Random Thoughts | Seven of Cups

Our thoughts / opinions about how we live life tend to change quickly, and a lot more often these days it seems.

For example, last year I swore I wanted to buy a house. I really wanted to do it, I was reading up on a bunch of stuff related to buying a house – the homebuying process, mortgages, costs, etc. I even had some money saved along with some other monies that came my way so somehow, it felt like I was in the perfect position to become an actual homeowner. My mom always used to insist that being a homeowner was the best thing you could do for yourself. Especially since my credit is excellent.

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What Does the Term ‘Occult’ Mean to You?

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The term ‘occult’ seems to have a bad rep (depending on how you perceive it I suppose) – do a quick Google image search and you’ll see mostly dark, visual interpretations of the word. Different people interpret it in so many ways and that’s fine, everybody’s entitled to their own creative vision. In movies however, the occult has often been mostly portrayed as something weird, dark and scary. Synonymous with black magic, it’s become a permanent image in people’s subconscious that it’s an evil thing that can call in demons, vampires, witches, ghosts and otherworldy beings that can harm you.

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How to Add a Custom Background to Your Drawings in Photoshop

This is a new marker drawing that I made today. Most of my artwork is usually feminine in nature so I wanted to channel in some masculine energy. I also promised to type up a tutorial so here goes!

Here’s a simple technique that I like to use for my drawings. Beginners new to Photoshop can follow along 🙂

I am using Adobe Photoshop 2015 by the way and the key commands I use are for Mac. Control key is the equivalent of the Command key on a PC.

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1. I scan the drawing at 300dpi and it gives me this large TIFF file. You can take a pic with your phone, email it to yourself and download it from there but I find that the resolution isn’t high enough. I could be wrong though, feel free to try it.

2. My scanner software (Image Capture) is kinda janky so when it scans, it gives me a washed out scan. To fix this, I usually hit Command Shift L or Auto Levels in Photoshop. Or I adjust the Levels and Curves until I’m happy with it. In Adobe Photoshop CC 2015, it’s now called Auto Tone in the Image menu.

3. I want to add a cosmic background to the blacked out area of the drawing. It would be good to find a background that’s about the same size of your scanned image. In your layers panel, double click to turn your locked background image to a layer so that it can be edited. It’s going to become Layer 0.

4. Hit W on your keyboard to select the Quick Selection Wand tool, third tool on your toolbar.

5. With your Layer 0 still selected, on your image click the area you want to select and see how much it covers. You will see a selection (some people call it marching ants). If you need to select more additional areas, hold down the Shift key and click another area. The more solid the area is, the better your selection will come out.

6. Now that you have a selection, hit Command Shift I or go to Select menu > Inverse. This changes your selection. You won’t see it until you put a mask on it.

7. With your selection still active and your layer 0 still selected, at the bottom of your layers panel, click the Add Layer Mask tool, third one from the left. This masks or hides the area that you selected.

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8. Now you can bring in your cosmic background by dragging the file right into your Photoshop document from wherever it’s located. It will place the file right smack in the front so once you’ve adjusted it to your liking (size and position), hit enter or return; now you can move that cosmic background layer to the bottom of your layer stack.

9. Make sure to hit Command S to save your work! Save often if you’re doing a lot of edits.

10. I like to play with the blending modes in the Layers panel, the tab that says Normal but has a dropdown menu. I added another layer and played with gradients and changed the blending modes on there too.

Endless fun!

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If you want to practice with the files I used, you can download them here.

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Stay Relevant

I have an affinity for handpainted lettering and typography – gothic, script, ornamental, etc. Basically the hard-to-read ones that aren’t normally used in advertising – because although they’re lovely to look at, they’re kind of hard to read.

I drew this up a few years ago. I find that when I’m annoyed with something or someone, it tends to fuel some of my artwork on a subconscious level. I don’t even remember who it was in particular, it could’ve been a few random people who I just stumbled upon on internetland. I guess it bugs me when people hella show off or try too hard – they’re either screaming “hey look at me, I’m doing something” or “hey look at me, I post nothing but bullshit…but I want you to think it’s NOT bullshit”. So at the time I made this, that’s what staying relevant meant to me: people who just do useless things in order to remain in the minds of the general public, like celebrities who are famous – you don’t even know what they’re famous for.

Well fast forward to now. Being a jack-of-all-trades in content marketing and design, I’m starting to understand what staying relevant means from this angle:

+ Posting images and using words that you wouldn’t normally say to catch the attention of a potential client or buyer.

+ Being in the customer mindset, thinking like them so you can better predict what they are most likely to buy from you.

+ Paying attention to the latest in technology, social media, pop culture and anything related to it.

Don’t get it twisted, I’m not a fan of the last bullet point. I don’t like having to keep up with any of it, especially anything that’s cool and trendy. But since we’re in a global market now, meaning everyone is either buying or selling something whether it’s their art, music, creative services – we could all stand to stay relevant somehow by learning something new everyday and applying it to ourselves.

Keep your mind open to possibilities and opportunity, no matter what age you are.

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Let’s Get Weird

The original title of this post was actually “How Weird Is Too Weird?”. I changed it because I did some keyword research on Google & it told me that this title gets more searches than the one I had in mind. Go figure.

Let’s face it, we’re all editing ourselves constantly…especially on social media or anywhere online that is public. Being weird can’t really be wayyyy too out there, can it? Sure, most everyone is saying nowadays “stay weird, be yourself, etc”, but what are the actual consequences of that?

Luckily for me, since my day job has to do with adult content – being weird is part of the job. If you are a creative person, then being weird is a given.

But for the rest of us, perhaps we have to keep it under wraps. Most people still have to set up some kind of private or semi-anonymous account because in reality, what if your employer or a family member is snooping? What if someone just doesn’t like you and wants to use it against you? Many people are still judgmental. Lots of things come to mind, really.

We are free to express ourselves but with restraint, sound judgment and consideration for others.

I just wanted an excuse to post a new, weird sketch to go along with this blog post. Believe it or not, coming up with topics to write about is helping me come up with more ideas to draw. It’s a win win and I’m stretching my creative mind a little bit further each day. And I am thankful for that.

I need to buy hiliters though because I’m tired of the same 3 colors I’ve been using.

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