Finding new fun ways to explore creativity

What time is better than now to act on creative ideas? Or maybe you’re feeling creative, but you don’t have a starting point. Since the start of quarantine,  I’ve been cooking up pieces with some of my most frequently used applications from the Creative Cloud. I thought it’d be useful to expose a bit of my own process to hopefully spark something creative in someone else! As simple as it sounds, one of my favorite things to do before a piece is to make a themed mood board in Photoshop. This is usually when all of my excessive screenshots help to establish a direction. A way to source passion that drives the work forward is to find those commonalities that make sense (to me) within the images I’m already naturally attracted to. In my case, with a portrait the images on the boards aren’t exclusive to just facial features, but will often include obscure lights, shapes, and textures.

Using Photoshop to easily compose this mood board of my 2 generate ideas for self portrait. With the Guide feature, it's easy to use for grid to draw a subject closely to the reference if desired (match canvas size on Photoshop with the canvas size of the actual paper/canvas/surface).

“How does a portrait tell a story?” Is the most seemingly intimidating question that I ask myself over and over to challenge an idea. Sometimes the initial inspiration is just a color palette, and sometimes that is just enough. The story then becomes about color, and I can elaborate by allowing the colors to create a context. The depictions of the colors become so precious to the piece, and it becomes a fun challenge finding their voice. With the use of Adobe Bridge, it is simple to make the most necessary manipulations to the hue, the vibrancy, or how deep I imagine the colors to appear throughout the process.

The idea for this concept was inspired by the analogous color palette, and my own personal desire to extend the range of colors explored in myskin renderings.

Bridge is so useful and easy to use for color treatment/hue refinement for documentation and also simply for color play & exploration. Opening an image in Bridge as a .RAW file offers some fun to explore shadows, blackpoint, and clarity which really helps before posting onto webpages.

The .RAW edit feature in Bridge is also fun to explore individual Hue changes. This is also always fun for me to do with sketches before a piece, being able to see how the colors harmonize before actualizing them with the paint is a fun cheat code.

My mind is always curious to see my work and my ideas extended into a range of mediums and medias. I thought it’d be interesting to share this peek into my processes using Premiere Pro to pair together a time lapse collage.

One of my many first introductions to Adobe was when middle school Rahm learned how to make .gifs from Youtube clips. I credit some of that early experimentation for inspiring me to want to one day see my own world activated through a moving image.