Friday, March 20, 2009

Photoshop as Art

I've been creating a slew of new artworks lately, primarily digital. Which is interesting and new for me because, while I work in digital design a lot for work-related purpose, I would rarely define most of my digital work "art". I usually reserve that term for painting or writing. But lately I've gained an interest in delving into photoshop as an art-tool as much as a work-tool, which has led to a bunch of new works.

Those are links to a few of the recent works, which I've uploaded to my DeviantArt page. I've decided to become active on DA again and share these works online because I've gained interest in using the stock photography on that site (not for paid works of course, and these works in particular use my original photography).

If you have not taken a look at DeviantArt, but love fresh and original artwork, I highly recommend it. It was probably the original art community site, and has since become the one to rule them all (others, like Depthcore and Rasterized are much more exclusive and don't let just anyone join their ranks). If you browse the favorites section on my page you'll see what I mean. Or, follow this link to browse the all-time most popular works in the 3D abstract category, which is one of my favorite categories. I've always loved looking at images like I See No End:

These sort of images actually fall into a sort of cultural style of 3D Abstraction that is pretty rampant in popular digital art. They usually have a high amount of technical detail, have extremely warped perspective, and oftentimes look as organic as they do mechanical. In some cases the genre has become quite tired, as I've seen images like this (and sometimes poorly executed ones) as far back as five years ago. Jens Magnus Karlsson was one of the original artists, at least as far as I can remember, that pioneered this "style" of digital work. Like many things, it became formulated and imitations appeared, but it is hard not to be inspired by it nonetheless. His infamously good website,, is little more than a resume page now, and he now apparently runs a high-scale design firm in NYC. Most of that original artwork is quite hard to find. His DeviantART page is gutted, and even Google Images can't find any of the "Chapter3" work in question. One of the few examples you can find of his work is in the spectacular book New Masters of Photoshop, which of course is right next to my elbow as I write this. I highly recommend for those who ask the "how did they do they do that??" when it comes to this extreme imagery.

Thankfully though, the digital art scene, 3D Abstract or not, has much material to satiate your appetite when looking for crazy, amazing, inspirational imagery. One of my favorite active artists of this overall genre is ekud. I highly recommend you check out some of the stuff he is doing (he is also featured regularly on DepthCore).

I hope you enjoy my work. I will be making more, hopefully defining my own "voice" in what is essentially a medium all to itself.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Welcome to my thought-stream

Well, look at that. I happen to have a blog.

Great idea that Blogger makes it 3 or so steps, max, to set one of these up. It makes it tempting to do them on a whim.

That is not, of course, to say that I'm doing on this on a whim. In the past I've been a horrible blogger, actually. I've kept a number of blogs at various addresses in various states of disrepair and lacking-of-updates. However, writing consistently has always been a staple of my life, and while blogging has never, at least in the past, fit into my typical pattern, I have a bit of (gasp!) intent in creating this little corner of the internet.

There are the obvious things—I tend to have a number of personal projects going, including novels, paintings, new websites I'm creating, books I'm reading or philosophies I'm considering. Due to the fact that I am working from home now and no longer in school (and more or less stranded in suburbia), I'm doing this so people can "keep track of me" and what I'm doing.

Like I said though, these are the obvious things. Most blogs seem to function around an original intent that inspires them—an event, a project, or an issue—that the blog becomes a running feed of. That might be the secret to creating a "healthy" blog, even though it seems that most blogs actually outlive these original inspirations and come into their own after that fact. This one is no different.

I intend to make this blog a chronicle of the experiences I will have at Arcosanti, an alternative living community or "Urban Laboratory" in the Arizona Desert. That experience will be a 5-week workshop where I will be living on their premises, helping out in… well, whatever I end up helping with (it could be anything from agriculture to construction—quite a change of pace for me, a 120 lb.-or-less pale blonde who rarely leaves the computer screen). I encourage you to take a look at their website to get an idea of what the place actually is. However, out of courtesy, I'll provide the TLDR (too long, didn't read) version here:

Less of a commune than it is a living experiment in ecologically friendly architecture, I visited Arcosanti for the first time when I was about twelve years old. It's been in my mind ever since. It was designed by Paolo Soleri, an Italian architect that originally studied under Frank Lloyd Wright. Soleri's architecture is just about as radical as his architectural theories, which center around melding ecology with architecture, thus coining the term "Arcology"—or, to put it in a more understandable way—a theory of architecture, perhaps even of lifestyle itself, that redesigns the city as a completely unified, passive entity in its local environment. This is a bit more than just putting solar panels on a house—it's more like redesigning the house itself so that solar panels become a redundant (and ugly) addition. In fact, it's even more than that—it would be more like redesigning the entire city into a single building that is, in essence, a giant solar panel.

Yeah, it's a bit like science fiction—and Arcology as a term is probably used more in video games and novels than architectural circles, I'm sure to Soleri's chagrin—but science fiction theories have an odd habit of coming true. And beyond the theory, the learning experience to be gained from living and working in a place like Arcosanti for me, personally speaking, is a great opportunity, and for relatively little cost. Simply as a location, Arcosanti is unique, and it will be a great thing to be steeped in that environment for a month and more.

To see exactly what I'm talking about, take a look at my DeviantArt page which has photos of Arcosanti from one of my previous visits.

This 5-week workshop will be starting April 12, and while I hope to be updating this blog once or twice a week up to then, I will be doing my best to chronicle my experience during the workshop while I am there.

So I have a lot to look forward to. But I won't bore you to tears until then—I'll be looking forward to writing here again. ;)