Great photography is all well and good. But some photographers — perhaps tired of creating the same landscapes as everyone else, the same portraits as everyone else — are now pushing their work further … and creating compositions truly fit for fine art canvas.
This not only makes them more valuable to their clients and able to command higher prices for their unique work, but it also opens up to them a wide imaginative world: one without boundaries, in which they can express whatever artistic visions they wish.
In perusing the pages of an exciting new magazine titled Living the Photo Artistic Life (which just this month saw its fourth issue released), we came across one amazing image after another. Each image originated with a photo, but then … became something more.
The originator of the magazine (and its editor) is the acclaimed international Photoshop instructor Sebastian Michaels. And the work featured is entirely that of his students. A number of these students are now active professional artists. Many of them are also professional photographers, where this new artistic pursuit is as much a way of expanding their portfolio options as it is a means of satisfying a need for deep, personal expression.
We’ve selected 21 works that particularly caught our eyes, and we are arranging them here in a general way, from the more photographic to the more artistic.
Enjoy! This should prove inspiring.
If you like what you’ve seen here, be sure to sign up for the free tutorials and textures Sebastian Michaels has produced for Light Stalking below:
Hi Rob I’m actually a member of this fine team of Artusts living the Artistic life .. The course is fantastic and I’m learning more and creating more artistic compositions with my photographs , than I ever thought possible .. I was fortunate to have my work published in the second edition and the upcoming July edition.. Congratulations to our course instructor Sebastian Micheals for making so many dreams come true for so many of us from all over the globe …
I am currently taking the fine art grunge class. Phenomenal. I really appreciate the opportunity provided in it. I have created two pieces that really are fine art. And this is in the first month.
I took the course and started creating beautiful pictures.
I highly recommend his course
Pretty stuff but mind-blowing? No way. This is ‘safe’ art, technically accomplished but not really any improvement over the endless landscapes that dot popular photography sites. Go to an art museum for some real photography with edge and gravitas.
I sure like to see some of your work. If you don’t think this is art of the highest caliber then you need to include examples of what you consider art. Or perhaps you could TRY to duplicate has been done here.
why would you want to duplicate what has been done – save your money and experiment on your own
they are mostly textures – but that cat piece is very cool
I have to agree with Richard. Nothing more than pretty pictures.
Mike & Richard
I think Sebastian Michaels is a phenomenal marketing man, ha, ha. Makes everyone want to be part of his ‘club’. All the pics look too ‘samie’ to me. Out of the same sausage machine.
I have to agree with Richard here. That leopard edit is the only one that made me go ‘wow!’ The rest look like relics from the early days of Photoshop when they first introduced layers and blending modes. Not saying that they’re ‘bad’, just not that great by todays standards.
Actually, so long as the artist is happy with what they have created, then who cares? It’s good to see people learning to express themselves in this way. I just think the Admin who posted this could have titled this article a lot better, maybe without the clickbait next time.
I agree with Dave. This is just another way to learn in a more structured way.
Thanks, Dave, it took a lot of time to draw all the fur on this image.
I’m an enrolled student in this incredible photographic journey. Probably the best money I’ve ever spent in learning post processing. I’m blown away by so many of the photographs here. Someday soon I hope to put up some of my work on the site and perhaps the magazine as well.
after looking at the work – I find myself not interested – as we all live in the subjective world of art and photography
we owe it to ourselves to explore on our own and create what we are inspired to create and not learn to create as someone tells us
Thank you for the notice and best of luck
This is a beautifull selection of my fellow artists in this course. For me joining this Photo Artistery course,with Sebastian Michaels is the best thing I ever did. It changed my life completely! I am living my life in Artistic Happiness!!!
This course is one of the best I ever took and the support you get from Sebastian Michaels, our teacher, is incredible!!! Thanks!
I am also doing the course, and I think it’s greatest strength is the guidance and inspiration we receive from Sebastian Michaels. He is an inspiring teacher and mentor, and we receive expert guidance in Photoshop processing skills. His enthusiasm and willingness to help us make a real career out of making art is selfless – I don’t know how he finds time to sleep!
If Art is an expression of what the Artist feels within, then this is Art 😊
I am also and enrolled student in this fantastic course and have been published in all four issues. The AWAKE course with Sebastian Michaels is truly fantastic, there is so much content and support and so many great works and ideas coming out of it all. The course is very extensive covering all facets of photography, art and ultimately commercial marketing of our work. Sebastian is so dedicated to helping us achieve our potential, its awesome. I urge you all to please take the time to look at all four issues as there is so much more great art that isn’t displayed in this blog post.
