Photostrations is a series of personal work I’ve created where I insert my own illustrations into photos pulled from open-source photo repositories. The project ended up curing myself from a mean streak of art block.
One of the best ways to climb out of a creative rut is to just say “Screw it!” and try something new. I tried playing around with sketching illustrations into a few photos, and quickly discovered there was some joy to be had in this process. I found that it’s a lot of fun to take a relatively empty photograph and add something to it that gives it a new ‘hook’. My goal with these is usually to incorporate illustrations by paying some attention to making sure the drawings ‘fit’, but definitely not to the point where I’m shying away from the fact they’re still drawings. In other words, I don’t shoot for a photo-realistic integration of illustrations into a photo.
Artistic growth is often about doing just that – growing. For most folks, staying stagnant is a sure-fire way to spoil the fun of your art. Photostrations reminded me that there is real value to be had in staying nimble and not to box yourself into a corner. It also reminded me that exploration doesn’t always have to mean that you’re starting over fresh with a new way of thinking. You can carry over 90% of your own work into something that is 10% new, and that 10% can give you fuel to keep growing.
I’ve since used this same mindset to branch out and translate my illustration style into motion work, abstract art, and traditional painting.