Motion Graphics

Here are the motion graphics for my collage. I have also added music and made it a video which is accessible through Dropbox.

Collage13forweb

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Case Study

SUSTAINABILITY CASE STUDY

Recyclables: Trash, Transformation, Treasures

Overflowing Cups

brewbottles

drinkingstraws

Case study by Linda Stotter Flaxer     June 22, 2015

Even Recyclable Trash threatens to invade and strain the environment, as we know it. Yet Recyclable materials and objects have the potential for transformation into reconfigured forms, uses and constructs. They also have the ability to become treasures, either as abstract expressions of art itself or as valuable tools, such as energy and fertilizer.

________________________________________________

CLIENT                       Deborah Krikun for Digital Imaging

_____________________________________________________

PROJECT TITLE       Recyclables: Trash, Transformation, Treasures

_____________________________________________________

DURATION                June, 2015

_____________________________________________________

TEAM                        

Linda Stotter Flaxer, with the invaluable assistance of
instructor and classmates.

________________________________________________

DESCRIPTION         

Project Brief

A key issue in Sustainability is the amount we as humans generate in trash. Recyclables represent approximately one third of that “pile.” Dan Kulpinski of National Geographic points out that,

Our human footprint doesn’t end after we buy and consume things; the final impact occurs when we discard items – and we Americans discard four-fifths of a ton of trash per person, per year.

Here are the numbers: Americans generated 251 million tons of trash in 2006, the most recent year for which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has data. Our per capita trash disposal rate was 4.6 pounds per person, per day. Sixty-five percent came from residences, while 35 percent came from schools and commercial locations such as hospitals and businesses.

Where does it all end up? Fifty-five percent gets buried in landfills, 33 percent gets recycled, and 12.5 percent goes to incinerators.

The purpose of this project is to first, through hyperrealistic visualization, dramatize the overwhelming amount of trash we produce as humans and its potential to strain and invade the natural world, as we know it. Then, through further stylized renderings, such as cubism, collage and video graphics, show the potential in cutting back on and/or transforming recyclables into reusable materials and constructs.

Since the project designer is a novice, the intended audience is narrow, comprised of instructor and fellow classmates.

The designer was challenged with several tasks, not limited to, but including learning and applying tools in Photoshop to achieve design products; setting up and maintaining a WordPress website; researching the art movements and artists involved in Hyperrrealism, Cubism, Collage and briefly, Moving Graphics; and developing/sketching concepts and gathering and manipulating images to achieve finished renditions of those concepts. The compressed timeframe of instruction and project delivery also posed a steep test to this designer.

Budget

This project was self-funded, along with the support of the staff and equipment of the WCC School for the Arts.

Research

Research was conducted on the Internet (and through cumulative knowledge from Exhibitions at Art Museums ranging from The Metropolitan Museum of Art and MOMA to the Picasso Museums in Paris and Barcelona) to understand the context, distinct features, range of artists/styles/visions and interrelationships between Hyperrealism, Cubism, Collage and Motion Graphics.

Merriam-Webster defines Hyperrealism as, “realism in art characterized by depiction of real life in an unusual or striking manner.” Utilizing photographic images in a markedly or subtly conspicuous manner, or painting or creating art as if it is a photographic image, are all ways to represent Hyperrealism. Hyperrealism began in the late 1960’s as, “One demonstration of the way photography became assimilated into the art world…” (Graham Thompson). Websites below show remarkable examples of Hyperrealistic art.

http://www.boredpanda.com/hyper-realistic-art/

Fazio’s pencil drawings look like photographs. De Graaf’s acrylic painting of blue and yellow paints is texturally and visually amazing, as is Campos’ oil featuring (recyclable) coke cans and Mills’ oils showing bottle caps, wine corks and newspapers – all recyclables. These are pointed out because recyclables are my theme; there are many amazing works, including Elliot and Mueck figures which are striking. There are many arresting and effective visual depictions of Hyperrealism on this site and some clearly talented artists.

http://illusion.scene360.com/category/hyperrealist/

“The Owl and Artichokes” Paintings by Eckart Hahn, Interview with Hyperrealist Artist Antonio Finelli and Kyle Barnes’ Photographic Paintings start the page off with a bang.

https://www.artsy.net/gene/hyperrealism

Hyperrealism was a particularly appropriate art form to begin with in order to both learn Photoshop as well as to heighten awareness of an issue surrounding Recyclables, because it involves refinement of photographic images to achieve an artistic/dramatic effect. Heightening awareness through a striking image is a particularly appropriate way to kick off a campaign.

