Confidence Overdrive


I made this with my cockiness in mind. While I do feel confident in myself, on rare occasions I become so confident that it gets the best of me, giving off the impression that I’m arrogant and hard to work with. I forget the repercussions momentarily and boast my ability (usually through my actions) until I “trip and fall”. It throws me off my game, embarrases me, and forces my cockiness to revert back to reasonable confidence after I get over the embarrassment. I represent myself being overly confident by making a colossal version of myself with raging, out of control flames that light my surroundings ablaze. The regular sized version of me represents my sense of reason trying to find a way to knock down my ego trip. The water and my signature trident further emphasizes the “regular” me since I’m well known for making art that’s primarily aquatic. This photo is similar to (and mildly inspired by) the encounter between the X-Men and Dark Phoenix. The song Ritual by SHARDEM, PULSE, and SOJHI came to mind when making this because its bassy instrumental make up sounds like a vs. battle to me, and the dark tone gives it a serious, apocalyptic vibe.


The Flare Up


I made this edit to personify my confidence. To me, the fire element can represent bravery, fierceness and influence. To match the flames, I put on a cold shoulder top (I know, ironic) I found in fashion nova. I rarely wear this top because it’s pretty difficult to put on and take off. I have to be real careful to avoid tearing it. Anyway, this is the first part of an arc I want to do. I currently have two parts, and will begin working on part 3 after this piece. I put a decent amount of flames in this photo to show that I’m in my early stages of confidence. My fire is strong, but balanced. It ignited after going through a spiritual experience when I turned 15, and realizing a variety of things on how society works at 18. This allowed me to destroy my mental (and some social) barriers to become who I am today. As a result, I became fearless, and no one could contain the fire. The next part takes a slightly darker turn, so next Friday I’ll talk about how these flames can become too much for a person.

The Harp Twins: Burning Tempest Harp (Fire and Water)


Ok, so I’ve been holding back on my efforts as a photo manipulator. The last few edits I wrote about needed little effort from me, since I didn’t need to add much in the first place. But THIS (Not the first image, the second and third) THIS is the result of me putting my soul and effort. It took me over 3 hours to make, and it was mostly due to me playing around with the lighting of the harp and the twins (me and me, lol) to try and match it as close to the original image of snowy mountains during a sunset as possible. For this post I thought it would be great to remake an old edit I made around 2 years ago, considering my fro grew since then, my style has slightly evolved, and I learned more about manipulating photos using my phone. As I mentioned before, fire in my ideology can represent one’s confidence. Water in my eyes represents beauty and transparency, also known as truth. I went with transparency because it’s more literal to the element itself, and because water can be a beautiful sight when the circumstances are right. But anyway, the inspiration behind the Harp Twins, aside from my interpretation of fire and water, comes from my fascination with twins. I’ve always wanted to be a twin, or have twin daughters or sons. And knowing that I can’t be a twin (for obvious reasons), I decided to get creative, strike two poses, and use both photos in one art piece. The reason I use a harp in this edit is because I played this game called Brave Frontier. And there was this character called Archangel Aurelia. Her divine appearance drew me to use her in battle almost every time. And her harp drew me to her even more. She starts off as just Aurelia, evolving into Elegant Aurelia (her harp is exactly what’s in the photos in Elegant form, except it’s gold), then Statuesque Aurelia, and finally Archangel Aurelia. I was so inspired by her design and the fact that she really floats with that giant harp in her hands that I had to portray myself doing the same. I also love futuristic looking weapons, instruments and almost anything, so the harp’s design gave me so much life. Because I wanted to add my own style to the harp, I changed it’s hue using picsart after erasing Aurelia off the harp. I recently learned that when using picsart on a transparent image, it’ll stay transparent, no matter what edits you make to it. This had me excited because I didn’t have to erase the black background that appears when using pixlr. The difference can be seen in the harp in the first image, as it has a few dark dots where it’s strings are, and the harp in the second and third image, where the strings have no dark spots and the sparkles that it originally had can be seen clearer. Aside from Aurelia, I’ve always liked the sound of harps and plan to learn how to play it in the future for fun, and for photos (of course!). Nothing’s better than having an actual harp with your touch of elements or hue changes to it! The elements in all three photos were also inspired by the idea of having a harp or a musical instrument as a weapon. When the twins play their harp (which I hued blue and orange to match their elements), water and fire energy forms and can be launched like an arrow that’s launched from a bow. Basically, strumming the harp would launch flames and torrents of water. I didn’t add the launched effects to the photo because there’s already a lot going on in the background, so I also learned that sometimes, less is more. The reason these edits took so long to make is because I was spending time re-positioning both transparent photos of me to be closer or farther, as well as tilted a certain way so that when I add the harp it’ll be positioned the right way to make it look like both of me are playing the harp. Then I figured out that the best way to make the photos of me look closest to the lighting of the image I put myself in was to upload the same background again and positioning it to almost match the background, and then erasing everything off except the harp area and the photos of me. Fading the second image by choosing a blending filter (as well ass lowering it’s opacity) makes it much closer to the right lighting. The concept behind the image as a whole stems from the ideology that being confident brings out the beauty in someone, and vice-versa. I thought “what better way to represent that ideology by making two of myself and show us working together as a team?”.

Credit to: For the second photo’s background image.

Also to Neil Omacharan, who took my photos.

All other backgrounds were found via google search.

