When I first opened up my @projectmajor account back on March 31, 2016, I wanted to be able to express my creativity in a way that I had never done before. I'd already given up on drawing years back. I would always start out strong and then run out of ideas to finish my work.
Ive always admired art. When I would see other people's work I would think to myself, "Hmmm, this would look even better if they would have just.........". These sort of thoughts sparked some curiosity in me to research for an image manipulation program that would allow me to do this. I spent countless hours searching online for different software. All the pros recommended Photoshop®. At that time, Monthly subscriptions were not very popular amongst software companies yet. The cost of the program was approximately $600 (way too much). I did find a great alternative called Gimp. It is basically an open source version of Photoshop® and the fact that is was free made it even better.
I was so excited! I immediately downloaded the program and started tinkering with it. I went at it the whole day and felt even more confused than when I had first started. I resorted back to tutorials and or forums to find out what I was doing wrong. After some trial and error (1 week) I was starting to get the hang of it. A good friend of mine was already fluent in ®Photoshop so I asked for some advice. The only problem with that was having to translate the advice my friend gave me and convert it into the Gimp format.
Here is a sample image (above) of one of my early photo manipulations. Space cats were a thing back in 2011 when all of this happened. I decided to make my own version of it. This particular image must have taken me at least one hour to complete. I was really proud of this piece. Looking at it now I feel as though I could have done so much better in just a fraction of the time.
Here is another image I created a few weeks later. As my skills started to progress, I was able to blend and crop images a little better. Its hard to tell from here but most of my cropping errors on the llama's face are covered up by the background.
Now that I was getting the hang of things I decided to try my hand at creating some real art. The trippy style art that I'm most known for.
There is a lot going on in this image above and although simplistic in it's nature there are so many hidden messages to decipher. A pattern was already forming for my future works and I wasn't even aware of it (silly me). I should have seen the signs (pun intended).
My work was starting to get more involved so I decided to splurge on a lighter version program of Photoshop® called Photoshop Elements®. This program had enough features at the time for me to make the switch and for around $100 it wasn't a bad investment either. The learning curve began again. The whole year i took to learn all the shortcuts on Gimp were of no use to me in Photoshop Elements®. As determined as I was I went through the same route as I did with Gimp. I searched tutorial, forums and asked my friend for advice when needed. This time it didn't seem quite as hard since I already had some prior knowledge from what I had already learned. I would say it took me about 2 weeks to start adapting.
The thing about using these types of programs is that you can take an image that may seem drab when you scan it and make the colors pop. The example above is a drawing I did sometime around 2012. The colors were edited in Photoshop Elements®. You can see a drastic difference in the two images.
Ok so now what. Im 1 year into my craft. Ive learned 2 programs and done some pretty cool stuff with it. What's next? Now it was time to fine tune my craft. Gone were the days of hiding my imperfections by adding similar colors to blend in. Now I wanted to make it perfect (or so I thought).
The image titled "I Used To Love New York" above shows some real progress. I am now able to take a pattern (camouflage) and convert it into part of the clothing. Same with some street graffiti I can make that part of the concrete. The hidden messages are apparent in this piece here. This is post 9/11 where New York City was never the same again. At this point I felt very comfortable with my design skills.
The image above titled "Morbid Trip" was done somewhere around 2014. Now I started to incorporate emotions into my artwork. This image depicts what someone would possibly envision while on a hallucinogenic trip dealing with the death of a loved one.
Manipulating artwork and images was starting to become second nature to me. I hadn't really done my own graphic work so I decided to take a video game box image I found online and recreate my own game artwork. By now you can see that all the artwork I create has a deeper meaning. In this image I included some Egyptian history. If you aren't already familiar with Orion's Belt and the Pyramids I suggest you do some research. It is quite interesting. The drone? Oh thats just big brother monitoring things as usual. Wouldn't want us to know the truth now would they?
Ok so Ive adapted to photo manipulations, Done some of my own graphic artwork and by now your probably falling asleep. Its almost over I promise. Here we are in early 2016. I decided to take all my skills and put them together into one piece. At this point in my life I was ready to take on a new challenge. It wasn't until the end of March where I decided to showcase some of my skills to the world. This would prove to be the most challenging yet. Create art on a daily basis unscripted. On March 31st, 2016 I grabbed my phone, opened up the Instagram® app, registered @projectmajor and my world hasn't been the same since. See the rest of my progression "Story starts at the bottom". Take me there!