Arts & crafts, and my sad, embarrassing history with Photoshop.

I do strange things for fun.

In the last few days, when I haven’t been grading or planning for work, I’ve been playing with Photoshop, creating Beware the Hawk tee shirts for my Zazzle store, and then posting the link to my middle-of-the-night artwork to my Facebook page. 

Beware the Hawk

and texting myself, pretending to be one of my characters.

Bad graphic design is how I cheat on writing. I’ve been playing around with Photoshop ever since I got my hands on a copy in college. I still remember trying to figure out layers on random low-res photos of mournful-looking fairies I’d downloaded from the internet.* I may or may not have Photoshopped my own face into that ethereal crowd. Can’t recall whether I did or not.  Unfortunately, my college computer suffered a horrible death and we can ever know for sure. At any rate there is no evidence.

Making tee shirts gives me something creative to do when I’m mired in not-very-creative work. Also, fiddling around with Photoshop doesn’t suck the soul out of me like writing occasionally does. Don’t get me wrong. I love writing. My life feels complete when I’m writing well and often. But I can get very, very involved in it. It can be draining. And sometimes I need to do something else creative for a while; something that doesn’t matter to me so much. Something that I’m not really committed to. Like tee shirts with photos of my couch on them.

I should clarify something, though. I’m not actually trying to sell you folks anything. My posting tee shirt designs is less about trying to make money and more about showing off.

I am basically still a preschooler. These tee shirt designs are my macaroni arts and crafts projects, and I am holding them out as I smile gap-toothedly up at you, intoning the word “seeeeeeeeee?” And when I tire of that, I will bound off to play in the dirt.

It’s the new Play-Doh sculpture.

And that sort of attention-seeking is what the internet is all about.

Also, you never know; someone might want to buy a tee shirt with a photo of my couch on it. If so, who am I to withhold such an item?

*I went through a very unfortunate pixie-and-fairy phase in college, closely followed by a much more unfortunate vampires-and-goth phase. Luckily the two phases flew by in an eight-month blur of candles, heavy eyeliner and bad wardrobe choices.

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