Sometimes you need to step away from your computer to find inspiration, which can come from places as unlikely as the ground beneath your feet, but you must be willing to get your hands dirty. Derek Lea reveals how.
Photoshop art is often crisp, clean, colourful and slick. Skin can be made blemish free, colours can be matched exactly, and photos can be painstakingly sharpened to perfection. All the tools are there, but unfortunately Photoshop has no idea tool or inspiration slider.
Although we aren't so quick to admit it, many of us who slog away at our computers all day get stuck in creative routines. We develop habits when it comes to illustration, design or photography and find ourselves following the path of least resistance a little too often. The unfortunate result is that everything starts to look the same.
Every once in a while you simply need to snap out of your routine and try something new. In this case, I was inspired by a home renovation and a visit to a neglected part of the city I live in. These two events provided found objects, such as rusted junk, flattened containers and a plastic doll, which all sparked some creative inspiration.
Creating art in this manner requires an evolutionary approach. Traditionally when creating an illustration you'll start with a conceptual drawing and then work out how to produce it using Photoshop tools. Here, the process will be reversed.
In this tutorial you'll use a small selection of Photoshop tools and layers, and by staying true to the nomadic approach you'll allow your illustration to evolve. You'll bring the items into the image one at a time, and the composition will fall into place. This is a liberating way to work, and will hopefully be the breath of fresh air you need to snap out of your comfort zone.