“A reasonable alternative is to complete a piece that incorporates two different assignments for a sum total of 4 or more Credit Units.”
So I did the ‘I can read movies assignment’ and ‘the one story 4 icons’ assignment in one cover. The electricity in my tree house is on for another week as I am clocking 6 Credit units and another 2 for the extra hard work to combine two assignments into one. Although to be fair, I took this on thinking it would be easier than doing two. The new number two is clever with words. A reasonable alternative, indeed. I think I should get an extra 2 Credit Units for doing the whole thing rather than just one episode, but that might be pushing it a bit.
Behind the scenes
I wish I had used my notebook as I intended to keep up with all that I tried. A little like our resident artist futzing was a key ingredient.
I started with the idea that I wanted the cover to embody the sense of ambiguity that is the hallmark of the series. I read an amazing blog post today that spoke about the series as it “constantly offering us a seeming chance for escape, then pulling the rug out from under us.” Nothing is as it appears.
The post explores a Prisoner computer game that never tells you that you can escape the game by pressing the ESC key! The tag line of my cover comes from the end of this game. You win and it tells you: To win is to lose. Sheer genius.
The 4 icons are from our friends at the Noun Project. How awesome are they? I bought them all ‘cause I love supporting their artists.
I have been using their icons in my Prisoner posters series as comas and full stops since this run of DS106 started. It occurred to me that may be the ones I had chosen over time would embody key themes. I was right.
Birds singing seem happy and free, and yet the noise may attract attention when it is not wanted.
A prisoner in jail might seem a negative icon, yet prison is not always a bad thing. (I will not explain the photo below to avoid spoiler for participants still watching episodes).
The fish escapes the fish bowl and is free then it dies as it lands.
The sad ghost represents death and suffering and yet, if ‘to win is to lose’ may be to lose is to win?
The cover is for book 1 and it contains the story of 6. Hence 6 is 1.
I used Photoshop as usual. Started with one of the covers from the I can read movies series that was cleanest to get a clean black background with the clone tool. I started with a lot more text which disappeared as the 6/1 tension shaped my thinking. I discovered you can search google by ‘type’ of image as well as usage rights and this can find you components to use in a creative edit. The lapels from the jacket came to me that way. I pulled them out of original image roughly with quick selection tool and then added it in with screen blending option to blend in with the grainy black background. My little friend the colour dropper did its job to blend all the colours well. A little blur tool helped me along.
For the first time ever I grouped some layers so that I could line them up properly. The little icons and its background were a group. I used the Emboss Texture blending option to create a rough look to the background.
I feel I have got as close as I can to the essence of what makes this my favourite series of all time. It is to do with the ‘nothing is at it seems nature’ of it. The kind of story that destroys mechanisation by remembering that what makes us human are non-googlable questions such as why. Awesome.
This constant tension is even shown in the way the prisoner dresses. The lapels of the blazer showing that we have a prisoner dressed in a suit, highlighting perhaps that we cannot tell from external cues who is the prisoner and who is the guardian.
Total time spent: several days to get the bits and this afternoon pulling it together. I wanted to challenge myself so I did my best to attend to small details I might ignore in the usual run of things. Cool challenge, Number 2.
Be seeing you.
I am not feeling like work today, so I made time for the daily create. Spent a long time looking for images and was shocked at how many sites are charging big bucks for images that are as old as time. And they site I did use to find this lovely poster to edit ‘cannot guarantee this is a public domain poster’. As it is a 1942 poster, I will took a wild risk and used it. We really need to sort out copyright law people. I also reflected on how I struggle to do ‘easy’. I thought the poster looked just right with minimal changes. The Daily Create today asked us to do a poster to elect a class president. I decided the only president should be DS106 #4life. So there we have it. A few layers and blending in Photoshop and it was cooked.
