If you thought that imagination wanes as you get older, you haven't seen these photos by Joel Robison. Using a combination of cardboard cut-outs and Photoshop, Joel takes some of our favorite Muppets and Disney characters and puts own his, unique spin on them. More than anything, his photos will make you smile and remember those Saturday mornings when you used to rush downstairs in your PJs, grabbing a bowl of milk and some cereal as you plopped down in front of the tv. I was able to get in touch with Joel to ask him about his creative process. Read that short interview, below.
I noticed that you use a lot of cardboard cut-outs. How did you develop that style? I've always been a really hands on person and I've always enjoyed creating things out of everyday projects. When I started to get into photography and most recently when I started a 365 self-portrait a day challenge I found myself coming up with ideas that needed specific props. Instead of buying them I thought it would be much easier to make them. All I need is a cardboard box, some paints and I'm pretty much set! I really enjoy making the props as they benefit both the photography side and the artistic/painting side. What's your favorite cardboard piece and why? Wow, that's a difficult question to answer! I have a whole collection currently sitting in my office and I like to display some of my favourites to cheer me up or give me inspiration. I would have to say that my favourite cardboard creation would have to be the cardboard Wall-e that I made for a photo last year. It was the most labour intensive cardboard piece and involved several different pieces all together and it's quite large when it's all attached. He's one of my favourite animated characters and I like to see this giant robot greet me when I come in the house! How did you learn Photoshop and how much time do you spend in post-process? I learned Photoshop mainly by trial and error. I'm entirely self-taught and either play around until I get the results that I'm looking for, or I look up tutorials online to help give me some techniques or tips. I really enjoy learning different methods and incorporating different styles into my work and that's why I love Photoshop because it allows me to try new things. Some photos take quite a bit more processing, like photo manipulations where it's all different photos merged together to make one cohesive manipulation. I tend to flip-flop between those types of images and ones that require a little less processing. I really enjoy taking a photo and then seeing where I can take it through post-processing. Some may argue that it makes it less photography and more digital art but I think it's a happy medium incorporating both techniques to create an image. You've said you admire other Flickr photographers. Can you name a few? Flickr is an amazing community and such a wonderful opportunity to network and build a really supportive and inspiring group of friends. I've been lucky to have met some really incredible artists through Flickr and their work certainly motivates me to create the best that I can. Artists like Dracorubio, Zack Ahern, Mattijn, Alibubba, Superpipo2010, SheWasAnouk, Emily Christine and so many more have influenced me and inspired me to develop my style and create images that I'm really proud of. I'm really fortunate to be able to call so many amazing artists friends and I'm quite thankful that there is a place like Flickr to allow people to connect and share their work. Can you share with us some websites you go to for creative inspiration? I really enjoy DeviantArt as another forum for art and for exploring what people are creating, sometimes I see an image there and it sparks a new train of thought in my brain and helps me to come up with fresh ideas. I also really like Tumblr for the same reason, I'm able to browse through different mediums and styles and quite often it creates some ideas in my head. Thanks for sharing your work with us, Joel. We love your nostalgic and sweet creations! Joel Robison