Most people think I live a glamorous life. I've modeled for major artists and photographers, attended decadent parties, been on band posters, and wear sequins on a regular basis. The truth however is I spend most of my days staring into a computer, updating websites, creating digital sketches for paintings, and editing photos. Sound exciting? Just think of me in my vintage slips, eyes focused and lined with Bobbi Brown liner. I just spent the other night talking to someone on the phone joking how we're both home alone on a Sunday night working with photoshop. But seriously, I can honestly say I consider Photoshop one of the great loves of my life. For someone who is both in front of and behind a camera every day I can wholeheartedly say that it has taught me a few things about life, love, and everything in between. (You're vomiting. So am I but here we go anyway.)
1. It's Only Temporary – Anything can be fixed even if it feels disastrous. You've taken a photo, it's glorious and wondrous on the camera screen but when uploaded you have spinach in your teeth, there's fly away hairs and that angle you thought was fabulous added ten pounds to your physique. Take a deep breath, your vanity can stay intact, that ego will go unblemished. Liquify will take away those extra pounds while the clone and patch tools will smooth away imperfections. So you've gained some weight. Okay fine, with a little diet and exercise you'll be fine. That spinach can be brushed away and imperfections can be covered or flaunted. It's only temporary, even bad situations. Everything passes.
2. Be Yourself: - You can merge as many layers as you want but always keep the original and a PSD file with all the layers on hand. That way you can add and delete layers while referring to the original. Any relationship or friendship can cause one to lose sight of who they are as a whole. While it's nice to be a part of something, make time for yourself and maintain your individuality. The complete flattened image may be beautiful but the original is nice to come back to and well, you never know when you're going to have to delete a layer or two.
3. C'est la Vie – Programs crash, changes go unsaved. Yes, you figured it out, shit happens. It's frustrating, overwhelming, and downright stupid. So what to do next? Take a deep breath, scream if you have to, go for a walk, do some yoga, scratch up your boyfriends car, (Don't actually do that.) or find something else to do for a while. Life will throw things at you. There's no way around it. Suck it up and start again.
4. Look at the Bigger Picture – In editing you have to focus on detail. You have to be scrupulous and zoom in on imperfections smoothing them until they look realistic. This can take hours. Every once in a while it's good to zoom further in and also out so you can see the whole image as a complete piece. In our own lives we tend to get caught up in details and fail to see the bigger picture. So take a moment, step back and look at your life or situation from a fresh perspective. What would you do if you were someone else looking in. Still feel the same way? Yeah, stepping out of the details can be rather eye opening and gives you a better sense of the image as a whole.
5. It's all an Illusion – Image is illusion. Photos are manipulated. Waists taken in, filters mask cellulite and wrinkles. Do what makes you happy and projects what you want to the world. It doesn't matter what other people think. There will always be someone who nitpicks or gets on your case. These are their projections and reflections, not yours. Pay no attention. The mind itself can play tricks on us as well, think about a situation where you created a storyline in your head or jumped to a conclusion. It's all an illusion and once you break it you're free. Ego can be an entaglingling little web of illusion and deceit but there's always a way to extricate oneself.