Wednesday, January 18, 2017


Amongst the other creative projects that I've been setting into motion with the new year, I've been taking part in a 20 day portfolio renovation project being taught by another artist, Brooke Shaden. The first thing that I discovered when I dug out my battered old physical portfolio, other than the need to buy a new one, was that since I work in so many different media, it actually affects the cohesiveness of the whole collection. So I've decided that I now need separate portfolios for each one; illustration, photography and the Homunculus dolls. Of course this is also assuming that people will want to see physical examples rather than just go online these days.

Since Shaden works with photography, I decided to focus just on that for the challenge. Since I still have that day job problem, some days I haven't been able to complete assignments but I can go back to them at some point. I'll need to for the other media anyway. There's a private Facebork group set up for people to post their contributions and discuss the assignments.

One aspect brought up that I feel I need to work on is storytelling, or concepts and messages. Thus far most of my photoshoots have been collaborations with the models and generally improvising as we go on, and I try to interpret something from the shots later. I think I'm pretty successful in that, although it still is mostly "just" portraiture and no real "messages." Not necessarily a bad thing, but it would be interesting to have a concept to begin with before a shoot.

One day's assignment was to create an entirely new piece using the lessons of the previous days. I didn't have time to set up a new shoot, and self-portraiture isn't really my thing, so I went back into last year's shoots for some "outtake" to work on. I chose this one because even though it was a bit blurred it still looked good to me, and the mood was a bit different than many of the other shots from the same session. I worked on the color, lighting and background, and am personally quite pleased with it, especially with how quickly I created it. Sadly, as often seems to be the case with the pieces I like most, I didn't get much of a response when I shared it to the group.

Another assignment was to rework an old piece with the knowledge and skills that you have now. I chose this piece, and of course now I cringe at it. It's one of my first Photoshop pieces (using version 5, I believe), and doesn't it just scream that? This was pre-digital camera too, so to use the original I had to dig up and rescan a photograph. Consequentially it's quite lo-res. We'll see where I can go from here. But truth to tell, in the past I've had to stop reworking old pieces and learn to just move on to create new ones. Most final versions of what I do are really what I consider the "good enough" version.