Sunday, May 29, 2011

Digital Exposure

This blog entry was inspired by my dear friend Angella's recent blog entry about her discovery of the amazing world of photo-editing programs.

I used to be a digital artist.

Funnily, the self-hating voice in my head didn't want to let me type that, it wanted me to type "I used to consider myself a digital artist."  Be quiet, stupid voice.  I really was an artist.

Back in the early 90's my then-boyfriend brought home a Mac, with a very early version of Photoshop.  I had been laid off work and had nothing better to do than play around with it.  The fact that we didn't have internet access may have played a big part in the time I dedicated to Photoshop.

I am also very sad and ashamed to admit that the very first photographs I played around with were photos of a co-worker that my then-boyfriend had taken of her, naked, in our house, before he cheated on me with her.  Why am I sad and ashamed to admit that?  Because what the fuck was I still doing with someone who cheated on me, in our house, then kept the naked photos of her, then put them on our computer?  Gads.  Everything is a process, I learned a lot of valuable lessons, etc etc etc.  Ugh, though.

I was not very happy back then.  I took the photos and did horrible things to her in Photoshop; making her look ugly and deformed and scaly and green.  Then boyfriend got home from work and saw them and said, "That's not very nice," and I gave him one seriously rage-filled look and he shut up.

I spent hours at it, and moved on to other photos, snapshots from my childhood, advertisements, images of celebrities, and slowly I learned how to use Photoshop.  And it felt good, I was genuinely expressing my emotions through art, for the first time ever in my life.  During this time in my life I went from being a creative person to an actual artist.  I made a couple of dozen that were pretty good; I printed out posters and sold them in a little hippie shop downtown.

Finally I broke up with the guy and bought my own Mac.  I worked harder and got better. I worked up the nerve and submitted a few pieces to galleries.

This won honorable mention at the OVAL gallery in downtown Orlando:

It's a photo of my next boyfriend (taken when he was 12) with a note he had written to me on gold Joss paper layered on top.

This was in the same show:

It is a photo of Johnny Depp as Crybaby, just copied and flipped and inverted.

This was in Orlando's Nude Nite:

I was becoming increasingly frustrated by having to use other people's photographs for my digital art (the one above was borrowed from a photographer acquaintance) yet somehow when I was finally able to afford my own digital camera I became more focused on photography and less interested in digital artwork.

It has been occurring to me lately that I miss it.  So here's my goal:  I want to take a photo of someone this year, funk it up in Photoshop, and submit it to be in next February's Nude Nite.  It's been a decade since I have really spent time making digital artwork, other than my blog headers.

Now I just need to find someone to pose naked for me...


  1. You are such an artist! These are fabulous! I especially love "you enter into me," the colors, the layers are wonderful. I want to frame it!

    How exciting that you are considering returning to your digital art. I hope you'll share the photo you create here.

    And yes, everything is a process. We often learn what we don't want by experiencing what we don't want. Reminds me of something I read once: Good judgment comes from experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

    I love getting this new view of you. Digital artist! Galley displays and everything. You have so many different mediums.

  2. Angella, that is an amazing quote. I put it on my Facebook status to share it.

    Thank you so much for the kind words, it really means a lot to me. Over the past week since I've posted this, I've been getting more and more excited about doing digital art again, at least occasionally.

    Thank you for being my friend.


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