Online Inspiration and Thinking

I’m online a fair bit and I come across a heap of articles and videos and other bits and pieces that are either interesting, inspiring or just make me think a bit deeper. For as long as I can remember when I’ve come across these things I’ve just been sticking them in a bookmarks folder in my browser, but I thought it might be nice to share some of them on here… So here’s some bits and pieces I’ve found online that you might enjoy.

Oh, and just a quick note, they’re not all design related, because as you know, inspiration can come from anywhere πŸ™‚

Nubby Twiglet – Why I Chose Community College for My Design Education

Accidental Creative – 10 Questions That Will Help You Find Your Voice

Alexandra Franzen – Why Am I Not Doing That One Thing I Really Want To Do?

Design Sponge – The Consumption Conundrum: Connecting With Makers and Making Mindful Purchases

TED Talks – Elizabeth Gilbert: Your Elusive Creative Genius

Millo – Finding Your Voice in the Design Community

99u – How I Kept a 373-Day Productivity Streak Unbroken

Independent Fashion Bloggers – Right Now: Start Where You Are

Gala Darling – Feeling Burned Out? Ask Yourself This One Simple Question…

The Sydney Morning Herald – Making a Living Out of Your Creative Talents

James Victore – Serious Play [YouTube]

James Victore – Conflict, Compromise and Kill Fees [YouTube]

Tutorials – Some Artistic Effects in Photoshop

I have a real problem with remembering techniques and tools that I see in tutorials because I don’t tend to use them straight away, or even think about them when I go to try and create something. To help me with this I thought it might be a good idea to post some of the links up here and have a little go of the techniques so I can come back and remind myself of them every now and then… and be able to find the links back to the tutorials easily!

Some of the most recent ones are below…

Secrets of the Art History Brush

Original Photo
Photo edited using some of the Art History Brush techniques in the tutorial

Exploring a Painted Effect

Original Photo
Photo edited using the Oil Paint Filter

I’ll post some more up later as I come across them πŸ™‚

Progress Challenge – Finalised Photomedia Project

Wow, what a day! I got through so much yesterday on my study day! First up I did the floral pattern, then I finished the assignment I posted about the other day – the one where I posted the Milestone Stages.

It was pretty tough work and Photoshop and I are still not really friends, but I’m pretty happy with how they turned out πŸ™‚

Anyway, here are my final images…


What do you think?

Progress Challenge – Image Compositing

Another Annual Leave/Study day today, and so far this morning it’s been another productive day. I’m still not super psyched I’ve had to resort to using my holiday days, but it’s getting stuff done so that’s making me happy.

This progress challenge was on image compositing which I hadn’t heard of before, but I’d seen some of the work… If you want to check out some great typical examples of creatives in this area, see:

Erik Johansson
Uli Staiger

Our brief however was simply to use at least five different images that we’ve personally photographed Β to create a totally new image with a specific theme or subject in mind.

I decided to do something a little different and create a pattern… because, well, I like patterns.

Here are the original pics I worked with:

All the original photographs – flowers and fairy floss – were taken on my iPhone 6 last year.
The flowers were edited using Photoshop. The Magnetic Lasso was used to outline the shape, then the edges were refined, a new transparent layer created and the image cropped.
A blank A4 canvas was created for the background were the fairy floss image was placed and stretched to size. The smudge tool was then used and opacity minimised.
Lastly the floral images were placed, resized and rotated on the background to create the final pattern.

And this was the outcome…

I think there’s probably quicker and easier ways of doing what I did, but I haven’t quite worked them out yet, and at the moment I’m still spending a huge chunk of time working out what file format and compressions etc I need to save images in for them not to be huge! Ah well, I’ll get there eventually, lol πŸ™‚

Progress Challenge – Milestone Stages

The module I’m working through for my course right now has us building a photo media project which I’m enjoying, even if it is slightly frustrating that my imagination and skills don’t quite line up yet! lol πŸ™‚

In this module we’re also learning a bit about project management and how having milestone stages can really make a huge different in delivering a successful project.

So far for this project I’m at Milestone 3 and I thought I’d share what I’m up to…

Oh, first up though, what exactly is my project on??…

To produce a collection of tourist destination landscape images recreated with food, specifically sweets.

Okay, Milestone 1: Moodboard

I firstly collected all the images from Pinterest, but have gone back and found the original sources for reference:


Milestone 2: Sketches

I’ve also included some notes on the sketches about what the potential food might be that would get the effect I’m after.


Milestone 3: Acquisition Stage

Some of the foodstuffs I’ve started gathering…

And some of the initial photos I’ve started taking…


Have I bitten off a bit more than I can chew? Probably. But we’ll see how I go πŸ™‚

Exploring Camera Basics – A Useful Link

Sooo…. I actually did photography for my HSC, and I came first, or second in my class… I can’t remember which one now (how terrible!) it was about 15 years ago though so that’s probably not too bad. Annoyingly though I’ve also forgotten pretty much all of the actual theory work too so I’m having to do a whole lot of relearning and it is kinda frustrating.

Thankfully my course’s study notes had a pretty good link to a website on exploring camera basicsΒ and some of the info is coming back to me – I’ve still got a pretty long way to go though! :-/

Progress Challenge – Image Editing

Having an Annual Leave day on Friday to study may not have been my favourite way to spend a holiday day, but it was definitly productive. I got a lot of studying done and finished more that just the one Progress Challenge I posted about the other day.

Another one I got through was the Image Editing one. Here we had to take three photographs and edit them to enhance the intended purpose of them and the design elements within them. We were also supposed to use this as an exercise in experimenting and exploring with Photoshop (not my most favourite of programs).
I’m not sure whether we were supposed to take brand new photos, or we could use any photos we had already, but I chose to go with photos I had already. They had to all be different themes and subjects and that was easier to do with photos I already had take.
Like I said before, I’m not a huge fan of Photoshop, but I’m pretty sure that’s because I haven’t really used it all that much and I don’t really know exactly what I’m doing with it just yet, but I guess that will come with more use.
Anyway, here are the photos I edited…
‘Creek’ before
‘Creek’ after

For the Creek photo I did some cropping, rotating, increased the contrast, brightness, vibrance and saturation, and added some more blue to the colour balance.

‘Petals’ before
‘Petals’ after
For the ‘Petals’ photograph I wanted a bit of an artsy feel so I used the Oil Paint Stylise Filter.
‘Vietnam’ before
‘Vietnam’ after
For the ‘Vietnam’ photo I wanted to make the detail more noticeable so after the cropping and rotating, I made it black and white and used the sharpen, dodge and burn tools. I would have liked to make the whites a bit ‘whiter’ but I couldn’t work out how just yet.
It was funny to see that I had to actually stop myself from just defaulting to the same editing tools each time – contrast, saturation, vibrance and sharpen – they seem to be my ‘go to’s. Will have to work on making sure I use all different ones while I’m still learning.