As most of you know, I was the promoter and graphic artist for Springstreet in the 3+ years I worked there. I also designed CD covers for a series of dance cds called "Wil to (or VS) Will," I made for my friend Will when he was a bartender at Blackstones. Along with various mix cd covers under my DJ name "Kidbilly." In the beginning, I had no idea what I was doing, but I finally got the hang of it. I did all my design in Microsoft Digital Imaging Suite. A few times, I tried to move over to Photoshop, but I could never get the hang of it. Last month Blackstones, posted their "Calling All Artists" Contest to design their 20th Anniversary Poster. I came up with a great idea and my ex Gary agreed to model for it. My idea was to some how recreate Atlas, but have him holding a disco ball instead of the world. I set up the photo shoot at my place and borrowed the disco ball from Blackstones (thanks Ralph). I was reviewing the photos after the shoot and was disappointed to see that I know absolutely nothing about indoor lighting for photography. I was pretty convinced that I didn't have a usable picture in the bunch. One night while at my friend Jes's house, I was showing her the pics and she pointed out a few she thought I could use. She gave me a very brief tutoring session in Photoshop and Illustrator.
Here's another shot of Gary I worked on, that I considered:
Last Saturday, I sat down to design this poster. I quickly learned that her short tutoring session may not have been enough to give me the tools I needed to create the poster idea I had in mind, but I kept plugging away. The final product is was created with Photoshop, Illustrator and Microsoft Digital Imaging Suite. The first thing I did was to find a disco ball image on iStock Photos. I found one that could be removed from it's background. Then I wanted to find something else to add to the poster. That's when I located the 3-D lasers, which was a Vector file on iStock Photo. A Vector file is one where each of the components of the picture can be moved or manipulated using Illustrator. What?!? The process was overwhelming to say the least, but I kept at it.
After about 5 hours of messing around with the programs, I took a break and took a short nap, since my eyes were very tired, as was my back from leaning over my laptop which was on the coffee table. When I woke up, I had some dinner and then sat back down to finally finish this product. As I describe the process, know that it went MUCH slower than it comes across. The first thing I did was convert the original photo of Gary to black and white. Then I cut him out of the photo and placed him onto a black background in Photoshop. Then I opened the disco ball vector file and moved the disco ball onto the black back ground above Gary's hand. I had to do some resizing of it to make it fill the right amount of space for the rest of the poster. Then, I moved each individual laser over to the file and placed it in what I thought was the best spot to look as though some were coming from behind the disco ball and some were coming out of the disco ball. After this was complete, I hit another stumbling block when I couldn't figure out how to work the fonts in Photoshop. To say this was weighing heavy on my nerves is an understatement. The whole time I kept thinking, "All these years I could have taken a design class, but Nooooooooooo!"
My roommate Russ is a pretty computer savvy guy so I enlisted his help. Finally, he said, "I don't think you're going to be able to achieve the effect you want with the text and font." DAMMIT! At this point, I've been working on the poster (which is due the next day) for about 7 hours and still I have no idea how I'm going to put text onto the poster, but know I cannot submit it without. This is like running really long marathon only to get almost to the end and have a gigantic wall I can't climb over or get around. That's when Russ came along and saved the day. He told me he found a great 3-D text in Word Art in Microsoft Word. The only problem was I couldn't copy the font/text into Photoshop or Illustrator. This was when I opened the almost finished product in my old design program, Microsoft Digital Imaging Suite. Low and behold I was able to copy the font/text into this program. So, finally, about 10 hours (not including the nap) after I started this project I finished it. I converted the finished product back to a pdf file and sent it off to Kinkos to have it printed.
Here is the final product:
On Sunday the 15th, I ventured to Kinkos with crossed fingers that the printed version would be everything I dreamed of in the beginning. And I have to say that I'm very pleased with my final product and I think it would be a great representation for Blackstones for their 20th year in business. If you're out and about on the Westend, stop into Blackstones for a drink or a game of pool and vote for one of the entries. I'd like to win, but vote for the poster you like best. If I win? I'm paying Gary, my model, $100 and I'm using the other $400 to take a design class at VTEC here in Portland.
Coming soon, a look back at the 20 years of Blackstones. I'll be interviewing the owners, as well as patrons and some long time staff members. Happy 20th!
Here is some of my other recent work, but all this was designed with Microsoft Digital Imaging Suite 2006.