Inspiration? We don't need no stinkin' inspiration!

A while back, I was struggling with inspiration.

I had so many ideas, but they all seemed to required a lot more time and energy than I currently have.   I considered doing some more drawing seeing as you can pick up and continue a lot easier than you can a photography project (at least the way I do projects).

Then I came across the below image on flickr.  And this, my friends,  is an example of how the simplest of things can lead you down a whole new path of creativity... hopefully.


*bing* goes the proverbial lightbulb!

Hmmm mixing photography with drawing... awesome!  And, though some may not like it, I think the not showing the face thing is such an interesting effect.

Who the hell is this guy and what else has he done?

So, I naturally look him up to find out he's photographer Andrew Nawrocki, from Chicago.   His flickr account has a full set of his drawings which I thought kicked ass.

Being an absolute newbie in graphics tablet drawing,  I thought I knew how to do this,  but wasn't sure,  so I wrote him asking him for tips.  Seems logical right?  But it's not always that simple.  Lots of  'artists'  are egocentric enough to think that their techniques are on par with world saving clues in a crappy Dan Brown book and don't want to share them, thinking their work will somehow get diminished. (PS guys, it's the result, not the technique that matters!)

Not Andrew (or Beardsley Stubblefield, III as I knew him on Flickr UPDATE: Sadly his profile is no longer active in Flickr and I can't find him elsewhere!).  He was more than happy to give me some starter tips on how to go from photograph to drawing.  And with that I was off and running.

The results of my first attempt is the following 'drawing' made from a photograph of my friend Dai at a "Red Army Day" party.  (I have some former Soviet Army colleagues!)

I'm quite pleased with it as it's simple, graphical and makes you (hopefully) look at it in a way that's different than how you normally look at such things, especially with no face markings at all.  It was also a great way to learn lots of new things in Photoshop such as how to layer, create that interesting radial background, and adding the grungy stained looking aspect to the background!

In the next one, I wanted to do a more faithful depiction of the scene as it really existed (as opposed to the above where the background is artificial.  The results below come from a photo of Vivi in Morocco.

Vivi in the doorway

From there.. I said.. hmmm.. how can I maintain the cartoonish feel, yet still adding more detail?  Perhaps by adding a relatively untouched photograph into a non-purely-photographic background.. seamlessly?  Hmm...

I decided to try to turn photographs into a Vector style drawing using photoshop and mixing them with some purely graphical art creations.  And who better to try this new, and potentially fatal, experiment on? Yep, Marcus. Or, if you want, Octo-Marcus!


And finally, once I see that Marcus survived the creation relatively intact.. I felt ready to turn this abomination on myself... which resulted in what I like to call, "Apocalyptic Al"..

Apocalyptic Al

Besides this being an opportunity to show off some of my efforts that aren't purely photography, I hope that this process inspires you to look at things you find interesting and finding new and fun ways to make them distinctly your own... to inspire you to try new and bold things that force you outside of your box.  It, in the very least, will be enlightening, at best, evolutionary.

I hope to soon create a tutorial on how to take the above from a simple self portrait in my hallway to the end of the world result you see above!

See ya, and thanks so much to Andrew for the spark you gave me, it's given me a whole new creative tool to work with!

P.S. first person to put the correct title of the movie from which I got "inpiration" for the title of this post wins a cookie.

This time, some photographic love for Andrew, because he deserves it: (UPDATE Andrew no longer on flickr, so links don't work! :(