Friday, June 21, 2013

5 steps to creating original digital art


Written by Rain San Martin

Do you want to create original digital art yet are unsure where to start? Follow these 5 steps at your own pace and you’ll have an unlimited amount of idea’s to launch your digital art creation into reality.

#1. Build your original stock image library

The spontaneous approach
Have your camera ready at all times. Go for a morning walk and bring along your camera to catch the warm sunrise. When visiting a new town or major city snap a few images of the skyline.

The planned approach
Have an intensive photo-stock building session by blocking out 1-3 hours.  Here are a few ideas:
  • Photograph individual items with a white backdrop or sitting on a white piece of paper. Of course you may use blue or green screen.
  • Photograph a person dressed in costume and makeup. This could be a family member, friend or professional model. Have your model release ready to sign before the shoot.
  • Create an original painting on physical paper, canvas or in Photoshop. If painted or sketched scan your work into the computer.
#2 Organize your original digital stock photo’s into file folders 

For example:
>Cityscapes
>Forests
>People
>Sunsets
>Technology

#3  Choose a photograph that stands out 

Now that you have a few promising photo’s under your belt look over your images and see if any speak to you.  Once you’ve chosen a centerpiece open  it in Photoshop and give it a working title. Save in the uncompressed .PSD Photoshop layers format.

On one of my evening workout walks I took a photograph on Mainstreet while living in Bozeman, Montana back in 2008. This was eventually to be one of  the core elements for my image Sci-Fi city.


#4  Select additional photo’s that support your main theme 

For example your main theme could be a forest, next you  might add in your original stock footage of butterflies and flowers. Add these images as separate layers. Save as you go.



#5  Integrate the photo’s together into a seamless scene using Photoshop

Use various tools to resize, clone, select, erase and color the image. Have fun and don’t be afraid of making mistakes.  Check out other artists work for needed inspiration. When you’ve completed your work flatten the image and save as a high quality .jpg image.
Go for it!








Rain San Martin is a Multimedia Composer and Digital Artist living in Fort Wayne, IN with her husband Sage and two children. www.RainSanMartin.com  




Any purchases made through the Amazon Affiliate Links help to support my work at no extra cost to you.






Thursday, June 13, 2013

Going Beyond the Concept Album

by Rain San Martin

Concept albums are created around a theme, often telling a story as the songs unfold.  The Songfacts website lists the top 3 concept albums of all time being:
  • Dark Side Of The Moon by Pink Floyd
  • Tommy by The Who
  • Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles
What if you were to write a concept album and then release a book with the same name, fleshing out the story or message in detail? This is exactly what musician, producer, inventor,  and author Jimmy Hotz did (he also happens to be my dad)
.


Some years back Jimmy released an EP containing 4 songs which he entitled  “The Gates of Time”.  Massive drums, melodic synth, spacey guitar, complex arrangements, tasteful compression and meticulous embellishments all are present to create a polished L.A. rock quality sound that was signature of many excellent rock albums released between 1983-1991….. and….. these qualities are sorely missed.

Listen to tracks 8 and 9 taken from the Beyond The Crystal Sea-Collectors Edition to sample a couple of songs that appear on the Gates of Time album.

In May 2011 he completed his vision with a debut novel by the same name as his album, The Gates Of Time.  Both illustrate a Christian world view with a deeply fulfilling existence for created beings in the eternal afterlife.  It also shows the potential richness of a personal relationship with God and how angels aid humans on the temporal domain of Earth.





The Gates Of Time itself is described as a place outside of time and space, where countless gateways to all Creation past, present and future, are available for exploration. The author explains that one can travel to real-time locations of majestic natural scenery across the universe or re-experience an old cherished memory with added richness and perception, like a living 3D immersive world, which grows ever more wonderful and detailed with each observation. Okay…I’ll be first in line, if there is such a place!

Here is an excerpt from the book:

 ’What mortals call visible light is but one octave of light frequencies. From within that octave of light which man calls the visible spectrum, countless rainbows of color cascaded like glorious waterfalls of light, yet Helios beheld seven full octaves of light. Patterns of inexpressible beauty appeared, with harmonious color combinations…..’

Perhaps you have a concept album waiting in your heart which could go even further with an accompanied novel?
-
“Many people die with their music still in them. Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out.”

-Oliver Wendell Holme



Rain San Martin is a Multimedia Composer and Digital Artist living in Fort Wayne, IN with her husband Sage and two children. www.RainSanMartin.com  



Any purchases made through the Amazon Affiliate Links help to support my work at no extra cost to you.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

How Being A Visual Artist Makes You A Better Musician

How many musicians do you know who are also artists, writers or photographers? I'm sure you can think of a few! Though all of these art forms are channeling creativity having an alternate creative expression discipline will automatically put fuel into the creative fire.

Think of people you know who have a combination of expressions. Here are some examples:

  • painter and dancer
  • illustrator and composer
  • stage actor and film maker
  • photographer and film maker

Some people may have 3 or more creative work channels:

  • recording artist, writer and painter
  • crafter, dancer, fine artist
  • inventor, producer, guitarist, and film maker


When you have multiple projects in the works it makes it practically impossible to have writers block. It gives you the opportunity to take a break from a project you have been working on yet your workflow does not need to stop as you can switch to another expressive task.

