Sunday, March 18, 2012

Replay: Is Anger Killing Your Art?

Today, because I think it is an idea so worthy of considering, I am hitting 'replay' on Seth Godin's blog post of August 2011.  Sometimes we need to revisit and keep thoughts cycling.

Here is his post:

Is your anger killing your art?

It's rare to find a consistently creative or insightful person who is also an angry person.*

They can't occupy the same space, and if your anger moves in, generosity and creativity often move out. It's difficult to use revenge or animus to fuel great work.

Ironically, when you decide to teach someone a lesson they richly deserve, you often end up strangling the very source you were counting on.

(*Angry is not the same as being a jerk. For some reason, there are plenty of creative jerks--I think because they mistakenly believe that being a jerk is a useful way for some people to wrestle with their lizard brains).

There are a number of responses to his blog post that you can google, but one that I thought was particularly helpful in unpacking what Seth says is that of Becky Blanton, writer and photographer

I think that about sums it up. I intend to think about how anger and other taxing emotions such as jealousy, and franticness (I made that word up) affect my art. And then I intend to clear my head and make more art in my Zazzle store, Art in Photography.

I encourage you to visit Seth Godin's blog and Becky Blanton's blog

Zinnia Pop Poster print
Zinnia Pop Poster by artinphotography
Browse for more wall art on Zazzle

Sunday, March 4, 2012


About two or so years ago, I started noticing photographs that weren't just photographs. They had something added to them that gave them different looks - some looked vintage, some had writing on them, some looked grungy, some looked cloudy with interesting pops of light.  All had the photo seemingly lying underneath this 'something extra'.

I asked around, but couldn't seem to get a straight answer as to what this phenomena was (I must have asked the wrong people).  

Turns out, they were textures.  If you haven't used them or never heard of them, you need to try them! Textures are images that you lay on top of your photographic image, using layers (as in Photoshop, Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo, etc.).  

Using layers in your photographic software, you have the ability to adjust a plethora of variables in both your photograph and the texture of your choice to make the final product look the way you envision. For example, you can make the texture layer on your photo lighter or darker, parts of it lighter or darker, softer, change the hue, change the levels, add text - anything you want!  

Here is an example of an image using a texture with text:

Dream Flowers, Kara Stewart, Art in Photography
This is a bouquet my friend Dave brought me when he visited recently. This texture, Dream, was created by Kim Klassen (you can find her at Kim Klassen Cafe).  Kim is the best source I know of for information about textures, a number of online classes, and the textures themselves. She makes textures that are just beautiful! 

For this one, I took my shot of a tobacco barn, then played with it using another one of Kim Klassen's wonderful textures. And then gave it a border and text and turned it into a poster for my shop on Zazzle.  

Click here for how I did it and comparison shots without the texture.

I really liked the historic document feel Kim Klassen's pourvous texture gives this photo I took on a trip to Jamestown, Virginia. The aged parchment feeling seems to set off the replicas of English drinking vessels and ship's navigational tools from the 1700's. 

I have not been using textures very long (a year or so), and still have a long way to go to be proficient with them.  For some reason, my images with textures tend not to be as light, ethereal or 'feminine' as some of the wonderful images you can find at Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday.  Please do browse there to get a feel for the wide variety of things you can do with textures.

And then play and have fun!