I have often pondered an autobiography. In fact, I have an alert that pops up on my phone every Saturday morning to remind me to start writing it. TBH, it’s been there for about five years now. But let’s not talk about that.
I’ve lived a long and sometimes interesting life. Done many things along the way. Including raising kids, moving countries, having zero money and having lots of it. I’ve built empires and watched others fall. I’ve been from the Top of the world to the Bottom and back, and banged my shins on every rung of the ladder along the way. In both directions. In short there have been many highs and lows. If one single word could best encompass my life to date, I think ‘discombobulated’ might be that word.
I really like that word.
I also like to use myself as a model, simply because I don’t have to pay anyone. I can get the exact pose, setting, and lighting I want for the desired outcome. I can do anything I want to the image without upsetting anyone, plus I have an excuse to break out the camera gear and set up a shoot for fun. Which is a very refreshing change.
The image I used as a starting point for ‘Discombobulated’ began life as a self-portrait taken at the top of our stairs. Some may recognize it from my social media profiles. I wanted to do something creative, and felt this image was perfect. So I took it into Photoshop.
First thing I did was caricature myself. I doubled the size of the head. Made the eyes double that. Pinched the nose, enlarged the ears: I look like Gollum on a good day. Then, I worked on adding a hand-drawn cartoon effect. This, I felt, reflected the look of a bored man trying to make sense of the nonsense of his life. Which is me to a ‘T’.
Once happy with that look I wanted to enhance the ‘discombobulated’ concept further, so I worked on creating a disintegration effect. I think that the effect adds a finishing touch which pulls the whole design together nicely.
And that, without going into specifics of how I did everything (though I do teach Photoshop to anyone that wants to learn it, contact me HERE) was that. I added some titles and author name, a simple graphic styling, and here we have the finished item: The mockup book cover for my upcoming autobiography, Discombobulated.
This is a perfect example of how the creative process begins with a concept. The word was floating around my head. I wanted to visualize it, make it real. As my own target audience, this is the concept that worked best for me. So I pulled together the elements I needed. And did it. From a working title to a complete concept book cover in an enjoyable afternoon. Cool.
Now, I just have to write the book.