As a student of AWAKE I can completely and honestly say that the involvement in Sebastian Michaels courses and the high level of support and interaction he has given us is phenomenonal. I have never been involved in something as genuinely life changing and inspiring before.
I am also enrolled in this amazing journey of a course- it has opened my eyes to what was hiding inside my brain. I come from an art background – watercolor, pastel and the like then moved to photography as everyone at my art groups wanted me to paint pretty little chocolate box pictures. They are lovely people but could not see the vision that I was trying to find. My original skills I have from those days of learning and several years in photography together with this mind blowing course has allowed my creative powers to escape into the world of Digital Art – there is so much talent in our group and I am honored to be amongst the brilliance of some of our members. I know there are some amazing photographers out there and will never knock their work, but they should try some of our ideas and see that it is not a five minute job to create these pieces. I always was knocked in my painting groups and art shows with poor prizes for photography because “it was just a matter of pushing a button” to get an image so therefore we are not artists!! so don’t let photographers say the same of the wonderful creativeness of Digital Artist – I now call myself a Photo Artist as I take one of my images that I have “clicked” with great care and blend it with my art skills and create a piece of Art. Thanks Sebastian for bringing me “Awake”
I am a member of the Awake group of artists and a student in Sebastian’s course. I can’t tell you how much I have improved in my work since beginning this journey. I’ve been published in Issue #3 of this magazine and will have work featured in an international digital art magazine this September. I’ve also begun selling my work. I credit Sebastian’s guidance and the support of this amazing group of artists with helping me develop the confidence and skills to go forward toward my dream.
I too am a member of this fantastic group of Photo Artists. I joined this group to learn Photoshop so I could take my work to a new level. This course has well and truly exceeded any expectations I ever had when i started. It well and truly has enabled me to take my art to a new level, thanks to Sebastian Michaels. I’ve had my work in galleries for 2 and a bit years before starting this course and now it is allowing me to take my work in new directions with greater sophistication than ever before. I feel privileged to share this course with so many talented artists. They are all so very inspirational and it is fantastic to see them grow with each new set of lessons.
I enrolled in the course with Sebastian Michaels as a way to learn Photoshop but man was I ever in for a surprise ,this course is unmistakably the best thing I have ever done. The confidence and real enjoyment I have gained over the past few months really blows me away and to top it off there are so many fantastic artists appearing in this group it only goes to show you are only restricted by your imagination .
Hi I am a student on the AWAKE course and come from a photographic background. I always want to challenge myself with what can I do with a photograph I have taken to make it into something that has creative input from me in post processing so that it doesn’t end up looking like an image that anyone could have taken.
The tuition and guidance on the AWAKE course by Sebastian Michaels has given me the confidence to throw away the “rule book” and let me creative energy loose to produce digital art pieces I can be proud of and share with my fellow students on AWAKE. They are a very talented bunch to hang out with and willing to share their techniques. It is one of the most positive and helpful groups I have ever been involved with an amazing mix of photographers and artists from all over the world combining to push the boundaries and just CREATE!
As an average amateur photographer (and having worked in the graphic arts industry decades ago), I feel compelled to wade in to this debate. By every definition the images I am seeing here are art, in my opinion, great artistry and wonderful creativity. They may not be fine art (that you might see hanging in an art gallery, such as an oil painting), but these examples are commercial art pieces that are worthy of being in the best of coffee table magazines. I would be very proud to be able to create work of this standard. Well done to all of the creators. To the knockers I say, put up, or shut up. As a photographer I am always trying to improve my skills. It is obvious to me that Sebastian is a great teacher and passing on some very viable commercial-grade skills. Keep up the great work.
The cat photo/composite is really awesome, I’m not a fine arts person so the rest just don’t resonate with me, but kudos to all the wonderful artist who got world recognition for their wonderful work. Keep pushing the boundaries.
Absolutely stunning art work!! Congratulations Sebastian Michaels and all the members of the AWAKE group, I am proud and honored to be a member. There is room out there in the art world for all of us whether we take pictures or create them.
I, too, am a student in this course. I signed up for it because I wanted my photography to go beyond what I saw in my viewfinder and wanted to turn it into something not so ordinary. I already had the Photoshop skills, but needed a shot in the arm to use those skills in a different direction. I’m not as prolific as many others and I haven’t achieved anything near as beautiful or dramatic as most of these images, but I’m learning and having fun. I’m honored to be among this highly talented group of artists. They are inspiring!
