So I’m playing in my collage journal the other day, just placing things this way and that on acrylic-painted Fabriano paper, and I get in a groove. Something manifests that I like. Really like. But I’m thinking “G-yod, I wish I had some Photoshop skills. What could this piece become if I knew my way around alpha channels, masking tools and clone stamps?”
So I look up from my desk to gaze at my gorgeous husband Silas, who is, (guess what?) a Photoshop guru. Now I’ve been with this guy for six years and if I haven’t learned Photoshop yet, I ain’t gonna learn it. It’s my own lazy fault, ’cuz Silas has been a professional Photoshop teacher since 1997. But marrying a digital art guru has its perks. “Hey! Wanna challenge?”
And thus it begins. Silas takes my journal, scans in the collage and starts playing. An hour into it, I’m so excited by what I see on his screen my brain begins inspiration-reeling with ideas. “Wonder what Aimee would do with this same image?” Aimee is a dear friend and also a highly skilled digital artist in the Duirwaigh crew. So I jump onto my chat program: “Hey Aimee! We’ve started a collage project and want to challenge you to participate. Did you just hear that? It was the sound of the gauntlet falling to the floor. Pick it up or die of shame.”
And with those words, the Seven Day Digital Collage Smackdown was born. Well, to be perfectly clear, it didn’t start as a seven day smackdown, but we all liked what we did so much we just kept going. The rules? Each duelist was given a physical mixed-media collage and had one day to shape, mold, stretch, chisel, whittle, arrange, rearrange or derange said piece. Other than the time limit, and the fact that each artist had to use my physical collage as the basis of their work, there really were no limitations. It was like that scene in the movie Grease, when Danny Zuko shows up to drag race that creepy pock-mark faced guy in the souped-up black car with the flames on it? He turns to Danny and says with a snarl: “One rule. There are no rules.”
That pretty much sums it up. ‘Cept we weren’t snarling. Not really. Well, maybe a little. But we were smilin’ too.
The Seven Day Digital Collage Smackdown is being showcased on Deviant Art where we’ll post the original art once a day for seven days, just as they were created. The physical collage by Angi Sullins, plus the two “smacks” by artists Silas Toball and Aimee Stewart will be shown, and viewers can vote for their favorites and leave comments.
DAY SEVEN (final day)
You can read more about the project on: