We’re inundated with creativity in this I Made It Contest we’re running to celebrate Maker Month. The number of impressive things people have shared with us that they’ve made with their own hands has completely floored us. There are some seriously creative people out there who are both good at taking photos and great at crafting things — sometimes whole cloth almost out of nothing. Today’s winner is no exception. @_timskinner shared a photo for our contest on Twitter that our judges honed in on.
This level of skill with the human form is something most of us are in awe of, but our judges also liked how he incorporated Pixlr Express into the mix. He’s used one of the stickers from our contest pack and even used one of the paper effects to add some dot texture to the photo. All in all, a superb entry.
As we often do when we’re digging into all these photos people are sharing (an amazing 12,000+ photos so far!), we like to dig into the winners a little bit more. A quick scan of his blog shows us that Tim doesn’t just make beautiful sculptures. He’s made knives and swords and has even published his own sci-fi historical novel. Holy cow. This guy is bursting with creativity. Here’s a few of his other figurative sculptures collected in a collage we made with Pixlr Express:
For his prize, Tim chose a $100 Etsy gift card, which we’re sending up to him in Canada. Tim, we are in awe of all of your creative energy and thank you for sharing your talents with us in this contest. Seriously inspiring to see what you make.
What about you? What do you make? We have one more prize to give away, which we’ll do over the weekend. So get your last minute entries in. All the details on our contest site.
Our I Made It photo contest for May rolls on. Today, we have a very talented winner: Damien Webb. He shared a bunch of entries with us on Flickr, and our judges gravitated toward this one:
What a great talent to take a few handmade things and give some life to a rock. He’s not just good with rocks, though. He makes all kinds of things that are incredibly tiny. For example, the copier he made in this collage of some of our favorites is about an inch-and-a-half wide.
He does, however, make big things, too. Witness this giant GameBoy:
Most of his images are edited simply and let the items themselves shine, although he often adds some vignetting or a little focus here and there. It’s all quite impressive, and we’re happy he shared these great photos with us.
For his prize, Demian chose the Foldio pop-up studio, which he says will be a good fit because he can use it to take photos of his work. Sounds like a perfect choice to us. It also comes with a Joby Gorillapod GripTight Stand, and we’ll be ordering that all up to send up to him in Canada, where he hails from. Excellent job, Damien!
We still have 2 more prizes to give away over the next week. So keep the creative photos coming and tag them for our contest. Questions? Check out all the details on our contest site: imadeitpixlrcontest.com
We’ve got another winner in our “I Made It” photo contest! This is winner #4, which means we still have 3 more prizes to give away. So, if you haven’t entered something neat you’ve made by hand, there is still plenty of time.
This time around our judges couldn’t get enough of this tiny little hamburger. Look at those little red onions! It’s made out of polymer clay, and it’s one of many cute creations by @ricecharms_ on Instagram, who hails from Canada. She used focal blur in Pixlr Express to put a spotlight on this itty-bitty burger.
She’s quite good at making these teensy things. She makes all kinds of food, but she also makes adorable little critters, too. We put together a collage of some of our favorite things she makes using Pixlr Express to give you an idea how talented she is at this.
For her prize, she chose a $100 Etsy gift card, which we’ll be sending along to her up in Canada.
We’ll be giving away the next prizes in the coming days, so keep the creative and cool stuff you’re making coming by tagging it for our contest. Questions? Check out all the details on our contest site: imadeitpixlrcontest.com
Feedback. We get lots of it on our support forum, which we sweep up and give to our team on a regular basis. But sometimes we need very specific feedback about something we’re building, and nothing gets you the kind of specific feedback you need from people who use your products like a good survey.
This is one of those times. We’ve created a survey that we encourage all Pixlr app users to check out. The survey is pretty straightforward, so you probably won’t have any trouble answering the questions it asks. For your time and free-flowing opinion, you’ll be entered to win an iPad Air. You’ll also receive our sincere gratitude (which we admit is probably not as sweet as winning an iPad Air).