FaceGarbage

Cubists were expressing through art new ways that people and events moved through time and space. They reconceived objects as we typically know them and by breaking the plane, flattening them or displaying them through “new” (geometric) shapes and either fracturing and/or deconstructing them into clean grids and blocks of (primary) color elements.

This art form was created by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque in Paris at the beginning of the 20th Century, particularly inspired by Western Artitist, Cézanne, as well as North African art which was largely two dimensional. Cubists artists left behind the long held concept that art should imitate nature.

picassoguitartassle

Picassoguitargreensrusts

Paul_Cézanne_112

1756203-paul_cezanne_bibermus

saintevictoire1

RosesFrontalGrids

Several sites refreshed the designer’s knowledge of cubism and inspired recommended concepts:

http://www.theartstory.org/movement-cubism.htm

https://peaceandwarpoetics.wikispaces.com/Cubism

https://isuarts.wordpress.com/home/myp/grade-6/unit-4-cubist-still-life/

http://99designs.com/designer-blog/2012/12/18/know-your-design-history-the-utopian-de-stijl-movement/

Cubism was a particularly appropriate art form to express the concept of Recycling objects and materials because they too are broken down into new shapes and forms to arrive at a newly envisioned and/or re-usable purpose.

Collage, as with many art movement labels, comes from a French word. Coller means To Glue in French. Since the creation of paper, people (as documented, initially a woman) pasted photos and clippings to create a visual collection of words and images.  Initial collage artists literally glued clippings and objects onto their canvas or onto desired surfaces to achieve their work of art. As a primer, ArtHistory.about.com “pieces together” the progression of this art form.

“Collage is the twentieth century’s greatest innovation.” — Robert Motherwell

“After Picasso and Georges Braque, collage became the most consequential visual-art form of the twentieth century.” — Peter Schjeldahl

(Quotes from A Cut-Down History of Collage)

Dada artists in Germany after WWI created Photomontage using pre-existing photographs.

Top Ten Collage Artists shows some classic collage artists and visuals. Here are some additional Artists and images showing the range of styles in this movement:

Blake

Metzinger

HamiltonCollage

Recycling images to create a new whole, in terms of sustainability, is like a “theme within a theme,” involving more complex layering and manipulation of Recyclable images, and is fitting as the third image style of this campaign.

Strategy 

Umbrella Theme: Recyclables

The Campaign Approach utilized hyperrealistic, cubist and collage images to produce visually arresting, artistically conceived themes communicating the role of Recyclables in Sustainability.

Part One: Hyperrealism: Project Theme: Trash Takeover

“In Junk We Trust”

First, through hyperrealistic visualization, the goal is to dramatize the overwhelming amount of trash we produce as humans and its potential to strain and invade the natural world, as we know it.

The artist, Andy Warhol, and his pop, consumer driven works helped to inspire the style of the “In Junk We Trust” Recyclable Hyperrealism project developed.

Below are some works that show the general style echoed distantly in this piece.

Warhol-image2Warhol-image1

There are many Photoshop tools I applied to arrive at my finished Hyperrealism project. At the most basic level, I learned the difference between setting up my “canvas” properly (with the correct dimensions and resolution) and how to select and import photo/visual elements (with workable resolutions) onto that canvas. I truly was starting at the beginning: even the process of saving everything efficiently either in Dropbox (which I learned can take forever if a computer doesn’t have enough capacity) or on a Flash Drive involved a learning curve.

I was initially encouraged by the relatively painless experience I had cleaning up the inside front and back of the One Dollar Bill. Little did I anticipate the further journeys I would embark on to complete the rest of the project….

lucy-croppedBack-of-Bill-Clean-RosettesUnited_States_one_dollar_bill,_obverse

Layer Up! This has become not just a motto for setting out on a mountain climbing expedition but also a motto for working in Photoshop. Creating multiple layers and copies of layers and back ups of layers, as well as multiple project iterations (Hyper 1, 1x,2, 2x,3, 3alt. etc.) saved me on numerous occasions.