With this being TDC number 1000, our odometer is rolling over to a new row of numbers. Combine, remix, collage at least three images from previous TDCs to show the POWER of the Daily Create:
Will you be around for TDC10000 ? #4life and beyond…
“Even when it rains the daily create shows us the way”
It has been a while since I have written a post here. I have been posting my art (See? calling it ‘art’ not ‘artefact’ anymore 🙂 but not narrating the process. The truth is that narrating process is hard and as I get more into making art, I am less able to run the ‘witness loop’ to be able to accurately explain my creation process. This is, of course, natural when creative flow happens. We ‘lose’ ourselves. What this means is that we lose the judging mind and align in activity.
I want to make an effort to narrate this daily create because I believe this to be my graduation assignment!
There are many goals to set going forward, but for the first time since I started participating in DS106 I have made something that is inherently and standalone pleasing to me. Awesome feeling. I have had glimpses of it when making animated gifs but this time the intensity was different.
It started with me scanning the daily create site and seeing what others had done for today. The prompt made me go: meh. I am in the middle of another project for our Summer DS106 Story doing a trailer in the style of a silent movie (something that is proving more challenging than I expected). May be I get one with that and forget about the daily create today. Or may be not.
I watched a video today that admonished me: "The most dangerous thought you can have as a creative person is to think you know what you’re doing.“ I decided to make an animated gif, I know how to do that.
I had the idea of many hands moving and that gave me the slogan you see in the image. Hands were dancing in my head and I started, predictably for those who know me, to make a gif.
Where to find hands? @cogdogblog introduced me yesterday to the most beautiful resource I have found in a long time The Public Domain Review. Looking for images was a great excuse to lose myself there for a while. Actually, I found what I wanted straight away. The physiognomy of hands in 1917. Use these images in Photoshop and make the hands dance whilst the slogan pops up. Boom. Not Boom. I could not keep the background still whilst the hands danced.
Each time I watched all my layers I could hear a faint voice saying – it looks great as a still image. I ignored it for a while and kept trying to make the hands dance. I knew what I was doing. Until I was willing to suspend knowing.
I abandoned the idea of an animated gif and looked at ‘what the marble wanted to be’ as they say Michelangelo thought of sculpture. Not that I am comparing the output, just the process. I spent hours playing with Photoshop selecting, blending positioning the hands. I tried many fonts and colours and then I noted that this was a kind of ‘silent film’ poster.
Off I went down another Google rabbit hole. Find a font that suits the silent era. I have never installed a font, I just use what is there and match it as best I can. Lazy creator. This time was different. I wanted to shape the poster as it seemed to want to be shaped. Worked out how to install font and restarted machine. Boom. Like. Now I thought about the inter-title screens in silent films. It needs a frame. I looked and could not find anything.
I remembered that Photoshop now has Picture Frame to use. I needed a tutorial for how to use that. I played around until I made something the fitted the style.
Boom, my poster for today.
It really helps not to be struggling so much with the tools. As Ira Glass reminds us ‘our taste is impeccable, it take a couple of years for the execution to start to align with our taste and we know when we are falling short’. Well, today I did not fall short. There is a big difference between quickly getting something done, and losing oneself in the process of creation. I have known that from writing all my life, but this is the first time I experience it with digital art. Thank you daily create for the ‘boring’ prompt today.
Well, who would not be inspired seeing little Merlin’s photos? Using the colour sampler tool in Photoshop still evades my grasp, but did you know that there is such a thing as a Star Wars Font Generator ? That pesky green font was a worthy adversary, but I got it!
Please go to Flickr to check permissions. One of Merlin’s photo appears by special permission from Ingrid. Thank you, Ingrid.
Creative commons licensed (BY) flickr photo by mdvfunes: http://flickr.com/photos/97994829@N03/14400081830
creative commons licensed (BY) flickr photo by mdvfunes: http://flickr.com/photos/97994829@N03/14400073848
creative commons licensed (BY) flickr photo by mdvfunes: http://flickr.com/photos/97994829@N03/14577774764