I found out tonight that I have been selected as a finalist for the Photoshop World 2010 “Guru Awards” for my “Trippy Self Portrait” in the “Artistic” category. I’m still pinching myself.
Here’s the true story behind the image.
I carried this idea around in my head for a long time, years really. It kind of germinated there. I used to work in a corporate office as a project manager where I spent too many hours in meetings. Everyone else took lots of notes. I doodled. I wondered what the doodles said about me. Mostly I doodled patterns like those in my self portrait. I thought about this on and off for a few years.
In January of ’09 I finally started drawing. It took a few weeks to get the pattern drawn and then painted in Photoshop. At this point I had the image completely planned out in my head. All I needed to do was take a picture of myself, but for one reason or another I didn’t get around to the picture part.
In the Fall of ’09 I received a brochure in the mail for a class put on by NAPP. The class was titled “Photoshop CS4 for Photographers”, taught by Ben Wilmore. I joined NAPP at the same time I signed up for the class. This changed everything for me. I learned a lot of cool editing tips from Ben, but that wasn’t the important part. I finally recognized what Photoshop meant to me. Ben took himself seriously as a Photoshop “artist” and I realized I could too. I went home from that class and edited old pictures until 1 AM.
In January of this year I made it a priority to finish my self portrait picture. With the help of my son I took quite a few pictures of myself. He ran out of patience and I was determined to finish, so I picked a favorite and went to work coloring it with the pattern. The image went together fairly quickly. I knew exactly what the final image would look like.
Now I am headed to the NAPP Photoshop World in Vegas as a guru finalist. This seems almost unreal to me. Just last week I was selected for “Best Group Photo” for the image I took during the Worldwide Photo Walk (organized by Scott Kelby from NAPP).
One year ago I was attending Ben Wilmore’s class. Previous to his class, I shared very little of my creative side outside of commercial graphics work. Thank you NAPP. Thank you Ben. I have learned to pursue my passions and good things have come.