A Poisoned Sleep Of Kissless Dreams


Joined March 2011

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Artist's Description

I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about my physical appearance; which would seem pretty far down on the priority list of someone with a neurological disease with no cure. And it is for me most of the time, but it’s a little more than that. It’s just one more tiny slice of normal life that chronic illness takes away from you; one more reason for you to resent it. I don’t actually want to wear the dresses getting dusty in my closet, I want the option to choose to wear them. That make seem like a small difference, but from this side, it feels big.

While I don’t feel like I can spare the energy for looking beautiful most of the time, beauty is still deeply important to me, and it’s important that I leave the world with more beauty in it than I found it. It’s like when you go camping with your dad; the camp site is going to be cleaner when you leave than when you got there (or at least, that’s how it was with me dad ;)). I’ve come to realize that beauty is a big part of why I’m so drawn to art and to create; it’s a very tangible way of leaving the world a little more beautiful. And in this case, it’s taking the hideous ugliness of disease and transmuting it into something lovely.

I have long felt a connection between the stories of Sleeping Beauty and my experience with ME. A poison, an enchanted sleep (giving birth to my photo series’ title), hope of an awakening under the right conditions… there is a great deal of overlap. With that said, let me show you the new image!

Now, this file ended up being a composite of… I don’t even know how many images. A LOT. Just roughly estimating it, I’d say this is, what, 5-6 times the size of an average image? And while my camera doesn’t produce the HUGEST files imaginable, this is still pretty darn big. It was such an enormous file, I had to wait until I’d upgraded my laptop before I could actually work on it. Any time I tried to edit it on my old laptop, it would crash my whole computer after about 10 minutes of work. With my new laptop, it only crashes every few days, and usually only crashes Photoshop, instead of my entire system. Much better :) All said, this took almost two years from start to finish. I’d pick it up, do a little work, get overwhelmed and put it back down. Then I decided it had to be done in time for the giveaway, so that gave me the motivation to finish it up.

Despite my shoot location being naturally covered in cobwebs and spiders, I ended up having to add all the cobwebs in Photoshop. I downloaded a special Photoshop bundle of brushes shaped like cobwebs, which got me started. It took a ton of manipulation of each little bunch to make it look like it way laying naturally over the different areas, adding light and shading to blend it in to the environment.
I had also shot a purple smoke bomb pouring out of the bottle (separately from Katie, I didn’t think that would be good for her to breath) but then that ended up not really looking right either, leading to another element I had to create in Photoshop. I always try to do as much work in camera as possible, but sometimes the real world just doesn’t accommodate you!

Thank you, Katie :) This image would not exist without you. It’s one of my very favorite images and I’m SO happy we went through all the difficulties of making it, even though I wanted to tear my hair out at times!

Model – Katie Johnson: https://www.facebook.com/KatieJohnsonActress

Do you like this image? Please visit my blog and see how you can win a free print of it for yourself!! https://sarahallegra.wordpress.com/2015/05/12/t...

*Twitter: http://twitter.com/sarahallegra
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*Blog: http://sarahallegra.wordpress.com/
*Prints: http://www.etsy.com/shop/SarahAllegraArtistry/ and www.agallery.co.uk/gallery/sarah_allegra.php?pg=1
*Red Bubble – a wide range of items to choose from! http://www.redbubble.com/people/sarahallegra
*Site: http://www.sarahallegra.com

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