Thursday, April 28, 2011

Photo Collages

I came across an amazing artist on ETSY. Her name is Mae Chevrette. She starts with a photo as her canvas, adding paper, textures, print, and words to express her thoughts and feelings. I highly recommend you check her out. I ordered one of her prints from one of her original canvases with a quote from e.e cummings and it is simply stunning. I can't wait to get it framed and hanging on one of my walls. Truly a piece of art at very reasonable prices.

I share this with you because it leads to a lesson or discussion on trying things outside the box as it relates to photography, crafting or any other form of creativity you take up. I shared with Mae that I was interested in taking a class to learn this technique and she said "Why waste your money on a class, when you can invest in a few simple items and try it out for yourself?" She took the time to share with me her process for creating photo collages, and it was wonderful to learn from a person who I see as an expert and artist. Many times people don't want to share what they know, their resources, or their ideas on how to do something because they think it will steal away their own creativity. I think Mae realizes that every artist sees things differently. There simply is no way that I could "recreate" Mae's art as it comes from her heart and her soul. She gave me the techniques, but I have to be willing to open myself up to trying something new. It was her encouragement that has me motivated to give it a try.

I think taking classes is a great thing to do to, but I tend to shoot for perfection and often times leave disappointed that I couldn't make it look exactly like the others. Don't be afraid to push the envelope and develop your own style. Classes are great for trying something out without investing a great deal of money in tools you may never use again. In time, you will find your niche and know when the investment is a valuable one.

Today, when you go out on your photography adventure, why not venture into the unknown just a bit. Try taking photos from a different angle, perhaps shoot something in Manual mode if you have never tried it and see what you find out. Go in search of a new subject. As you print that photo, think about what you might be able to differently with it. Add a brush technique? Create a postcard? Maybe create your own photo collage that highlights your dreams for the coming year? I promise it will leave you feeling refreshed and renewed.

And, one other thing, don't be afraid to ask questions. Most people want to share their own inspiration and will offer it willingly. Some may say no, but dust of your feet and move on. I find the journey an exciting one. I would love for anyone to share their own creations, their ideas here. Please feel free to post your tutorials, lessons, resources, and ideas.