It’s been a long time since I got bored while sitting in front of Photoshop, but it’s Sunday afternoon and it happened. Here’s the new, absolutely free, wallpaper. It’s extremely loosely based on a dream I had a couple weeks ago.
Sometimes all it takes is a question from a friend or colleague to open up my mind to new possibilities. I was asked just a couple days ago what type of photography I liked to take and when I didn’t have a quick answer the question was extended to, “If you could photograph anything, and time and money weren’t factors, what would you shoot?” It wasn’t an easy question to answer right away.
I wanted to shoot something memorable. I wanted to tell a story with the shot. I wanted to convey an emotion that resonated with anyone who would view the photo in the future. I finally was able to nail down what would really make me happy to shoot. It wasn’t events and weddings, though those met all the requirements. It wasn’t photojournalism, though those are the shots history often holds in high regards. The ultimate choice in photography for me is creating a set or scene designed to tell a story, convey an emotion, and etch itself in one’s mind forever. I want to make staged photography similar in concept to the art of Gregory Crewdson. Crewdson and others who label themselves as staged photographers create their story in a single frame using elaborate sets and lighting similar in structure to film sets. The idea that I could convey an emotion or story of my choosing in a single image is very appealing.
I have not yet done this type of photography, but I think I’ll try it this fall/winter season. Now to come up with a few low budget workable ideas that I can try out.
I just posted a couple shots taken from Owl’s Head Park in Brooklyn, looking west over the bay, near sunset. It was a very peaceful time and location with dragonflies buzzing around snatching up insects and children and dogs playing on the nearby hill. The ships in the bay were busy finishing up the day’s work and I watched them until the pre-rain fog finally rolled in fully blanketing their indistinct outlines in the distance.
As happens every so often, I got bored with my computer’s desktop wallpaper and created a couple new ones last night. The two that I created are now listed with the rest in the Wallpapers tab at the top. They’re both “Gear” themed and in HD (1920x1080px). Cheers
This month’s featured creative is Art Donovan of Donovan Design and curator of “Steampunk: Devices + Contraptions Extraordinaire” at the Museum of the History of Science at the University of Oxford, UK. His new book “The Art of Steampunk: Extraordinary Devices and Ingenious Contraptions from the Leading Artists of the Steampunk Movement” is available on Amazon.com – currently “pre-order” status.
I came across Art Donovan’s work in 2007 via an article on “Brass Goggles”, the UK based Steampunk blog. Along with several other artists creating new Steampunk flavored designs, Donovan’s clock and lamp designs caught my eye because of their inherent craftsmanship and implementation. Where other start-up Steampunk artists are categorized more in the collage or patchwork art domain, Donovan’s art is derived from a background in interior lighting design and detailed craftsmanship. Donovan’s pieces are not only hand crafted, but more often than not made from scratch, which I find much more inspiring than the scavenging and re-purposing often attributed to Steampunk art.
Art Donovan designs for a variety of clients, most of whom are not Steampunk related. This pre-existing design background is what gives Donovan the sharply unique, custom-manufactured look that I find so appealing. His company Donovan Design was established in 1990 as a contract and residential lighting design house. Donovan’s designs have a heavy dose of Art Deco stylization which I attribute to his early influences from working with Donald Deskey, designer of Radio City Music Hall.
Art Donovan discovered the Steampunk genre in August of 2007.
“It was the most exciting new style that I had seen in over 30 years as a designer. Steampunk combined all of the interests that I ever had- science fact, speculative fiction, early sci-fi films, history, antique technologies, Jules Verne novels… It was even more surprising to discover that Steampunk embraced such unexpected things as arcane spiritualities, traditional Victorian manners and everything else that was thriving in culture of the late 19th and early 20th century.”
After discovering Steampunk, Donovan created two introductory pieces, a distressed brass clock and a Steampunk style table lamp, both of which were featured in several Steampunk blogs including Brass Goggles. His next more elaborate piece, the Siddhartha Pod Lamp, cemented his name in the minds of Steampunk fans across the globe and catapulted his design career into the Steampunk world. Donovan was recently dubbed the “world authority on the visual genre of Steampunk” and is continuing to expand his line of designs.
Much of his fanfare comes from Donovan’s having been curator of the “Steampunk: Devices + Contraptions Extraordinaire” exhibit at the Museum of the History of Science at the University of Oxford, UK. The exhibit brought the Steampunk genre to light in the art community, and showcased the high quality artistic creations emerging within the genre. Donovan also recently wrote his own review of the experience, in which he stated, “True Steampunk would be an artifact of grace and artistic ingenuity. It would at first pay homage to the antique arts and sciences but ultimately point to a ideal or concept greater than itself.” This “artistic ingenuity” is the very aspect of Steampunk art that drew me into the aesthetic so many years ago, and I think Donovan makes a good point when describing Steampunk as an “artifact of grace and artistic ingenuity” rather than as a simple label, which I find even more appealing when tempered by a studied application of craftsmanship and pre-conceived design.
Art Donovan has new book coming out soon that promises to be a very informative look at the Steampunk art community. “The Art of Steampunk: Extraordinary Devices and Ingenious Contraptions from the Leading Artists of the Steampunk Movement” will soon be available on Amazon.com, and I highly recommend you take a look at it when it arrives. More information about Art Donovan can also be found at his blog “Art Donovan: Steampunk Art + Design.”
Here on “Grasping @ Creativity” I highlight a creative each month with the hope of inspiring readers in their own pursuit of creativity. These highlighted individuals have all inspired me at various times in my life, whether through their creations or through their philosophy. It is my hope that readers will find these articles both interesting and informative, a source of inspiration, and a resource for initiating their own creative endeavors.
I don’t surf the internet looking for new articles to read very often. I don’t have to do so. Most of the internet articles I read are subscribed to from the RSS feeds in my Google reader fed through Feedly, and I can read them all in one place (my phone) like a perpetually refilling magazine of goodness.
Today, I decided to expand that list of goodness and add to it some art news, photo tips, and other new sources. I found some extremely high rated and seemingly well written online sites and added them to Feedly, but upon opening the new content in my reader I found, to my dismay, that nearly all the new feeds were truncating their articles’ content. You, dear reader, may have a blog or other news source feeding into the pulsating masses through some variation of Really Simple Syndication. If you do, please consider this. A large quantity of readers are not surfing through the slow loading graphical content of your website on their various mobile devices, nor do they want to have to do so. If you want readership to expand keep your RSS feeds unlimited in length and allow Twitter sharing. I now am going back through my newly found RSS feeds and deleting them based on their truncation. I’m not certain the reasoning behind the dreaded “click to read full” or other variation of doom and despair, but there are easy ways of tracking even RSS readership, so stats boosting should not be a factor.
I may be just ranting to no justified end, but I’m pretty certain I’m not alone in this mindset. I’m now (mildly) advocating a boycott of all web news sources, blogs included, that truncate their RSS feeds and force me to actually load their page to read the textual content.
This is the very reason why I started this variation on Lent. This is a page from the gate elements for Jean that I drew today. These little elements will get turned into vector graphics and photoshop brushes tonight so we can use them to create fully fledged fantasy background art.
~ Posted from Droid.