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monthly makers, photography & digital art

Monthly Makers Fabric / Midnight

I was going to make something that wasn’t digital this time… I was going to paint, on an actual (fabric) canvas and try something new. And I did try it! It went horribly. Nothing turned out like I wanted it to and I left the paints so frustrated and mad that I actually decided to never paint again. Well, I might actually paint again. That was a bit of a heat of the moment-thing. But still, I needed some time to cool down so I wasn’t really going to pick up the brush again this month.

So I returned to my trusted computer, and started to brainstorm ideas on how to interpret the word “fabric” digitally. It wasn’t really obvious to me, but in a moment of utter hubris I decided I was going to draw flowing fabrics in Illustrator. As if I would’ve been able to do that…….. But I never got that far, because while I was looking for advice on how to draw fabric I came across this tutorial on how to make a satin texture in Photoshop. And it worked! I had to tweak the method a little bit as it didn’t really work on larger files and ended up with these weird lines and slight choppyness that I didn’t like. But I applied a few different kinds of blurs and stuff and it worked. I actually only generated this one piece of “satin” and used different parts of it for the finished images!
I applied some color to it and didn’t really know what to do with it at this point. (I think the image above is before I blurred it too because it looks a bit choppy still!) But I didn’t feel like it was a finished artwork yet! And then I remembered I had been meaning to draw different crystals for a while, and that they would look cool against the satin! So that’s what I did! The crystals are made in Illustrator with the pen tool and then just gradients added to each side! Pretty simple but still cool.

Added them to the satin and edited the images a little bit more (added noise and stuff like that) and then they were done! The Midnight Trio.

Midnight I. Midnight II. 
Midnight III.

And that was it for this time! I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone else has created on the theme “FABRIC”.

Monthly Makers is a challenge for anyone who wants to be more creative. During 2017 we’ll be launching twelve themes – one for every month – to inspire and challenge you. For February the theme is FABRIC and Wilda is hosting. Comment on her post here with a link to your creation before 28/5 to be a part of the compilation. More inspiration can be found over on Pinterest.

The people behind Monthly Makers 2017 are Alicia, Beatrice, Elsa, Emilia, Fredrika, Johanna, Julia, Mikaela, Ruth, StinaWilda and me. Be inspired, create and challenge yourself all through the year.

Follow us on Facebook to keep up with everything and be even more inspired. You can also follow us on Instagram, Pinterest, our website and in the inspirational group We Are Monthly Makers.

photography & digital art

my recent obsession: mountains

My sister has been obsessed with mountains for as long as I can remember. She’s a skiing enthusiast and loves snowy peaks and snowy slopes and just snowy anything. (When she turned 18 and got a pair of skis she kept them in her bed for a few weeks :)))) Anyway, she’s gonna have to share mountains from now on, because I’m obsessed too!!!
Cosmic by Jessica Andersdotter
My most recent mountain is this one – “Cosmic” (named that because I was listening to Cosmic Love by Florence + The Machine when I named it – my naming process isn’t that complicated haha). I’ve liked the kind of low-poly look for a while, but haven’t really explored it in any 3D-software yet, but you know what, I can make triangles happen in Illustrator too!!
I then added different parts of this image from a while back to every triangle.

It actually all started with this picture for The Crate Challenge on Hitrecord, where I thought the distorted image I used would look cool as a mountain texture, and I just quickly drew up a silhouette. Click here for the resources I used.I then went on to make Comet II.
Light by Jessica Andersdotter
And then I made this diamond and didn’t like how it looked like just all on its own so I made some mountains to go with it. And I liked them so much I made them into their own picture. If you look closely you can see that I’ve reused the mountains from the diamond one hhehehehehe… :)))))))) Don’t tell anyone. (This is Echoes I btw.)I then used an old distorted image that looked like opals or something and used as a sky in this! “Opalescent”.
Later on I decided I wanted something to go with Echoes I (which was just named Echoes then) and made Echoes II & III. :D

