Inspiration can come for me in something that's completely and totally a waste of my time. No income is earned, no new clients gained, and I don't think I'd want to add most of this stuff to my real portfolio but Photoshop contests have become a new way for me to experiment with techniques that I'd never thought of using or had occasion to try.
This fake ad, for example, was my first time ever to try colorizing from a black and white photo even though I've been using Photoshop professionally for 10 years. How I managed to go that long without having tried it, I don't know but now I'm hooked. I've picked up alot of ideas just from allowing myself to experiment without having the pressure of a client or project weighing on whatever it is I'm working on.
It's addicting though. Be careful!
My poison of choice at the moment is Fark Photoshop Contests. Here is a very good recent example: Photoshop theme: Muppet movie-poster mash-up. I had no entry in this one, there were too many good ones to attempt jumping in. Here is a collection of my past posts, however.
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