Creating realistic Photoshop shadows take time

This issue of The Creative Ones, we have an instagram artist called @nogar007. His Photoshop art has been featured on @launchdsigns several times. Because of his creative animal composites, his overall creative ideas and how he executes his ideas we had to pick his brain a bit and see how he creates these modern day masterpices..

Follow along as we chat with the always creative and talented @nogar007.

How long have you been using Adobe Photoshop to edit?

I’ve been using Photoshop for the past 9 years. I began editing with Photoshop Cs4 in 2010 and then moved on to Cs6 (which I use currently).

Photoshop art
The lost diver.

How did you get into digital arts?

I was always interested in art, and photography so when I looked at others work, I was impressed with what they could create. I started to research the photographers and artists that I liked to see how they created their work and I became obsessed with the digital art realm. Ever since then I have devoted my time and energy to learning the art form and perfecting my skills.

What inspires you to create?

The drive to make a better composite than the one I made yesterday. I enjoy challenging myself to create something I never did before and to learn from the experience.

Who are some of the creative artists on Instagram that inspires you?

There are many artists that inspire me but if I were to choose Instagram only, I’d say @erik.joh my buddy @truthbynature also @nois7 @visualsofjulius @art.side @j.diegoph @marcozagara @andy.okay @arts.gabriel and @the_life_of_aivax. These are a few of the people that I enjoy seeing their work and there are many more that I look up to for inspiration.

With Instagram being so saturated with talent right now, how are you
able to stay unique and fresh?

I try to find other avenues for inspiration. I read books and sketch ideas that come to me in a certain moment. Also, I try to get away from all the digital noise and think about concepts that I want to create.

How do you educate yourself and keep learning?

Youtube videos and tutorials. Sometimes I see an effect or concept I like so I try to figure out how I can recreate that in my style, and it becomes a great learning experience.

In your opinion, what makes a good photoshop art/composite?

I believe the best composites are the ones that look realistic. Like you know the giant elephant in the scene is not real, but the lighting and perspective are spot on that it makes you question if it’s real or not.

What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started editing using

How to create realistic shadows. This may seem like simple thing but shadows for me are hard to make because I want them to look as real as possible. I go so far as to observe how shadows look in the real world and how they interact with the objects and space around them.

Do you use Adobe Lightroom? If so for what specific purpose?

I do use Lightroom and for two reasons. One is to edit RAW images and prepare them for final editing in Photoshop. Second is to do final color correction and add finishing touches after Photoshop. It may seem confusing but it works for me.

Take us through your workflow from beginning a project to posting it
on instagram?

I start with an idea that I either sketched or saw an image that inspired me to create something out of it. Then I go about choosing a few other images that would fit the scene and start compositing them. Once everything lines up and perspective looks right, I add some final adjustments, and color correction and it’s done. The process is easy on paper but when it comes to doing it takes time and some ideas took me months to finish starting from initial idea to final concept.

What do you hope to achieve from posting on instagram? Are you just  posting for the fun of editing or are you hoping to use your instagram gallery as a portfolio for bigger opportunities?

I’m using my Instagram page as a portfolio because I only post my best work on there. In doing so I hope that some brands might like what I create and that can lead to some serious work. I also use it to post my work and get feedback from others which I find very helpful.

I know from experience that photoshop art files can take up  lots of space on a computers hard drive, how do you back up your original work?

I have backups of backups of backups. I archive my work on a hard drive and cloud storage. I’ve learned from past experiences to do so or risk losing all my work (something that has happened to me before).

How important is getting likes and comments vs just posting as an artistic expression?

For me likes aren’t that important. I use them as metrics to gauge what is popular and what is not. I’ve learned not to get caught up in the whole “the algorithm hates me because I get less likes” thing because that is not why I share my Photoshop art. For me comments are more important as I can get some feedback from people about my work or suggestions on what I should create next. In the end the numbers don’t matter that much because they have no real-world value to me personally.

If there wasn’t an Instagram, where would you showcase your work?

I would showcase my Photoshop art on any of the portfolio sites like Deviantart, Artstation, 500px. Maybe even create my own website and show my work there.

Have you gotten any financial opportunities because of Instagram?

A couple but it wasn’t anything like the numbers most Instagram Influencers show off. I believe it’s possible to make money through Instagram as a digital artist, but you’ll have to work hard at it and sometimes get paid less then what you’re worth.

Do you think that instagram has helped or hurt digital artists?

In my opinion, I think it has helped digital artists a good amount. There isn’t any other art related platform that is on a scale of Instagram. You can post work that can appeal to artists and non-artists alike. There are people from around the world that will follow your work and interact with you. You can also sell your prints or courses and make a good amount of money doing just that. The only negative thing about Instagram are the negative effects it has on your mental state which is a serious problem these days. The more time people spend on there the less confident they feel about themselves or their work.

What State/Country do you live in?

I live in Sacramento, California.

Is there anything else that you would like your followers to know about you?

I’m always up for helping others in their work as well. If you have a question or need advice on how to edit an image a certain way hit me up in the DMs and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.