And that’s about it. I think I’ll create a lot more mountains in the future, because they’re so prettyyyyyyyy!!!

photography & digital art

how to: prism photography

Coming at you with a guide for prism photography today! Fun times! I’ve been meaning to do this for ages but I finally got around to it! guide: prism photography by Jessica Andersdotterguide: prism photography by Jessica Andersdotterguide: prism photography by Jessica Andersdotterguide: prism photography by Jessica AndersdotterSo photography was my main creative outlet for years, but I kind of grew tired of it a few years ago. And then I discovered prism photography, and it’s probably the most fun I’ve ever had with a camera! I think I discovered it when I read a post like this about Sam Hurd.

I started out by using a simple plastic prism we had in our Christmas tree, so anything works really, but the quality might not be that great. You can see those pictures here.

guide: prism photography by Jessica AndersdotterThe prism I’ve mainly been using is this one. It’s a glass optical prism, and I have no idea what they’re actually for, but I think mine costed 5-10 dollars on eBay. It’s always filled with fingerprints (note to self: don’t use as a murder weapon) but it works good all the same.

So here’s the big secret: hold the prism in front of your lens! 

I usually hold it with the long side running parallel to the glass of the lens, if you get what I mean? So if you’re looking at your camera from above the prism is running like a parallel line along the camera, not sticking out of it creating a T-shape.

guide: prism photography by Jessica Andersdotter

There are two main effects you can achieve with this technique:

1. Distortion with “rainbows”

Like in the image above, you can get this distorted blurry rainbow party in a part of your picture. You have to experiment, but basically you get this look by holding the prism with one of the pointy ends toward the camera. Still running parallel with the camera though.

guide: prism photography by Jessica Andersdotter2. Reflections

This looks kind of like half of a double exposure. The three smooth sides of this prism can in some angles work as mirrors, and if you hold it in front of the lens you get a reflection of either what is to the side of you, above you or whatever way that part of the prism is facing.

Keep in mind that you can get effects where these two effects are combined. guide: prism photography by Jessica Andersdotter

A few problems you may encounter:

1. You can’t control it.

This problem isn’t actually really solvable with this technique – the uncontrollable character is just a natural part of. And I really like that about it, but I’ve always been a big fan of not fully being in control of the result.

Solution: Use your face as support for the camera, and rest the prism onto the front of the plastic parts of the lens (not the actual glass parts if they’re exposed on your lens?? are they ever?? idk).

2. It looks different in the viewfinder than in the picture.

The distortion transfers differently to the viewfinder than it does straight through to the sensor when the shutter goes off. I don’t know why. It might be something with the mirrors!

Solution: Use live view if you have it. Note that the problem with this solution is a loss of stability, unless you’re using a tripod. I get a lot of stability when taking pictures by resting the camera on my face. (If you’re shooting on film you’re just going to have to guess.)

guide: prism photography by Jessica Andersdotter3. The edges of the reflections are too sharp.

This comes down to focal depth and/or the lens you’re using.

Solution: Try a wider aperture (lower number). I’ve mostly used f1.8 actually! The image above was shot with f7.1, and it’s still cool but I prefer the ones where the edge between the prisms reflection and the regular picture is smoother!

4. The image is “too messy”.

This all comes down to the shape and nature of your prism. If you found some gigantic multifaceted diamond there might simply be too many reflections and distortions. This is a matter of taste though, so it’s up to you.

Solution: Get a prism with fewer facets/sides.

guide: prism photography by Jessica Andersdotterguide: prism photography by Jessica AndersdotterLastly: experiment!

What this technique is mostly about is experimenting. Twist and turn the prism as much as you want, and when it looks good – take a picture. Or just keep taking pictures randomly. I’ve told you the tricks I’ve worked out, but this is mostly about learning by doing.