In addition, isolating and manipulating different layers allowed me to create the hyper effect I needed for my composition. For instance, changing the word “God” to “Junk” required using many new tools including color hues, picking up/copying patterns, type style, ruler bars for size and placement, etc. Making each new letter its own layer enabled me to create or copy the letters I needed, each on their own layer, and then match them up and space them properly on the dollar bill without ruining or damaging the rest of the front of the bill I had created.

Below are some different stages of my work:

Hyper4

I learned how to adjust the canvas size to make more pleasing proportions for the project as well as how to efficiently cover the canvas proportionally with the background junk pile.

Hyper8xf

For the final phases, I included some of the tools I was learning in the Cubism classes, such as how to adjust tint and opacity as well as how to use the tool kit to generate desired distortion effects, which is how I created the frame.

I then utilized Image Adjustment and Pattern Stamp tools to get the Front and Back of the Dollar Bill to be more uniform in color and to appear to be a “realistic” Dollar Bill.

Hyper14ucycolor

Part Two: Cubism: Project Theme: Transformation

“Reincarnation: Message in Some Bottles” 

Reviewing and researching cubism, I realized that it is a particularly appropriate art form to express the concept of recycling objects and materials.

Cubists were expressing through art new ways that people and events moved through time and space. They reconceived objects as we typically know them and by breaking the plane, flattening them or displaying them through “new” (geometric) shapes and deconstructing them into clean grids and blocks of (primary) color elements.

In similar ways, this is what recycling is all about: deconstructing familiar objects and materials and reconstructing/representing/using them in new ways that enable us to move forward in a cleaner, newly delineated “modern” world.

For this concept, I focused on still life and landscape, with the purpose of featuring the “transformation” of the recyclables themselves, rather than the people involved.

Picasso loosely inspired the style of the image.

cubism13

Cubism5

cubismworkingfinal5

cubism12

In developing this piece, I built on Photoshop skills learned in devising the Hyperrealism project. In addition, I used new techniques (some of which got rejected for the final composition, such as the Grid.) In particular, the Polygonal tool as well as Image Adjustment tools (for Inner and Outer Glows) helped create effective distorted, dimensional cubist effects.

In addition, by making a Path around the broken bottle pieces, and using the Eye Dropper to pick up color hues I wanted from the “outer glow” colors of the bright bottles, I could then paint and Fill in outlines around the solid broken bottle pieces to make more of a cubist statement.

I utilized the Tool Kit to achieve the visual effects produced in the background images. The Posterization option gave the background its final cubist-like flattened finish.

Part Three: Collage: Project Theme: Treasures

“Recyclable Soil Boosts Blooms”

The theme of Recyclables is continued, but this time with a slightly different category of “recyclables”: compostable materials (mainly food scraps and certain recyclable substances). Food waste takes up an astounding percentage of land fill space, and individuals’ composting their leftovers, inedible food substances and even garden remnants, such as raked leaves and cut grass, can provide rich, natural fertilizer for garden beds and help contribute to sustainability, rather than methane gas overload from decomposed food in land fills.

Also, the images from food scraps and compostable materials can provide rich texture, shape and color options for creating a collage image. For all of these reasons, composting was an appropriate sub-theme for this collage.

eggshellsonagedwood Cherries  

avacado Apple eggshellsonagedwood CoffeeGrounds

For the specific conception, an educational LPS website image was the foundational inspiration:

compost1

The idea was to visually add compostable materials to the soil and create a “boosted bloom” of a representational “flower” whose parts are entirely made up of compostable substances.

Many Photoshop skills were employed to achieve desired effects, including Channels, PathsTransformation (angle, size, rotation of images), Paint Bucket, Blending, Hue and Opacity Adjustment, Clone and Pattern Stamps. 

handwithsoil

plant

Avacadoskind

Below are some of the stages: Early, Intermediary & Final Product.

Collage2

Collage3

Collage11

Challenges

There were numerous challenges in each phase of this campaign, which, in the end, furthered my learning of Photoshop and Graphic Design.

Developing the hyperrealism image, I learned the challenge and critical discipline of checking which layer you are on when more than one layer is visible so that changes aren’t made to the wrong layer.