Art Feeds Art

I've had an interesting pattern that I've carried out over the years. I would start by listening to a particular album over and over while creating a specific digital art image. Later I might write and record a piece of music inspired by the image I had created, sometimes viewing it as I wrote.   Notice if you see examples of this in your own life?

You can instinctively feel that creating visual art channels a unique part of the brain that is different from music composition.

"But aren't I suppose to do one thing and do it well,  I don't want to be perceived as a dilettante" You ask?


Was Michelangelo a dilettante? He the sculptor, engineer, architect and painter!  The most important thing is to have specific goals in such case.  Many people have great idea's but to "act" on them will bring you toward your dreams.






Rain San Martin is a Multimedia Composer and Digital Artist living in Fort Wayne, IN with her husband Sage and two children. www.RainSanMartin.com  
 
 


Any purchases made through the Amazon Affiliate Links help to support my work at no extra cost to you.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

My first photo stock image has been accepted for licensing!‏





Finally after multiple submissions to istock, shutterstock and dreamstime I have my first photo stock image accepted for licensing.

In previous months goals I had mentioned that I have been in pursuit of finding success with microstock. My previous attempts where apparently too similar to material they had in their inventory. Wish me luck on future submissions.

See:  February 2013 Goals     March 2013 Goals  





 Rain San Martin is a Multimedia Composer and Digital Artist living in Fort Wayne, IN with her husband Sage and two children. www.RainSanMartin.com  

Any purchases made through the Amazon Affiliate Links help to support my work at no extra cost to you.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Story Behind My Album "Tales Of Silicon Valley"

Tales Of Silicon Valley,  a synth driven album with orchestral, dance and rock instrumental tracks is my follow-up album to Journey To The High King. The concept was inspired by computer and software pioneers, entrepreneurs and my days working for my Dad Jimmy Hotz at Hotz Interactive 1989-1997 where I was honored to meet some fascinating minds.

Starting with the inventor's  "Conceptualizing a Vision" to the rhythmic work of "Coding" all the way through physical manifestation in "Hardware In Production", I aim to tell of the story of passionate work in the tech field. "In The Game Grid" was actually inspired by the film Tron Legacy yet fits nicely into the albums computer theme.

The soundtrack style album which is soon to be released, has each note individually performed via MIDI keyboard "no loops", was recorded in Logic Audio and uses sounds from the virtual synth library's of East West Symphonic Orchestra Gold Complete (the most valued sound library I've ever owned) , Absynth (the best synth sound library in my opinion)  and Heavocity's "Evolve" (epic drums sounds, now Damage is on my wish list!) just to name a few.










Rain San Martin is a Multimedia Composer and Digital Artist living in Fort Wayne, IN with her husband Sage and two children. www.RainSanMartin.com


 

Any purchases made through the Amazon Affiliate Links help to support my work at no extra cost to you.

 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

My Top 5 Creative Work Goals for May 2013

For May my goals are centered around getting my album Tales Of Silicon Valley out to the market.

 

  • Copywrite songs
 
  • Complete album cover art work. Making some more changes in Adobe Photoshop
 
  • Upload songs to CD baby for distribution (includes Amazon, itunes, spotify etc. )  
 
  • Review photography work for possible submission to stock sites.














Thursday, May 2, 2013

The System - Excellence In Pop Music


by Rain San Martin



I had recently read an article in Keyboard magazine that mentioned The System had come out with a new album, System Overload. The synth R&B pop members David Frank and Mic Murphy are mostly known for the 1987 hit, Don't Disturb This Groove (LP Version). The two also become a dynamo production team, and David Frank worked with artists ranging from Chaka Khan to 98 Degrees.

The last I checked the original version of The System CD is running over $90 on Amazon; the single is available however as an MP3.

Now in 2013 they released  System Overload.  I was blown away with the classic 1980s style of songwriting merged with modern synth and aggressive vocal production of the 2010s.  I would put them in the progressive pop category due to the technical complexity of the arrangements.

My take away on the analysis of The System's music for songwriters to emulate is to value the study of classical music (David Franks' background is described below), to embrace new technology, and incorporate classic song structure in your writing (intro, verse, chorus, bridge, ending).

Here's an excerpt from David Franks' Myspace bio:

"The keyboardist found work playing in bands around New York, affording him the opportunity to invest in the emerging MIDI music technology. He bought an Oberheim OBXa keyboard synthesizer, sequencer, and drum machine. Through these revolutionary synchronized instruments, David Frank created a one-man electronic rhythm section."


"David Frank is an American music producer, composer, classically trained pianist, and founding member of the 1980s R&B group The System...Frank's expertise in recording studio technology gave the material a sound that many felt was ahead of its time. Indeed, the heavy use of synths and electric percussion was a step beyond the dance-influenced flavor of the previous album, and Murphy's soulful vocals gave the songs a definite R&B flavor."

Though I have remained a fan of modern pop dance hits I feel we are lacking in the craftsmanship of the golden era of 1980s MIDI production. Pop music can be as ornate and detailed as classical music.  Let's take the extra time to write bridges and transitions just as the production giants did in the past, giving the track a chance to become a timeless classic.

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Rain San Martin is a Multimedia Composer and Digital Artist living in Fort Wayne, IN with husband Sage and two children. http://www.rainsanmartin.com/