October 31, 2014

Annual Scary Collage: Paranoia

I couldn't think of one individual person right now who's notably scary. Instead, it's the pervasive atmosphere of paranoia right now - in large part thanks to the media, both social and mainstream - that's scaring me. This paranoia creeps into the minds of otherwise normal people, turning them  irrational, unpredictable, and sometimes dangerous.

As always, I did an advanced search on Flickr for Creative Commons-licensed photos using the word "paranoia." I got a lot of great results, but ended up using only three.

This photo of a (Swedish?) report from Anders Samberg:


This photo from a dance called "Paranoia" from Vivadança Festival Internacional:


And this photo of a peacock feather from Jordi Cucurull:


I tried to make the peacock feather into a set of creepy, inhuman eyes. I used the Sketch: Graphic Pen filter to make them look like they're on a screen or in a hologram. I used the wave filter on different parts of the image and layered them with layer masks of varying sizes to make it look like the electronic interference is spilling out of the "eyes" onto the people.

I had a lot of fun working with the text. I used the Distort: Spherize filter on one layer of text, then made another layer with larger text flipped around backwards to make the letters less recognizable.

At one point while working with this collage, I had to completely stop and start over. That's always a hard thing to do with any piece of art. If your original vision isn't working out, do you keep pushing or abandon it? I ended up backtracking almost to the beginning and heading in a completely different direction, letting the medium guide my vision instead of trying to forcibly create the image I had in my head. I'm glad I was willing to trash hours of work and start over. I think the resulting collage is exactly the sort of creepy, dystopian image I had in mind.

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