For Found in Adobe Stock, It’s Nice That has commissioned two creatives to explore the world of Adobe Stock, and make a series of works using their individual discoveries. Starting from the same jumping off point, the project follows the journey each creative took as their paths diverged into the strange and wondrous depths of the huge image, video and 3D library, and how they used what they found to make beautiful and hypnotic final pieces.
Rosanna Webster is a London-based collage artist and filmmaker whose work for clients such as Dior, Adidas, Island Records, the V&A and Stella McCartney is dreamy and kaleidoscopic. Starting with fashion portraits and landscape photography, she adds layers of texture, tone and moving image, bringing together a dynamic composition showing the original imagery in a totally new and invigorating way.
“I work across mediums, between collage, photography and film for fashion and advertising clients,” she explains. “I’m often asked to bring movement into stills, or to take simple imagery and create a new context for these, building a digital set and breathing new life into images. I like pairing and pulling together colours, textures, and shapes.” Take Rosanna’s repeated work for Dior, for example, where she has used this process to build an atmosphere around catwalk stills and gifs. For Esprit Dior Tokyo’s show, this meant adding close crops of tactile details or futuristic room shots to channel the sci-fi vibe; whereas for Dior’s Resort Cruise show, a palette of pastels, palm trees, blue skies and soft architectural curves gave the apparel a holiday-inspired context.
For Found in Adobe Stock, the artist began at a fork in the road, so to speak. Given the simple brief to explore the library and make a series of works from her findings, she felt drawn towards two initial routes: “either a free-form playful animation of abstracted pattern and colour, or a series of animated collage portraits… we decided on the latter. I wanted to show the calibre of the portrait assets I found. I also wanted to create work solely from Adobe Stock that felt removed from the preconceived idea of what a stock library may offer – for the work to be sensitive and refined.”
Rosanna began with a fairly general search, adding detail to her descriptions and using the “find similar” function to dig down through the seemingly endless options and find imagery that jumped out to her. Accustomed to sifting through high end fashion imagery, she flicked through the range of assets and photographic styles, looking for shots that “felt elevated, challenging the idea of the standard of photography you might expect to find.” These span stunning and diverse portraits, sunset-hued landscapes and skies, grand architectural columns and arches, floral and botanical motifs, and patterns and textures found in urban and natural environmental photography.
This eclectic bank of imagery was then saved and organised into categorised folders within Adobe Stock, such as “floral and plants” or “sky”. Then Rosanna moved across to Photoshop, where she could access the folders directly via the Library tab. “This allows you to experiment and try things, then once you decide something works and license the image, this is automatically linked and swapped in to the Photoshop composition – it’s a really streamlined way of working.”
The final images feature a combination of still and subtly moving images. “The collages move through various stages, and at some point click into place and feel right. It’s almost like solving a jigsaw backwards, breaking images apart and reassembling these together. I wanted the movement here to be quite subtle, for the gifs to move back and forth almost hypnotically,” Rosanna explains.
Image one uses a photo apparently torn and layered with another, revealing a luscious peony opening and closing its petals. Image two fuses another portrait seamlessly with architectural structures, against a backdrop of desert dunes. Images three and four use black and white portraits overlaid with translucent silhouettes of flowers, the former seemingly flickering in dappled sunlight, the latter adorned with a subtle gradient of colour. With the artist’s signature grainy textures and beautiful saturated colour giving the feel of old film photographs, the overall series has a nostalgic and utopian aesthetic.
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