Flames of Conviction and Disaster


The Flames of Conviction and Disaster is an art piece inspired by Phoenix, a cosmic fire energy that possessed and eventually became one with Jean Grey of the X-Men, and Dark Phoenix, a state of the phoenix force in which it becomes corrupt with power and an infinite hunger for energy. The title of my photo referenced when Jean first became Phoenix, and when she eventually lost control of the cosmic entity, which caused it to become corrupt with the sensations it experienced as her. For this edit, I took a transparent image of fire that’s shaped somewhat like a wing, and positioned it onto the original image on my right as well as change the filter of it to better blend with my original photo. I then flipped the photo and added the same transparent image on to my left before flipping it back to it’s original direction. I also downloaded a transparent image of a flame shaped like a round explosion, and used it as my eyes. For the first image (Left), I shrunk and positioned the round flame where my eyeball would be, erased the entire thing once it’s positioned, and colored along my dark brown eyes, leaving enough of my real eye color on the outer rim of my eyeball to make it look like a my eyes are a fiery gold with dark brown (or black) rings in the outer part. Then I changed the opacity in order to make the color blend better with the rest of me. I also downloaded a transparent image of a dot (you can also search the period punctuation mark and find the same results), and shrunk and positioned it in the middle of my now fiery gold eye. It took me a few re positions since I used my phone app (where I make all my digital art) to do so. I did the same process for my other eye before moving on to the “eye makeup”. For the eye makeup I downloaded a transparent image of a pair of black wing silhouettes, because when you don’t do make up, you gotta be mad extra and photoshop it on yourself ;;D. I positioned it just under my eye and erased the wing that wasn’t under my eye (since they made an obtuse V shape). I then uploaded the same image and repeated the process, but with the wing facing the opposite side in order for the makeup to be as symmetrical as possible. Afterwards I changed the opacity of the wings slightly to make it seem like it’s actually applied rather than photo shopped and changed it’s filtering to further blend it in with my skin. Once it’s blended enough, I saved the photo to my camera roll and uploaded it into a different art app. Using the second app I changed the filter of the overall photo to a sunny ambiance, and changed the filter of that filter in order to better blend it with the photo. The final step was adding my personal symbol to mark my creation. I did the same process for the second photo (right), but left the less visible part unedited because a lock of my hair was blocking it and I like the idea of asymmetry in certain photos. The left image symbolizes the heroic feeling one can get when they’re skilled at certain things. I call that confidence the Flames of Conviction. The right represents the heroic feeling turned to a defeated feeling as a result of one letting their talent get to their heads, thus corrupting them with overconfidence. This overconfidence eventually leads to defeat, causing the said person to become very angry, believing that they weren’t meant to lose or slip up and causing them to act irrationally. This fire, the Flames of Disaster, can hurt not only the people around them, but themselves too. One can have the fire (confidence) to do what they love, but they need to learn to control it and stay humble to avoid situations that lead the loss of control of that fire, and letting it convert to rage.

Flames of Confidence



The flames of confidence. They are what appeared upon my death. My death as an insecure person, desperately trying to disappear with the crowd around me. My death as as the one who had to face the reality of their true passions for other men. My death as someone who believed there was only one way to be in a relationship. These very flames transform me again and again. The first time I died one night in 2011, I was reborn into a man, now sure of his sexuality. The second time, I died in 2013, and was reborn into an experimental person, now accepting his feminine side and allowing it to be a part of his masculinity. The third time, I died as an amateur in my style, and was reborn with more secure tastes in clothing. With every “death” I go through, my rebirth brings me back stronger, with new viewpoints and abilities. I died not too long ago in 2017, and came back with a new view on relationships and how to better manage the dilemmas that are presented to me. Of course I can’t say what I’ve learned, considering that not everyone goes through the same situations. But if anyone were to speak to me about what they go through, they’d get similar, but not the same info. I modify it to their situation to avoid close-minded advice. But anywho, back to these flames. For this image, I got four different transparent images of the fire element. I took the original photo of me striking a pose mid air by setting my phone’s camera on timer, which automatically took burst pictures in order for me to pick out the best pose. I then kept the image the same, but added and positioned the fire images in a way that makes me look like I have fire wings spreading from my body.  added another ball-shaped flame over me to make it look like I’m about to make the flames burst all round me. I also used the fire ring image, increased its size, and positioned it around me to make it look like I’m causing a heatwave, which is a symbol of my confidence influencing others. Finally, I added the sunny filter to change the lighting of the entire piece so it looks more authentic. As usual, I put my personal symbol to let viewers know that I created the image. All of my transparent images were found on google images. From my point of view, the elements each represent a certain characteristic. I also see the elements more than just water, fire, earth and air. I see them as more specific kinds, as well as more varied kinds (because pokemon inspired me, so I see water, ice, steel, and electric as their own elements). The final piece is also inspired by Phoenix (Jean Grey), and the Phoenix five (Cyclops, Emma Frost, Magik, Colossus, and Namor). I found out about marvel characters such as these in 2014, and became inspired by their heroic art ever since. I’ve also always loved the idea of me being possessed by the cosmic flames known as the phoenix force, mostly because of the cool poses and abilities. My dash of heroic characteristics were inspired by marvel heroes and villains alike. The image I made can be loosely connected with my natural body heat, because I heat up fast and am more resistant to the cold than many people I know. And because I’m confident, it along with my warm body connects to the image I made as well. For my next post I want to play more with fire, and symbolize the consequences of too much confidence, giving myself a more “corrupt with power” image where I strike a pose that looks like I’m losing control while my flames run wild, hurting everyone around me. I’m not usually the overly cocky type, but I, like everyone else, have my days where I’m hyped up to the point where I have too much confidence.