It is week four of online tools month at the Self-Portrait Challenge, and I am loving this month’s prompt. Yes, I realize that I have totally abandoned the online tools we were encouraged to use, but they are just too constricting. However, this month’s prompt has forced me to examine the relationship between photography and other forms of graphic art like painting and drawing. Additionally, I have been thinking a lot about the role of programs like Photoshop, which blur the line between these forms of imagery. In today’s world of digital technology, we artists really have the freedom to create any image we can dream of. We are no longer restricted by our physical artistic ability or by the constraints of photo-realism. Drawings can be photographs and photographs can be transformed into a gallery of visual styles.
This week, I wanted to examine this concept further. I wanted to create a digital sketchbook. The first step was to pull out my sketchbook. I found an mediocre pencil drawing I had done of Frida Kahlo a few months back and surrounded the empty white space around it with a combination of photographs and drawings. When I was done I realized that the drawing was a bit out of place, but who better than Frida illustrates the two other themes I have been working with this month: We Are all Broken, and that We Are Processes and Not Products. The photographs of the little boy are all of me. The rest is pretty self-explanatory.
I think the final product became a bit cluttered, and looks a bit like a digital scrapbook (another project idea that came to me after this week’s piece) but I think that was the point. This was meant to be a sketchbook, a place to practice skills and test ideas. I would love to work on a more comprehensive and simple piece; one that deals with blurring the lines between traditional art and digital photography. I am constantly amazed by the fact that I only know how to use 30% of the tools on Photoshop, but I can still produce many of the ideas I dream up. I am pretty happy with this one. What do you think?