I hope this helped you and made you excited about trying it! Because I highly recommend trying out prism photography! It can look really cool on portraits as well, I just never take pictures of people because of my crippling social anxiety. :)

Also, there are actually Fractal Filters now (they hadn’t been released yet when I started I think) that are filters made specifically for prism photography, so they have handles and different shapes. They cost like 100 dollars though, so it might be an idea to start with a 10 dollar prism from eBay!

my art & creations, my creative life, photography & digital art

my creative life #6

Alright, back to what I’ve been up to creatively! I’ve had a few weeks where I’ve been sick and tired of pixel sorting, but a few days ago I just got back into it! I missed the simple times that they represent, as I’m so used to that technique and feel so free when I’m creating them. So I went back to the old pixel sorter. Took a look at one of my favourites – Cloe – to see if I could recreate whatever it is I like so much about it. This is Rose. (Name 100% inspired by the fact that I just finished watching season one of Doctor Who.)And then I reset my computer as it was running sooooooo slooow, and I lost some of my actions and brushes that I usually use because I forgot to save them somewhere else. :)))) But I solved it and this was the first one I made on a fresh computer. Felt like a fresh breeze. Her name is VictoriaVelma is a twirlywirly one! And then we have InaArielHitrecord have a challenge every week called The Lens Project, where you get a prompt for a photograph or video! I’ve decided to try to participate in this challenge more, and this week the prompt was “Softness“, and I took + edited the picture above. I was just lying in my bed holding the camera above my head haha. Advanced photography. Didn’t even brush my hair before, which I kind of regret now but whatever. Edited it quite a bit, but right now I feel like I might have overdone it. But I didn’t feel it quite captured “Softness” before. (OKAY I just realised this isn’t the image I edited into the one before but whatever hahaha….)  Also took this picture with my phone + prism. I do like it but I’m not sure about the quality. It was impossible to take this of myself using the DSLR though, so I don’t know what else I could’ve done. I might try with a tripod sometime, but I don’t think it’d work either as I can’t see what I’m doing. :( At least the bad quality makes it very ~*soft*~.Made a random image out of resources on Hitrecord. See it + the images I’ve used. (I’m obsessed with Hitrecord again…)I 100% struggled with The Crate Challenge this week, didn’t get any ideas from the images that we were supposed to use. Played around with it a while and got this in the end. Sources here. For a few days I was trying out something like this, but it was just SO BORING. But I thought I’d show you the version I didn’t pick as well, might be interesting! Image sources can be found here, the images I’ve used are by Ankita19 and AnthonyChristopherArt.

The most important thing from this past week (+ like three days) = I MANAGED TO ANIMATE MY STUFF. This is easily the most exciting thing that has happened this past week. Probably past month!

And lastly I made a collage of some stuff on Hitrecord! Annmarie57’s ribcage and scarletoak’s flowers! Find it here.

Other random things that have happened:

  • Fell in love with these photos by Denny Bitte.
  • I went to a guided tour of Natura Dentata at Kulturhuset in Stockholm and it was great! Had beer at a sushi place after (??) and generally had a great night! I recommend the exhibition to anyone in Stockholm!
  • I’ve started using Instagram stories kind of??? I’m trying to. Felt like my Instagram was getting boring and non-personal so I’m trying to ~spice it up~.
  • I had a few rage-hours after someone from a record label was interested in album art but later tried to persuade me to accept them paying me like 10% of the price I said. #forexposure (This might not have been the past week but anyway. Felt the need to tell you.)
  • Discovered someone is selling one of my works on Redbubble. :)))
  • Fredrika compiled all the creations for the theme Geometry for Monthly Makers.
  • Mikaela released the new theme for Monthly Makers!!!
  • I rediscovered this song by Bo Burnham. <3 His ability to combine comedy with profound stuff is amazzzzzzing.
  • I’ve written like seven blog posts in three days or something, but I’ve scheduled them as to not completely overflow this blog with stuff right after a long hiatus.

That’s it!! GOODBYE.