Our most recent photo contest to celebrate Maker Month has already turned out to be the largest contest we’ve ever run. We’re completely blown away by the number of amazing entries. Big time! So if you’ve entered this contest — thank you for sharing such amazing stuff.
To keep the contest rolling through the rest of the month, we’re awarding another prize. We’ll do this every 2-3 days. Today’s prize goes to a really neat photo that stood out to our judges. This is an old Pendleton jacket that has been turned into men’s ties.
This kind of up-cycling of old material into something new is one of our favorite things. So much of the things that surround us in our everyday lives just get tossed into a landfill, and we’re always impressed when we see someone take an old thing and make it new again. She used Pixlr Express’s collage feature for her photo, which works quite well.
The maker of these ties is Ashley Dedin from Fargo, North Dakota. We dug down a bit more and found out she has an Etsy store and even a website devoted to this particular sewing skill of taking old thrift-store clothes and turning them into new accessories. Turns out she’s even running a Father’s Day special on her Etsy store, so maybe you can knock that gift out early and get something completely unique for dear old dad.
Thank you, Ashley! You make excellent things, and we’re thrilled to have you sharing them with us and our community. We’re sending you the prize you choose — a $100 Etsy gift certificate — which we know you’ll make good use of.
Plenty of time for everyone else to enter. We still have four more prizes to give away so get your entries in. Read all about the contest on our contest site: imadeitpixlrcontest.com
Our second winner in our I Made It photo contest — Liz Smith from the U.K. — makes a whole lot of things. These illustrated hair clips caught our judges’ eye, and they awarded her a prize in this contest. Great stuff she makes, great use of Pixlr Express effects, and a nice creative way she’s laid this all out. Winner!
Then we went digging into her Instagram profile a bit more. Wow! Liz makes tons of amazing things. First and foremost, she draws these fetching illustrations, which she uses to make jewelry, glasses, tableware, cards, stickers, clothes — a whole bunch of stuff. All of it is rooted in these lovely illustrations. it’s like she’s taken her gift of drawing and just expanded it in as many directions as possible. She even has her own site where she shares all the things she makes.
Liz, thank you for sharing your talents with us for our contest! We’ll be sending you all three of Lumi’s newest kits for printing on fabric (or other surfaces). We love that you chose this prize from the batch because it shows you are a maker who really tries out all kinds of new things. Have fun with it, and let us know what you make!
Are you entered in this contest? We still have 5 more prizes to give out, so tag photos of things you made by hand with both #imadeit and #pixlrcontest hashtags. Read all about it on our contest site if you want help getting started or just want to check out all the prizes.
"I Made It" Winner #1: Jessica's Sculpey Creatures
We have our first winner in our I Made It contest! Jessica Gimarelli (aka @grimm_artist on Instagram) shares an impressive Sculpey clay figurine she made. Jessica tells us she recently started making Sculpey figures like this, and judging by the looks of what she’s been making she’s getting good at this fast. For her prize, Jessica chose the 32GB Eye-Fi mobi SD card. We’ll be sending that out to her today.
We put together a collage of this little guy being built from her Instagram feed.
She has many others that are just as neat. Here’s one that she made. Looks like she popped this into a collage using Pixlr Express:
Just from checking out her Instagram feed, it’s easy to see that Jessica makes all kinds of neat things, including jewelry that she sells on her Etsy store. Jessica, you clearly have a ton of creativity in you, and we thank you for sharing it with us!
We still have 6 more prizes to give away so get in there and show us what you make by hand. We’ll be giving prizes away every other day for the rest of the month. All the details on our contest website.
Time for another Pixlr contest! If you’re not familiar with “Maker Month,” you’re smack dab in the middle of it. This weekend is Maker Faire in our neck of the woods, and everyone we work alongside — Instructables, Sketchbook, 123D, Creative Market — are spending Maker Month celebrating all the people who make neat things with our apps.
We want you to join us by showing us photos of things you make. If you have skills folding origami, knitting scarves, building birdhouses, sewing stuffed animals, making jewelry, 3D printing figurines, weaving baskets, baking cupcakes — making anything by hand — we want to see it.
