JoJo “Small She” Guevara

Creating Creativity

As an artist/creator living in one of the most influential cities in the world, the goal of standing out and being innovative is a constant task. It’s no piece of cake to find your voice or your own story and to produce unique, outstanding, art constantly. When you do create something that is truly your own, there’s nothing like that feeling of individual accomplishment.

However, the reality is that it’s sometimes challenging to be creative.

There are formulas, or “trends,” that many people use to attain a guaranteed positive reaction or immediate acceptance. I find that to be boring.

As an artist, our job and passion is to find new ways to inspire, sparking the curiosity in others. So often, we are afraid to be different or try anything new because we aren’t sure what others might think, or we don’t have what we consider “the right resources” to produce the best content. Again….boring. There are so many amazing and magical things one can create with the bare minimum.

Here’s a raw photo that I captured of my ridiculously talented friend Rawny “Dvvsk” Sasser.

TIPS: To capture fast moving objects or movement in a photo, make sure your shutter speed is high. It will darken your image by doing so, which can be balanced out by adjusting your ISO and aperture.

He needed photos for a magazine feature he was invited to do, and he asked me to be the photographer. I do not consider myself a photographer, nor is it the career path I’m trying to go down. However, I know enough about cameras and how to use them that I can take a decent photo – it’s something I simply enjoy doing for fun.

I shot this on my Canon 7D (not an outrageously fancy camera, but it can capture pretty cool images.) We didn’t have any lighting besides the very bright sun, and we didn’t have a studio or a breathtaking location; we had the side of his house way out in the middle of Sylmar.

Take a look at his outfit by the way. We had no wardrobe or stylist, no hair and makeup on set. Dvvsk used materials he had in his home to create this unique look, which he is KNOWN for, and you can check out all of his incredible art! (IG @dvvsk_)

There are a million different editing programs one can use, and with this industry becoming more and more saturated with creators, it’s nearly impossible to try and find the best one.

As a creative, finding software that allows me to change my art into something spectacular can be hard, I mean where do you even begin?

I can honestly say, Cyberlink’s PhotoDirector has been one of the coolest photo editors I’ve ever used. After uploading my raw picture into the program, I started to fix the basics, such as color and exposure. This edit only has a few minor changes, but these changes have helped to transform the image entirely.

TIP: To bring out the color in your image, try higher saturation and contrast. You can also adjust the exposure, mid-tones, and shadows until you find the right composition. Side note: you should want your white and black colors to be at their truest form— no crushing shadows or peaking highlights (unless of course that’s what you want, then by all means crush and peak to your heart’s content!)

Here’s the cool part: turning your creation into something completely different than what it used to be.

TIP: When trying to find the right filter or effect, I find it best to literally go through all them until you find the one that YELLS at you. You can also adjust the intensity of the filter by determining how you want it to look on your image. CyberLink PhotoDirector also gives you the option to use colors that come with the filter. You can also use colors that are already in your image. (This image used original colors with an intensity level of about 70.)

Again, all of this took less than 10 minutes and was done in one single program: CyberLink PhotoDirector.

The image used one of many different filters and image transfers that already came with the software. (There’s plenty more you can purchase and download as well).

All I did was go through the list until I found one that I loved. I found this particular one under the “oil paint” selection, and simply adjusted the intensity down a bit, and wallah! – A unique/one of a kind image.

It’s not about how you can make your work look like everyone else’s, but rather it should be about finding out how you can best express your work as the individual artist that you are. Don’t ever be afraid to try something new, especially if it can expand your imagination. So, get out there with what you have and create your art.