Create a Mixed Media Masterpiece in Photoshop

Added on January 19th 2011
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The concept for the piece called 'Night Cereus' was actually based upon a dream I had one night. There was a large pod like plant at the bottom of my garden one night. When I approached it, a man grew out of it. He had long hair and a beard and was very spiritual, like a Buddhist monk or an angel. It was such a vivid dream because I can remember the heavy cold air, the blue and black midnight sky and the serene feelings that this person was communicating to me. So this where keeping a notebook beside your bed is so vital. When I woke up I could simply scribble down a rough thumbnail, the sensation of the dream, the visual cues and the emotion of it.
This is hugely important to me, you need to be able to convey how exactly you feel through your work. Getting ideas down on paper before they slip away amongst the chaos of life can have such a massive benefit to your final work.

When I begin to work on an illustration, I always have a rough sketch of it in my notebook. I carry a notebook everywhere with me, so I scribble out ideas that just pop into my head. I keep it beside my bed as I tend to get the most ideas when I'm about to go to sleep and when I wake up. I keep a small biro pen with the notebook so I can quickly rough out a concept. I always write notes beside each doodle because in my head, I'm planning out what coloring, layers and effects I'm going to use in Photoshop. I keep a few gigabytes spare on my hard drive for a digital scrapbook. My digital scrapbook is a folder filled with jpegs, tiffs, pngs, scans, urls and mpegs from the internet of stuff I find inspiring, like a fashion shoot, websites or an old advert I've downloaded. I also collect a lot of clippings from magazines and books and take tons of pictures on my iPhone camera, like graffiti, street textures and urban spaces to use as reference points in my illustrations.

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