Many artists settle down in Berlin because life is quite affordable here compared to many other capitals of Europe. Leaving my full time work in Stockholm to pursue my dream of a creative life, where I could develop my ideas of design and illustration, I found myself in this amazing city with its incredible mixture of contemporary and classical art and a history incomparable to most other cities, with traces from all different eras including the Prussian Kingdom, World War II, and GDR times fully visible outside your doorstep!
I could go on and on about the special features of Berlin, and I will surely have reasons to expand on this subject further on… But for now I just wanted to introduce why artists coming here are very good on creating art on a small budget. You don’t need to be fancy in Berlin. You don’t need to have a posh studio, expensive materials or a special arty “look” to be taken seriously. Actually most people here are completely relaxed concerning their appearance, fashion trends and interior design… Well, at least in our neighbourhood, Neukölln, where a lot of young struggling students, designers, and artists mix together with a Turkish population.
When starting out, I also did it on a budget (more in this post) and I have slowly built my studio step by step, being very curious of all the little ways you can get around without having to spend a fortune…
So one thing I’ve discovered in this creative adventure is Photoshop actions… Yes, I know, you probably know a lot more about this than I do, but I tell you, it was a revelation to me! It is magic and once started it’s impossible to stop – it’s so much fun and it takes your photography to a new level. In my case, with my very old and used Canon that refuse to make decent indoor pictures during the dark winter season which is very looong in Germany, not to mention Sweden (!), it turned out to save me! The more I’ve educated myself on the subject I’ve discovered that in addition of just saving your pictures it can also add a consistent feel and look that will help you branding your images for everyone to recognize your style. It is truly an artistic tool in its own right.
But what is an “action”? It’s a recorded work flow of how you use filters etc. to change the quality of a picture. You can modify brightness, exposure, vibrance, saturation, colour levels and much more in Photoshop, along with adding filters to give a certain vintage feel or whatever look you’re after. Instead of going through the same steps over and over again, you can record your favourite ones and create a premade workflow called an action!
Not being a professional photographer, creating those actions goes far beyond my expertise. The good news is that many photographers sell amazing bundles of Photoshop actions for downloading and you can find gorgeous websites for this. But the one I want to share with you, my absolute favourite so far, is the CoffeeShop blog! You have to meet Rita who runs it, a work-at-home mom, who is addicted to photography and creative imagery! She lives with her family, husband and two cute sons, in Texas and runs her blog completely on her spare time (although I suspect it is more of a full-time job now, since it is one of the most popular blogs in this niche). I love reading her funny and personal blogposts and the way she shares bits and pieces from her life with a great portion of humor! Since 2008 she created more than 1500 blogposts mostly filled with Photoshop actions, gorgeous storyboards and frames that she let anyone download for FREE! She’s such an amazing woman, putting all her work out to support creatives all over the world! With every Photoshop action she publishes, she also takes the time to offer a walk-through manual, not leaving anyone in the blue on how to use it! You can download the actions one-by-one for free or support her work by downloading a bundle of actions for a very reasonable cost! In addition she is also a web designer and you can contact her here to get a fabulous looking website!
I admire Rita so much for the time and effort she puts into this, and how ceaselessly she publishes new work every week!! So DON’T MISS this and have a GREAT time exploring new ways of using your Photoshop! Just browsing her incredible webpage will give you a million creative ideas!
All copyrights of the pictures in this post belong to the CoffeeShop blog if not marked by Dot Oddity.