23 May, 2007

Change Somebody's Life with a Custom Fantasy Photo Collage

In this custom Mother's Day portrait by Nancy Gershman,
a sparring mother and daughter are de-clawed with a little humor.

Shrinks listen to our hit lists and wish lists, and then note our sorry habits and patterns. Architects ask us to describe our dream house and then watch how we really use our space. Interior designers ask us whose lifestyle we envy, and then study the magazines we read. What's this say about humans? We can't really see ourselves; we don't often know what's good for us; and according to these professionals, we're not alone in our misery and wants.
We yearn for quick fixes which are enduring, and that's why we go to professionals.

Not only have they seen it all. But professionals offer something priceless: the professional distance to see our lives with 20-20 hindsight. When they encourage us to talk about our hopes and dreams, they allow us to be children again. With their solutions and suggestions, they let us try on new looks without the risk of making a misstep that we’ll  regret later. 

Change Your Luck with Custom Wishful Reality
Just as there’s a professional for sprucing up our personal space, our wardrobe, and our choices in life partners, did you know there’s also a professional for our inner well-being and our outlook on life? She's called a Memory Decorator: a custom photomontage artist who creates (custom) fantasy photo collage gifts. She'll sit down with you and your photos and ask for the back story on each one. The more you tell her about all the negatives (like regrets), and all the positives (like secret dreams), the better read she'll get on what kind of a wishful reality you want in the form of your digital photo collage.

Better yet, she's a professional with humor in her arsenal. She'll employ irony, symbolism, exaggeration -- anything that will move you over from the negative to the positive.

So here's an example of what she does. If there was something you could change about your life, what would it be? Is it a better relationship between you and your mother? Tell this digital artist, and she'll repurpose your personal photos, adding backdrops and meaningful objects from her own photography. With a new and improved reality in the form of a custom photomontage, you get a new lease on life -- not just in the past, but in the present and future too! Your life becomes a work of art: impossibly real, fantastical, and empowering every time you pass it by.

So think about this:
  • Are you (or someone you know) pining for peace in the family? Are you tired of all the stress and the bickering?
  • Have you just experienced the loss of a loved one, and feel like a piece of you is missing?
  • Has a friend ever (secretly) divulged a dream they've held onto after years of regrets?
  • Do you want to feel hopeful again - without cosmetic surgery, changing jobs or moving to a new city? Without spending thousands on a new wardrobe or renovated kitchen?
If all you had to do to change your life was have a digital artist play with your photos until you have a brand new past, present and future, would you do it?
Sure. Why not? Eveline and Ilse finally called a truce after receiving this Mother's Day photomontage.


20 May, 2007

Hire a Real Artist to Make Your Personalized Photo Collage

Eleven photos from Curtis's family collaged together by digital
artist Nancy Gershman and then set against a brand new sky.

Behind every artistic product is an artistic mind, not a web-based graphic service advertising "personalized collage art." Look a little closer and you’ll see that what these services are actually promising are art effects, not art.

If you want original, custom artwork and not a stock photo image you've seen on somebody's coffee mug, stick with real artists, not designers paid to offer off-the-shelf effects with photo collage or mosaic-making software. E
mployees, afterall, are not paid to be artists who think freely, out of the box. That's why you want to find a digital artist for hire who can:

  • critically select photographs on the basis of quality, not quantity
  • extract elements, re-juxtaposing them for aesthetic/conceptual reasons
  • give special thought to hierarchies of lighting and scale
  • search for fresh images for geographical/historical accuracy
  • inject meaningfulness and a goal into the artistic composition

Digital Artists Who Do Art For Your Sake

Let's say you want a custom photo collage made from your personal photos. You've got three options. If you go to a graphic service company, they'll take your order (as long as it’s listed in their website drop-down menu of special effects). If you go to an artist who only does art for art's sake, they'll want you to leave them alone so they can create their own idea of what's art (but at your expense, and in their own sweet time).

But if you're lucky enough to find a digital artist who takes commissions - who does art for your sake, you're in business! She'll ask you questions that go above and beyond the call of duty:

Is there a special message you want to convey? Or a take-away impression you want to leave with the person you're making it for? Should the collage concentrate on the past, present or future, or all three? What about adding some wishful reality to the piece, creating a landscape that’s rich in meaning? Do I have permission to look for a better backdrop that would make your images really pop?

The digital artist for hire who creates custom artwork for your sake is serious about the images she selects and combines for you, because she is always raising the bar for herself and the art world. Commissioning an artist specializing in custom photo collage to make you a personalized photo collage portrait or custom photo gift is kind of like hiring a world class artist, photographer, curator and confidante, rolled into one.

Is Hiring a Custom Photo Collage Artist Costly?

When it comes to personalized digital photomontage, my advice is to always hire an artist who 1) has a considerable digital photo collage portfolio; 2) who takes the time to look at your photos and talk with you before you take out your credit card, and 3) who lets you pay in installments if you have to.

Then when you're ready to order your personalized collage gift like a portrait or a popout made from your photos, it may cost you a touch more, but your labor of love is going to be worth a fortune!

To get an idea of what I mean by artistic photo collage, stop by my online studio, Art For Your Sake. Or let's brainstorm over the phone: 773-255-4677.

Custom Photo Collage as a Tasteful Sympathy Gift

A custom photo collage of Carly where she appears to have achieved
everything she ever wanted to accomplish in acting and fashion.

What do you give a grieving friend or relative who doesn't seem to be springing back from their loss?

Alone with their thoughts in between your visits and phone calls, depressed individuals are asking themselves heart-wrenching questions like:

  • Why me?
  • What’s there to live for?
  • Why am I still alive?

For someone who hurts physically, mentally and spiritually, you need a sympathy gift that's more than a gesture. You need a gift that speaks to the unhappy person in your absence, nudging them back into the world of the living by stimulating their imagination. In a word: wishful reality through therapeutic photomontage.

This unique art form nurtures wellness through idealization. The custom photomontage artist listens to the stories behind your photos and then creates a custom work of art that acts like a soothing dream. Fabricated from personal photos and the artist's own photography, the resulting custom artwork is nothing less than transformational. Everything in the final print looks completely real as if all the objects, people and places in the picture were there from the very beginning … only they’ve been deliberately put there by the artist:

  • to evoke new memories, rather than stir up longing and regrets,

  • to give an alternate ending to the past, and

  • to create the illusion of completion or closure

Where does one find a custom collage artist to make personalized healing artwork? So-called personalized sympathy gifts abound, but most are off-the-shelf items that offer engraving of initials or a place to slip in a photo. But for someone who is greatly pained by looking at the photo of a deceased loved one, this really isn't the best option.

But … if you are lucky enough to find a website dedicated to healing artwork or custom memorials, your best bet is checking if there are healing artists mentioned on their Resources or Links pages. One such resource - Art For Your Sake - is my studio. I specialize in custom wishful reality for both celebration and healing; such as custom sympathy gifts or personalized memorial gifts or artistic memorial portraits.

With such a meaningful gift in hand, your thoughtfulness should work wonders.