- Logo, logotype
- Music sleeve
- Poster, ad
- film 24x36, 35mm
- Large format film
- Medium format film
- Mobile phone
- Montage, retouching
- Polaroid, instant film
- Edifice/Pier, pontoon
- Element/Ruin, wilderness, abandoned
- Place/Garden, park
- Place/Restaurant, coffee, bar
- Place/Shop, market
- Street/Graffiti, fresco, tag, street ar
- Urban/City, skyline
- Urban/Harbour, lighthouse
- Public gathering
- Animal/Aquatic life
- Animal/Reptile, amphibian
- Landscape/Waterscape, lake, river
- Vegetal/Flower, plant
- Vegetal/Fruit, vegetable
- Vegetal/Tree, forest
- Fashion accessories
- Furnishing/Pot, vase
- Still life
- Body/Chest, belly, back
- Body/Foot, leg
- Body/Hand, arm
- Body/Head, eye, lips
- Body/Sex, buttock
- Character/Doll, figure
- Everyday life
- Everyday life/Countryside
- Everyday life/Family, couple
- Everyday life/Leisure
- Everyday life/Social, humanistic
- Everyday life/Urbanites
- Everyday life/Work
- Infant, children
- Infant, children/Boy
- Infant, children/Girl
- Self-portrait, selfie
- Self-portrait, selfie/Female
- Self-portrait, selfie/Male
When and how do you start to create?
My technique is this: I constantly snap photos of whatever’s around that I find interesting. Once the urge to create strikes, I then start a synthesizing journey. Sometimes I know exactly where I’m headed; other times I’m just along for the ride, letting magic from the universe do the driving.
Do you create as a professional or for your own?
I create my art for my own enjoyment as a passion, though I have sold several pieces professionally in gallery and exhibition.
How do you learn and work your skill?
I started doing photomontages professionally as a graphic artist in the ’90s with Photoshop. I would work montages into advertising materials wherever the fit was right for the client and project. Only later would I come to embrace the media as a means of personal expression and connection with others.
What do you like in this art, your motivation?
My work has an overall theme of transcending what may appear ordinary or simple, and exploring vast possibilities that may not be immediately apparent.
What are your favourite subject(s)?
Certain elements of my works seem to reappear like a cast of characters in my work. It’s quite unintentional, but I tend to gravitate to clouds, eyes, hands, trees, and a few others. Those all sound so plain and simple, but they really are evocative to me. I particularly like taking these basic elements and incorporating their everyday sensibility as a crazy juxtaposition to something unexpected for a metaphoric surrealistic effect.
How do you prepare a creation or project work?
I have a vocabulary of techniques that I regularly employee, the main one being masking via layers. I also experiment with negative reversals, vignetting, the occasional border, and a few other arcane techniques. My hero and ultimate inspiration, Jerry Uelsmann , has a similar take on this, stating there are things he does that are like trying to explain to someone how to tie a shoe without actually showing them. That’s about the best way to describe it I’ve ever heard.
What are your prefered moment(s) when you create?
The best moments for me are the “aha!” bursts that flash from the eye to the brain when making new connections between seemingly disparate forms. It’s at that moment when I have a bright vision of what can be done with a piece, and it feels like my hands are moving themselves without my even being aware of it, almost.
What are your most representative creations, and why? (links)
Please see http://RSMITHINGS.com/portfolio for my favorite and most popular works. There I include details on process, inspiration, and sometimes links to related media, including source components and musical accompaniment. You can also subscribe for notification when I post new works.
What are you trying to share via your art?
I want people who see my work to understand that beauty is everywhere and that we should take time to notice it. Art surrounds us, whether in architecture, words, music, or just in nature. And having an appreciation for that can make life more meaningful. Through surrealist juxtaposition and taking artistic license with the limits of visual reality, I aim to slow down viewers’ processes of perception enough so that a “wow” moment can happen. Maybe I do that at first with something that’s just visually striking on an initial level, but then layers of meaning can emerge and previously unexplored connections can form. That’s really the most exciting thing for me about any art — experiencing meaning through new connections.
Who are artists that fascinate or give you inspiration? (links)
My direct visual inspirations include fine artists such as Dalí and Escher; photographers Man Ray, Francesca Woodman, and Minor White; along with contemporary creators like Sion Fullana, Tommy Ingberg, and of course, the ultimate photomontage master and my deepest inspiration, Jerry Uelsmann. I have many of his books (some autographed because I’m a super-fan), and it was seeing his work in college that turned me on to the power of visual metaphor through unexpected combinations. The fact that he does his work entirely in the darkroom is mind-blowing, and the end results are just exquisite in an otherworldly way like nothing I’ve ever seen. http://uelsmann.net
What equipment and/or technic do you use?
I happen to create all my work via smartphone, so I call what I do “handcrafted surrealism.” I primarily use a discontinued app, Photoforge2, though its functionality exists in others, and my general process involves extensive masking and multiple layers set to different layer modes – the equivalent of Photoshop’s overlay, multiply, and screen are the ones I most frequently employ. But the main thing to note is that all my imagery is quite literally crafted by my hands, with my fingers forming edges and arranging elements to define shapes and reveal serendipitous relationships — not unlike physically placing individual elements as in a paper collage — except I do this through masking, blending and mimicking established photographic techniques like solarization or vignetting. Each piece is meticulously crafted with these and other ingredients, using direct touch to form a hierarchy of narrative. A final composition is the culmination of fusing disparate elements into a kind of empyrean abstract union. Even my printmaking is very hands-on, with each piece being custom-cut then mounted in frames that I refurbish and paint in my basement studio.
How and why your work as changed since you started?
Manipulating reality for artistic effect has always been my favorite part of graphic design, so I’ve worked to develop my technique for doing this in my own creations, using photography of the immediate as source material to illustrate and emphasize the artfulness of our everyday environments. The biggest evolution these days is that I have a large enough visual vocabulary to express whatever vision I’m working toward — to get something out of my head and render it into being. Sometimes through brute force, it seems, but still — it’s very satisfying when it happens.
What does the Internet media give you?
As far as inspiration, I’ve come to discover so many artists and images that I connect with through sites like Flickr, Pinterest and Instagram. And it was Instagram’s accessibility that made me realize the potential for evolving my art based on my decades of graphic design work, as well as the joy of sharing my art with others.
What are you expecting from Art Limited and/or other members?
I hope to discover new artists and works that I feel a connection to, while also expanding the audience for my creations.
What are your plans in the future?
My goals are to keep creating, to keep discovering, and to keep connecting with others. It all comes back to continuing to evolve for me, because I feel creativity comes from one area in the soul, and it manifests itself in different ways — be that visual art, writing, music, dance… or whatever captures your passion. I loved art before music as a child; I loved music before writing as an adolescent; I loved writing along with art and music as a young adult; and I’ve managed to make a living as a creative person as an artist and writer who also plays music for fun. Inspiration and expression can come from anywhere — you just have to be open to the experience and do what you can to get it out there.
Do you have anything else to say?
I hope my art expands people’s minds through illustrating novel connections. Stone steps from the park with rolling ocean waves ... a door from downtown set atop clouds shot from a plane window ... what metaphors do these make in a viewer’s mind? That’s what’s exciting to me.