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The photo illustrator constructing her own offbeat visual worlds

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The photo illustrator constructing her own offbeat visual worlds

The photo illustrator building her own offbeat visual universes

Artist Vanessa McKeown highlights her unique creative process. In partnership with Adobe Creator Collective.

Creator Stories is a series in support of the Adobe Creators Collective, a new collaborative hub designed to inspire others. Here, artist Vanessa McKeown shines a light on her unique creative process, which sees her creating completely new images and scenes.


As an artist, Vanessa McKeown delights in subverting expectations. Working with everyday objects – balloons, cigarette packs, food – she is less interested in images you have seen before. Instead, it’s about mixing different ideas and materials, in order to create something entirely new. Take, for example, her project Fruloons & Vegaloons, in which she builds a series of inflatable fruits and vegetables from objects collected in and around her house and garden.

It’s an approach that has proven to be popular: today, she has an impressive archive of work and nearly 120,000 followers on Instagram. The uniqueness of her process distinguishes her as a key member of the Adobe Creators Collective, an online creative community seeking to bring together artists from all over Europe. The platform exists to defend authenticity and inspire others to create: the collective offer tips and advice Adobe users, Adobe providing free resources for aspiring creators to get started on their own.

Below, McKeown reflects on her journey so far and explains how her distinctive process keeps her unfettered as a designer.

The Photo Illustrator Constructing Her Own Offbeat Visual Worlds - Light Home News

Tell us about your creative process. How do you approach a new project or a new idea? Do you sketch or simulate your ideas before going to execution?

I usually try to think of 100 ideas – not that that ever happens. Normally I’m going to end up with about 30 terrible, and maybe five decent ones to choose from. A lot of times I think an idea isn’t good enough and then in a week I look back and I’m like, “It’s all right, what was I thinking ?! With the client’s work, I try to make a rough mockup or sketch, which really helps when shooting. However, when it comes to my personal work, I am much more free in his appearance. I like to experiment and try new things.

Do you have any tips for overcoming creative blockages?

It happens to me all the time! Here are a few things that help me. One: the first thing is to relax. Two: keep in mind that something will happen eventually. State of mind is important. Third: look at anything visual… blogs, Internet library archives of old books – even things unrelated to what you do. I feel like your mind is connecting things without you knowing it, and in a few hours you will be out of your creative block! Four: If none of that works, take a walk to clear your head.

The Photo Illustrator Constructing Her Own Offbeat Visual Worlds - Light Home News

How did you first come to photography? Did you experiment with other areas before landing on the still life?

I started photography on weekends in my kitchen – I had a full time job doing something else at the time. I started taking pictures of simple objects against a colored background with natural light. I liked the idea of ​​doing still lifes because I had a lot of control over it and I just had to rely on myself. I didn’t have to go anywhere to create either. The best experience I had was [taking] tomatoes [and turning them into] my picture of Fruloon. I had balloons and tomatoes lying around and BAM, I combined them!

The Photo Illustrator Constructing Her Own Offbeat Visual Worlds - Light Home News

I remember thinking, ‘This is what I should do. It was more fun to combine things and create a new image that no one had seen before – for me anyway. Sometimes I try to take nice, simple photos of things, or even landscape photos. I see so many talented photographers doing a great job and I am in awe. However, when I do, I don’t feel very good. My brain tells me, “No! Make it weirder, do something else ”.

Any advice for those new to the world of still life photography?

At first, don’t worry too much about the crazy equipment and setups. All you need is natural light. A cloudy day is great for soft lighting, and a sunny day is great for harsh shadows. Adobe Photoshop has always been a lifeline to help improve images afterwards. I think it’s best to learn and improve as you go, and I love this quote from Arthur Ashe: “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. “

The Photo Illustrator Constructing Her Own Offbeat Visual Worlds - Light Home News

What is your dream project? Something you would like to do but haven’t had a chance to yet.

I would like to make giant sculptures of my work.

Do you retouch your own work?

Yes, I retouch all my work. I’m still learning, but I find using online tutorials to be the best way to learn new things, as well as to try and make mistakes.

Do you collaborate often? How do you approach this process?

I did not collaborate [with anyone] Again. I would love to, though. Maybe I need to find a sculptor. Jeff Koons, are you busy ?!

Tell us about a work of art or a photograph by another artist that you have hung in your room / house, and why?

In fact, I don’t have a lot of things hanging up. But I have a collection of souvenir patches that I have framed. I’ve taken a few road trips across America and collected them – I’m quite obsessed with them, they’re pretty graphic and I love that. I don’t know why they seem nostalgic as I never had any patches as a child. Maybe in my previous life I did. But I find the places I’ve been to inspiring, so it’s nice to see them again now and remember good times. Some of the patches were quite touristy, but I found some in Palm Springs by an artist called Meagan Rose Dowling – she has a store who sells the cutest patches I have ever seen.

The Adobe Creators Collective The project showcases top new talent in art, design and illustration each week, connecting artists to the wider Adobe community. Want to be inspired? Visit creativecloud.adobe.com

Reference of the Article-post – lwlies