So I am trying to stretch my creativity and improve my artistic Photoshop skills...

abandoned house challenge - Textures #103 VIEW ON BLACK!
Click on the image to see the credits to the artists of the textures used

There are some really artistic people on flickr who create amazing photo manipulations that don't look...well...manipulated.  I admire the work as art I want to see, own and create as well.  I have been entering challenges in texture groups on Flickr like this one and Ghostworks  Not only am I learning but I am inspired by the textures available from the group which has inspired me to create my own textures you can see on my Flickr for you to use...these are some of my favorites:

bigstrokeswater   crazedpaintedcanvas   guadalajara aged white wall   guadalajara chunky moldy wall

One of my favorite artists is Jamie Heldon who creates imaginative, whimsical digital illustrations with Photoshop.  Here are 2 samples of her work, she also has a website...J Heiden Photo   You just have to look at her work, it is amazing!  The picture I made above for a textures challenge was inspired by her work.

reading is fundamental   sleep tight

The first artist in this type of work that I saw on Flickr has a wonderful old masters painterly quality to her work.  I wish I could show you a sample but it is not available to share so you will have to follow the link HERE  Believe me when I tell you it is a must see!

Now because of her work I was introduced to another generous creative talent whose textures are used by many Photoshop artists...Jerry Jones.  Once I saw his work, I saw that he was recommended by some of the bloggers I love like Rita at the Coffeeshop.  He has some wonderful work of his own but his true talent is creating textures that he offers for FREE! for other people to use in their own works as well as tutorials on how to use them.  You will be inspired by his website as well that also has other fun goodies you will want to learn and use!  Find his website HERE

Old Photo Texture Set   Thistle Applying and Blending Tutorial Promo

Here is one of his works that inspired one of mine for a Flickr texture group competition.  I suppose I love doing these because I cannot paint without making a muddy mess or getting impatient and I can create these, print them on canvas or make greeting cards and other fun things with them.  

Lady Acire   Sarah always dreamed of being a princess...

The last image I created is of my daughter who always wanted to be a princess (especially after finding out that's what her name means)!  Now I am thinking of illustrating a story for her baby about his mama wanting to be a princess but finding out that being a mother to a little prince is better. 

Making these helps me learn skills to use on any kind of photo editing as well as stretches my imagination as well as seeing the world around me in a more creative way.  I hope it affects my photography and the way I will take pictures.  There are many more inspiring artists I hope to share with you in the future.  Who and what hat inspires you?