Insani-tea and the Process of Making Art Out of It
So, I made art today.
I had initially planned to have a blackout from the comp today, but I was unexpectedly awaken by a doorbell. That doorbell proved to have been pressed by the Fed Ex dude and he had my new work laptop. That laptop happens to have an i7 processor, 6gb of ram, and Photoshop CS5.1. Needless to say, my inner nerd refused to let me not play with it. It’s all shiny and new and shit. I had to touch it inappropriately and get to know it. I’ve had a lot of fun doing this, too. Some of the buttons even look like the 60’s Batmobile. It’s kind of awesome.
That fun led to me playing with Photoshop, which I have not done in a while because my personal comp is a piece of shit and won’t let me use Photoshop how I would like to. It tends to be glitchy and spastic. That said, Photoshop on the work lappy is fantastical (really, spell check doesn’t ding fantastical? It’s a made up word, right?). I ended up porting over all my custom brushes from my personal PC and playing with them. Took about 20 minutes to figure out why they weren’t loading, but once they were, I got to play. I even played with some of the default brushes and learned some awesome new tricks, like the scatter setting on brushes. That shit blew my mind, and inspired me.
That takes us to the image I created. After playing with random brushes and the new-found settings I could fuck with, I decided to make a brush of my own. I went back to an old staple of mine for this. As girly as it sounds, I have always been fascinated with drawing unique or odd heart shapes. This particular brush drew on that fascination. I ended up drawing a very squared off and angular heart that I then filled with a bit of blocky line work. Filling things with rows of perpendicular and parallel straight lines has also been a fascination of mine, so it was a fun pairing. Once I had it where I was comfortable with it, I made it a brush.
Next came the fun part. After I had finished the brush, I created a large new blank doc and painted the background black, which happens to be my favorite canvas color. Once I had that, I started fucking around. I scaled down the heart brush, set the scatter and color variation and went to town. Ended up covering much of the page in very hot pink versions of the heart. In fact, I covered it so much that it ceased to be hearts and became an odd sort of texture. Once I saw where this was going, I ended up doing it a bit more with a very bright orange and then an extremely bright lime green. The color was splashed across the image in what should have been a garish disarray, but I found it oddly beautiful. I have always loved my abstract work most of all and love to put the brightest of colors into my work (even my space scenes are made with fluorescent colors).
I added my signature and thought that was it, but I was wrong. I actually saved a copy of that version and have it set as my wallpaper on the new lappy. But, as often happens, the inspiration was not over. As I looked at the image, I saw that there were elements missing. I grabbed the blur tool and ran it around the edges and softened up the harshness of the angular heart brush. I also played with the smudge tool, adding random bits of it here and there, combining two bursts of green over the pink and black chaos below. Thinking, again, that I was done, i sat back and looked at it. However, as before, it was not done. There was one final bit that it needed. To complete the entire piece, I pulled out an old brush I made by scanning a page from a book. That book happens to be The Restaurant at the End of the Universe and the quote is one of my most favorite quotes ever. I ended up cutting the page down to just the quote, stylized it some, and then decided that the piece was finished and ready to be posted around the internets.
In truth, the piece is garish and hard to look at, but I find beauty in that. I love making things that aren’t always easy to look at, but will leave you wanting to come back. So, now, I present you with the piece. For no real reason than the random, I titled it ‘Insani-tea’.