You can use any Pixlr app to create your photo, but we’ve included a brand-new effects pack in Pixlr Express to make it easier. If you want to use those stickers and effects — go for it. It’s not necessary to use those effects, but we wanted to give you a simple way to slap a sticker on an entry if you want to. And, we wanted to give our users some new overlays, stickers, and borders to play with.
Tag your photos with two tags — #imadeit #pixlrcontest — on Instagram, Twitter, Flickr, Pinterest, Tumblr, or Facebook to be entered to win some neat prizes, including an instant camera, a quadcopter with a camera (!), a roomy SD card, and a DIY camera kit. In addition to photo-friendly prizes, we’ve got all kinds of neat stuff like Etsy gift certificates, portable speakers, and even a very cool terrarium. You’re sure to find something you like.
Who wins? Our judges will choose 7 people to win a prize of their choice from our contest site. We’ll be giving away these prizes every other day, and you can enter as many times as you like. Starting right now!
We’re awash in selfies these days. (In fact, we may have hit peak selfie.) We love the selfie as much as anyone, but there are a lot of not-so-flattering self-portraits out there. We have our eyeballs on photos shared on social media all day long, and when we spot someone who clearly has a gift for self-portraiture, we stand up and take notice. Today, we’re profiling Marey Mercy (her nom de plume as a blogger and Flickr member), who takes very fun, very colorful photos. We chatted with her about self-portraiture and selfies….
You take a lot of very impressive self portraits. Why self-portraits?
First of all, thank you! Portraiture was my primary interest in the beginning, but I wasn’t confident in my ability to take decent photos or direct someone during a shoot, so I used myself as the model to solve that problem. Using myself freed me to learn because I didn’t have to worry about how anything turned out – if the photos were awful I hadn’t disappointed anyone, and if I decided to really mess with the results and go wild with the processing no one got bent out of shape about it. Also, I don’t like working on a schedule so using myself as the model means whenever I’m ready to shoot, I can shoot. I am also a bit of a loner and a homebody, so taking photos has become a pleasant way for me to spend the huge amount of private time I require to remain sane and still be productive. I’ve branched out into other types of photography as well as working with other models since I started, but the self-portraits have remained a nice little ritual in which I indulge quite often. It’s genuinely fun for me and one of my favorite things to do on a Saturday.
I think there’s a difference between selfies and self-portraits, although the term “selfie” seems to have taken over (at least temporarily). Do you see self-portraiture and selfies as fundamentally different?
I think a self-portrait attempts to communicate to the viewer, “This is who I am,” while a selfie just tries to say “Hey,” or, “This is what I’m wearing.” In that respect, my photographs are more in the selfie category than the self-portrait one. I’ve called my photos self-portraits in the past but it’s always felt like a half-truth; sure it’s me, but I’m not doing what a more traditional self-portrait does. I’m not using props or place or setting to communicate aspects of myself to others. In fact, I actually use costumes and makeup and movement to try and transform myself into someone — or something — else. It’s the opposite of a self-portrait. Perhaps I should start calling what I do “unselfies.”
You seem to love to dress up. Do you have a large cache of costumes that you rely on? Is part of your interest in photography based in this love of dressing up and capturing all of that in photos?
I was writing about this on my blog just the other day, that if my photos fit in any category, it’s most likely fashion photography, although I’m not sure it fits there either. I’ve always been one of those people who love clothes and tries to wear them creatively; the makeup and wigs are more recent interests but my current obsession with those things comes from the same part of me that is interested in presentation, transformation, and illusion. I have a huge admiration for drag queens for the same reasons and follow their makeup tutorials and tips more than anything when putting on a face for a shoot. Also, I have several different approaches I might take to a session, and most of those are based on aspects of fashion – a certain color or combination of colors, fabrics and how they flow when the wearer moves about, a wig that makes a real statement, some new makeup technique I want to try. And the way I use lighting tends to mimic that of fashion photography more than anything else, at least from what I can tell. As far as costumes, I’m always looking for interesting vintage pieces I can use in a shoot. I have an entire closet of costumes and I have wigs stashed in bins all over the house, but I don’t like to hang onto too much stuff because I get overwhelmed. So I’m constantly cycling things through - every time I buy something new, I make myself give something away.
