I’m gonna break down some of my art down. These 2 pieces were created in 2015, 2 of my favorite photo manipulations because they have an deeper meaning. Also I’ll talk about some technical things involving the art.
The first piece is shows a young child watching a rap video on TV, smoking weed, surrounded by a cup of lean (codeine), a gun, bullets, coke, and stacks of cash. Hes wearing an earring and have his cap flipped backwards. I purposely used the stereotypes to try to make the point more obvious to the viewer. These are things you find in most hardcore rap videos and mixtape covers (I started off as a mixtape cover designer BTW)
Notice in the smoke clouds you’ll see money, booty, police brutality and prison. The concept makes a connection between the prison industrial complex and popular hip hop. The toxic message in the music brainwashes the listener into thinking that self destructive behavior is acceptable and will set them up to fall victim to the traps of the system. HipHop is entertainment but also can brainwash naive youth into thinking that the being lifestyle promoted is reality, not knowing that these things will lead to them being subjugated by a system that was put in place to operate off their down fall.
The second cover shows something similar only this time I used the silhouette of Satan and the angel baby for metaphorical purposes rather than religious. The baby angel is the lost innocence of their youth, and Satan shadow represents just shows that a dark force is lurking during this activity.
As far as the technical aspect goes I sample various images and chopped them up to create the story. Here’s the samples for the first piece:
I used Photoshop of course for both pieces. The first one, I used alot of colors to give it a night club like strobe effect and the second image I keep more realistic. It has the blue TV in the dark look. Both of these pieces are more realistic than most of my art. I normally like to use multiple colors, patterns, and textures, but this time I wanted the message to stand out more than the aesthetics.
In the future I’ll try to break down some stuff . I normally don’t like to explain my work because I feel like it takes away from the viewer interpretation but sometimes I will do it anyway (shrug)
For a long time I thought art was about aesthetics. I was always hell bent technical skills. I wanted to be a photo realistic artist so so so bad hahaha. That was my definition of talent and true artistic ability. I wasn’t totally wrong because realism artist are amazing at what they do. It takes discipline, hardwork, many hours of studying, technical skill and focus to execute realism.
I tried my hand at it, became somewhat ok overtime, but for me personally it was always a chore. I hated having to look at a photo and try to process each shade, It was 2 robotic for me. I’m the type of person that need freedom to create, because I don’t have a process. I like to experiment with anything that pop into my head until I like what I see So I got frustrated and began doing my own thing. Creating whatever I wanted, and suddenly art became fun again. No more pressure because when u create there’s no such thing as rules or parameters. You just zone out and do your thing. Don’t worry or compare your work to anybody else, just appreciate your style.
Having your own style is important because its stress free, and you don’t have any standards have anything to be compared to. Every piece that u create stands alone. Also It makes your work become distinct.
social media tag johnspainart……
This project was originally was just a practice project that I meant to never release. I was just experimenting with new techniques, but I thought it came solid and released it online. It ended up becoming one of my more popular photo manipulations. Its funny how that work, its interesting to see which projects get the most attention.
Anyway, these are the 2 photos I used.
I created this background with a few different brushes. I chose to keep the color scheme simple.
I took the image and added a few random filters (generic filters) and made sure the opacity was low enough to make sure that the image could be seen through the brushes.
I duplicated the photo and put it on a new layer underneath the first image.
The next step was to add contrast so the image wouldn’t see so flat. I’m big on contrast, not only shadows, mid-tones and highlights but also with colors. I add different variations of orange, yellow and flesh tone brown. The thing that made the image really pop is the white highlights on the nose, lips, cheeks and side of the face.
The last step was to blend in the cube photo to give it a abstract texture.
This was a very quick project. I never know how my projects will come out. I just freestyle and play around until i get something that I like. lol Sometimes I cant even re-create my past work because of my spontaneous formula, but IMO that’s a good thing. I want my work to always look and feel different.
Alright, so thanks for taking the time to read and follow my blog. I will post more, I know I had a long lapse between now and my first few post. I just have alot on my plate so bear with me.
visit johnspainart.com and follow me on social media. my tag is johnspainart