As a student of both the Sebastian Michaels Photoshop Artistry and Awake courses, I need to add my voice to this posting. Happy to go to an art museum to view “some real photography with edge and gravitas”, as Richard has suggested. But if I had done that two years ago instead of signing up for Sebastian’s two creative courses, I would have lost interest in photography and the whole process of taking my creativity to a totally different level long ago. Sebastian has ignited a passion that I never even knew existed within myself. The support and guidance that I have received from my fellow artists in the Awake forum has also been nothing short of astounding. I will remain eternally indebted to Sebastian and this amazing group of like minded creative talented folk. In closing, continue to view our creativity as “safe art” Richard. I am blessed and honored to be an integral part of this creative bunch of amazing artists guided by our guru Sebastian Michaels who continues to pull us all out of our comfort zones, and in so doing, create some truly amazing compositions. Looking forward to reviewing future responses on this subject.
Exceptional work. Very creative and excellent use of many elements , photography, photoshop and vision.
Those that put down others work, I say to you: You are stuck within your boundaries , these folks are pushing theirs.
Again , excellent work , great vision !
As a long-time student of Sebastian Michaels, both his AWAKE and Photoshop Artistry, I can say without doubt it has changed my life. I was a fine art student, later a graphic design and advertising professional, and with what I’ve learned in this class, I’ve merged that background with new photographic and photoshop editing skills. But more than that, I have been introduced to a wonderful new way of really SEEING and BEING everyday in a consciously aware state of mind. If you always carry your camera, if you are constantly journaling new ideas, if your day is full of ‘what if’s’ and you have the self confidence and support group to get your art out there, then odds are you are part of this amazing community of artists. I am incredibly proud to be published in these magazines, including featured artist. I learn everyday from both the course and this group of fellow artists.
I have been a hobbyist photographer for over 30 yrs … digital only the past 5 yrs. I began using a digital darkroom software (Lightroom) as well as enhancing some of my photos in Photoshop after going digital and taking photos in RAW format. So my interest in digital as a form of expression really began to speak to me. Digital was another way to add interest, depth and layering to what was already a wonderful photograph. I knew very very little about PS and had taken a short course a couple of years before but because I’d never even seen PS before and was limited physically – I fell behind in class … but it peaked my interest very much. So when I saw the offering of a course that I could do at my own pace, in my own home (I am disabled so this really appealed to me) I wanted to have a closer look. I first started with Sebastian Michaels’ Photoartistry course (https://fineartgrunge.com/grungecanvas/) where I learned so much more about the tools in PS and how they functioned … as well the shortcuts that save time and energy when building a piece of art. What I didn’t know and/or expect was the level of expertise that I would master in such a short time AND the vault of amazing and professional quality content that would be offered to us as part of the course (to purchase these online would have cost far above the cost of the course itself). What an amazing gift! Then in November 2014, Sebastian offered a new course called AWAKE … Living the Photo Artistic Life. In his offering – he restricted the access to 500 people ONLY (course filled up in less than 9 hrs – which speaks to the level of desire to learn even more from our teacher/mentor)!!! That to me is very impressive to begin with (who online limits their class size right???) … but he did so in order to be able to cater personally to our group throughout the year! Now I didn’t really expect that a teacher/mentor of this caliber would interact very much with our group given the size of the group. I knew there would be some interaction … but how much could we expect one man to do when there are 500 of us taking the course for a year. But I was way off the mark in my belief!!! In fact, Sebastian is so much a part of our group that you’d think he was a student in the FB private group as well! I asked him many times where he finds the time to sleep!!! His attention bestowed up us, his constant check in leaving comments on our pieces, and his commitment to continue to astound us with course training, content, and motivational support is of professional quality and far beyond my expectation in the greatest of value! I have been a teacher, business consultant and advisor to thousands of business over 20 yrs. My opinion is this … SEBASTIAN MICHAELS is a MASTER at his craft, is a remarkable teacher/mentor and in my book TOTALLY ROCKS!!! I would NEVER be creating photoart in the way that I am now (whether I ever decide to make it to the business stage or not) without his guidance and complete genuine kind and giving nature. Thank you Sebastian for who you are and for preparing us in ways unimaginable to BE FULLY AWAKE!!!
