Thursday, January 12, 2012

Subway Art

It was probably close to 2 years ago that I first saw this Pottery Barn picture and was inspired to try and create something with the same type of feel. I loved the ledge shelves, the photo arrangement, and the contrast of the black and white. I was especially inspired by the subway art. I really wanted to make something similar to hang in my living room that had some meaning for my family.

So, I went to my go to design program, PowerPoint. I had Photoshop at the time, but had never really learned how to use it. Let's just say that after a few hours of work, I had created something, but it wasn't quite what I wanted. PowerPoint was just too limited to do what I wanted with the subway art. This is what I was able to create the first go around, but I wanted to be able to manipulate the text more and add an aged, worn-out look to it.

I considered painting and distressing a wood sign to try and get the look I wanted, but had too many other things going on to worry about it. Ana White posted plans for building ledge shelves on her blog, which I was really excited to get started on. (More on that later) That is actually part of the whole creative process that I am continually learning about. Sometimes, there are hang-ups and frustrations that may keep you from completing something. It is okay to have multiple projects going on at once. It is okay to start something new even when you have been working on something else. I was really unable to create the subway art that I wanted to the way that I wanted to do it, so it was time to move onto something that I could make progress on.

Fast forward to the fall of 2011. I had a new baby and wanted to send out birth announcements. I had some free Shutterfly prints and so I needed non-traditional 4x6 sized announcements and really didn't know how to use one of the cute templates they offered to do that. So, after some Google searches, calls to my sister about her Photoshop knowledge I was able to create a birth announcement that I was happy with. That also gave me some confidence that Photoshop really wasn't some big scary program, but that with some patience, and lots of trial and error,  I could use it to create many of the projects that I wanted to.

I was ready to pull out my old subway art project and try it again in Photoshop. I downloaded some new fonts from to help create a washed out look, used some brushes within Photoshop to age the appearance even more, and within about an hour had something that I was ready to display. I printed it at Costco for about $3.00, and after almost two years, finally created something that I was happy with that also had some meaning for my family.  I used dates that had special meaning such as birthdays and anniversaries, as well as places that we have lived.


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