Exploring with Your Art: Creating with No Destination in Mind

It’s winter here in New York, which means that I have less motivation to go outside and build my licensing portfolio. It’s below freezing and snowy, which makes me just want to curl up in the studio near a heater.

The problem is that unless you have sets that you can design inside of your studio space, you might run out of ideas shooting on a solid backdrop. I've been shooting in my studio and have tried to challenge myself to use a black background and a small bag of fabric to create as many set ups as I can. (I believe some of our best creativity comes from limitations.)

I’ve been loving playing with those black backgrounds, but I’ve also wanted to change it up a little bit more. While I know that fine art images shot on plain backdrops create awesome pieces for book cover designers to composite, sometimes I also want to tell more of a story in my work whether it’s used for a book cover or not.

That was the situation that I came up against this week while creating my newest image.

I had intended to create something evocative that could potentially become part of my book cover licensing portfolio. But at the end of the day the image felt flat for me.

So I decided that what needed to happen was that I needed to bring a background in to help give my figure context. And that’s how I ended up with my newest image of a blindfolded woman in a red dress wandering through a candle lit cavern.

In this video I take you through the entire editing process of compositing the figure from four different images, and bringing in a new background at the end. Take a watch if you’d like to follow along, and hopefully you’ll learn a few things that will inspire you next time you’re in the studio as well!

A Fine Art Photo Walkthrough: the Detours from Sketch to Final Image

A Fine Art Photo Walkthrough: the Detours from Sketch to Final Image

Choosing the path of an artist means near-constant wrestling with your ideas in order to bring them to life.

That doesn’t mean that the effort and struggle aren’t worth it.

But it does mean that there will be days where ideas won’t work, and you’ll be stuck staring failure in the face.

The thing about failure is that it is not an end in and of itself. It is simply a starting point.