On a final note – the idea of Sebastian dedicating a magazine exclusively to the artists of our group was a surprise to me at first; because I thought, if we are mostly beginners – how well will that translate into the world of “photoart” for all the world to see??? But was I in for the surprise of a lifetime!!! Not only are the pieces of photoart as professional and absolutely stunning in quality as any I have seen myself on the web … the people creating them have become like a family to me!!! Our group members, as well as Sebastian, have caused me to want to AWAKEN each day with such enthusiasm so that I can see what has been created overnight while I was sleeping.
As someone suffering with the disease of Fibromyalgia, my energy and enthusiasm are and have been very limited! My pain and tolerance for everyday life activities are at about 20% on any given day! But since joining this course – my desire to get up and try new things has me hoping and praying all the more for a miracle cure!!! Maybe someday I can actually use all that I have learned to produce professional quality artwork that someone might decide is worthy of purchase!!! Sebastian Michaels, I tip my hat off to you!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for coming into my life!!!
Sebastian Michaels is one of the best instructors out there. He just doesn’t teach you a technique and send you off to play, he invites you to use your own imagination and always look to move further and deeper into your art. He has never claimed that if you do it just like this it will be perfect. He also gives so much of his time to his students that just goes way beyond anything I have ever come across. My photo-art is starting to reach new heights thanks to his courses. Many of his students have been getting art gallery showings, increase in their business, etc. There will always be those who like to say that this is not art and that is fine, but how is it really any different than those of the renaissance who dared to push the limits of painting styles of their time?
I’m am so thrilled that my little piece is amongst such amazing artists …you sure have made my day ((((hugs)))) and thank you again for selecting one of my pieces.
Sebastians classes are amazing and will inspire you!!!!
I am thrilled that you have included one of my pieces on your blog, but all the honors should go to my teacher, Sebastian Michaels. A 71 year old grandmother, I didn’t even have the Photoshop basics down when I began his Photoshop Artistry course, entitled AWAKE. It was the best thing I have ever done for my art and the way I look at its place in my life. I never, ever thought anything I created would be on someone’s blog, or in a digital magazine. For me it s, indeed, mind-blowing that my piece is being featured on your blog! My best to you on your blogging – can’t wait to see what else you feature.
I am a student of Sebastian Michaels’ on-line course AWAKE, the best course i have ever been a part of. Sebastian’s tutoring skills are way beyond anyone else’s and i have done a lot of courses. He has inspired me to create works of art using my photos and my mixed media art and making them something special in photoshop. Thanks for sharing these great pieces of art with us
I am a student of Sebastian Michaels’ on-line course AWAKE and before that his Photo-Artistry course. I do not have the skills that many have achieved as I have a lot of demands on my time (unfortunately). The work the other student digital artist are creating is amazing and very inspiring. I am a very technically trained photographer having photographed space shuttle launches with media credentials from NASA and coached for years by NASA photographers. CNN has used some of my photos for their web site. However, one will never, ever create great photography until they have an artistic vision. The AWAKE course provides the technical skills but more important it develops the artistic vision.
Many good, some stunning. Love Leopard, by Michael Strevens.
Any creation details on that one?
Hi Yucel, I drew the Leopard. I copied the image from a photo I found on Google, in fact, it’s pretty much the first one that came up. I work with two screens, I draw the basic shape, that is displayed on the other screen, onto my work screen. I used the stamp tool to create sample areas of the fur and then added the colours. I then took the mixer brush tool and slowly brushed in all the fur. It took a long time. However, I only did half of the face and then mirrored it to create the finished drawing/brush over. I used a dispersion action by SevenStyles to create the movement in the piece. I’m really made up with how it turned out but it takes so long to achieve the photorealistic look that it’s not something that I want to do everyday 🙂
Comments from art snobs irritate me. Define photographic art that exhibits gravitas. Gravitas is taking pics of a urine puddle or a pile of trash? Who says art has to be ugly and offensive to be bold and brave. Art that is a pleasure to look at is not puerile. If something that is easy to look at isn’t art, can someone please explain Michelangelo, Botticelli, Chagall…the list of artists who spread beauty through beautiful works goes on.
I quite enjoyed some of the featured works above and do wish I could afford one of those courses.
The great Master also studied under others and belonged to schools of art! I have been to many of the great art museums of many parts of Th world. Who is to judge another person’s art? Many of the great masters were criticized and even reviles in their day only to be recognize after their lifetime. Critics are just that, critical and the be taken seriously.
I am a student in PA and AWAKE. Best thing I have ever done for myself.