I tried merging visible layers of some of the cans and bottles that were showing through on the front of the dollar bill, to be able to move them, place them and clean them up as a unit, and then did not like the result. Nevertheless, I had the original images in a back up file in their own separate layers and could go back and fix the situation to my liking.

Creating the Cubist piece, I unknowingly over-utilized the Tool Kit effects on some of the bottles. The final effects I saw on my computer monitor did not come through when I saved the image for web. This was a painful lesson that not all modifications will appear in certain resolutions.

Also, I did not adequately manipulate the grid option, so that any pattern I tried to achieve came across too strong and was ultimately scrapped in the final concept.

Cubism8bottles10

Cubism6

Composing the Collage image, I loaded, modified and copied so many layers so quickly that I often got lost where I was (and did not realize that I could place the mouse on the part of the image that I wanted and that the correct layer would automatically appear!)

In addition, I had so many pieces that I merged some layers so that I could refine them as a unified image. At the very end, however, this was inconvenient for adding type to the “background” and for doing motion graphics. I saved multiple iterations of the image, however, and this enabled me to go back and get original, non-merged layers. Nevertheless, this was not a particularly efficient or ideal process. I became better at the very end at file management, and this helped greatly. (Better Late than Never!)

Effectiveness

Overall, the designer, a novice to digital imaging, is proud of the visual accomplishments achieved in this campaign. “In Junk We Trust” is perhaps the strongest. In “Reincarnation: Message in Some Bottles,” the artist made a concerted effort to balance focal points through color and object placement. (Although during this project, the designer may be guilty of putting too much emphasis on exploring Photoshop techniques rather than purely artistic composition.) “Recyclable Soil Boosts Blooms” while somewhat busy from a focal standpoint, has some intricate and fun elements. In sum, the campaign “sustains” a continuum of learning and mastery, conveying important themes related to Recyclables.

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Collage

Post One

Coller means To Glue in French. Since the creation of paper, people (as documented, initially a woman) pasted cut out clippings to create a visual collection of words and images.  literally glued clippings and objects onto their canvas or onto desired surfaces to achieve their work of art. As a primer,  ArtHistory.about.com “pieced together” the progression of this art form for the beginner.

“Collage is the twentieth century’s greatest innovation.” — Robert Motherwell

“After Picasso and Georges Braque, collage became the most consequential visual-art form of the twentieth century.” — Peter Schjeldahl

(Quotes from A Cut-Down History of Collage)

Dada artists in Germany after WWI created Photomontage using pre-existing photographs. Guess I will humbly be following in their tradition in my Collage piece. I will be recycling images to create a new whole. In terms of sustainability, that’s like a “theme within a theme.”

 

Post Two

Top Ten Collage Artists shows some classic collage artists and visuals, most of whom we saw in class. Still worth re-viewing! Here are some additional Artists and images showing the range of styles in this movement:

MetzingerMetzinger

BlakeBlake

HamiltonCollageHamilton

There is Collage hanging in my own home by an artist my husband and I discovered in Barcelona: Josep Bonet Subirats. He is not particularly expensive or famous, but he cleverly incorporated newspaper and print type elements to render elements such as bus stop windows, t-shirts and puddles  in two of his works which we bought.

BarcelonaCollage

 

Post Three

I am using so many Photoshop Tools I didn’t even know three weeks ago. Marching Ants are my new best friends when I get them in the right place (and save them as a Path appropriately, if I need those “ants” again!). I have even used the Channel option to grab image elements. Hurray! I initially found the Polygonal tool to be awkward and frustrating – It is now my go-to tool! For Collage especially, it has been amazing for isolating and separating image elements to be compiled into one another or re-pieced together.

plantOriginal LeavesAvacadoskindAvocado Skin Leaves

The Eyedropper (combined with a Brush) and the Clone Stamp combined with the Blurr have also been quite helpful in reconstructing or modifying elements. 

compost1 Original Image

handwithsoilReconstructed Top Hand & Soil

Overall, however, I still often need to go back a few steps in History to re-do failed operations. It has been a time consuming learning effort. In addition, when time frame is tight (as it has been for the Collage project), my layer management goes out the window and finding the elements I want to view or manipulate became a chore. Trying to re-group or file them into folders was not even easy for me. What a beginner I am! Nevertheless, I am persevering.

