my friends about and promote to everyone I can) and my “deep dark hidden” secret side (the side that’s too hard to explain to people who don’t get it, so I just do it for myself and for fun and for all the friends I’ve made through it). This post is about that second side.
Don’t be alarmed. What you are about to read are tales of a Photoshop junkie. I have spent five years making graphics like this, and if there were a way to make money off of it, I would. I have spent hundreds of hours creating art in Photoshop, and this is what it amounts to.
I will first attempt to explain the draw of what I’m about to show you. Many people look at the graphics that I and fellow graphic-makers create, and don’t really have an opinion about them. “I don’t know which one I like better. They’re both ok, I guess?” -real live conversations I’ve had on multiple occasions.
I have a DeviantArt account that is linked in the sidebar where I post all of my creations – the good, the bad, the ugly – from March 2012 to now. Now would be a good time to mention that I go by Jayy (also known as Queen Jayy, Bubba, that HoH Admin, jayynames, or the girl who always leaves nice comments on my deviation) in that neck of the woods. And for more background reference, some of my favorite graphic forums that I am a part of are Fall of an Empire (FOE) and Hall of Heroes (HoH).
If you want an excuse to learn Photoshop – this is it. Though it’s catered specifically towards editing images and blending them together, I have grown so accustomed to the tools and user interface that it gave me a huge advantage in my graphic design classes in college. If you actually love how the art looks, you can create it too! When I first started with graphic forums five years ago, I didn’t like this style of graphics at all. As I continued with it, I started to cultivate more of an understanding and developed a style of my own that I’m quite pleased with now. (can’t say the same for about three years ago when I was horrendous) At the end of the day, it’s really about creating something that you enjoy – and that’s what this is for me. If it’s something that you could see yourself getting into, I strongly urge you to do so. I’m always looking for more graphic buddies, and our forums could definitely use some new members.
There are six main types of graphics: Icons – 100×100 or 150×150 squares that generally come in sets of 4, 6, or 8+. Banners – 710×100 slivers that are a super bizarre canvas shape, but were created to be mini headers for stories on places like Wattpad. Signatures – 500×200 rectangles that fit nicely in your signature section on forums and boards. Blends – Anywhere from 500×500-900×900 and beyond (though generally never bigger than 800×600) collages of digital art. Chapter Images – 380×300 mini blends that are also used for story telling. And finally, Colorizations – black and white images that are colored in an application such as Photoshop to look real. I have a tutorial on how to do colorizations here.
Though I’ve taken a bit of a break from the graphic world, here are a few of the more recent pieces that I’ve done. With a combination of model images, textures, stock images, coloring, and text, I am able to create a relatively seamless and cohesive piece. Unlike what you think of traditionally with a collage, it doesn’t feel like a bunch of random pictures overlapping with no purpose.
I have learned a lot about cutting images, creating textures, coloring, font choice, text, blending, and hierarchy from creating graphics. Just like any other design project, rhythm and repetition are involved. Everything you’ve learned about Gestalt (which may be nothing if you’ve never taken a graphic design course) should be applied. Though this isn’t your typical graphic design (and it really irks me when people refer to it as “graphic design”) it certainly does involve all of your design knowledge to create something beautiful.
You might still not understand the purpose behind doing this. It’s not traditional art by any means. But it is art, and it’s something that I and many others enjoy doing. If this doesn’t inspire you, find something that does and stick with it.
Until next time.