Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Creative Anxiety: A Common Problem?

Admittedly, I haven't utilised this blog as much as a should have during the Summer months, only blogging about limited things but leaving out my thoughts during my journey as a budding professional creative. Therefore, I am taking this opportunity to share with you a small part of my mind at present.

As a student at University, there is always that sense of having to achieve at your maximum potential to gain the best out of your degree. However, as a creative I feel that there isn't enough time to develop, and it is a struggle to reach your maximum creativity when faced with more than just education. Since beginning University, the challenges I have faced have affected the development of my creativity. Such factors include larger issues like moving away from home, making new friends, losing old friends and being forced to become independent in a short space of time. However, even budgeting money, having a part time job and figuring out the washing machine are all factors which have never been included in my previous creative practice. This means that my time has to be divided into education, social life, and simply looking after myself whilst staying healthy. 

University doesn't seem to acknowledge these factors, and we are expected to grow and develop at a fast pace which often isn't manageable. I'm sure any budding, or even professional creative has their struggles whether it be due to having a full/ part-time job, family or just finds themselves too busy to really focus on their true love: art. 

At this present moment, I have been struggling to find the right topic to start on my next 'breakthrough' project. I have a desire to always develop on my last body of work, though I feel limited to what I should do. Being at University has made me question even the basic ideas, complicate them until they are truly unique and meaningful. Through doing this I always come to a dead end.

My creative anxiety is stopping me from creating. Is this a common problem?

Thanks for reading, sorry for the lack of visuals,


Saturday, 6 September 2014

A Collaboration of Two Taylor's Make 'TAYLOR MADE'

Logo design created by myself. Digital in Photoshop

I am very excited to announce, to all those who are not yet aware, that I have recently become part of a collaboration with a very talented local photographer of West Yorkshire, Alex Taylor. We have named our collaboration 'Taylor Made Arts' due to our shared surnames of 'Taylor' (coincidentally the same might I add and not related!).

Since we began in July 2014, we have produced several works based on the idea of combining two different practices, photography and illustration to create new and unique imagery. Photography and illustration has been combined many times before, but I would like to emphasize how the local imagery and illustrative style of Taylor Made is completely fresh and innovative.

We are very proud of what we have achieved so far! Here are the stages of the process we took to create our very first image:

Step 1: Photograph

Alex, the amazing photographer of 'Taylor Made' captures the local scenery in West Yorkshire through his lens.

For our first image, I was allowed choose an image from any of his existing photography - one lucky illustrator! Therefore, I chose a beautiful image named 'Blue Bell Birch'. Vibrant tones particularly stood out to me, I couldn't wait to illustrate the image!

Alex Taylor's, 'Blue Bell Birch'

Step 2: Illustration

This is where my role in the collaboration begins: the illustration.

The technique I chose for this piece was mono-printing with acrylic to mimic the vibrancy of the blue bells in the original photograph. Then, I added in more detail with charcoal to bring out the features of the tree trunk. The contrast creates a strong illustration but more importantly I have not just copied the image, I have re-invented it with the choice of media and style.

Blue Bell Birch, illustration by Carla Taylor

Step 3: Merge

In the final stage, the original photograph and illustration are merged in Photoshop to create an entirely new and unique image. Here I demonstrate the process which I undertake to create this new work of art:

Open photograph in Photoshop (CS6)

Scan in illustration and place over the photograph (file-place).  The opacity was reduced to reveal part of the photo, then the image was rotated to align the tree trunk in both the photo and illustration. 

Creating a layer mask allows that particular layer to be manipulated. This allowed me to use the gradient tool to fade in the edges of the illustration to create a softer look.

Using the curve layer, I altered the brightness and contrast until I was happy that the two images merged together effectively.

Finally, reducing the saturation made the tones softer and subtle.

Final Image

And there we have it, Taylor Made's first ever image! I hope you enjoyed learning about the process in which the final image was created.

In general, this is the main process that is followed with each Taylor Made image, though of course the imagery can change including the way the illustration and photograph are merged in Photoshop. I can only speak about the illustration and merged image in regards to how they are made, though I know Alex will also use his creative eye to create unique and captivating imagery.

Personally, I am very excited about the upcoming projects for Taylor Made though I am proud of what we have achieved so far. Have a look at ALL of Taylor Made's artwork so far on our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.

There is more to come!

Thanks for reading,