I don’t know about you, but the COVID-19 Pandemic has seriously affected my sleep. I’ve been having the strangest, most vivid dreams that are frankly, super weird. So, I blame this strange self portrait series on my sleep schedule that makes no sense anymore.
As self portraits, I’m not sure if they even make any sense. They’re me, but at the same time, they’re really not. I’m going to do my best talk through a tiny bit of my process of creating each, and hopefully by the end you’ll have learned a little something about photoshop or my process or me. And if not, I’m sorry that I’ve failed so miserably.
A Lady, A Vamp
This was the first piece I designed as part of this mini collection of self portraits. I was thinking about how to use the plethora of photos that I have from my work as a photographer, and I figured I’d try working from some self portraits and photos that Andres shot of me to be used. As headshots.
I love creating collages - taking multiple images from different sources and combining them to create one, seamless piece of art - and so initially I was totally faceless, and I was going for something super surreal looking, incorporating planets and landscapes and various PNGs (image cutouts with transparent backgrounds). And then it evolved into this whole other face.
The nose is mine, as is the outline of my eyes, but the eyeball are made up of little planets (I think I used the moon), and the lips, you may recognize from the initial posters for the TV show “True Blood”. I was kind of shocked to learn that this image was stock, and not from some photoshoot from the show! The brows are also definitely not mine, though I kind of wish they were.
Once I decided that I was definitely going with the Vampire idea, the colors shifted pretty dramatically. I also really love working with different textures, so I pulled in the following Bijutsu Sukai piece from the early 1800s. I set he image layer on “Hue” to create this particular color overlay.
Overall, it has the sort of creepy/whimsy feel that I was going for.
Cry a River
From the reject pile of headshot outtakes I had on my computer comes this Cyclops piece. Which honestly, had a far more focused process when it came to execution.
I love fantasy media, whether it be books, or films, and once I decided on creating a sort of ‘monster’ version of myself, I immediately thought of ‘Monster High’ and the character Iris Clops, because of my short-lived bags. Between my hair, and the tilt of my head in the image, I got thinking about the 1960’s and 1970’s, and creating something that felt psychedelic, but that also felt a little bit sad. They say that eyes are the window to the soul. And honestly with everything going on, I’ve been feeling pretty sad. So I feel like this is probably the most honest representation of where I was at on this particular day.
I used the “heal” tool in photoshop to remove the full upper portion of my face. I like using the heal tool in particular because it keeps the textures similar when you’re replacing part of an image. From there, I pulled an eye that I found super striking, and set it on top, and then placed the tear drops. The overlay of blue is again from an image by Bijutsu Sukai. I’ve found their prints and patterns to be really inspiring, and I love the color that can be pulled from them.
Devil in a Dress
This is probably my favorite of the three. It was inspired by the character I play in the short film/pilot “Wicked Image” (more on that here). Her name is Lucy, and she is essentially a female version of Lucifer. The show takes place in New York City, where Lucifer, Satan, and the Devil (the unholy trinity) turn New York City upside down.
The image used was taken by Andres, and I only removed my eyes for this one. I actually made the image black and white, to better colorize over (with another image by Bijutsu Sukai). Adding the horns was one of the last things I did- it took me a bit to find ones that didn’t feel cartoon-like.
So, that’s a bit of art vomit on how/why these exist. If you’re interested in purchasing one as a print (8.5x11” or 13x19”) or are interested in a commission for yourself, please shoot an email to info.amcoart.com!