Your photos are too good to be amateur. Do you have a background in photography? You must do some post-processing with some of these photos. What kind of editing tools do you use?
Oh dear, this is where it gets tricky. I am completely self-taught, and although I’ve tried to take courses both in a classroom and online, I’m afraid that nothing sticks with me until whatever technique I’m trying to learn is one I’m actually needing to know in the exact moment that I’m learning it. So I am a mish-mash of rudimentary knowledge spread out over a large area. What I mean is, I know a little bit about Photoshop, but only in relation to working with very specific aspects of portraits, then I have another program I use to sharpen a photo and add detail (Snapseed, which for a brief time offered a desktop version of the phone app for twenty bucks; I love it and if I ever lose my copy of it I will die). I use Photo Ninja to work with the photos in RAW, then Paint Shop Pro when I need to use layers and masks, and of course, I use Pixlr for overlays and borders. I’m just a ridiculous mess, really. My workflow is a nightmare. But I love post-processing and am completely addicted to it. When people say they don’t edit their photos I get twitchy, like, how do you live like that? When I was a kid, I used to get my mom’s magazines and use markers to improve all the models in the ads, so I’ve been into this for a really weird, long time. I often say post-processing to me is akin to coloring in coloring books when I was a kid – it’s the adult version of coloring, and that’s why I can spend so many hours doing it that my right arm practically falls off.
Who else — or what else do you usually photograph? Any subjects stand out for you?
I am currently obsessed with aviation photography. It’s funny because I’m known for the portraits and movement stuff, so this new desire to take pictures of jet airplanes throws people who’ve been following me for awhile. But when I think about, it has a lot of what I love about my other work – movement, and the desire to capture it accurately; you’re taking this thing that is moving incredibly fast and stopping it, suspending it in the air. And commercial jets are actually quite colorful and interesting visually. So really not that different from my usual stuff at all.
What would be an ideal photo vacation for you? If you could just go somewhere and leisurely take photos for two weeks, where would you go?
Oooh, the beach right by Sint Martaan Airport! Only, I would clear the beach for two weeks and it would just be me and my camera and some of my lovely friends, with lots of flowy dresses and wigs and airplanes landing directly over our heads. Have you ever seen footage of that beach? The planes fly so low I think you could stick out your tongue and lick those planes as they fly over. Dang, now that it’s in my head, I feel like I have to make that happen.
You seem to have a very creative bent. What else do you do besides take photos?
You know, I cannot state enough what discovering photography has done for my quality of life. I’ve always needed some form of creative outlet, and when I started taking pictures about four years ago I was between interests and very unhappy about it. I was definitely searching for something. I wrote poetry for a long time (about 15 years in fact), then grew bored with it and painted instead for a while. But I was horrible. Now, with a digital camera, there is literally not one reason for me to feel bored or unfulfilled anymore, ever. Perhaps the day will come when it no longer serves me, but I came to it late (I was 41 when I started) so maybe it will be my last creative love before I kick off. So far, any plateau I’ve reached has been easily overcome simply by looking around and discovering something else I’d like to photograph or try – be it a new subject, new lighting, or a new lens. It feels pretty limitless to me.
We’re huge fans of her work, and we definitely would recommend you follow her. She’s got some beautiful photos on Flickr, and she writes about photo shoots, airplanes, her massage therapist, and any other number of things on her blog. Her creative output runs the gamut from poetry to photography, and she even offers some of her work for sale on Getty Images. Marey Mercy, thank you for sharing all this wonderful stuff with us on our blog!
It’s Throwback Thursday (#tbt), which means people are digging up their grade-school picture-day photos and plopping them on Instagram. According to this heady article, posting these nostalgia trip photos makes people feel less lonely and more connected. We’re not so sure about that. We just love seeing people in out-of-fashion turtlenecks and suits with ridiculously large shoulder pads.