May 13, 2010

My adventure into Digital

Hi everybody! I'm truly about to turn a corner I think with "things" and as soon as I get my next big project done in the next few days, I think I can actually get some hand cut pieces done and work in two worlds at once and not feel so behind. New undertakings are always hardest in the start.

Right now, the next big project is me working on putting together jpg collage sheets to parallel my new digital png packs at DeviantScrap. I haven't given up on hand cut work, just laying the foundations for my sideline business and laying foundations always takes more time in the beginning. Converting the png picture kits to collage sheets is taking a great deal of time but I should be done with that in the next few days.

So customers can either buy this digital pack with png images and larger picture files . . .



or soon customers can buy this jpg collage sheet set of the same images . . .



As I've been e-talking with people about collage sheets and digital kits I realize some people have been missing out on using some great images because they were unsure of the format. So wanted to give some information to those that might not know. . .

Digital image kits can be used for hand cut collage work! Don't shy away from png file pictures. Png images just mean the area surrounding the picture is transparent until you put it on top of something.

I'm finding people acquire and prepare their images so differently from one another. Some just purchase collage sheets and print as is. Some, like me, purchase collage sheets and crop out only what I want to make my own project based collage sheets. For hand cut work, I use Microsoft Publisher and drag in a collage sheet, crop out what I want, pull in the next one, crop what I want, etc. - play with sizes and print out my own custom collage sheet so that I'm not wasting images, paper, or ink on things I don't need. I know some people that do this in Picasa and Gimp (which are both free programs to download by the way), text document programs, Paintbrush, and others.

You can do exactly the same thing with png pictures. Just pull them into whatever program you have that you might use to print a flickr picture. Most scrapbooking sites sell kits of png images and those kits are exploding into all kinds of imagery that works well with collage and mixed media work. If you sell your artwork, be sure to follow a designer's Terms of Use, but there are many images out there available! And, the nice thing is, most of the images have been cleaned up, revamped, extracted from their old backgrounds (making cutting out with scissors easier) and are of great sharp quality! You don't have to be a digital artist to use digital kits or png images, so don't deny yourself a huge source of imagery for your work! There are lots of traditional scrapbook sites now offering kits especially for altered art, collage, and mixed media work and I am finding the prices are very reasonable.

As far as learning and creating digital art . . . I am interested in digital mainly to clean up and restore vintage images and make my prep work a little easier for my hand cut work. I still prefer the subtle layers and depth and quirkiness of hand cut collage as far as my own art making goes. I am learning PhotoShop Elements 7 and am actually amazed in what I've learned with just a few video tutorials and even screen shot tutorials. If you're interested, DeviantScrap is offering beginner classes in PhotoShop that I am told would still be worth taking even if you're not working with the full PS version - like me. PS Elements programs do not have all the bells and whistles of PS Creative Suite programs, but for someone just starting out and not wanting to spend much money, the Elements programs are wonderful.

Just a clarification, I had someone ask recently why I wasn't using parts of my own collage pieces in my image kits - that's because what I use in my own hand cut work is not always mine to redistribute. If I purchase an image from another designer and even if I alter it in my work, I can't redistribute the image I bought from them according to most vendor Terms of Use. The images I am offering in my digi packs and collage sheets are all images from my own collection of antique photos, postcards and ephemera.
Photobucket

10 comments:

just Patty Anne said...

I came to see if you'd posted - just checking on you to see if you're feeling better. Glad to see you are.

Love your post... You're going to integrate us all! Another side to the whole DS phenom! Love it.

(((hugs))) & wishes for your Fantabulously Fun & Festive week-end!
jPA

Julia said...

Fantastic elements pack Marsha! So creative and adorable angels!

Terri Kahrs said...

Great explanation of png, Marsha! You've explained digital art and it's versatility so well, that I think you've helped a lot of people understand they can take the technology and bend and form it to answer their own specific needs. Hope you have a fantabulous weekend!!! Hugs, Terri xoxo

House of Hullabaloo said...

Beautiful images and colors!

Marit said...

Now Marsha... YOU are on your way BIG TIME girl!!! Wowzah - what a great adventure you're in! You rock the digi-sheets girl!

Kelly said...

these images are gorgeous! please let me know when they are available as jpg sheets. :)

muckypup said...

Oh wow. Not sure if I will ever go digital, but I know where to come if i do, and until then the scissors will be busy! Keep up the good work!

whymsicalmusings said...

Oh Marsha your digital packs are simply WONDERFUL!!!! I do hope you are well. It is so good to see your beautiful artwork.
Sending you a hug!
Becky

Cathy Spivey Mendola said...

WOW! I have missed so much. I had no idea you had ventured off into the world of collage sheets and digital art. How exciting for you and all of us in the art world.
I've been hunkered down in my little world creating fiber art and have not been a very good blog friend.
Hope you are well. And I hope to stop in more frequently.

Shannon said...

I just want to thank you for all that info on digital images and/or kits. I feel like a complete digital idiot. I know nothing and I have yet to purchase any digital collage sheets because I didn't know what to do with them if I did. Thanks for spelling out a few things. I'm sure there are more people out there like myself who need to know how it all works. The more we understand, the more chance we will buy digital collage sheets. Thanks very much for the info.