I am a thief. I have been asked numerous times where I get the art for Datiko’s Haberdashery. We’ll, I’ve stolen most of it.
My interest in theft sprang from my high school days as I experimented with photography, especially black & white photography. A fair amount of time was spent trying to duplicate the grainy texture I saw on the album cover of the Ramones' 1977 album “Rocket to Russia”.
On the album cover, the band poses for the photograph standing in front of a brick wall. They are dressed, as we’d come to expect, in tattered blues jeans (with holes), t-shirts, and leather jackets. They are defiant, confident, and grainy. The album cover is perfect mix of black, white, and everything in between with name of the group and the album name in pink letters. I loved this album cover and much of my B&W photography was spent stealing this effect through my own grainy B&W photographs.
I’ve stolen from The Wall Street Journal. I love the Journal’s hedcuts (an abbreviation for headline cut) or stipple portraits. It is the WSJ’s version of the grainy B&W photograph. In fact, these portraits begin with photographs and are translated, through hours of painstaking work (by an artist), to create the image you see. This looks like a lot of work and it requires more skills than I have. (You can see how they are created here: http://www.wsj.com/video/how-wsj-stipple-drawings-are-made/91955BD8-9F31-4E50-AEF1-26A61B3AA2FB.html)
I’ve stolen from Sarah Cooper. Her blog post “I Don’t Know How to Draw (And You Can, Too)” explains how she produces the art for her website, The Cooper Review (https://thecooperreview.com/how-to-draw/). I liked her idea and I found the results appealing but the technique does require drawing or, at least, tracing, and I thought this might still be beyond my reach. Besides she uses a tablet device and I gave my tablet away. (I did not want to ask for it back or have to buy another one.)
For Datiko’s Haberdashery I wanted drawings which looked like some convergence of the cover of “Rocket to Russia” and the stipple portraits of the WSJ. And I wanted to be able to create them myself like Sarah Cooper creates her art. Since my drawing ability is limited to third grade sketches, I thought there has got to be a easier way to achieve this effect.
I found an article discussing various photo editing applications. I interviewed eight applications ranging in price from free to $4.99. Eureka! Sparing no expense, I chose Photosketcher at $4.99.
I am committed to using only my own photographs for Datiko’s Haberdashery, no stock images. And, for now, I think I’ve found a way. All the feedback from my readers has been curiously positive. So the art is mine but it is based on forty plus years of chronic thievery from multiple victims. As such, I am wanted in at least two States and I will likely be incarcerated by Christmas. I can only hope my mugshot will be a grainy B&W photograph or a stipple portrait.