The Adobe “The New Creatives” brief said, “Create an artistic self-portrait. … You could also use your existing artwork that you feel that best represents your talent.”
“Art Directors are becoming animators. Print designers are becoming web designers. Illustrators are also photographers, who are editors who also shoot film. These are the New Creatives, and Adobe is celebrating their work with a new campaign that makes them the face of our marketing—both literally and figuratively.”
I wanted to get the portrait as clean as possible – so first I put on a couple of coats of “war paint” aka foundation. Followed by basic eye makeup and a bright red lip color.
I also wanted to do “something” with my hair instead of simply tying them up in a ponytail.
I’m a luxury / lifestyle / fashion blogger and I routinely do self-portraits wearing my client’s clothes / make-up / jewellery etc. I wanted to give “The New Creatives” a similar treatment – also because it’s representative of who I am.
Once the make-up was done, I got down to testing the lighting. First only natural light, then one speedlight and then two speedlights. The hair also kept changing and I eventually did end up tying them up. As always.
I had already decided to keep the black sweatshirt on because I had planned to merge it with the black background on the template eventually. I didn’t do that in the end but it still worked out.
I also decided to keep a well lit background because I thought it would be easier to cut out my hair for the black background. In retrospect, I should have gone with a dark or light blue background – because one of the steps in preparing the template for the final artwork is to apply blue light all over the face. The hair would’ve been cut out better in that case.
The finally selected photograph above.
Once I knew I had the portrait I wanted – with a beaming smile – because that’s also a large part of who I am – you will hardly ever find a photo of me where you can’t see my teeth. I wanted to stay true to character – I then took the images into Lightroom to select and do basic edits.
Then some basic cleanup in Photoshop – only for the final portrait.
And all I could think of was this graphic artwork that I’ve been working on for a while. And how it perfectly fits with who I am today.
It’s a 3D pattern ( created in Adobe Illustrator ), of multi-colored “Hashtags”. I loved it so much when I initially came up with it that I filed a Design Application and copyright on the pattern for a line of printed silk scarves! ) Everything about the design and that project is representative of who I am today. The silk scarves haven’t seen the light of day yet – but soon!
This, below, is the pattern for the scarf. I picked out a small cross-section of the vectors and applied that onto my face. With larger hashtags – I wanted my eyes to be visible.
As a “creative”, my primary goal is to tell stories and there’s an interesting story behind the currently omnipresent and sometimes much-disliked “hashtag”. Did you know its “technical” name is “Octothorpe”? When you draw one, the negative space forms nine squares – there’s a Golden Mean right there – applies to Framing in photography – I’m a photographer.
In today’s online existence, hashtags provide context for everything – when used well. They help with conversation, especially when the number of characters one can use ( i.e. like Twitter ) is limited. Adding a #Sarcasm at the end of your tweet completely changes its meaning! And I’m obsessed with context in real life as well. All my relationships, whether professional or personal, and all interactions therein are evaluated based on context.
Of course, social media is a huge part of what I do and how I live my life – that is the obvious connection.
Context also leads to mindfulness. No coasting allowed in living my life.
And multi-colored hashtags indicate that it isn’t all seriousness – I have a lot of fun in whatever I do. It’s a happy, joyful ride. The Internet and digital technology have allowed me to be creative in a multitude of formats. I continue to explore the non-existent boundaries.
As a photographer, graphic designer, blogger and regular-person-with-a-computer, as far as I’m concerned, I’m living the dream.
Here’s a before and after.
And the final image!
Someone said it reminded them of The Joker. I will be taking that as a compliment. Especially Heath Ledger’s Joker. Oh my.
This project can be viewed on my Behance profile as well – do leave in an “Appreciation”!
And see the campaign video for the Adobe Creative Cloud “The New Creatives” below :
Good by Silverstein created the above commercial.
The campaign was first announced internationally on the Adobe Creative Cloud blog here. Do visit to look at some much-more-stunning-than-mine interpretations.
And that’s a wrap! With another 12 months of Adobe Creative Cloud membership added! ( When it had first launched in India, I recall thinking to myself “Yeah. I don’t think I will ever be able to switch from my Creative Suite installation.” But now, I truly am a complete convert. The Creative Suite has been uninstalled and Creative Cloud reigns supreme on my desktop and laptop. Very convenient. Love it. )
Also don’t forget to check out my first ever professional speaking gig at the Adobe Photography Symposium! 26th June in Bangalore!