Collage2

Collage3

Collage11

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cubism Exploration

Post One

Several sites refreshed my knowledge of cubism and inspired my concepts.

http://www.theartstory.org/movement-cubism.htm

https://peaceandwarpoetics.wikispaces.com/Cubism

https://isuarts.wordpress.com/home/myp/grade-6/unit-4-cubist-still-life/

http://99designs.com/designer-blog/2012/12/18/know-your-design-history-the-utopian-de-stijl-movement/

Post Two

For as many Picasso exhibits as I have seen at the Met or MOMA or even having gone to the Picasso Museum years ago in the Marais district of Paris, it was really being in Barcelona and going to the Picasso Museum there that reinforced my total awe of this artist. One of the scenes he painted looked so familiar to me – It was essentially the view from our B&B window. When I mentioned this to Paddy, the B&B owner the next day, he informed me that Picasso had actually stayed in our room and had painted the scene from our exact vantage point. I was so excited that I had made the connection. Below is a similar view:

9781556603211_p0_v1_s260x420

I have always loved Cezanne and had a poster of his up in my dorm room all four years of college (see below). So glad I got to revisit him for this project. Cezanne’s greens and rusts and blues resonate with me as well as the kind of gauzy texture he achieves.

Paul_Cezanne_30235

Post Three
In developing this Cubist piece, I built on Photoshop skills learned in devising the Hyperrealism project. In addition, I used new techniques (some of which got rejected for the final composition, such as the Grid.) In particular, the Polygonal tool as well as Image Adjustment tools (for Inner and Outer Glows) helped create effective distorted, dimensional cubist effects.

Cubism5

cubismworkingfinal5

In addition, by making a Path around the broken bottle pieces, and using the Eye Dropper to pick up color hues I wanted from the “outer glow” colors of the bright bottles, I could then paint and Fill in outlines around the solid broken bottle pieces to make more of a cubist statement.

cubism12

I utilized the Tool Kit to achieve the visual effects produced in the background images. The Posterization option gave the background its final cubist-like flattened finish.

cubism13

Post Four

Lessons Learned:

Creating the Cubist piece, I unknowingly over-utilized the Tool Kit effects on some of the bottles. The final effects I saw on my computer monitor did not come through when I saved the image for web. This was a painful lesson that not all modifications will appear in certain resolutions.

Also, I did not adequately manipulate the grid option (which took me a long time to select and build), so that any pattern I tried to achieve came across too strong and was ultimately scrapped in the final concept.

Cubism5x

Cubism8bottles10

Cubism6

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Hyperrealism

Blog 3 

Check out 40 Hyper Realistic Artworks That Are Hard To Believe Aren’t Photographs (http://www.boredpanda.com/hyper-realistic-art/created 730 days ago by Lina D. on Boredpanda.com. Artists she features and further info one can explore on Bored Panda include:

Diego Fazio, Erich Christensen, Franco Clun, Gregory Thielker, Hyper Realistic, hyper realistic art, hyper-realistic drawings, hyper-realistic paintings, hyperrealism, hyperrealistic, hyperrealistic art, Jason de Graaf, Juan Francisco Casas, Keng Lye, Lynch-Smith, Omar Ortiz, Paul Cadden, Paul Lung, Pedro Campos, Riusuke Fukahori, Roberto Bernardi, Robin Eley, Ron Mueck, Samuel Silva, sculpture, Steve Mills, Teresa Elliott

Fazio’s pencil drawings look like photographs. De Graaf’s acrylic painting of blue and yellow paints is texturally and visually amazing, as is Campos’ oil featuring (recyclable) coke cans and Mills’ oils showing bottle caps, wine corks and newspapers – all recyclables. These are pointed out because recyclables are my theme; there are many amazing works, including Elliot and Mueck figures which are striking. There are many arresting and effective visual depictions of Hyper Realism on this site and some clearly talented artists.

Blog 4

Illusion.scene360.com has some wonderful depictions of Hyperrealism on its Hyperrealism page. “The Owl and Artichokes” Paintings by Eckart Hahn, Interview with Hyperrealist Artist Antonio Finelli and Kyle Barnes’ Photographic Paintings start the page off with a bang.

Looking forward to explaining and discussing my initial hyperrealism concepts in class. Hope there will be some “sustainable” enthusiasm for at least one of them!

