I just finished this digital art. It took about 4 days. I really enjoyed piecing together the character, who is comprised of so many bits and pieces of digital photos that in the end she becomes a purely fictional character. I really enjoy the challenge of creating someone who is entirely different from all of the components that go into making it. The eyes alone are comprised of 4 images, the hair from 3, the nose from 2 images (the bridge is from one photo and the bottom portion with nostrils from another). The mouth is from 2 separate images, then further changed wtih the Liquify Filter. The forehead is made from 2 images, the ears from another 2, the chin from another. The neck, shoulders and arms are from more than 8 separate images. The dress is made in Photoshop from tiny bits and pieces then molded into a new shape.
Close Up Details
Another Crash? — You Think I’d Learn By Now
I had worked on the dress for hours and lost track of the time. I was distorting (Edit / Transform / Distort) and rotating layers wtih Masks attached. Suddenly I got the dreaded message that there was insufficient RAM and Photoshop went down like the Titanic. I felt numb and exhausted. I couldn’t remember what stage I had last saved the PSB document, so I had to wait in suspense until the file reopened, to discover that the entire dress was lost and I had to rebuild it all over again. It was already late, so I decided to go to bed and redo it the next day. I’m not sure whether I prefer the earlier version or this final version … the first version had some very intricate details of lace. But I try to see the bright side, each time I redo something I get more practice in Photoshop.
I’m still using CS3. I bought CS4 but in order to install it, I have to do some major hard drive housekeeping and clear out a bunch of files because I’ve used almost the entire hard drive. I purchased the Creative Suite, Master Edition that has all Adobe programs including the video and sound applications. These will take up a lot of hard drive space to install.
This piece took me about a 100 hours to create. The impetus (the word ‘inspiration’ doesn’t really fit in this context) … but the incentive was reading a sad story on the internet, written by Raghunatha dasa about abuse he and fellow students suffered as children, growing up in experimental Gurukula schools. Some of the teachers who were entrusted with protecting them, abused their authority. It was difficult to read the student’s accounts, written many years later when they were in their 30’s. They won a lawsuit against their perpetrators. I was moved by their sad stories. Similar stories are repeated again and again throughout the world, whereever their is an atmosphere of religious authority.
Afterwards I read several studies that had been conducted on abuse in religious communities of all faiths. The conclusion was that whenever there is an environment of unquestioned authority, where blind faith and submissiveness are expected, even rewarded, this creates fertile ground for abusers. It attracts those who are inclined to abuse because they find the perfect conditions for their crimes to go undetected in an atmosphere of secrecy and submission. This is a systemic problem with organized religion of every kind.
The tiger in this art piece is symbolic. It represents a noble and loyal guardian who protects the innocent and vulnerable. I wish there had been such a guardian to protect the children of Gurukula, and all others who had similar experiences in residential schools and elsewhere throughout the world.