There are so many ways I hone my skills in my business, short courses, seminars, industry nights, networking events, marketing retreats and seeking out other designers for inspiration, but none are quite so exciting as the head swap.
I started out my career as a colour printing specialist at print bureau in Subiaco. I learnt a lot about design just by observing what came by my desk for printing. Amazing work from high end marketing firms and local freelance designers, to the tragic self made work party invitation from Mr Have’a’go, made in Word using Comic Sans and clipart in his half hour lunch break (personally I loved these for their sheer randomness…)
Then came the day that a swimsuit calendar print job landed on my desk. Yes the feature lady was hot, but there was something about her pose that reminded me of one of my colleagues… Having recently been promoted to supervisor, this particular colleague was throwing his weight around, but having been one of us print monkeys only 2 weeks before, I took it upon myself to impose a reality check.
So I dug out some photos from a recent work party and set about find one that had the same angles, lighting etc. and set out to have my revenge.
Being my first attempt, I had basic knowledge of the tools at my disposal and the finished result was passable. I printed off a few copies and stuck one to the aircon piping above his desk. He saw the poster later that day and thought nothing of it. It was only after closer inspection the next day that he noticed that was his head on the body of the bikini model.
But as with many great moments in history, the original has been lost amongst the archives. I have however managed to dig out a few others…
This one was a bit of fun… I figured hey, they’re celebrating a work anniversary together, surely they wouldn’t mind me depicting them having a cuddle so I could layout the invite correctly. And surely they wouldn’t mind if I put an A3 poster of this on the kitchen door of every floor on the building…
Since then, I’ve swapped many heads, every time finding new techniques to blend, add shadow, and adjust skin tones for a near seamless finish. Occasionally the subject of my manipulation sees the results, but for me it’s as much a cathartic release as it is a way to sharpen my skills. I’ve honed them to a point where photo editing for my clients is now an easy process. It is a skill I use daily, and is a profitable part of my business, a skill learnt through having fun, and so it makes my work day fun.
I still do the occasional head swap, but it’s usually swapping my kids faces onto disney cartoon characters for birthday party invitations. I always get a kick out of showing them, their reactions are priceless.
This one is my favourite one to date… My beautiful princess.
Damo is our creative director at Inkandescent, a boutique design studio focused on branding businesses in and around Perth, Western Australia. As specialists in unique branding applications, we strive to dig out your passion for your business, and build your brand around it to attract customers you want to work with.
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WRECK-IT RALPH (Pictured) Diet Cola Mountain in the video game world of Sugar Rush. Copyright 2012 Disney. All Rights Reserved.
WRECK-IT RALPH (Pictured) Vanelope Von-Schweetz. Copyright 2012 Disney. All Rights Reserved.
PETER PAN (pictured) Characters from the original Peter Pan movie. Copyright 1953 Disney. All Rights Reserved.