Graphic Collage Draft

For this week’s assignment, I have made a graphic collage about my blog’s subject matter: Me. However vain, or even narcissistic that seems is for you to judge. But, please, give me a chance and I can explain!

First off, the primary theme of this blog is me. It’s a decent first blog theme, as I have plenty of stories to share, of which I happen to be the subject matter expert. Whether those are embarrassing adolescent experiences, near death experiences (usually caused by a stupid decision), unrequited or unfulfilled love stories, or simply observations I have made as to the nature of human beings, I have no other wealth of information as great as I do about a subject matter as I have for myself. Perhaps this makes me a typical member of Generation Y. Perhaps it means I lack creativity. Or perhaps, it is an action caused by a lifetime of seeing how conflicts arise between two or more parties of people who lack a mutual understanding for one another.

In such cases, even if both parties know each other very well, communication tends to break down when it becomes apparent that one or more of said parties doesn’t understand him or herself. If one does not understand one’s self, any sort of critique or comment regarding a certain aspect one lacks a personal base knowledge of will erode the discussion and devolve it into an argument. Though an argument is a small scale conflict and may appear to be something unimportant about which to ponder, it represents a failure in one on one discussion, the foundation on which larger conflicts may be settled. Ergo, I think it is imperative to understand myself to both build a better tool box of conflict resolution skills, and improve my interpersonal relationships.

Below is my first draft of the graphic collage project:

collage draft

Now that you have seen it, let’s go over the original art used, the photoshop concepts I employed, and my basic ideas regarding my choice in design and style of the overall collage.


  1. All of the art present is mine. I took the photo of the Marine recruit crawling under the barbed wire in about 2008 or 2009 while I worked as a public affairs specialist at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. Though not a photo of me, it represents a big part of my life and illustrates the kinds of things I was able to do on a regular basis. Though I was a Marine for only four years, it changed me fundamentally, not simply through it’s unique culture, but also due to the fact that it was how I spent my first four years as an adult.


The naked man was a drawing I made a few years ago as an exercise in creating the human figure without any model or photo to copy. It was a proud moment, as for the most part before that specific drawing, I was horrible at capturing human proportions accurately. Visual art has been a part of my life since about 2001, though this drawing was the approximate moment I learned to like my own drawing style. NOTE: I still don’t finish 95% of my drawings and have not done it much in the past two years. The trees and waterfalls within the two naked drawings of me were taken on a hike/camping trip with my best friends. Another important experience. Notice the brown back ground (a color I choose to represent my “center” for reasons that should be obvious) and the inverted colors of the upside down me. This is representative of the dual nature of so many aspects to life. Id and Ego, known self and unknown self, presented self and withheld self, etc.


The photo on the bottom is me at comic-con in about 2009. Though I was still a Marine, it represents my nerdy side, or my childish side. I have loved star wars since about 1996, and since then, I have continued to develop (probably too much) my playful and dorky aspects.


  1. In the Marine photo on the upper left, I increased the contrast and darkened the photo a bit, as the dust tended to blend everything together. I then put a layer of black and white over the young recruit and ensured his emphasis by showing the modern colors of his uniform and brought attention to his exceptionally bright brown eyes by erasing the black and white layer over those.


For the drawings, I erased all but the harder shaded spots so they would reveal a transparent background, increased their contrast as well so the darker shades would pop, and slid the waterfall into him. I flipped, reversed, and inverted the purple one as part of my theme. I also made the green in the waterfall photo a bit more vibrant so that it would more accurately reflect the way that hike felt. Green is also my favorite color (just barely in front of red– my two personality colors, surprisingly.)


And the photo of me at comic con was a more subtle change. I blurred out everything but my hand and face, cropped it to better fit into the rule of thirds, and fiddled around with the levels to give it a bit more of that bright lit show-room floor look.


  1. Lastly, the theme being duality, things are very split here, yet also balanced. White and black split by a neutral color. Green and it’s odd inverse pinkish purple, top and bottom. Marine life, a masculine and aggressive and structured way of thought juxtaposed by nerd/fun life, childish and so lacking in structure, it’s almost sick! (I am kidding)

Then there are the two mes, looking at my various aspects. No one side is dominant here, though I suppose one could argue my fun hike would be cause for saying the contrary. Yes, it was fun, but it was an 11 mile hike into the woods where no one was. Fun, lovely, difficult, dangerous, and semi structured–as there are a few things that must be done if you want to live through the journey 😉 Jokes aside, these things are seen at my core, as it represents a portion of the emotional, intellectual, and cultural foundation on which I build from. Also, I just didn’t have any cool photos of my family to put in there.


8 thoughts on “Graphic Collage Draft”

  1. I really like your design for this collage, and the way that it is organized. It’s nicely symmetrical and the contrast is cool to look at. I also really like how you were able to blend the picture of the waterfall into your drawing, it made for a really cool effect. However, I would say that you could potentially add more photos in your collage, as the top right and bottom left corners are empty. I get that you were trying to convey that you have dual sides to your personality, but perhaps you could add more photos to show those sides of your personality more. It would help to tell more of a story, which is something else that could be worked on. Other than that, I thought you did an excellent job showing your skills in photoshop and knowledge in photo composition, especially with the flipped image of the naked man drawing.


  2. Wow, yet again my group blows me out of the water. I love how creative your collage is. It brings a lot of different ideas to the table, and they flow smoothly throughout your collage. I really like what you did with the Marine, by making everything black & white, and the Marine in color. That was interesting to me, and it drew my eye first to the Marine, then to the rest of your collage. It shows how important that is to you. The only couple things I would tweak (even though its already so good) is how blurred your drawing is… I want to see the detail! I love how you put in the picture from the hike, but it would be awesome to see more of your drawing. I think you could do both of those and still get your point across, without it being blurred. I was quite interested by the picture and how you incorporated it, so seeing some detail would be cool. Another thing I would do is maybe condense the images a bit… There’s a lot of empty space. I love the idea of the black and white, but it makes me feel like something should be right above/below your pictures. That’s all I could think to do for your collage, its so interesting and very well thought out, and I can’t wait to check out your final draft.


    1. I can’t comment on your posts, but I like your improvements from rough to final. Lot’s of improvement: Added photos, showed your abilities via alterations, and framed the BIG ASS “WSU” quite well.


  3. Paul,

    I really enjoy the way that you laid out your collage, especially because your pictures vary in style and variety so much. You did an excellent job of getting them all to work together to produce a collage that has its own style yet supports the topic of you blog. The way that you edited the picture of the marine is very impressive and I also like how you included a picture of yourself to provide a view of whose blog it is. Plus you added your own artwork into the collage which is a really cool touch. One improvement that I think that you could make to your collage is throw in one more picture to fill a bit of the empty space in the upper right, and lower left corners. This would just provide a bit more action for your collage. A final correction that I think that you could make is to just make the corner pictures a little bit larger so that you can see them a little bit better, otherwise great job!


  4. Matt,

    Overall, your collage is very unique and creative. I love that you took the time to edit each image and add a personal touch to them. There are so many different aspects to this collage that it keeps your mind engaged in what you are looking at. I love that you used your own personal art and photos in this project, it makes it more personal. After reading the explanation as to why you chose these photos, I had a much better understanding of what exactly was going on. For your final draft, it would be cool to see you display this double-personality story somehow through your photos. Maybe add a headshot of you and place it in the middle, slice it down the center, and edit each side accordingly. This is just an idea. Overall, your collage looks great, keep up the good work.

    Samantha Brown


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