Tuesday, December 12, 2023

With the ease of antelopes


Now that I've decided to tell you about the process of making my portraits of library workers with their spirit animals, let me tell you about when it goes really well.

Ann, a branch manager at another building who... does stuff here at my branch, was relatively eager to take part in the project and chose an antelope for her animal. The pictures of her, a part of the process that I sometimes race through in mere seconds, went really well. Her expressive personality came through and gave me a lot to work with. Our main theme, after seconds of discussion, was along the lines of "reading to the animal", which, for some reason, is one I end up using a lot when the spirit animal is an ungulate. For some reason reading to an antelope just feels like the most natural thing in the world, whereas with a, I don't know, bat, or, er, praying mantis, cuddling would somehow be more appropriate.

I first generated fake pictures of similar librarians to Ann, in beautiful libraries, reading to antelopes. I filed those away. I opened the pictures of Ann and put antelopes in. They weren't great, but with some fiddling and the successful poses those pictures came together really well.

Honestly I was finished with one picture. The second worked really well too, especially along with the first. But I still kind of wanted to use the "beautiful library" pictures I'd made. So I pulled up a couple of those and meticulously patched Ann in. Those looked great to me too.

I then had to force myself to stop and move on to the next person.

The general idea of my project is to have a portrait per person. But I like to have a spare to choose from, and maybe something in a different style, and then maybe one more if they're not going great, or, frankly, if they are.

And so I end up with four.

One day I may have to choose.

But not yet.

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