Reflections: Digital Portraits

Saturday, May 21, 2016 7:53 PM By Stephen J Christophers

The following set of portraits were created on an old outdated Windows laptop using Photoshop Elements 8. They are examples of what can be achieved using skills alone, without the use of a library of brushes and aftermarket plugins. The portraits themselves are of artists who work in all forms of digital and traditional media, with an emphasis on contemporary surrealism. Each portrait is created using a different skill-set. Some are more "vector" style specific and others blend brush work with a variety of simple techniques by way of layering. Each portrait was created from a small 72dpi web standard picture and enlarged to a 300dpi photo-quality .jpeg @ 20 - 25 megapixels.

Story: I vaguely recall sitting in a job interview about twenty years ago, for the position of graphic designer with a software development company in Australia. One of the directors interviewing me put to me a question: He asked me, "Can you be crap?" I could be, and was for 2.5 years (I laugh now). Although, the position did give me some time to hone my vector illustration skills using Adobe FLASH/Illustrator and a variety of other graphic design software. Furthermore, my work was never used commercially by that company in any of their products, and as far as I could ascertain, none of the thirty or so others that worked there contributed much, if anything lasting to a single software product either. I mentioned this for several reasons here. Firstly, some of those skills that I acquired almost twenty years ago were used in the creation of these portrait illustrations. Secondly, I don't consider them "crap" at all. Although, I must add, they were created with the most basic graphic software on an old lap-top, unlike my expensive range of tools available to me at that company. This brings me to my last point of reference: With the most basic skills at hand one can create good work with old hardware and software. Learn how to do this and the next time you manage to work with the best equipment possible you will produce some fantastic work. Lastly, when you're self employed there is no need to be crap. Set your own standards and work with those on the same level, that strive to be better. The current problem facing those who work in digital media is the fact we use the highest skill-set found in most work places, especially those working in 3D. Often digital artists and creatives come with exceptional IT literacy. Nevertheless, those creatives are somewhat underestimated and poorly underpaid, regardless of gender or ethnic background.

If you enjoyed this series of artwork please feel free to checkout my web-store at Society6. Urbex :: Siam can be found by following the link provided below. Furthermore, I can be contacted using a number of social media addresses and traditional email by following the links at the top of the page.