One of the many things that I love about winter break is that I get to partake in activities that I may or may not have had as much time for during the semester. One of those activities is making graphics, or really, Photoshopping things together.
I love making graphics because as I’m doing them, I get sort of lost in Photoshop. Things become timeless for a couple of hours and I’m focused only on the task at hand. There’s actually a positive psychological term for that, and it’s called flow. Here’s a basic description of it, courtesy of Wikipedia.
Let me start by saying that I have almost no professional background (except maybe some art classes in high school) in graphics, and although some photos I’ve used are licensed (I’ll write out where they are), most of the textures I’ve used to create the pictures are open source photographs.
The first one I had done in recent years was this:
I did this one in 2014.There isn’t really a meaning behind this piece; I was just playing with textures. This is Castiel (played by Misha Collins) from Supernatural. He’s an angel in the show (angels are warriors in this universe), so I put in some clouds and kept an interesting pink-and-blue color scheme to represent his otherworldliness.
A full year later, I did this one. I had gotten into Daredevil over the summer and I wanted to make something that represents the entire first season. Matt Murdock (played by Charlie Cox) is on the left in the picture and Fisk (played by Vincent D’Onofrio) is on the right, and they’re both vying for some sort of power. Both have different plans for “seeing Hell’s Kitchen to it’s fullest potential.” My favorite part of this graphic is the crown made out of the city.
This is another Daredevil one. I wanted to make a graphic about the dialogue these two had with each other. The top image is of Vladimir Ranskahov (played by Nikolai Nikolaeff), and the bottom is Matt Murdock. I wanted to show that these characters had a wild side to them, and that as humans, we have a similar sort of wilderness inside of us. We aren’t just the product of cities, of suburbs, of civilization. Making the image, specifically blending the animals with the characters, took quite some time.
These two are headers that I’ve made for my movie blog, which you can check out here! The featured image at the top is also a I header I made. For The Martian image, I blended two images together (and these are the images that may be licensed) and then added the bars and stars. For the Jurassic World image (the logo is likely licensed), I found a cool forest background and blended some images of lights in with scary eyes.
I made this last one after a particularly painful Once Upon a Time episode. I cut out Killian Jones (played by Colin O’Donoghue) from a screen-cap, added a background and played with the coloring, and then added in the smoke. I added text to make it look like a movie poster. The episode felt like a mini-movie, and I wanted to take that vibe and incorporate it into a graphic.
Aaaaaaaand, I think these are my favorites out of the works I have created so far. If you’re interested in dabbling in this sort of art, you can check out a bunch of open source programs (read: free) that can help you. GIMP is a good program to use if you want to work from your desktop. However, I’ve used Pixlr, an online photo editor that has many features equivalent to Photoshop’s, with ease. And if you can’t figure out what to do, search for Photoshop tutorials to get you started. That’s honestly how I started.