Blog 5

Campbell’s Soup & Warhol are MM-MM Good! The artist, Andy Warhol, and his pop, consumer driven works helped to inspire the style of the “In Junk We Trust” Recyclable Hyperrealism project I developed.  Googling Andy Warhol generates a plethora of images and information. His Rolling Stones Self- Portrait is absolutely “psychedelic.”

Below are some works that help show the general style echoed distantly in my project.

Warhol-image2

Warhol-image1

Blog 6

Developing a mental sketch/conceptualization of the visual and selecting the photo elements to use and place came quite naturally to me and was enjoyable. Subsequently, applying Photoshop tools to arrive at the finished product was often frustrating but ultimately rewarding.

There are many Photoshop tools I applied to arrive at my finished Hyperrealism project. At the most basic level, I learned the difference between setting up my “canvas” properly (with the correct dimensions and resolution) and how to select and import photo/visual elements (with workable resolutions) onto that canvas. I truly was starting at the beginning: even the process of saving everything efficiently either in Dropbox (which I learned can take forever if a computer doesn’t have enough capacity) or on a Flash Drive involved a learning curve.

I was initially encouraged by the relatively painless experience I had cleaning up the inside front and back of the One Dollar Bill. Little did I anticipate the further journeys I would embark on to complete the rest of the project….

one-dollar-bill-front-38669499 United_States_one_dollar_bill,_obverse

Dollar-Bill-Reverse-Side

Back-of-Bill-Clean-Rosettes

lucy-cropped

Blog 7

Layer Up! This has become not just a motto for setting out on a mountain climbing expedition but also a motto for working in Photoshop. Creating multiple layers and copies of layers and back ups of layers, as well as multiple project iterations (Hyper 1, 1x,2, 2x,3, 3alt. etc.) saved me on numerous occasions. For example, I tried merging visible layers of some of the cans and bottles that were showing through on the front of the dollar bill, to be able to move them, place them and clean them up as a unit, and then did not like the result. Nevertheless, I had the original images in back up in their own separate layers and could go back and fix the situation to my liking.

In addition, isolating and manipulating different layers allowed me to create the hyper effect I needed for my composition. For instance, changing the word “God” to “Junk” required using many new tools including color hues, picking up/copying patterns, type style, ruler bars for size and placement, etc. Making each new letter its own layer enabled me to create or copy the letters I needed, each on their own layer, and then match them up and space them properly on the dollar bill without ruining or damaging the rest of the front of the bill I had created.

Nevertheless, I also learned the challenge and critical discipline of checking which layer you are on when more than one layer is visible so that changes aren’t made to the wrong layer.

Below are some different stages of my work:

Hyper4

Hyper5typechanges

I learned how to adjust the canvas size to make more pleasing proportions for the project as well as how to efficiently cover the canvas proportionally with the background junk pile (by staying after class and getting tips from a more advanced student. )

Hyper8xf

For the final phases, I included some of the tools I was learning in the Cubism classes, such as how to adjust tint and opacity as well as how to use the tool kit to generate desired distortion effects, which is how I created the frame.

Hyper9lucycolor

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Initial Explorations of Hyperrealism

Blog 1

The Artsy Inc. Hyperrealism page (https://www.artsy.net/gene/hyperrealism) is quite instructive about Hyperrealism, its place in art history and related artists including,

Salvador Dalí, Chuck Close, Robert Gober, Robert Bechtle, Yrjo Edelmann, Claudio Bravo, Evan Penny, Ben Schonzeit, Vincenzo Abbati, Davis Cone.

The page also shows some Hyperrealist artworks for sale currently.

K Henderson combines elements of pop, cubism and collage in the hyperrealistic work, “Wonder Woman,” which is visually and texturally complex and a lot of fun. Much humor and childhood musings in K’s featured works.

Blog 2

I found as I searched images for my initial concepts for Hyperrealism that different ideas emerged based on what I discovered. One idea led to others, and the concepts multiplied, died or changed.

FaceGarbage

Overflowing Cups

PalmGarbage

Ilovenygarbage

I wanted to do something with these images, but they never made it into a concept. Enjoy the junk!

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Learn Photoshop or Drop!

I am a lowly photo enthusiast and design amateur at best. However, I am

determined to learn more.

I look forward to

the Photoshop 101 learning curve in store.

Sorry if you

find this website a beginner’s bore.

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